Monday, September 30, 2019

Linky Links

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

- Damn it! Handjobs are still sold out!

- Cool - the pet turtles (Cuff and Link) from the movie Rocky are still alive and well (and still living with Sylvester Stallone)

- A reminder - this is what we were talking about a year ago.

- You know this actually isn't a bad argument

- The Gospel according to Coach Scar. Well worth the read for any football fan - plus there are lessons that can be applied to business or life.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Given this a lot of thought and if I were a Democratic candidate running for President in Iowa I would come out hard against the Des Moines Register because of the way they handled the Carson King story. I think that would play well with all Iowans these days... Thinking this guy might be Mike Hunt's cousin... "You can't go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending." - CS Lewis... I actually want one of these... In Massachusetts there are safe spaces for heroin injections but now vape pens are against the law. Part of me wonders if vape pens have driven down the tax revenue in Mass the State was getting for tobacco sales and this in part explains the ban... Actually six if you include Billy Joel too. Wonder what the Vegas odds would be of Queen Elizabeth II outliving them all?... If I ran an NFL team all of the player contracts would have a clause that prohibits them from being vegans. Seriously. Looking at you Cam Newton...

Simulation Hypocrisy

"Science is a culture of doubt. Religion is a culture of faith." - Richard Feynman

"Atheists are just modern versions of religion fundamentalists: they both take religion too literally." - Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Always amazed that people who seriously believe we are living in a simulation also mainly tend to be atheists. They have no evidence we are living in a simulation but they have faith in the idea nonetheless.

At least the major religions have historical proof that their leaders existed - the Buddha, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad. What proof do those who believe in the idea of a simulation have? None. And what's the answer if you ask them who created the simulation?

Yet these folks seriously don't see the irony of having "faith" in something you have no proof of and suggesting that this reality is the product of some invisible programmers in the sky.

Just an observation that amused me.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Linky Links

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

- The Two Rules in Life

- Now here's a real controversy. Leaving out the adult diapers at least isn't as bad as leaving out the American flag in First Man.

- Cool

- Stat of the day.

- Scott Adams on everything the press gets wrong about the Ukraine call.

- Excellent physics joke.

- Victor Davis Hanson on the eroding of American citizenship.

Will There Be a New Mayor of Buffalo Today?

Little known fact but there's a rule in Upstate New York that if a Bills fan is able to hit either Tom Brady or Bill Belichick with a dildo thrown from the stands - the person that throws that dildo automatically becomes the new Mayor of Buffalo.

It's the Niagara Region's answer to Medieval England's sword in the stone.

The more you know! Go Pats!

Soul Kitchen - Echo and the Bunnymen

Starting Sunday off with a little music. Nice Doors cover by Echo and the Bunnymen - who don't get the recognition I think they deserve.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Product Idea

Here's a product idea - an Evel Knievel Red, White and Blue adult onesie!

You could wear it as pajamas. You could rock it out at the clubs on a Saturday night channeling the ultra-cool that was Evel Knieval.

Don't you want one? I do.

Cape would be extra.

Carson King and the Cancel Culture

Carson King became an instant celebrity when he held up a sign asking people to donate to his Busch Light beer fund via Venmo in front of ESPN's College Gameday crowd before the Iowa / Iowa State game.

Carson King became a hero when the amount donated became well in excess of what he'd actually need and he decided to donate the money to Iowa's Childrens Hospital. People appreciated the gesture so much that the amount donated to his Venmo account quickly topped $1 million.

Then Aaron Calvin, a "reporter" for the Des Moines Register tried to harm Carson King's reputation by digging up a couple of stupid Tweets from King from 2012 - when King was just 16-years old.

Carson King was acting from a pureness of heart. Aaron Calvin and the Des Moines Register acted solely out of malice. A malice brought on by the sick "cancel culture" gotcha ethos and lack of common sense. Where were the adults at the newspaper?

There was a backlash.

People were so disgusted by the actions of the paper that the Governor of Iowa honored Carson King for his actions and the amount raised has now topped $2 million for the children's hospital. Meanwhile people looked into Aaron Calvin's social media and found racist and homophobic posts from his past. The Des Moines Register was forced to fired the dick.

So it's a story with a happy ending.

Weekend Reminder

Friday, September 27, 2019

Linky Links

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

- A message for children about climate change from Scott Adams. Worth your time.

- Very cool

- US about to sign new trade agreement with Japan that will mainly benefit US farmers

- This is incredible!

- One more reason to get a good night's sleep. If you found the video informative I highly recommend the book Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker PhD

- Interesting look at the history and philosophy behind the book Darkness at Noon.

- This is a very good argument for self-driving cars.

Ted Williams

Today is the anniversary of the final games of the 1941 season which saw Ted Williams go 6 for 8 in a double-header to raise his season batting average to .406. Williams went into the day will a batting average of exactly .400 and was given the option to sit out the day to protect the mark. Instead Ted Williams played both games - because he was Ted freaking Williams.

Ted Williams may perhaps be the last man to ever hit .400 in MLB history. It should also be noted that Williams didn't even win the MVP for his historic 1941 season (.406 BA, 135 R, 37 HR, 120 RBI). Williams' batting average, runs scored and home runs all led the league but 1941 was the season that Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak caught the imagination of the nation so the MVP went to the Yankee Clipper. Even though Williams actually had a higher batting average than DiMaggio during those very same 56-games.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

The more the MSM pushes stories they know to be nothing burgers just to push an agenda - the more people ask themselves why they waste their time and money on these outlets. This attitude is clearly reflected in the declining ratings and circulation numbers. They are putting themselves out of business... Heh Heh... If an apple was magnified to the size of the Earth - then the atoms of the apple would then equal the original size of the apple... You learn something new every day - Ben Whishaw the actor who killed Daniel Craig in the movie Layer Cake also plays Q - the character who helps protect Craig in the James Bond movies... There should be a martial art called Kneedle-Fu where people are trained to attack and kill people with just knitting needles. You know older women would sign up for that training... Learning to learn better... "When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That's my religion." - Abraham Lincoln...

The Man Who Saved the World

On this day 36-years ago Lt. Col. Stanislav Petrov may have single-handedly saved the world from global thermonuclear war.

I was a senior in high school and my biggest concern probably had to deal with whoever we were playing in football that weekend. Little did I know how close we all were to being incinerated.

How is it that Lt. Col. Stanislav Petrov isn't a household name? This is real-life Bruce Willis in Armageddon type stuff here.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Robert Hunter

Poet Robert Hunter has passed away. Like many, I was only familiar with Hunter through his work as the lyricist of many Grateful Dead songs. I am ashamed to say that though I've heard many of the Grateful Dead songs he penned (especially Ripple) dozens or hundreds of times - I never fully contemplated how profound the lyrics were.

"Let it be known there is a fountain that was not made by the hands of men." - Robert Hunter RIP

Thanks to Vanderleun for helping me consider Hunter's words in a whole new light and with a much greater appreciation. It saddens me that it took his passing for that to happen. The world is a lesser place today.

Linky Links

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

- Understanding Hong Kong's protests from a historical and business perspective from Harvard Business Review.

- I originally thought it was raisin toast

- Walrus attack and sink a Russian Navy boat in the arctic.

- The "0 to 1" trap and several other things learned from Peter Thiel. Still have 0 to 1 on my bookshelf but I will read it soon!

- Another perspective says that the crackdown in Hong Kong is somehow a negotiating tactic by China in the trade negotiation with Trump and the US.

- Cool Belichick story

- Harvard's admission policies are hardly geared toward admitting the best students based upon merit. Classic "it's who you know not what you know" situation.

How to Recognize Famous Painters

This is fantastic.

Hat tip to The Happy Curmudgeon

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

What Is the Meaning of Life?

Advice from Kevin Plank

"I have a saying: 'I was always smart enough to be naive enough to not know what I couldn't accomplish.'"

"People ask me all the time 'What do I need to do to grown my business from doing one million dollars to 10 million dollars?' The answer is you have to put your head down and find a way."

- Kevin Plank founder Under Armour

The Guardian's List of the 100 Best Books of the 21st Century

So here's The Guardian's list of the 100 best books of the 21st century. Normally you say "here's a list of books" and I say "I'm in - let's see the list." But this list bothered me.

I consider myself a reader but of 100 books listed I've only read three (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Moneyball, and Sapiens). And of the remaining 97 books only seven are currently on my reading wish list. I'm sure I'm probably missing out on some great books of the remaining 90 but which ones? I'm also thinking that in general the list really wasn't meant for a person of my "sensibilities" but for someone of more an Elitist English bent.

Honestly the list bothers me. So much so that when I got to the end and saw a plea from The Guardian for people to donate money to help them report on "the climate crisis" - I thought "well if you REALLY believe it is a CRISIS then you fuckers should stop publishing a newspaper on dead trees."

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Linky Links

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

- The US Air Force's radical plan for a future fighter could field a jet in just 5-years. I like this boldness and innovation.

- How to build good habits. The quality of your habits do determine the quality of your life.

- Interesting - IBM's new 53-qubit quantum "mainframe" is live in the cloud.

- This was cool - "Live Coding". I think this is what (not too distant) future resumes will look like.

- Calvin "Megatron" Johnson doesn't regret a thing. Interesting interview/profile.

- A chemical plant explodes in China. More questions than answers.

- Things are getting a whole lot better. We live in an age of abundance. Your life and your mindset get so much better if you just acknowledge this simple fact.

Happy Hobbit Day

Today is the birthdays of both Bilbo and Frodo Baggins and is celebrated internationally as Hobbit Day.

Be sure to have a second breakfast and maybe a pint or two to celebrate!

Saturday, September 21, 2019

T. Boone Pickens' Final Message

T. Boone Pickens passed away on September 11th. Prior to his death he wrote up his final message which is well worth your time to read.

His message included those words to the left from the poem "Indispensable Man" by Saxon White Kessinger.

The 10 key principles to his success he lists are something worth going back to and reviewing on a regular basis. And in his final analysis - what did he leave behind?

"I left and undying love for America, and the hope it presents for all. I left a passion for entrepreneurship, and the promise it sustains. I left the belief that future generations can and will do better than my own." - T. Boone Pickens

May the road rise to meet you Mr. Pickens. And thank you for your final message. Memento Mori.

Bill Murray

Bill Murray turns 69 today. Here's some of the stories through the years about Murray that I found interesting or amusing.

Bill Murray call's Kelly Lynch's husband each time the sex scene in Roadhouse comes on

Bill Murray once got lost for years in the persona of Hunter S Thompson

Bill Murray on the last time he saw Gilda Radner

Seven Steps to living a Bill Murray life, by Bill Murray

Casting Bill Murray

Fantastic review of Bill Murray's film career

Friday, September 20, 2019

Linky Links

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

- Holy crap!

- The YouTube revolution in knowledge transfer.

- Total badass!

- The danger of booze-making gut bacteria. Microbes can produce so much alcohol that people become drunk - and sustain liver damage - without touching any booze.

- Interesting look at the relationship between Disney under Bob Iger and Pixar under Steve Jobs. Written by Bob Iger.

- The Rusney Castillo deal (largest contract ever given to a Cuban defector) remains a strange side-note for the Red Sox. Highest paid AAA player ever?

- Business and life success lessons from Jeff Bezos

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Why don't US Intelligence Agencies use blockchain to protect Top Secret info and to insure proper chain of custody. Maybe behind the scenes they already are... Heh Heh... "Education isn't something you can finish." - Isaac Asimov... Speaking of education - this time of year you always see those stories about teachers who end up spending their own money to buy supplies for their students. How come we never see any stories about salespeople who have to travel for work and can't expense all the drinks they consume. Much of the cost of that alcohol comes straight out of their own pockets. But you never see Go Fund Me pages for people like me do you... It's a simple truth that doing something hard is always more fulfilling and fun than doing something easy... This is also a simple truth...

How to Win in Life


Thursday, September 19, 2019

The Scientific Method and Failed Climate Change Predictions

This list of the failures of 50-years worth of climate change predictions (many by very respected scientists and organizations) made me think of Richard Feynman speaking on the scientific method.

Their science and predictions aren't "settled". Richard Feynman would say they are just "wrong."

"No matter how smart a person is, no matter how elegant their hypothesis, if it does not agree with experimentation, it is wrong." - Richard Feynman

Linky Links

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

- I'm an awful person for laughing at this.

- Cool - Dragonfly the nuclear powered drone NASA is sending to Titan (one of the moons of Saturn)

- Speaking of cool stuff.

- Nice appreciation of the recently passed Ric Ocasek

- What a great Fenway moment

- Annotations in copy of Shakespeare's First Folio may have been written by John Milton

- Another cool baseball moment. (Thanks Ted)

I Am a Reader


Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Ric Ocasek

Being a teenager in the 80's and growing up in Massachusetts the music of The Cars was a big part of the backdrop of my formative years. From my senior year yearbook quote "Let the good times roll" (from the above Cars song) to the memory of "Phoebe Cates has left the pool" (done to The Cars Moving in Stereo) in Fast Times at Ridgemont High the fingerprints of Ric Ocasek seemed to be everywhere in my life.

And that was OK by me because I liked The Cars. Everyone liked The Cars.

Plus the man married supermodel Paulina Porizkova! At the time that union gave hope to all us goofy teenage boys. But looking back it was Paulina Porizkova who married Rock and Roll Hall of Famer to be Ocasek.

By all accounts Ric Ocasek seems to have lived a full life. Not sure if its only in my orbit of people but the reaction to the news of his passing was a bit of a shock. He was 75-years old and passed in his sleep from heart failure (i.e natural causes). Has dying at 75 become dying too young? That seems to say a lot about the state of medicine.

Benjamin Orr who co-founded The Cars with Ocasek - now he died too young. At 53 from pancreatic cancer.

Thanks for all the great songs Mr. Ocasek. You will be missed but the music you left us will live on.

Linky Links

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

- The Ontario government lost $42 million selling weed last year. How is that possible? I've also seen reports that black market weed selling for half the cost of "legal" pot in Canada.

- BangBros porn site bids $10 million for naming rights to new home of the Miami Heat. My sense of humor says "Please let this happen" while my decorum wonders "What the hell has happened to our society?"

- Heh Heh

- Are Generation IV nuclear reactors the answer to green energy? Nice look at the pros and cons (the cost) of Gen IV nuclear reactors.

- The Far Side may be making a comeback online. Doesn't sound like any new comic strips though.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

It seems to me that the new PC culture infecting SNL means that current and future generations will never get the benefit of great comedy like John Belushi's Samurai Night Fever and other Samurai centric skits... Heh Heh... Going into the season Tom Brady was 20-1 to win the NFL MVP. After the trade for Antonio Brown and the Pats hot start Brady's odds are down to 5-1 (Pat Mahomes is still the favorite at 3-1)... This past week Hamza Bin Laden, son of Osama Bin Laden and high ranking al Qaeda leader was killed by the US military. You'd think this would be bigger story but the media has different priorities... The attacks on the Saudi oil plants did not really affect US oil prices (thank you fracking and energy independence) or impact our economy but I wonder what the impact the attacks had on China's economy. They are the largest importer of Saudi oil ($29.1 billion per year)...

Linky Links

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

- Fight or flight may be in our bones.

- Heh Heh

- Why the US defends Taiwan. The "other" China often gets overlooked.

- This can't be unseen.

- Australia concludes that China was behind cyber attack on parliament and political parties. It bugs me that the Chinese think they can get away with such attacks.

- Awesome!

- Telcom with ties to Chinese government misdirects Internet traffic for two and a half years. See what I mean.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Wasting Beer

I love beer and I make no bones about it. As old Ben Franklin put it, "Beer is proof that God loves us." That's why I don't understand people who would waste beer.

Let me tell a story that illustrates where I'm coming from.

When I went to college one of the first side-jobs I took was working at a package store (that's what we call liquor stores in New England). My job was to stock cases and handle kegs - incoming and outgoing. On my first day someone brought back a keg and I tried to refuse it - because it wasn't empty! How could you return a keg if it still had beer in it? In my mind that was just wrong on so many levels. That was the day I learned that not everyone shared my beliefs about wasting beer.

One of the biggest ways beer gets wasted is when you are at a bar or a party and you put your beer down - you go to pick your beer back up but suddenly there's more than one. Which one is yours? You don't want to grab someone else's beer - so you just go get another while your old beer sits there wasted. That doesn't happen to me because when I open a can of beer (or a can of anything else for that matter) I automatically turn the tab to the left. More than one can sitting on the table? Mine's the one with the tab turned to the side. [If it's a bottle then it's always in front of me or in my hand.]

What got me thinking is that it is almost October and that means Oktoberfest. Hmmmm... Oktoberfest.

Just Because

Some things shouldn't be lost to the memory hole of the Internet. Besides - what better way to start a Monday?

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Go Pats!!!

I'll be at the game today. Go Pats!! Cover the goddamn spread!!!

Friday, September 13, 2019


Recently reread the book Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse. I was surprised by how much my perspective had changed since I first read the book about 25-years ago.

Back then I was struck by the seize the moment lesson of the book (and the sex). Transcend the ordinariness of life through experience and indulgence in what gives pleasure. I was probably more wolf than man back then - perhaps.

This time what struck me first and foremost was that Harry Haller, aged 50, was contemplating suicide because he thought that life after 50 was pointless. (Hey I'm in my early 50's and having the best time of my life!) This time I was struck by the message of Steppenwolf listening to Mozart laugh because in the end everything is entropy. So may as well enjoy the ride.

It's amazing how much your perspective changes over the years. Now it's time to reread Hesse's Siddhartha.

Great Life Advice

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Airship Advertising

This article argues that airships may be poised to make a comeback. The main reason they suggest a resurgence is cargo transport which could have a much lower environmental impact than traditional cargo ships (as an aside - why not nuclear powered cargo ships?).

Last time I thought about airships was 2-years ago when the Airlander 10 - aka the Flying Bum - crashed.

I used to think about airships alot because I thought they represented a great potential advertising business. I mean everyone stops to look at the Goodyear blimp right? Why not sell the space on the sides of the airship as billboards in the sky? Just fly the ship up and down the Mass Pike during rush hours and let the money roll in. 

You could also sell rides and maybe a nice brunch or early dinner.

If you want to take this idea and run with it - aloha (just kick me back a piece).

Shattered - Eddie Vedder and Jeanne Tripplehorn

Remains one of my all-time favorite videos.

A Thing of True Beauty

Cassini's last image before entering Saturn's atmosphere and burning up.

Monday, September 09, 2019

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Wow - did the Patriots look good last night or what! And that's on both sides of the ball. Dominating... I really want this chair... I can't help wonder what Greg Schiano is up to. After he abruptly reigned from the Patriots he completely dropped off the radar. Is he all done with football?... That time Bill Hader was Arnold Schwarzenegger's personal assistant... Thinking of coming out with a "Lobster Beer". Just have to figure how to ferment clarified butter. You know hipsters would buy it... Heh Heh... "The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read." - Mark Twain...

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing.

- Robert Mueller helped Saudi Arabia cover up its role in the 9/11 attacks according to lawsuit.

- Interesting bit of Vietnam War history that I was not aware of.

Heh Heh

- DNA evidence suggests that the Loch Ness Monster could be a giant eel.

- Companies moving manufacturing out of China may force them to end trade war before too many companies leave for good. I really think China has overplayed their hand.

- The Four Tools of Discipline

Niall Ferguson: The 6 Killer Apps of Prosperity

Very interesting talk by economist/historian Niall Ferguson on the 6 killer apps of prosperity. He lists certain "apps" as the driving force explaining Western domination in the last century and also how these "apps" are why "rest-ern" civilizations are catching or passing Western nations today. The West's killer apps are:

1. Competition
2. The Scientific Revolution
3. Property Rights
4. Modern Medicine
5. The Consumer Society
6. The Work Ethic

I can also highly recommend Niall Ferguson's The Ascent of MoneyAnd speaking of The Ascent of Money - Ferguson has adding two new chapters for the new edition. That's going on my reading list (even though I own an older addition). 

Sunday, September 08, 2019

Antonio Brown

I'll be honest - I didn't want New England to sign Antonio Brown. I was in agreement with Tom E. Curran that "the Patriots should run like hell away from Antonio Brown."

And, again to be honest, I thought this was both funny and probably true.

But then the Patriots signed Brown. Now I have to concede that my opinion doesn't count for much and that in Bill We Trust.

Antonio Brown and his agent are, of course, saying all the right things. He's going to be accountable, do things the right way, the Patriot way, yada yada yada. But the proof of that will be on the field. And in the locker room.

Everyone seems to want to make the Randy Moss comparison to the Brown signing. But the voice in the back of my head keeps reminding me that Randy Moss did not win a ring with the Pats. Granted that was through no fault of Moss who was a great player for New England. I'm then conversely reminded by that little voice that past Patriots personnel gambles Corey Dillion, LeGarrette Blount and Darrelle Revis all did win Super Bowls. 

One under-reported aspect to this whole scenario could be the potential impact Patriots great Troy Brown could have here. Troy's been helping with the coaching this season and what a perfect project Antonio could be for "Coach" Brown in helping Antonio become acclimated to the New England playbook and way of doing things.

As a side note - if this does work out for the Pats then it could make Tom Brady a favorite to win the MVP. Brady was a 20-1 shot before the trade (and yes I did put some money down on that).

Go Pats! (I have my fingers crossed that this doesn't blow up on them.)

Lets Go Pats!!

And a reminder of how you become a Steelers fan. Just kidding - sort of.

Bill Walsh's Standard of Performance

Bill Walsh's Standard of Performance which are what I'd consider the bedrock foundation of all of his success.

1. Exhibit a ferocious and intelligently applied work ethic directed at continual improvement.
2. Demonstrate respect for each person in the organization.
3. Be deeply committed to learning and teaching.
4. Be fair.
5. Demonstrate Character.
6. Honor the direct connection between details and improvement; relentlessly seek the latter.
7. Relentlessly seek self improvement 
8. Show self -control, especially under pressure.
9. Demonstrate and prize loyalty.
10. Use positive language and have a positive attitude.
11. Take pride in my effort as an entity separate from the result of that effort.
12. Be willing to go the extra distance for the organization.
13. Deal appropriately with victory and defeat, adulation and humiliation.
14. Promote internal communication that is both open and substantive
15. Seek poise in myself and those that I lead
16. Put the team's welfare and priorities ahead of my own.
17. Maintain an ongoing level of concentration and focus that is abnormally high
18. Make sacrifice and commitment the organization's trademark
19. The leader must exhibit the principles, code of conduct and behavior that he's asking others to emulate.

This Standard of Performance could easily be applied to any organization or even as a personal code of conduct.

Friday, September 06, 2019

Top 5 - Musicians Who Have Choked to Death On Their Own Vomit

Thought it was time to revisit this post which has become a bit of an annual tradition. Jimi Hendrix headlines a list of musicians who choked to death on their own vomit.

1. Jimi Hendrix - guitar god
2. Bonn Scott - original lead singer for AC/DC
3. John Bohnam - drummer Led Zepplin
4. Tommy Dorsey - bandleader and brother of Jimmy Dorsey
5. Mamma Cass - rock myth has her choking on a ham sandwich which technically isn't vomit but since she really died of a heart attack anyway - I thought I'd toss her in at #5 just to round off the list.

Even though everyone knows how Bonn Scott died - his death certificate actually says "death by misadventure". Maybe that's because it was unclear if he choked on his own vomit. You can't dust for vomit you know.

PS - My goal in life is now to have "death by misadventure" be my official cause of death. 

PPS - If it was just "musicians who have choked to death" Michael Hutchence from INXS would have been very high on the list. (Too soon?)

Linky Links

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

- Heh Heh

- The anti-aging drug that's just around the corner

- Holy crap is right. My lying eyes!

- Ban Everything!

- The terrible truth about Live Aid.

- Paper beats rock!

The Purpose of Wealth is Freedom

Thursday, September 05, 2019

The Kardashian Conundrum

"The amount I care about the Kardashians cannot be measured in Planck lengths." - Chris Lynch

The above statement causes a conundrum. Those who like the Kardashians probably think, "Cool he's mentioning the Kardashians but is planking still a thing?"

Meanwhile, those who understand Planck lengths have probably never heard about the Kardashians.

Life 101

Nicholas Bate's list of Life Tips 101. Some really good stuff. Among my favorites;

47. Halve the TV viewing, double your reading. Triple your brain power.

Hat tip to Steve Layman for pointing out the list (which is more than 6 years old but still holds up very well).

Breaking the Internet

It has now been 5-years since Kim Kardashian "broke the Internet" and this still makes me laugh every time.

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Linky Links

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

- Sorry but reading this article all I could think was "This is how a real life The Blob horror movie starts."

- There is some truth to this

- Interesting - meditation and yoga practice linked to reduced volume in brain region tied to negative emotion

- Leading like Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk: Lessons from their contrasting styles

- Interesting interview of Niall Ferguson who argues the US will win the trade war but the tech war will be a harder struggle.

- I'm fascinated by all aspects of the Stuxnet story.

- Bruce Lee on self-actualization

Voyager Spacecraft and Richard Nixon

Outside the Apollo moon landing the Voyager Spacecraft may be NASA's signature program (argue the Mars rover if you like). The thing that often or always gets overlooked is the fact that the Voyager Spacecraft (Voyager I and Voyager II) would have never happened if it wasn't for Richard Nixon.

Yet Nixon never seems to get any credit.

Seriously. Can you find any mention of Nixon in the Wikipedia page on the Voyager program? Without Nixon granting NASA the money specifically for this project this never happens. Without Voyager there's no "pale blue dot". And without Carl Sagan's elegant words the appetite for space exploration probably is not close to what it is today.

Yet Nixon's name comes up less frequently when it comes to the Voyager program than Chuck Berry's.

And if you think I'm trying to give Nixon too much credit please remember that George McGovern stated in no uncertain terms that if he was elected President he was going to cut the space shuttle program and redirect those funds toward domestic programs. Do you think the Voyager science experiment would have got funding if it wasn't Nixon in office?

No chance. Yet Nixon never gets any credit.

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Ryan Fitzpatrick

Ryan Fitzpatrick has been named the opening game starter for the Miami Dolphins. This will be Fitzmagic's 15th NFL season after graduating from Harvard.

I have a special place in my heart for Fitzpatrick because I predicted his success. Here's what I wrote on September 11, 2004:

"I am picking Harvard QB Ryan Fitzpatrick as my dark horse candidate for the Heisman this year. Fitzpatrick is the real deal. He has a cannon and can run. Some day he'll be playing on Sundays. If the Crimson can go undefeated - then look for Fitzpatrick to pick up some Gordie Lockbaum like support from the major media."

Now I'm not trying to say Fitzpatrick is a Tom Brady level QB but 15 NFL seasons is no joke.  Fitzpatrick was the last of 14 QB's taken in the 2005 NFL Draft (4 of which never played an NFL down). Aaron Rodgers was by far the best of the QB's drafted but Fitzpatrick could easily finish with the 2nd most passing yards and TD's of the group (assuming Alex Smith's career may be finished by his devastating injury last season).

Oh and 2004 Heisman - I'm guessing winner Matt Leinart got the votes but I bet he wishes he had Fitzmagic's NFL career.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

With so many people running for President on the Democratic side (and many of them not even "Democrats") it seems a little weird that Ralph Nader is not among them. I know he's 85 and the vigor of the campaign trail may be beyond him at this point but it would be nice to see Ralph... Heh Heh... Always remember that one man's punk rock is another man's pop... Wow - just wow... Firmly believe that the remaining Democratic Party debates should open with REM's Shiny Happy People (what they pretend to be) and close with the theme to Shaft (what they're trying to do to US taxpayers)...  "The life of wisdom must be a life of contemplation combined with action." - M. Scott Peck... Remember right after the fall of Baghdad when CNN personnel let it be known that while Saddam Hussein was in power that they had to have Iraqi "minders" to monitor what they said on air? And that these "minders" basically intimidated the CNN folks into pro-Saddam reporting? The Democratic Party doesn't even need "minders" to intimidate CNN on-air personalities into pro-Democratic Party reporting. And they wonder why their ratings are in the toilet...

The Beast of Gevaudan

File this under "You learn something new every day." I had never heard of the beast of GĂ©vaudan but I guess "some consider the creature to be the French equivalent of the Loch Ness Monster."

Robert Louis Stevenson described the beast as "the Napoleon Bonaparte of wolves" while some believe that it was a werewolf (although most attacks came in the morning) or an escaped lion or hyena. The beast is said to have killed eighty-nine people (fifteen women, sixty-eight children, and six men). The deaths were real and so you would have to think the beast was real too.

One of the mysteries of history.

Monday, September 02, 2019

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Happy Labor Day. When I was a kid Labor Day was the official end of summer and time to go back to school. Now kids have been in school a week already and the significance of Labor Day has been diminished. How ironic the the significance of Labor Day was probably destroyed by a labor union - the Teacher's Union... Good advice... If Hillary Clinton was a Harry Potter character - there's no doubt in my mind that she'd be Delores Umbridge...  The modern Bukowski will Tweet his poetry and go unnoticed. As an aside Modern Bukowski would be a good name for a band or fantasy football team name... The answer to why there is crushed stone along railroad tracks. And all this time I thought it was to make it easy for kids to throw rocks at trains... A person at age 20 should read the top 50 classic novels of all-time and repeat the exercise every 10 years for the rest of their life. It's amazing the wisdom that can be gleamed from the same material from different points in your life...

Our Reaction to Technology Over Time

Douglas Adams on our reactions to technology over time. So true!