Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Linky Links

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

- This is scary - and more proof that China is our enemy. I hope this crisis has woken people up to that reality!

- OK this made me laugh

- UFC 249 the show must go on! Having UFC stage the first major sporting event since the lockdown would be a big step back towards normalcy.

- In hindsight Trump was ahead of the curve with the China Trade War, getting rid of unneeded government regulations, travel restrictions, etc.

- If the masks are edible they'll be the first to go Easter morning

- Tyler Cowen's 12 rules for life

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Just a heads up but if you're thinking of pranking a friend tomorrow by telling them the governor ordered the liquor stores closed - that's not a funny April Fool's joke - it just means you're an ass... This is one of the most touching things I've read since the start of the crisis... Guessing that the number of international communities looking to be Wuhan's "Sister City" is not a very long list these days... Heh Heh... Hopefully a silver lining to this situation will be that "close-talkers" are finally going to get the message to back their ass out of our personal space... Speaking of pranks - pretty sure nobody would do this today... PornHun would be a good name for a Ghenghis Khan sex fetishist website... "The real act of discovery consists not in finding new lands, but in seeing with new eyes." - Marcel Proust... 

Very True

Monday, March 30, 2020

Farnam Street Knowledge

- Elements of Effective Thinking

- 10 Principles to Live an Antifragile Life

- Preserving Optionality: Preparing for the Unknown

Top 5 - Moments from A Band of Brothers

If your looking for something to binge watch - why not revisit the HBO classic Band of Brothers. Here's what I consider the Top 5 scenes from the mini-series:

1. Spiers takes command of Easy - the scene of Spiers jumping through the smoke to assume command from Lt. Dike gives me chills every time.

2. Liebgott translates the defeated German General's speech to his men. A poignant speech which showed the German soldiers as similar to the men of Easy Company. The humor of Captain Sobel having to salute Major Winters was the cherry on top.

3. Easy Co takes the Eagles Nest. It was nice to see the guys enjoy some well earned R & R (and spoils of war - including a nice cache of booze for Captain Nixon).

4. Easy takes out the German 105s at Brecourt ManorDick Winters should have been awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions that day.

5. Crossroads the Island charge

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Linky Links

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

- How history will look back at 2020

- Was a fan of Toledo coach Jason Candle before this but now even more so.

- Good for Taiwan

- If you are home schooling a kindergarten student why not let Richard Pryor help them learn the ABC's 

- Good advice for 1099 employees from Mark Cuban

- Naval Knowledge

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

President Trump contacted Alex Rodriguez about the Wuhan virus because he wanted to check with A-Rod how the centaur community was handling the crisis. Next the President with check with Beto O'Rourke to check on how the furry community is coping...  Always thought a Lord of the Rings spoof about the "Mood Rings of Power" would be amusing. One mood ring to control them all! It would have the power to make people happy, sad, etc. If you wanted to make it an R rating you could also make the One Ring also have the power to make people horny... I see this and I automatically think "well that's proof they should re-open the golf courses!"... "It is remarkable how much long-term advantage people like us have gotten by trying to be consistently not stupid, instead of trying to be very intelligent." - Charlie Munger... Heh Heh - are we sure this is photoshop?... Remember when ESPN's Adam Schefter wrote, "Robert Kraft is 'not the biggest name' involved in [last year's Orchids of Asia] prostitution bust"? Well Adam we're still waiting. Why was Kraft singled out? And people wonder why Patriots fans dislike ESPN... Memento Mori would be a great name for a life insurance company...

Cy Young

Cy Young was born on this day in 1867. Young's record of 511 wins is often cited as one of the records that cannot be broken. To me, though, the real unbreakable record of Young's is his 749 complete games. Pud Galvin is in second place with 646 and Tim Keefe is third with 554. That's a difference of about 200 complete games between 1st and 3rd place. You won't find an entire pitching staff in baseball these days with a combined 200 complete games.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Ibuprofen and Tylenol

If you go to a super market chances are the items that would be out of stock or in short supply would be toilet paper, bleach, cleaning products (especially wipes), and Tylenol! How did Tylenol get to be such a hoarded product while you can still get all the Advil you want?

It is mainly due to rumors and reports (unfounded it seems) that ibuprofen (the main ingredient in Advil) could worsen COVID-19 effects.

The run on Tylenol is especially interesting given that it was not too long ago some were asking "Is Tylenol the most dangerous drug ever made?"

People are strange.

This is CNN

I would watch a "news" network where clearly mentally disturbed people rant about their take on news, politics and life beliefs. If people went too far off the rails you'd start playing the theme song to Benny Hill and cut to commercial. I would call it the Crazy News Network (CNN).

Then again the actual CNN is really just the Benny Hill theme song away from this being a reality.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Besides ordering take-out and buying gift certificates from my favorite local restaurants last night I also placed my first bet since the NBA and NHL cancelled postponed their seasons. I'm sure my bookie appreciates the action. I'm not a hero - just trying to do my part... OK this is pretty good... Has anyone started calling Ben Roethlisberger "fat Thor" yet? With the beard and beer gut - the nickname certainly fits... This could be a game-changer - Abbott Labs received FDA approval for a COVID-19 test that could provide a positive result in just 5 minutes and a negative result in just 13. I could see this test being mandatory for anyone looking to board a plane once things are allowed to open up again... Heh Heh - the population of the US in units of Canadas. Thought this was clever... "Tell me what you know. Tell me what you don't know. Only then can you tell me what you think. Always keep these three things separate." - Colin Powell with excellent advice...

Happy 3-28

Now that Tom Brady has signed with Tampa Bay - this may be the last time I celebrate today in this manner.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Linky Links

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

China angry over cornavirus cartoon in Danish newspaper. I'm angry they didn't call it the Wuhan Virus. Actually pretty good cartoon.

I laughed too hard at this.

So where is that $2 trillion from the government going?

- Am I a bad person for laughing at this?

- Interesting - NFL MVP Lamar Jackson is suing Amazon. I think Jackson has a pretty good case.

Well I'm definitely an awful person for laughing at this.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Not all heroes wear capes. "It's important that we lend a hand and provide them with an enjoyable way to pass the time." Heh heh "lend a hand." On a separate note - what the hell was PornHub doing with 50,000 surgical masks anyway?... US Space Force had it's first official rocket launch yesterday.  An historic event that went almost completely without notice... I've been doing this blog for 16-years now and I don't think I've ever explained that the inspiration for calling these miscellaneous thoughts and observations actually came from the title of my favorite chapter in The Lord of the Rings... In this time of crisis be sure to use both sides of the toilet paper... Babe Ruth caught the Spanish Flu in 1918 - twice! Wonder why the phrase "the grippe" went out of favor? Also note that the Red Sox team doctor did more harm than good. The more things change...


On this day in 1309 – Pope Clement V excommunicates Venice and all its population. That just sounds strange to the moderns' ear but back in the day all of the subjects of a ruler were held to the actions of the ruler. So if the ruler was excommunicated then all his subjects were as well.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

"Never play by the rules. Never pay in cash. And never tell the truth." Ross Johnson former CEO of RJR Nabisco on what he called the three rules of Wall Street. After the past few days it seems clear those three rules apply to Capital Hill too... Good on hockey equipment manufacturer Bauer for helping by making face shields for health workers fighting the Wuhan virus... "When we are no longer able to change a situation , we are challenged to change ourselves." - Victor Frankl... Cool looking building in Idaho actually a nuclear reactor. If it were a home I'd love to live in it... In March of 1917 the US took possession of the US Virgin Islands (formerly the Danish West Indies) after paying Demark $25 million. Talk about great deals! That would be worth about $505 million is today's dollars... What a great movie quote for what we're all going through...

Local Heroes

Asbury Park Distilling out of Asbury Park NJ has shifted some of their operations in order to make hand sanitizer for local first responders. They have been do so for quite some time with little or no fanfare or publicity.

If you live in New Jersey and like gin you may want to buy a bottle or two of their stuff. Highly recommended. And although the bar at the distillery is currently closed when it reopens and you find yourself thirsty after a walk on the boardwalk or beach stop on by for a drink.

Good people doing good things.

Linky Links

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

- I'd seen elsewhere the connection between Italy and China and why Northern Italy became a hotbed of Wuhan virus that shut down the entire nation but this article backs up the assertion

- Heh Heh - You'd be in a bad mood too!

- SpaceX gets FCC license for 1 million satellite-broadband Starlink user terminals. Elon Musk says the terrestrial user terminals would look like "a UFO on a stick." Still haven't seen any pricing details for the service.

- Interesting history tidbit

LBJ in Texas

Love this picture of LBJ at his ranch in Texas in 1965 for several reasons. But chief among them is the lady in the background taking a picture of her husband. The President of the United States is smiling while holding a large rattlesnake but this lady doesn't care. Was this such a common experience to generate such nonchalance? LBJ was an odd duck.

HT Traces of Texas

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

I Miss Hockey

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

The massive stone lions outside the New York Public Library are named Patience and Fortitude. Two qualities that are in dire need these days... Recently rewatched Raiders of the Lost Ark and man does that movie not hold up well. It was sooo cheesy and let's be honest pretty racist...  Call Me a Hole - a mash-up of Call Me Maybe and Nine Inch Nails. Seven years old but still cool to listen to... "Sir, I'm going to have to ask you to exit the donut!" - Nick Fury in Iron Man 2 (a quote I'm thinking of posting on my refrigerator or coffee maker for the rest of the self-quarantine period)... In her new 1,400 page proposed package is Nancy Pelosi proposing giving up her government provided private jet by any chance? That woman is pure evil... Back in January the US signed the Phase One trade deal with China where they agreed to buy $200 billion in new American goods while the US agreed not to raise any more tariffs. Has there been any evidence the Chinese have begun to honor their end of the deal yet? If not President Trump should double all tariffs immediately and use the funds from the tariffs to help offset the damage caused by the Wuhan virus. More symbolic than practical yes but I'm thinking it would make many Americans feel better...



Monday, March 23, 2020

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

The point James Altucher raises about suicide is something I hadn't considered. The financial stress caused by this crisis should not go overlooked... Conspiracy theory - the coronavirus is fiendish plot by Big Toilet Paper... If I remember correctly in the book The Hot Zone contact with bats also played a major role in the outbreak and spread of Ebola. How about if we make eating bats illegal world wide. If you don't outlaw eating frigging bats then your country does not get to be part of things like the UN, the G7, or any other civilized organization. Your move China... Heh Heh... So in States that have ordered "shelter in place" does that order now make proper usage of the HOV (high occupancy vehicle) lane on the highway a crime? Charges of public endangerment maybe? More than a couple people in a cramped space like a car or van sounds dangerous (not that there's a whole lot of people on the road anyway)... A reminder to Congress. Get the friggin bill passed already!...

Coming Bandwidth Issues

Interesting point raised by this article. Most broadband networks are optimized to account for most business use during the day and most residential use at night and on weekends. That way the network operator gets proper network usage spread out over many hours on the same network. But what about today during the nationwide self-quarantines?

Kids at home and people working from home are contending for the same network connection and bandwidth from the home. And most of that traffic is now video as kids get their school courses via video apps while most business meetings have moved online via conferencing apps like WebEx. Making the network bottleneck worse. And this is without even mentioning the growing video gaming usage and over the top video services like Netflix used by both kids and adults.

Then you add in the fact that these networks are "shared" networks - meaning there's only so much bandwidth to go around. (This is why if you pay for "up to" 200 Mbps of bandwidth you only see those numbers if you do a speed test in the middle of the night when nobody else is on the network.)

People with fiber or cable connections in metropolitan areas are probably OK. But if you just have a DSL connection you may find yourself rationing the bandwidth. Possibly taking turns being online (like back in the days when the online connection was connected to the telephone line and if someone picked up an extension it crapped out your connection). Never mind current satellite bandwidth options - their monthly data caps were probably topped after just one week of at-home quarantine.

Sure people living in rural communities are probably less likely to get sick from the Wuhan Virus but solutions to rural broadband issues should be part of whatever plan is put in place to prevent this from ever happening again.

Farnam Street Knowledge

- Gates' Law: How Progress Compounds and Why It Matters

- Elastic: Flexible Thinking in a Constantly Changing World

- Strategy vs. Tactics: What's the Difference and Why Does it Matter?

William Shatner - Rocket Man

Amusing way to start your Monday morning.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Interesting how the same people who gleefully chanted "Bush lied - people died" are so upset at anyone who reports "China lied - people died"... Am I a bad person for laughing at this?... Tom Brady signed with the Buccaneers for roughly $30 million a year. Not for nothing but if Brady wanted to sell his sperm he'd probably be able to easily get $1 million a sample. He's in the wrong business... "We are often more frightened than hurt; and we suffer more from imagination than from reality." - Seneca...  Good for Arthur Blank... As a Patriots fan it would make sense to me to sign (or trade for) Brian Hoyer to back-up Jarrett Stidham. Hoyer has 2-years left on his contract but there's also a good chance he gets cut by the Colts... Prior to the 2000 NFL Draft the Patriots had Tom Brady and Tim Rattay basically rated as equals. New England took Brady with the 199th selection while Rattay went 13 picks later to the 49ers. Can you imagine how NFL history could have been different if the choices were reversed?...

An Observation

Curious George Learns the Alphabet by H.A. Rey is a book first published back in 1963. What I found interesting was the fact that the Man in the Yellow Hat used the words "dinosaur" and "dromedary" to teach George the monkey the letter "D".

Compare that to what alphabet books or shows like Seasame Street would use for the letter "D" today (most likely dog or doll). It just seems like we are expecting less of our kids today .

Just out of curiosity - how many of you knew that a dromedary was a one humped camel?


Amazing how well this simple mindset works.


Friday, March 20, 2020

Currently Reading

Self-isolation is supposed to be a chance to read more. Trying my best but instead I seem to be watching more TV. Anyway - here's the books I'm currently reading:

Barbarians at the Gate - the true story of the LBO (leveraged buy-out) of RJR Nabisco. Interesting history and look back at the Wall Street of the late 1980's. Almost finished with this book. One problem I'm having is even though there's pictures of Ross Johnson, the CEO of RJR Nabisco, in my head I keep seeing James Garner who played Johnson in the HBO movie of the same title.

Never Split the Difference - very interesting look at negotiating from real world FBI hostage negotiator Chris Voss. Some excellent tips and observations that can be used in the life of almost anyone. About half-way done with this book. I'm sure I will pick this up and re-read at least a second time. The advice and tips are that good!

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel - just started this book and already I'm hooked. The tale of a pandemic known as the Georgia Flu that collapses civilization. I decided on this book over the choice of re-reading The Plague by Albert Camus. Funnily enough I bought this book after hearing it recommended by Anthony Jeselnik.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Dear Men's Health or Dr. Fauci - will seeing naked pictures of Bette Midler kill the coronavirus? Asking for a friend... So at least self-quarantining has given us this...  PSA - Jack Daniels is not just for breakfast anymore... Joke from the past - Pay Your Bills!... Something to think about - prior to the US invasion of Iraq, UNICEF estimated that between UN sanctions that created shortages and the brutality of Saddam Hussein roughly 5,000 Iraqi babies (children under 5-years of age) died or were killed every month. That's 60,000 babies every year...

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Heh Heh


Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

I think one change that should be mandated across the country is to change all the signs that hang in bathrooms from "Employees must wash hands before to returning to work" to "Everyone must wash hands before leaving bathroom." Sad that we even need signs for basic hygiene... David Simon is my spirit animal... Proposed solution to help out restaurants and bars being stressed by Wuhan Virus closings - have States waive all 2020 sales and meal taxes so that bars and restaurants get an immediate cash cushion to help them through. If taxes have already been paid have State departments of revenue issue refund checks. Simple and elegant way to help out...  The Red Sox unofficial team song s Shipping up to Boston, the Patriots song is Ozzy Ozbourne's Crazy Train, and the Bruins is Zombie Nation. May I suggest with the signing of Tom Brady that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers adopt the Grateful Dead's Touch of Gray as their unofficial theme song (Carly Simon's Nobody Does It Better would also work but too mellow)... Proposed NCAA punishment for Rick Pitino for the wrong doings at Louisville that happened under his watch - require him to grow and maintain a Jeff Ruland mustache for as long as he's head coach of Iona... Who knew? Apparently among the new golf etiquette rules in the face of the Wuhan virus is to leave the flag in while putting so nobody has to touch the pin... 

One Day it Just Clicks


Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Linky Links

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

- Perspective - the history (and scope) on pandemics through the ages

- Military wants to replace the Reaper drone. It went from the Predator drone to the Reaper drone but if the next drone is named the Terminator drone then I might be a bit queasy.

- Heh Heh

- The dirty secret of coaxial cable broadband

- I've said it before - Randy Quaid is a guilty pleasure

- Wait - Franz Kafka was a workout nut? Who knew?

Tom Brady

I was convinced that Tom Brady was going to return to the Patriots. I was wrong.

Looks like TB12 will be taking his considerable talents to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Like most New England fans, I wish him nothing but the best.  The Buccaneers franchise single season records for TD passes is 33 and 5,109 passing yards  were set last season by Jameis Winston - I wouldn't bet against Brady breaking both of those marks this season. Never bet against Tom Brady.

Why did Brady leave the Patriots? Was it because he wasn't offered a contract? Did he not want to fall for telling Bill Belichick what he wanted in a contract because of a fear of the counter-offer being insulting in his eyes? Or did he just want a change? A new challenge? No matter the reason I'll be rooting for him. And like many Patriots fans I'll be watching as many Tampa Bay games as possible this year.

I'm grateful for what Tom Brady has done for New England. And not just on the football field. He's always been pure class. We love you Tom Brady.


We are in this crisis because of the decisions of the Chinese government.

China Boomeranging. "Its bad behavior in the wake of  COVID-19 will leave it in its weakest global position in memory. And the U.S. will emerge stronger." Only if we have the will to decouple.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

One potential silver lining to the Wuhan virus is hopefully this crisis will finally convince places to get rid of their air hand dryers in bathrooms for the more hygienic traditional paper towels... Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters postpone their tour with the most Foo Fighters announcement possible... I think the run on toilet paper is clear proof of the Patriarchy. Every grocery store I've been to these past two weeks the toilet paper aisle is decimated meanwhile you go over to the tampon aisle - fully stocked! It's not the women who are panic stocking up on non-perishables... Heh Heh... Out - people stealing towels from hotels. In - people stealing the extra roll of toilet paper in hotel bathrooms... Good advice from C.S. Lewis...

Top 5 - Saint Patrick's Day Irish Music

Happy Saint Patrick's Day! Here are my Top 5 Songs for celebrating Saint Patrick's Day (because Oh Danny Boy is shite).

1. Rocky Road to Dublin

2. If I Should Fall From Grace with God - The Pogues

3. Four Green Fields - Makem & Clancy

4. The Foggy Dew - Sinead O'Connor and the Chieftains

5. I'm Shipping Up to Boston - Dropkick Murphy's

The Band Played Waltzing Matilda doesn't make the list because I consider that an Australian anthem.

EDIT: Feel like I should add something from The Waterboys even though technically they're Scotch-Irish. Fisherman's Blues is one of my favorites.

Saint Patrick

With today being St. Patrick's Day -  here's just a couple of things about Saint Patrick.

...was not Irish. He was a British Celt, first enslaved in Ireland as a teen, later a missionary to Ireland. 

...was not necessarily the first missionary to Ireland. 

No one knows his birth or death date. March 17th is traditionally considered to be one of the two, but there is no documentation for this. 

The only documents about Patrick are his Confession and a letter he wrote to Coroticus. 

There were never snakes---or other reptiles---in Ireland for Patrick to chase out. 

Patrick predates the Roman Catholic Church, and was considered a ``saint'' before the Roman church created its canon (list) of saints (and added him to it).

Monday, March 16, 2020

Joe Rogan and Michael Osterholm

Excellent discussion on the cornavirus Wuhan Virus and infectious diseases in general with a man who has the credentials.

Well worth your time.

Farnam Street Knowledge

- Steve Jobs on Creativity

- Opinions and Organizational Theory

- Chesterton's Fence: A Lesson in Second Order Thinking. This reminds me of one of the simple processes I learned when I first got into sales. The simple questions of what do you have now? How did you decide on the solution you have now? What do you like about what you have now? And what would you like to change about what you have now? Simple discovery questions but if you listened to the answers they usually gave you the road map to proposing the correct solution for the client's new needs.

Top 5 - Green Super Heroes

In honor of St. Patrick's Day - here is my list of the top green super-heroes.

1. Green Lantern
2. The Hulk
3. Green Arrow
4. Green Hornet
5. (tie) She-Hulk (tie) Martian Manhunter (from Justice League) 

Honorable mention - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Green Power Ranger (the Red one is the one who does porn movies now). For villains you'd have the Green Goblin and the Riddler.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Does the US even have a Surgeon General? If yes - fire that person who has been invisible to the general public and name Dr. Fauci to the post. If no - then name Dr. Fauci Surgeon General ASAP... No matter how many times I see this it gets me every time. This is what a true hero looks like... Has the NIT announced that they've cancelled too? This could be their time to shine and get back into some semblance of prominence! If they have announced it just shows how little that tournament matters. Nobody even noticed that they cancelled!... Heh Heh... Not to be a wet blanket but if you think science is just going to roll up their sleeves and solve the Covid-19 puzzle remember that scientists still don't fully understand how aspirin works... Heh Heh - new closing script for Realators... Out - people stealing towels from hotel rooms. In -people stealing the extra roll of toilet paper from hotel room bathrooms... Maybe the best license plate of all-time...

Norm MacDonald on the Coronavirus

The Ides of March

Today is the Ides of March - famous because it is forever connected with the murder of Julius Caesar back in 44 BC. Less historically well known is the fact the Caesar was only murdered because Lucius Vorenus wasn't there to protect him.

Rome was a very underrated series.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Linky Links

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

- 3M CEO: "We're going 24/7 up production of masks to coronavirus demands."  That's great but how about bringing the production of those masks back to the USA and out of China!

- How do the new coronavirus Wuhan virus tests actually work?

- Even the Masters has been cancelled postponed.

- I fully believe that small modular nuclear reactors are the future of energy production.

- It would be beautiful if victory over the Wuhan Virus and an end of self-quarantining is announced via a flash mob and the Ode to Joy. Till then this is sadly nostalgic.

- With most live sports cancelled how will ESPN fill its air-time?

- Is it me or does this Tesla Cybertruck video give off a Knight Rider vibe? Elon Musk as the new Michael Rider - make it so!

Too Funny


Albert Einstein

Today is Albert Einstein's birthday. Just a reminder that even though E=MC2 is perhaps the most famous scientific equation in history - Einstein never received the Nobel Prize for coming up with it. The reasons for this slight were mostly because Einstein was Jewish. The committee eventually gave Einstein the Nobel Prize in 1921 for his 1905 explanation of the photoelectric effect but that was really too little too late.

As smart as Einstein was it makes me chuckle to remember that when Einstein graduated from our equivalent of high school - he finished second in his class. The name of the person who was valedictorian is lost to history but I couldn't help but think of someone back then saying something like, "Yeah Einstein was pretty smart in high school but you should have seen this other guy!"

Also when Albert Einstein first visited the US in 1921 - the US Senate saw fit to debate the validity of the Theory of Relativity - seriously. The Theory of Relativity just turned 103 years old. In this video uber biographer Walter Isaacson explains the Theory of Relativity in under 3 minutes.

Random Albert Einstein trivia; when Einstein lived in Princeton he had a small 17-foot sailboat he named Tinef which is Yiddish for "piece of junk". I find that endearing.

Finally - 10 Myths about Albert Einstein debunked.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Naval Knowledge

A lot of good advice packed into just over 1 minute.

Linky Links

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

- 46 enlightening statements by IPCC experts. HT Borepatch

- A little cornavirus humor

- Interesting bit of history - the AVG Fighting Tigers

- And every man nods in agreement

- The Sahara Desert was once green - what happened? It should be mentioned that the Earth's tilt is also changing today. I've been blogging about this for quite some time. How come you never hear about this in climate change discussions?

- Social distancing in one image

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

There should be a remake of the TV show Knight Rider but starring Elon Musk. I mean the guy already has fleets of self-driving cars and frigging spaceships. Think of the possibilities!... Scott Peterson was sentenced to death in 2004 for killing his wife Laci. He's still on death row. Get it over with already!... The Mesopotamian god of the moon was called Sin which is appropriate since most "sins" occur at night... "'No' is often a decision, frequently temporary, to maintain the status quo." - Chris Voss... I imagine that casino chips for poker and table games must be a nightmare for trying to utilize proper sanitation methods in the face of the Wuhan and other viruses. Players wearing mandatory surgical gloves maybe?... Knowing that Neil Diamond wrote Sweet Caroline about prepubescent Caroline Kennedy - his song Girl You'll Be a Woman Soon is even more creepy... Guessing that right about now getting back those rights to Australian Rules Football is looking pretty good to ESPN... An old joke said that microbiologists were easy to spot. They were the ones who washed their hands before and after they went to the bathroom. Now we're all microbiologists...

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Linky Links

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

- Notice anything strange about this graph (besides the Diamond Princess being listed as a sovereign nation)? Mainland China where the Wuhan virus originated is not listed at all (not that I think you could trust whatever stats the Chinese admit to anyway).

- Squeeze is an underrated and underappreciated band

- Apple to get into the satellite broadband game? Brings up more questions than answers but intriguing nonetheless.

- The legend of "Mad" Jack Churchill

- Heh Heh - Elizabeth Warren leaves brutal 1-star review for Ancestry.com

Wuhan Virus Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations about the coronavirus Wuhan virus.

Honestly I was a person who viewed the coronavirus Wuhan virus as something worse than the common flu but not as bad as the Black Death. Then the NBA goes and cancels the rest of their season and suddenly I'm thinking this may be closer to the Black Death than I thought... The Wuhan virus exposes the danger of reliance on China. I feel that this crisis is going to hurt our economy but only temporarily. I think the damage to the Chinese economy will be permanent as countries realize the position relying on the Chinese has put them in and begin decoupling and moving those manufacturing requirements out of China... If NBA refs are paid by the game then I have to think that Rudy Gobert never gets a close call for the rest of his career. In fact I'd look for Rudy Gobert to foul out on a regular basis if the NBA ever gets back to playing games... The coronavirus Wuhan virus could force the NCAA to play March Madness tournament games in empty arenas. And as the story points out its not the virus itself that's the big issue but potential lawsuits over the virus that may force the NCAA's hand... I predict one of the outcomes from colleges suspending in-person classes for the rest of the semester will be rampant grade inflation. Professors will be sympathetic to the situation to begin with but then factor in flubs with videoconferencing - that's an A for everyone. Student complains that lack of teacher availability hurt their grade - give that student an A and an apology... Another prediction - look for Albert Camus' book The Plague to shoot up the Amazon best seller list in the next few weeks...

Bill Walsh

"When you stand and overcome a significant setback, you'll find an increasing inner confidence and self-assurance that has been created by conquering defeat. Absorbing and overcoming this kind of punishment engenders a sober, steely toughness that results in a hardened sense of independence and a personal belief that you can take on anything, survive and win." - Bill Walsh from The Score Takes Care of Itself

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Linky Links

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

- Competitive bicycle gymnastics? Mesmerizing. HT  Execupundit

- Masters ticket prices plummet in wake of coronavirus Wuhan Virus

- A rational argument for panic: Coronavirus Wuhan Virus edition. Some excellent points regarding hospital beds and supply chains.

- ESPN's top 100 MLB players for 2020 (have a fantasy draft coming up in a couple of weeks)

- I admit that Randy Quaid is a guilty pleasure of mine

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

For a long time I've thought about creating a Twitter account called "Darren Rovell's Toilet" in which I'd post snarky comments about the after effects of the ballpark and arena food Rovell is always posting about on Twitter from the viewpoint of his toilet. Decided against it because its just too much work (and too gross)... Kumail Nanjiani's amazing physical transformation from geek to super hero. Is it strange that I'd like to see a stand-up show with Kumail and Bert Kreischer just for the crowd reactions when each took off their shirts?... Led Zeppelin wins Stairway to Heaven copyright case. In my opinion there are glaring similarities but hey I'm neither a lawyer nor a judge... "He who knows, does not speak. He who speaks does not know." - Lao Tzu... The Libertarian have two guys on their Presidential ballot - one named Vermin Love Supreme and another named Dan Taxation Is Theft Behrman and you wonder why people don't take the Libertarians seriously... Word of the Day: Cenosillicaphobia - the fear of an empty glass (something I often seem to suffer from on the weekends)...

In God We Trust

I think we should take "In God We Trust" off our currency. This isn't a religious thing either. I believe in God but I KNOW that our money is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Government. Not in the trust of a higher being.

We should take "In God We Trust" off our currency as a reminder that we need our government to be fiscally responsible. We need a government that maintains that full faith and credit. Instead we have a government that runs up trillion dollar deficits hoping to God that those deficits don't someday wreck the economy.

Having "In God We Trust" on our money with the way we've been running our financial system could in fact be viewed as an insult to God. When it comes down to it isn't putting "In God We Trust" simply taking the Lord's name in vain? If that's the case then any time you pay in cash buying something off of McDonald's Dollar Menu you could be breaking the Third Commandment.

Think about that.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Linky Links

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

- Does it make me a misogynist for laughing at this?

- 43 common grammar mistakes. I'm guilty of examples 6 and 10. Also according to Monty Python I think 35 could also properly be a "newt point." HT Cultural Offering

- The Saudi Arabia-Russia oil war explained.

- Interesting - cloud data speeds could soar with new laser mini-magnet technology.

- Ray Dalio says we need coordinated monetary and fiscal stimulus to counteract Coronavirus Wuhan Virus

- Heh Heh - A debrief on the results of our lifeboat satisfaction survey

Wuhan Virus Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations about the Wuhan Corona Virus.

I'm definitely down with referring to the crisis as the Wuhan virus but only because Xi Disease never seemed to get any traction. People should be reminded that this crisis originated in China... Not sure how I feel about colleges cancelling in-person classes in favor of distance learning. People aged 10-19 and  20-29 have a very low mortality from the Wuhan virus whereas parents who are by definition much older have a much higher incidence of death.  What's the real harm in letting kids continue with their classes together and keep those who may have been exposed away from parents who have a greater chance of dying?... People who say that using the term Wuhan virus is racist are nothing more than useful idiots. Useful to the Communist Chinese. Was it racist for the flu of 1918 to be called the Spanish Flu? Should everyone have to learn a new term for the West Nile virus? No - don't fall for these dumb claims of racism... So if colleges like NYU are asking kids not to return to campus after Spring Break but instead telecommute their classes from home will there be a tuition reimbursement to the parents since room and board are no longer being provided by the college? No? Didn't think so... Personally I'm not worried about the Wuhan virus because I've marked the entrance to my dwelling in lamb's blood so that the Angel of Death will pass over me...


At most meetings I write DNT DNT DNT at the top of the notes I take. DNT is a reminder - it stands for Do Not Talk. It is a reminder that listening should be my number one priority.

Monday, March 09, 2020

Black Death ("Hollaback Girl" by Gwen Stefani)

No song yet for the Corona Virus so thought this Black Death song would do. Interesting that the Bubonic Plague also originated in China.

Sunday, March 08, 2020

Linky Links

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

- Incredible Tom Brady stat

- Excellent primer on the Corona Virus / Covid-19

- A reminder why Dave Grohl is the best. Wonder how the Cornwall Council reacted to his letter?

- Heh Heh

- Yes please vote Daylight Savings out of existence.

- The Case for Reading Fiction

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

The New England Patriots never tip their hand to the media that's why most of their big contract extensions or trades seem to come out of the blue. Why would the negotiations with Tom Brady be any different?... If Joe Biden picks Kamala Harris as his VP and then Barack and Michele Obama campaign strong on his behalf for the general election - then the Democrats have a really good chance against President Trump in November... If Freezing Cold Takes did politics... Grizzly Slippers would be a good name for a band... I'm all for the legalization of marijuana but deep down I'm afraid that legal weed is just a gateway drug to the Metric System... When I die - I would like my ashes spread from the air over people protesting things that I'm in favor of. I also hope it rains that day so that my ashes would be extra sticky...

Farnam Street Knowledge

- Eisenhower Matrix: Master Productivity and Eliminate Noise. Always good to review one of the best productivity tools ever!

- Rudyard Kipling: How to Be a Man. Another thing to revisit from time to time.

- Do Something Syndrome: When Movement Trumps Results

Saturday, March 07, 2020

Corona Virus Fear is the Mind Killer

Via Tim Ferriss

Top 5 - J. Geils Band Songs

Today is Peter Wolf's 74th birthday. In his honor here are what I consider the top songs from the J. Geils band.

1. (Ain't Nothin' But a) Houseparty
2. Must Have Got Lost (best song intro ever!)
3. Hard Drivin' Man 
4. Detroit Breakdown
5. (tie) Whammer Jammer (tie) Give It To Me

Of course you have to have the live versions of these songs because J. Geils was one of those bands that were just so much better live than in the studio. And if you think Centerfold or Freeze Frame should be on the list - I say that you really don't know the J. Geils Band. It also goes without saying that the J. Geils band was the best band ever out of Worcester.

As an aside - when J. Geils was playing at the Worcester Centrum on New Year's Eve - there was no better place to be on the planet.