alan adamson

silly little country

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Home July 2012
July 2012

Clint is In the News - and I recall Rowdy Yates!

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Look, if a beaver were running against Obama, I'd be planning to vote for the beaver.

So when Clint announces he endorses Romney, I take it to mean the same thing.

So I went to IMDB, of course. And I got the feeling Clint wrote his entry! It has to be the best there is on IMDB.

Last Updated on Saturday, 04 August 2012 10:49

Somebody is Really Joking!

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Yahoo has an article and claims Michelle Obama outdoes Kate Middleton!.

Evidence - zilch.

In what area? Both are pretty good mooches. On the margin I would say Obama's mooching is winning. As usual. She is a major mooch. Kate does not need the margin - she has married into ultimate mooching.


PowerLine Encapsulate my CNN Problem

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I basically do not watch the network anymore and John Hinderaker nicely summarizes why.

I detest them for such small things, which I do not consider small.

So it is a funny social situation as SillyWife and I diverge to different TVs, especially during the Fareed Zakaria extravaganza (which occasionally seems to have some small merit, though I no longer know) - we at least have enough TVs we need not have the same allegiances.

CNN claiming they are having trouble because they are objective almost has me rolling on the floor laughing. Mostly it is that they have a bunch of idiots working for them.

Look at Soledad O'Brien being coached by her producer, and desperate in the process! Thank heaven CNN had Wikipedia! This is one of the funniest sequences I have ever seen.

This is one of the funniest videos I have ever seen; I do not much care about the content (though I think the Breitbart guys are right about who is playing a race card), but O'Brien's lack of preparation and CNN's laughable response tells me enough about their professionalism.

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I am amazed Soledad O'Brien was willing to go on air ever again.

"That's an actual theory." What a sad little girl.

As Hinderaker says:

So what does CNN say about the real scandal that is hiding here in plain sight? Nothing. This is it, as you can hear in the video: “Several communities now trying to block Chick-fil-A from coming into their cities.” As though that were completely normal, and constitutional; and as though “communities” were trying to do it, as opposed to two or three liberal Democrats.

This kind of pathetic news coverage explains why CNN has become irrelevant, and now is going down the drain.

SillyWife still wants to watch CNN rather than reruns of Law and Order, so it is not quite dead, but I do not want to feed the animals.

Last Updated on Monday, 30 July 2012 18:15

London2012 Cycling Coverage and More

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Never in my life can I recall such incredibly bad coverage of a cycling road race as I witnessed for both the men's and women's road races at the London Olympics. If you think it is all going smoothly over there, this was the clearest sign for me that there are MAJOR organizational failures taking place left and right. Well, I have never had a high opinion of British execution.

Forget the empty seats and more, and forget the tweet I saw Friday night about journalists stranded at the stadium for lack of buses after 1:30am.

The London2012 web site appears to have been developed by Lord Coe's children (if he has any, and assuming they are under ten years old). Actually, I would have expected them to do a better job. I cannot find on the site any admission by anyone that they designed it and are running it. In the past IBM, until it gave up the contract, proudly announced its role, as did later companies. I do see 'powered by BT' on the site, but I suspect that means HW and Internet infrastructure, which seems fine; I can always get to the site. The disaster is the web design and updating. I can understand the silence of whoever is responsible. And responsive? I sent a note in yesterday because I could not figure out how to find information on athletes unless they appeared on the first page after I picked the first letter of the surname (if you know how to advance to later pages - help me). I have yet to hear from anyone.

Results for some sports go up quickly, some go up slowly - it took forever to see the official web site acknowledge that Ryan Cochrane would not make the 400 final yesterday.

There were NO intermediate results except at the tournaround in the women's bike race today.

If LOCOG think this is how to run a world-class operation, let's hope they never get another shot at it or anything similar.

UPDATE: And let's not forget security at the march of the teams Friday night.


Romney is looking better and better!

Last Updated on Sunday, 29 July 2012 14:50

Women's Cycling Road Race

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Another dimwit peloton lets a breakaway get away, this time most fatally, a group of three for the whole podium. Congratulations to the lead group!

Now maybe participation is the most important thing but I was astonished not one rider in the peloton thought to break out and chase the lead group onher own. After all, fourth and above are forgotten forever by everyone else (well actually I forget all the finishes but that is another matter).

I am surprised at the lack of enterprise in both the men's and women's pelotons.

Last Updated on Sunday, 29 July 2012 14:56

Men's Cycling Road Race

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I love this! Neither the touted-by-UK-pundits Mark Cavendish (with all that help from Bradley Wiggins), nor the touted-by-Canadian pundits Ryder Hesjedal even comes close to figuring in the final results. All sat back in a peloton that let a lead group escape. Pretty pathetic competitive judgment.

Nobody seems worthier to me than Vinokurov and congrats! Baran of Colombia worked with him in the lead to make the peloton look silly and gets a well-deserved silver!

And best of all a medal for Norway! Hey I don't remember anyone at the start of this race mention any of Kazakhstan, Colombia, or Norway supposed to get a medal! Sports are great.

Meanwhile I note that NONE of the CTV English-language channels claim to be showing the women's soccer live; I am watching it on a French-speakers channel. This is surely at least a bit of a measure of how important CTV thinks women's football is.

UPDATE: Actually our main English station does claim to show it, shared with cycling. I missed whether they were showing it or the cycling when they conflicted. In any case it is there now. So now I should suggest that French-Canadians do not highly value cycling. Ryder Hesjedal after all is an anglo.

Last Updated on Sunday, 29 July 2012 14:33

The Olympic Opening Ceremonies London 2012

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I have a few rather scattered thoughts.

1) Thanks IOC and UK for letting Danny Boyle loose. I felt throughout that the show was trying to be fun, though some spots were somewhat ridiculously heavy-handed. In any case, it was much more enjoyable to watch than most of the previous opening ceremonies, I suspect because it was the vision of one person who has a rather demented vision.

2) What was with all the Abe Lincolns at the start?

3) I loved the Bond sequence and the parachuting of the Queen into the facility.

4) I loved less the frenetic musical/TV history of the UK. Too MTV for me (I am too old for that). Even the opening sequence I found too MTVish. I imagine had I been in the stadium in both cases I could have found my own things to look at but the TV coverage forces your eye to be jerked back and forth in rapid succession; I have NEVER, even when a lot younger, liked that at all.

5) What about Monty Python? It is surely more worth mentioning than a lot of the pap in that musical history segment. (It appears from comments this morning that there was a planned segment, but it was axed when the show proved to be too long. I would rather they had axed the music thingie.)

6) Actually I suspect a much shorter and enjoyable kids' section could have been done by removing reference to the NHS. Of course it was too late mid-week to do that. I must say I know this was intended to be a tribute to the NHS, but I was assuming those kids bouncing on the beds were clearly healthy and occupying beds that could have been given to people who were really sick (which is how government-run things work - it's who you know, not whether you need something). Meanwhile my less cynical sister was tweeting that she assumed the kids were really sick and being sadistically forced to bounce up and down on their beds. I also assumed from the arrival of the Mary Poppinses that the NHS is ludicrously overstaffed (actually the claim that GOSH workers had the time to volunteer to do this show more realistically makes me wonder that).

7) The decision to use a collection of younger athletes to light the flame(s) was a very nice one, stolen from 1976 when Canada hosted. Of course it confounded the betting process; I saw a report that William Hill had simply returned all the bets it took.

8) Why did it start so late? It forced the Queen and her 90+-year-old husband to stay up till 1am. She was looking a bit tired, or perhaps grouchy and bored, and likely angry to have to sit through all that MTV-ness. She would surely have preferred 'Jerusalem', and the folk songs.

9) Wow was that cauldron trick great! So also was so much else of the pyrotechnics and trickery; Boyle clearly had access to a pretty wild collection of artistic designers. Bravo for much of it!

10) The forced religiosity around the stupid Olympic flag, and the swearing of the oaths (the swearing of the judge's oath in 2002 sure helped in the ice dance), turns my stomach. The Olympic anthem is pretty much the worst I have ever heard, even worse than ours. If all that crap had been cut, we could have had Monty Python! Of course the IOC needs to reinforce the idea that they are noble titans, not money-grubbing hucksters.

11) Wow were those natty US uniforms by Ralph Lauren the cream of the European-style crop, wherever they were manufactured (the kerfuffle about China was typical political posturing of no intelligence). I loved all the African and Middle Eastern ones too, and thought Fiji had the best-dressed flag-bearer.

12) The CTV coverage was wretched (Lisa LaFlamme proved one thing to me - I do not think she is fit to be a national news anchor - a good example is when Brian Williams tried to fix her moronic comments on the Romney kerfuffle - to think even Piers Morgan makes more sense than she did) but it had one great merit. It was live and complete! I pity those who depended on NBC, who ran it late and incomplete, having edited it.

Nevertheless I'll be trying out Global News now, instead of CTV (and sadly I do watch the National).

13) I highly recommend the Ann Althouse reflection on the Olympic opening ceremony.

14) Watching the ceremony with a Twitter window open was an excellent new experience.

15) All in all, the best opening ceremony I can recall - as one sardonic tweeter (I think Doug Saunders) observed, it was vastly preferable to the normally Cirque du Solei derivatives that we usually have to suffer through.

Final thought - memorializing the 7/7 victims and not the victims of the 1972 massacre was so inappropriate I can barely imagine what goes on in the brains of the IOC (such as they are) and whoever else made the decision. No logic to it at all other than the usual anti-Israel crapola. Do either neither or both - if you leave one out as irrelevant, leave out 7/7.

Last Updated on Monday, 30 July 2012 18:19

That Song

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Scott Feschuk has my reaction - dismay - to hearing that CTV clearly plans to package London2012 highlights to the background of 'I Believe'. This is a song worth hearing once, and it is not a bad little anthem. But good God, after the suffering the Canadian viewing public endured during the 2010 Winter Games, it just seems cruel to force this one us again only two years later. 

Feschuk rather amusingly imagines the CTV executive group discussing what sort of theme song to use:

– What they really enjoyed was how frequently we played it.
– It’s true: Our research showed that by the end of the Vancouver Games, 103% of the Canadian population knew every single word in the song.
103%? I thought 100% was the maximum possible number.
– The lyrics had also been memorized by several dogs and most parrots.
You know what I liked best about the song? When all was said and done, there weren’t that many suicides directly attributable to it.


I think the key this time around is not to overdo it with the song. Let’s use it for a montage every now and then ... And every eight minutes for no particular reason, and also every time one of our hosts stops to take a breath.

If you have NEVER heard it, here it is for your education (if you have, I take no responsibility for what happens to you if you listen):

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Last Updated on Saturday, 28 July 2012 05:36

There was a great King somewhere in your life

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I am often grateful for Ann Althouse's blog-related romantic history, as Meade often gives her some great material for her bolg.

I think this post on 'You didn't build that' is wonderful, as in it Meade catches exactly the snotty tone of Obama's Roanoke speech, which still amazes me; a puny little punk with no skill but self-promotion (and working the system to do that) sneers at people with actual accomplishments, who don;t have the time to go golfing every week. Fortunately, his job does not require much effort, it seems.

Lord North: If you yankees were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great King somewhere in your life. Some members of Parliament helped to create this unbelievable Royal Navy system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in French and Indian Wars and the East India Company.

Thomas Jefferson: Stop coercing us, Lord North. Your Acts are intolerable.

Definitely read the whole thing.

Last Updated on Saturday, 28 July 2012 05:11

That's A Relief!

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Apparently I am not a Psychopath.

Your result for The Are You a Psychopath? Test...

The Healthy Mind

You scored 59% empathic, 12% delusional, 72% sociable, and 71% law-abiding!

You don't have any gross defects of character at all. You might have your problems, but for the most part you're simply a normal person and most definitely not a psychopath in any way.

Take The Are You a Psychopath? Test at HelloQuizzy

Last Updated on Friday, 27 July 2012 07:04

What a Fool Believes He Sees, No Wise Man Has the Power

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It's a bit derivative, but still witty and hardly unfair. I love her two self-presentations, and the Obama posters.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 26 July 2012 08:21

David Cerny Strikes Again

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Watching the news last night, I saw an article on an amusing art installation in London for the Olympics, a traditional London double-decker red bus doing pushups as a not to the Olympics. It was mentioned that this was the work of a Czech artist, and I wondered if it might be David Czerny, who did the hilarious Trabi at the German embassy in Prague.

And it turns out the bus is the work of David Czerny, as the Mail reports.

Here it is doing its pushups.

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Here is a great article on how wacky David Czerny's work is, with lots of pictures. I look forward to hunting down a few more of these installations when next in Prague.


Norwegians in the News

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Ann Alhouse points me to some interesting things I did not know about US astronaut Sally Ride, who died a couple of days ago.

While it is pretty obvious anyone who knew her knew that her partner was a woman, most of us did not, though she did come out posthumously in her obituary, undoubtedly planned well in advance. That is interesting but it is not what caught my eye.

What was was the quote from Ride's sister cited in this buzzfeed link.

Of Sally Ride's sexual orientation, Bear Ride said, "Sally didn't use labels. Sally had a very fundamental sense of privacy, it was just her nature, because we're Norwegians, through and through."

I giggled gently with a lot of recognition, understanding thoroughly. (I note from Wikipedia that Sally Ride was Sally Kristen Ride, somewhat of a confirmation.)

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 July 2012 15:38

Talent Will Out

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h/t Derek Hough who would clearly love to see Ryan Gosling on DWTS. As now would I.

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It's pretty clear from square one that this kid wanted to be a star. And now he is, brought to you all by London, Ontario, one of my favorite places.


Obstacles on the Road

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My roughly weekly drive to my wife's location features about 85 km of driving through what I suspect is almost the most fertile land in the world. So it is is sad seeing the stunted corn and soy this summer. But droughts happen. '

The nasty price of driving those back roads (which are generally an utter delight) is being held up by farm vehicles. It is a small cost. And sometimes it is a little fun:

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40 Years Ago - Bob Costas on the Line

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I am incredibly impressed at Bob Costas and at NBC for deciding to observe the horror of the 1972 Olympics.. (Might the CBC do something similar?)

However, one man is going to step in and do his part where the IOC will not. NBC's Olympic anchor, Bob Costas, will have his own minute of silence as the Israeli athletes enter the Olympic Stadium in London.

Now the IOC is not a group one should expect anything resembling moral behavior out of but this deliberate oversight speaks volumes. The IOC is almost as sickening an organization as the UN.

For an incrediby sober memory of 1972, the widow of the Israeil fencing coach appeared on BBC World Service's Outlook last week. It was very moving.

I had forgotten much of how fucked up the whole episode was.

Last Updated on Sunday, 22 July 2012 17:05

Thanks ESPN for Using Paul Azinger

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And what a British Open! I never assumed it was decided; at first I thought Tiger could close it, but Els became the challenger. And from what little I know of the players, there is nobody easier to cheer on than Ernie Els.

Adam Scott was ludicrously philosophical about his disastrous finish. And maybe this reflects why he has yet to win a major. On the other hand, this is one great sport. 16 diferent men have won the last 16 majors.

This is not Tennis!

Azinger says "You feel that someone shot Santa Claus". Well Azinger was on the winning side of one of those moments. And been on the other.

Adam Scott is just an utter pro in this mess for him.

Last Updated on Sunday, 22 July 2012 12:57

Next Step for Taubes

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I read Good Calories, Bad Calories, and found it a devastating takedown of crap pseudo-science.

Here's a decent summary in video form.

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I would love to see him now investigate climate science.

I love his line "worse than macroeconomics".


Stupid Gun Rhetoric

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OK I have done this one a few times.

If everybody in that Aurora, CO theatre had been packing, that nutball a) would have killed perhaps at most two or three people, and b) be dead (he is not). I think both these outcomes are an improvement on what happened.

So rant about  guns as you wish. I think more people should be carrying them.

(Let us never forget the Montreal massacre, which would not have been one but for the unarmed victims.)


All Yesterday's Exclamations! And now Dufner!

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British Open is so much fun.

He's a parasite that thinks he's the host

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OK I had to steal that but it is too great. It comes from The Whited Sepulchre and a great post on Obama's latest fatuity. (Well, it is almost surely no longer his latest fatuity.)

That post does a nice job of assembling some views on the man's profound statements. He after all is the source of all goodness.


Sex? Gender? Codswallop! Olympics Style

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Roger Pielke, Jr., oddly writing for the Austrian Embassy in the US, has an interesting article on women's events at the Olympics.

Pielke's specialty is the intersection between policy and science, so his perspective is exactly the right one.

In the current case, the IOC seems to have decided to focus on testosterone levels as a measure of masculinity/femininity.

The IOC explains that female athletes with levels of androgenic hormones that "fall into the male range" that confers a "functional" competitive advantage will be disqualified from competing in women's events. The IOC makes an explicit comparison between those athletes who have doped by taking steroids and those athletes whose bodies produce excessive levels of hormones. Such athletes can now be considered naturally doped – an oxymoron that betrays the illogic of the regulation.

Not only are the proposed regulations ambiguous – what is "the male range"? How is "functionality" determined? – but they are based on a selective reading of the science of sex and athletic performance. Despite a widespread belief that testosterone is the "one parameter" that determines athletic performance, the science is far more ambiguous. Writing in an academic paper published earlier this month, a team of researchers criticized the IOC's focus on testosterone, arguing: "The current scientific evidence, however, does not support the notion that endogenous testosterone levels confer athletic advantage in any straightforward or predictable way."

The chemistry does seem more fundamental than inspection of private parts, but of course it is not, really.

Decision making in the Olympic sphere, as in many other human endeavors, is always going to be deeply political and social. This means that outcomes we view as legitimate must be negotiated and will always be provisional – even the decision of what it means to compete in the women's category at the Olympics. Leaning on science to make our difficult choices can lead to bad decisions and, sometimes, to politicized science.

Pielke's non-sports focus is climate science, another domain of major politicized science and non-science.

I was glad that he also nodded to the Oscar Pistorius decision as a very very tricky one.

I can see committee after committee being struck in the future to manage these grey areas forever now.


Simon Jenkins on the London Olympics

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My fear is that it will not remain a comedy, but will become a tragedy. But for now let us enjoy the comic aspects.

I know if Toronto idiotically decides to vote to host an Olympics in 2024 (a topic of some discussion, but maybe we should see how we do with the Pan-Am Games in 2015, I think), I intend to be absent, assuming I am still alive, and capable of leaving town.

In any case, Simon Jenkins does give me some laughs in describing the farce that the London Olympics have become.

He has one very nice paragraph summarizing much of what is so awful.

London is now being given a taste of what an unaccountable world government might be like, an Orwellian world of Zil lanes and G4S, private regulators and Locog inspectors roaming the streets, tearing down political banners and Pepsi ads. Not since William of Orange arrived with his Dutch army in 1688 has London's government been surrendered so completely to an alien power.

But of course it's worth it, right?

How this can be matched by £13bn of extra business attributed to the Olympic Games by David Cameron last week is a mystery. It is as plausible as Stalin's report of Comrade Stakhanov's daily coal output.

I did enjoy the last paragraph.

Attention will soon mercifully turn to the young athletes themselves. Theirs will be the job of rescuing the London Games from the image created by Locog. But recent experience will not be lost on one visitor, José Arthur Peixoto, organiser of the 2016 Rio Olympics. He must be sitting with his head in his hands, a tear rolling quietly down his cheek.

And yes, we do want to care about the young 'uns who will be living their dreams. Paltry dreams, in my view, but dreams nonetheless. And in some cases, I will watch them compete. OTOH the local coverage is already becoming so putridly saccharine; the notion that aspiring to compete at the Olympic games is somehow a worthy behaviour baffles me no end. It's all right, but really, planning to arrive at your job regularly seems a lot more praiseworthy.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 July 2012 10:23

President Obama Attacks Success

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Mitt gets it dead right here:

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I do not think he will win but he seems to me the most decent human to run for the US Presidency in years.


I Think I Want to Do This

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What a great story and what a great motivator!

At Nijmegen, we were joined by individual marchers - 40000 people walking being cheered on by 1000000 spectators .  There were bands playing, local media broadcasting and everyone was in a festive mood.  As we proceeded out of Nijmegen, the site was amazing…it looked like a long rope of people walking and talking.  The locals offered us candies, drinks and fruit, and the kids high-fived us and sought out Canadians and others for pins and flags.

Great stuff Randy. I would love to be there next year.


New Media Amaze Me

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There was yet another shooting in Toronto last night; this is not especially remarkable, though the fact that 24 people were directly affected is, but this is a consequence of the shooting occurring at a large block party.

Of course there is much hand-wringing and 'Is my city safe?' whining going on. And I think it is still pretty safe so long as you follow one simple rule - do not hang around with young black guys. Now that rule is easier for me to follow than it is for many.

In any case, what really strikes me is how bland the official reporting on this event is compared to this totally amazing report that draws solely from Twitter.

Now to be fair to the bland media, their quiet and politically corect reporting made it perfectly clear from square one that this was black gang-on-gang stuff (or maybe just one gang). 

But the background from the Twitter report is astonishingly good.


Me and Reality Shows

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I have no fundamental contempt for reality shows.

In fact there are some that I love.

I love 'The Amazing Race'. This is because it sets clear goals, allows a lot fo freedom within occasionally amusing constraints (like the instructions say you have to walk and some dumb team takes a taxi), rewards clear victors, has pretty clear rules, and mostly tries to avoid ridiculously arbitrary judgment. It is also a great travelogue show, and I love those. I also love that the teams are pairs with potentially interesting relationships, and much of their success depends on their finding a way to make their relationship support, rather than destroy, their performance. My favorite instance of this is the Chinese-American couple who almost went to meltdown partly through the season and then recovered magnificently.

I hated 'Survivor' from its first year. Allegiances and alliances were manipulated by producers weekly, and the whole model bore no resemblance to real life. It was below zero-sum ('The Amazing Race' delightfully often functions way above zero-sum.) I rarely watch it - occasionally I check to see whether it has changed much - it has not.

'The Apprentice' entertains me at times. But really, having your achievements judged by a bunch of Trumps is pretty sad unless you want to win and suck up to them for the next many years. In their favor they give moderately clear goals and juggle the teams mostly as needed.

But to be honest, I am writing this only because I just watched an (surely ancient) episode of 'Kitchen Nightmares'. This show does the same thing for me as 'Restaurant Makeover', it exposes me to the incredribly brave people who want to entrepreneurially run restaurants, usually because of a passion for food, though I do not care about the reason. Gordon Ramsay tries to save them, and it does show they often have some basic dysfunction that he may sometimes exorcise. But my heart goes out to these people trying to succeed in the real world. And I care for them in reality shows because they have so much on the line.

Not like the shysters in a lot of reality shows.

As a last comment I want to thank the UK for pretty much all of our reality shows.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 July 2012 16:20

Does This Sound Like Recent Economic Management?

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Let me start by saying I have very low expectations of a government's ability to control economic outcomes, other than by mostly just not obstructing people who want to do stuff. And no politicians would likely argue to elect them so they can try to stop themselves from interfering.

But this story is hilarious. (Well, only for onlookers, not for the principals.)

Farmers in Thuringia and Saxony-Anhalt are complaining that millions of field mice are devastating their food crops, including corn, barley and winter wheat. "They are eating everything," said Matthias Krieg, who manages an agricultural firm near the town of Zeitz in Saxony-Anhalt. "Not even the sugar beets are safe."

Now one should realize there was an original problem.

Ironically, it was the indiscriminate use of Ratron by farmers in Saxony-Anhalt that led the agency to ban it in the first place, after the poison killed wild geese and endangered European hamsters.

So a pesticide was banned because it was misused. Does that sound familiar? (Yes, I recognize that question asks about whether regulation might make sense - and yes, it MIGHT. It is a tad hard to see how.)

In any case, the first response to the ban is met with an attempt at mitigation that fails in a screamingly funny way, except for the birds:

agriculturalists set up hundreds of perches in their fields to lure birds of prey to kill the mice. But the operation was only moderately successful. "The birds got so fat from eating all the mice that they almost couldn't fly any more," Kopp said. "But they still couldn't keep up."

My guess is that this adjustment would be actually the right one, but it does not act fast enough. (And one should recall that the first major pesticide ban was driven by effects on birds of prey, well maybe scavengers with good PR.)

And of course in situations like this, there are unintended beneficiaries.

Birdwatchers are enjoying the increased sightings of rare owls hunting the rodents. "Normally the owl population in this region is next to nothing," said ornithologist Ubbo Mammen. "This is absolutely anomalous."

Is there anything in this at all that does not sound like the last few years in economic management, especially in the US?

Humility is not well-enough spread among those who want to govern.


Norm Asks a Good Question About Sporting Allegiances

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Why should he emotionally commit to Brits or I to Canadians?

I have never 'got' why I should feel pride for some Canadian sporting performance. I have contributed in no way - well, in no way willingly, though likely through tax money extracted from me at gunpoint, and contributed against my will to some sports person. Had I more influence on the government's behavior, you can be sure we would have a FAR smaller Olympic presence. No way I want to own any podia.

David Edmonds says, rightly, that partisanship adds to the enjoyment of the contest, but he doesn't really offer any reason for making nationality the proper criterion of allegiance. Likewise Michael Deacon, who laments the fact that there were British viewers supporting Federer, doesn't spell out what he takes to be wrong with this.

The Murray-Federer match may be a test of a sort. Norm did tweet yesterday that he hardly ever watches tennis, and he did yesterday!

I started watching fairly neutrally (after all Canada utterly dominated Junior Wimbledon this year, but our one adult, Milos Raonic, was handily disposed of pretty early - BTW I love that our great Canadian hope is Serbian), but found myself in Federer's camp very fast. He is one of the few major athletes not to marry a cheerleader-type (and that is NO slam to the beautiful Mierke), he always behaves in an utterly professional way, and good God what a match he played yesterday.

Murray was likely as good as Murray could be yesterday and Federer had it all in hand. Like McEnroe, I never thought I would see Federer number 1 again, and certainly did not think he would get a seventh Wimbledon. And it delighted me that he did.

Not every sports star has to behave like an a&*hole. Sampras was always a class act. Federer too. Nadal, I think. I wish the others could do it too. I will use that as a criterion over most other possible ones. (Raonic seems pretty cool to me too, and I hope he becomes quite good.)

But really! You're Canadian? Why should I care? If anything  should be resentful, as I suspect you are sucking up some of my money for no purpose I care about.


How Stupid is the CBC?

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Oh it is so terrible that Monarch butterflies (and not just Monarchs) are summering much farther north than usual! And might get killed in a cooldown. Well, yeah, maybe.

Well, they are probably also summering in their normal places.

And the CBC report suggests that the butterflies we see today will be flying south next month. For God's sake, can someone who knows something please edit these stupid reports?


Is Sorkin That Stupid?

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...or was there some subtlety in episode 3 of The Newsroom, going after the Tea Party?

My coffee almost hit the keyboard as Will McAvoy said that there would never be a chance of Humphrey or Kennedy standing for a photo-op with Bernadine Dohrn. And the beloved Barry O, colleague and friend of the same terrorists being referred to?

Maybe he is as dumb as the face of that writing suggests; he certainly has no grasp of the spirit of the Tea Party.

But really, bringing up the Bill Ayers crew to prove that the Democrats are not informed by those same creeps is a little too precious, given the current occupant of the White house.



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I have been confusing Jason Segel and Seth Rogen.

I cannot think of this as bad and I hope they do not mind. This is the two guys playing the 'Everyman' in all their roles, and both have been so great.

Does anyone else have my problem?



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Well, I did not expect her coming out.

But really, who cares, except for the fact that she seems tied to an Australian soccer player. That is a problem.

She was my favorite player in the US-Japan final in the last women's world cup. (Well, maybe except for the goalie.)

We'll let soccer authorities struggle with this. AND BTW this could be a problem if male players found foreign female players excessively cute. Seems quite likely to me.

Last Updated on Sunday, 08 July 2012 02:42

69 Public Figures in High School

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What a great idea - all these folks as they were photographed in high school.

The first two, Paul Ryan, and Eric Cantor, are astonishingly recognizable.

After that, the ill-formedness of those teenage years becomes more of a factor.

h/t Ann Althouse, who loves the Napolitano picture (which IS terrific).

John Boehner looks ready to cry, and you can see the prankster in Mitt Romney.

My favorite is Michele Bachmann; that girl would have caught my attention! She looks ready for trouble.

Scott Walker looks ready for a fight or two as well. The 'Desperado'.

Last Updated on Sunday, 08 July 2012 01:19

Fiction Could Never Plausibly Match ...

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... this obit of the amazing Robert de La Rochefoucauld.

To start, a line that sounds like Tarantino:

It was at the embassy that La Rochefoucauld was invited to join SOE. “The courage and skill of British agents is without equal,” he recalled the ambassador noting. “It is just that their French accents are appalling.”

After meeting de Gaulle to ask his permission to join British forces (“Do it,” came the reply. “Even allied to the Devil, it’s for La France.”)

And this is not even the craziest of his adventures:

Instead he faked an epileptic fit and, when the guard opened the door to his cell, hit him over the head with a table leg before breaking his neck. (“Thank Goodness for that pitilessly efficient training,” he noted). After putting on the German’s uniform, La Rochefoucauld walked into the guardroom and shot the two other German jailers. He then simply walked out of the fort, through the deserted town, and to the address of an underground contact.

Read the whole thing. Nobody would believe it in a movie.

Last Updated on Saturday, 07 July 2012 14:41
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November 24 2010