We Don’t Need This Right Now 

Wednesday, September 9th, 2020

The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities recently announced the discovery of 13 completely sealed coffins dating back 2,500 years. The Egyptians are being urged, by me, to put them back where they came from and not make 2020 any worse than it already is.

The Lowest Bar 

Tuesday, September 8th, 2020

The headline on this Guardian piece is really something:

  • John Kerry on Biden’s foreign policy: ‘He’d never lavish praise on dictators’

That is the lowest bar I’ve ever heard of. At the same time, it’s also a valid comparison to use between Joe Biden and Donald Trump.

Voting Information: Ending the nightmare of the Trump presidency starts with voting. Visit https://vote.org to register to vote, or to check your registration status. Once you’ve done that, make sure your friends and family are registered as well.

Lacrosse’s Greater Good 

Monday, September 7th, 2020

When Ireland Lacrosse received an invitation to the International World Games tournament, it came at the expense of a better-ranked opponent deemed ineligible to compete. The Irish didn’t feel right about that, and sacrificed their spot to set things right, allowing the Iroquois Nationals to compete on the world stage.

What You See Depends On Where You’re From 

Friday, September 4th, 2020

I don’t often link to things that are nearly a decade old, but I was recently linked to an interesting post about Hokusai’s “Great Wave Off Kanagawa”, the inspiration for this site’s art. A simple act of mirroring produces a markedly different image.

Donald Trump Is a Coward 

Thursday, September 3rd, 2020

As William Saletan astutely notes, “[w]hen the president is a coward, people die”.

Used Pumpers Are Available Immediately 

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2020

Apparently the idea of a privately-owned fire truck is not quite as outlandish as I previously thought. Better still, if you have a pressing need, used models are available far faster than buying new.

Help Get Out the Vote, With Vote Forward 

Tuesday, September 1st, 2020

American’s general election is just over two months away, and if you’re an American citizen, your voice should be heard. If you’re not registered to vote, or if you’re unsure of your current status, visit vote.org.

Once you’re ready to vote, why not encourage others to vote as well? This year, I’ve been writing letters with Vote Forward, to encourage people to exercise their right to vote.

[Photo courtesy of P. Kafasis]

I’m working to get to 100 letters, and I’m now more than halfway to that goal. You can send as few as five letters, though, so the barrier to entry is very low.

Sometimes it can feel difficult to know just what you can do to make things better in this world. Working with Vote Forward to get out the vote is a concrete action you can take, and I hope you will. Visit https://votefwd.org to sign up and get started.

Beautiful Blue Skies and Golden Sunshine 

Monday, August 31st, 2020

In 2020, why wouldn’t you watch a weather report for Los Angeles from eccentric filmmaker David Lynch? This makes as much sense as anything else right now.

Trust Mother Nature 

Friday, August 28th, 2020

I’m not one for omens, or signs, or messages from higher powers. But if the people of Lake Charles wouldn’t listen to reason when it came to removing a monument to traitors to America, perhaps they’ll opt not to interfere with what Mother Nature clearly wants.

“Fair” Means Whatever Is Good for Jerry Jones 

Thursday, August 27th, 2020

If the NFL does in fact play its 2020 season this fall, most stadiums will be empty. However, because not all states currently prohibit mass gatherings, a few teams will be allowed to have fans at their home games.

You might wonder if this actually matters. In a word, yes. Home field advantage is a real phenomenon, with home teams winning more games than away teams, and that advantage is directly related to the fans.

Years ago, I read an excellent book called “Scorecasting”, which discussed hidden factors that affect sports. In one section, the book analyzed why home advantage exists, controlling for as many factors as possible. For instance, to test the theory that sleeping in their own beds is what helps players, they looked at the results of cross-town games. They found that even in games where both teams had slept in their own beds, the home team still won more often.

The book concluded that fans were responsible for a big part of home advantage, specifically by producing a psychological impact on the officials. Loud fans can swing a few calls the home team’s way, and that in turn can swing a few games. Neat!

Scorecasting” is a great book, and I recommend it if it sounds at all interesting to you. One person who should definitely give it a read is Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. Jones was asked about the fairness of the Cowboys being allowed to have fans, when most other teams. Among his word salad of an answer, he said it was “absolutely fair”. As not just the aforementioned book, but real results in 2020 show, it obviously is not fair at all. Further, it’s preposterous to state otherwise.