Saturday, March 27, 2004

Experiments Against Reality

"'That man is in no sense perfect,'" as Hulme put it elsewhere, 'but a
wretched creature, who can yet apprehend perfection.' It is not perhaps a
cheerful philosophy, but it has the advantage of being true. Which was why Hulme
concluded that he did not 'put up with the dogma for the sake of the sentiment,
but ... may possibly swallow the sentiment for the sake of the dogma.'"

Friday, March 26, 2004

Proper Wife Beating Technique

As taught by Muslim clerics, that is. Find it hard to believe? Well, believe it. MEMRI (aka, "the invaluable MEMRI") has a special report on it here. Make sure you scroll down for the pictures taken from an Egyptian television program.

Via the Corner.

Bad Tournament Seeds

Here's a rundown of a conspiracy theory I can get behind. What is it? That the NCAA Tournament Selection committee doesn't seed teams the way they claim, but alters things in an effort to sell more tickets, even if it skews the overall bracket. I think this will suffice for my official excuse for why my bracket is in tatters.

Stay-At-Home-Moms

An article from NRO about how more and more women are choosing to stay at home with their kids. No real earth-shattering observation, as one who was homeschooled by a stay-at-home-mom, I just want to note and give kudos to these women.

Asia Goes Grey

An excellent article about how the average age in most Asian countries is mostly likely going to spike up in the next 25 or so years and some of the possible implications of this. Very interesting in and of itself, of course, it also indicates that reports of the demise of the US as sole superpower may be premature, especially since the indications are that the US won't age nearly as fast as some of our potential Asian rivals.

Yes, it's a very long article. So what? Suck it up, George! Read it anyway!

Should I? Dare I?

Methinks this would be an excellent birthday gift for my brother in a month and a half or so. Hmmm...

Chemical Nightmare

Ah, yes. The old joke about dihydrogen monoxide. But it seems that the joke hadn't made it to Aliso Viejo, California. There the city council came within an ace of passing a resolution to ban foam cups because they used dihydrogen monoxide. Simpletons.

Hilarity via the Corner.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Tourney Picks: Revisited

Well, that didn't take long. My brackets are in tatters. UAB beats Kentucky? Nevada beats Gonzaga? Ah, well. I can still be proud that I picked Alabama to upset Stanford. Here's hopin' the rest of my picks (that are left) will win as I predicted.

Friday, March 19, 2004

Tourney Picks

If anyone is interested, you can see my NCAA Tournament picks online here. Those who are interested will also probably notice that I let my heart get the better of my head, especially in my later picks. As it stands now, however, I am 21 of 24. It's in the next round that my picks get a little wild.

C-Span Is 25

A mildly interesting little article on the 25th birthday of C-Span.

Technical Stuff

Yeah, this is very funny. A couple profanities, so be warned, for those who like such warnings. Found it over at Toshi Station.

Some Silliness From Sullivan

A post on a blog (referred by K-Lo in the Corner) that details Andrew Sullivan being overwrought yet again on the issue of homosexual marriage and federalism. Further evidence that bears out my contention that Sullivan just isn't a serious commentator any longer.

Additionally, I think I sense a coming cyber-fight between Sullivan and Jonah Goldberg. Check out this post by Goldberg in the Corner

Blackjack, Soccer...

Rediscovered one of my favourite articles by John Derbyshire. All about how soccer sucks. Yes. Yes, it does.

I've Got A Little List...

John Derbyshire offers up a modest proposal for the abolition of the US Congress. It's not completely serious, of course, but it is a good article that outlines a lot of the problems and excesses of this branch of our government.

Clothes Make The Adolescent

Interesting article about the trend away from "serious" clothing in the US and towards casual attire.

This informality has now been institutionalized. Few are the restaurants that could any longer hope to stay in business if they required men to wear a jacket and tie. Today one sees men wearing baseball caps--some worn backwards--while eating indoors in quite good restaurants.
This jibes nicely with what I've been thinking about lately, namely that I need to change my sartorial habits to be a bit more formal than they are currently. I may even start wearing a hat on a regular basis.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Books

Read a few more books in the last couple weeks. Read three Pratchett books, Pyramids, Guards! Guards! and Eric. Finally got around to finishing The Luck of the Bodkins and How I Accidentally Joined the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy: And Found Inner Peace. That last wasn't quite accurately titled, I don't think. It was more about he stopped being a socialist rather than becoming a conservative.

Monday, March 15, 2004

I'm Back

Sorta. The funeral is tomorrow morning, so I probably won't really be getting back into the swing of things until Wednesday, but the arrangements and so forth dealing with my grandfather have pretty much been handled.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Hiatus

I hadn't really meant to take almost a week off, but I might well not be back for a few more days yet again. This time, it's not being lazy or lack of interesting material. Rather, I just got a phone call that my grandfather died, so I'll be taking some time. I don't want this blog to turn into a maudlin detailing of my personal life, so I'll leave it at that.

History? Or Not?

I hadn't really heard much about it, but it seems the History Channel has been going downhill. (I had noticed that it didn't seem nearly as interesting as it once did.) Among their latest indiscretions: taking seriously a claim that LBJ masterminded the murder of JFK. When called on it, the History Channel said it did not endorse the film, but it showed it "for public debate". Ridiculous. And, as Stefan Beck rightly points out over at Arma Virumque,
[T]his is about more than that. It's about a troubling belief that just because one can raise an issue--no matter how unfounded or inane--one ought to. We know what happens when paranoia gets out of control, what it did to the former Soviet Union, how it dominates the Middle East, the effect it's had on Noam Chomsky . . . do we want to let it get a foothold in our public discourse?

I Won't Let This Stop Me

I'm still going to eat Chinese food, but I thought this was pretty funny. Found it in the Corner (exact post uncertain, but do you really need that?) most recently, but I'd seen it before.

jG Does It Again

Once again, I have doubted, and once again jG has been right. This time he predicted the outcome of the Stanford-UW basketball game. (Last time it was the Apple Cup that he predicted.) Congratulations.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Nancy Drew: Literature?

It seems that there is a debate among some as to whether Nancy Drew books are appropriate for teaching and getting kids interested in reading. Never read the Nancy Drew books, but I was (and am) a fan of the Hardy Boys mysteries. I'd guess the two series are pretty similar. I wouldn't say that they ought to be taught in schools, but I think kids ought to be made aware of them to read them on their own if they like.

ICC Takedown

An excellent article from Policy Review that details what exactly it is that's wrong with the ICC. I'd differ with the author on a few minor points, but, being not nearly so learned as the author, I'll let you read the article yourself and draw your own conclusions.

Disgusting

The recent "religious observance" in Iraq involved ritual self-flagellation and the ever-popular cutting of babies. These people truly are centuries behind the West.
!!WARNING!! The photos you'll see following the link are very disturbing.

Link via K-Lo in the Corner.

Books

Finished Master and Commander (Patrick O'Brian) and The Inklings (Humphrey Carter) in the last couple days. The latter was excellent. It had a lot of insights into the lives of Tolkien, Lewis and Charles Williams (the primary members of the Inklings). I learned a lot of things about Lewis and Williams especially. (Interestingly, Amazon doesn't have a listing for the paperback version of this book. The one I got from the library was published in 1997, so I imagine it's still in print. The ISBN is 0261103474.) Master and Commander wasn't bad. It was a good tale in the tradition of C.S. Forester. Not at all like the movie, but then that makes sense because the movie was actually drawn from a different book in the series.

Hating The Doctor

I have a lot of sympathy with this perspective. I never much enjoyed Dr. Seuss' sing-song rhymes.

Forget Juiced Baseballs, What About Juiced Players?

It seems that Barry Bonds (among others) at least had steroids, even if he hasn't precisely been accused of using them in so many words. The original story was broken by the San Francisco Chronicle. Yet more support for my contention that Bonds' musculature was not without chemical enhancement.

A related opinion column that I found amusing.