An interesting look at Godwin's Law (it's about Nazis and Hitler...maybe one day it will apply to a conversation on my blog although I doubt it since no one ever comments!).
And this is a great article about a children's entertainer named The Great Zucchini. Makes me long for the parties over at Jeremy's Place.
"If you want to call me the poor man's Great Zucchini," says Jake, "I don't mind. I really don't. Listen, I look into his eyes, and he's a good guy. I look into his eyes, and there's almost . . ."
Broccoli the Clown hesitates.
". . . there's something almost innocent there."
Half an hour away, he phoned a friend and left a message: "Gettin' near Atlantic City. Gonna roll some bones." (Can't you imagine Ariel or any of us other gambling addicts doing the same thing?)
Tuesday, January 31, 2006
An interesting look at Godwin's Law (it's about Nazis and Hitler...maybe one day it will apply to a conversation on my blog although I doubt it since no one ever comments!).
My computer may be FUBAR. I may have lost everything...at minimum, I will need a new hard drive. The only question is if I can recover the files on the currently sputtering toward death hard drive. If anyone has any advice, let me know. For example, I have a ton of files on my iPod. Is there any way to transfer these to a new hard drive?
Posted by Rich at 12:36 PM
Monday, January 30, 2006
I am loath to mention anything political after what happened last time, but after a spirited debate at the Berger household last night (almost entirely Dan/Finnegan vs. Mr. Berger/Ms. Haines, with Rich out of the fray), I will post a few links.
In honor of Nostradamus, this is the first link. It is extremely funny to me that Cindy Sheehan would have written an "essay" about anything, but not surprising that it includes the phrase "Hall of Shame."
Also, John Kerry is not bitter about losing the election. Funny, that now he wants to take a firm stand on an issue (one that he has little chance of winning on by the way). And of course, his mentor, the always hypocritical one, Ted Kennedy, had these things to say. In another vein, check out the opening to The Economist's review of Fred Barnes' absurd hagiography Rebel-in-Chief. The rest of the article is funny too, although it is somewhat disturbing that a supposedly well-respected journalist could write such a book.
In the end, I'm just tired of the partisanship of both the Democrats and the Republicans. A 55-44-1 Senate majority for the Republicans should not effectively equal a 1-0 majority. I admit to not being as well-versed on political matters as I maybe should be, but I would guess that most people in the country share some beliefs with both parties. Thus the fact that most issues in Congress are so firmly divided along party lines is just not right. Furthermore, I would assume that in many cases there is pressure on Senators/Congressmen of each party to conform or risk ostracism and potential non-reelection. This is not the way that a government should be run.
In other news, this is terrible, I hope that man is OK. Falling down the stairs really hurts.
Posted by Rich at 12:40 PM
Sunday, January 29, 2006
Saturday, January 28, 2006
Coming this week to the "World's Most Famous Arena" is Korean pop sensation Rain.
After the success of his second album, "Running Away From The Sun," he is ready to become a star in America. He also says, "You have to come see me in my concert, and you have to be attracted to me!"
Posted by Rich at 2:21 PM
Friday, January 27, 2006
If the jealous Antonio Salieri hadn't murdered him, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart would still be rocking us to this day. It's not alright to be mediocre; no one even knows if Salieri is alive or dead at this point. What's that you say...Salieri was a succesful composer in his own time...well, you're right.
Also, happy birthday to Lily! You may only be 22 now, but in 228 years, you will be 250, just like Mozart.
Posted by Rich at 5:38 PM
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
I saw Curtis Martin in reception at the office today. After going to the bathroom, I came back and he was still there, so I decided to say hello to him. He was friendly and we shook hands and that was that.
After going back to my desk I realized that I wanted to ask him a question, but alas it was too late...
Me: Curtis, do you like the fact that Chris Berman refers to you as Curtis "My Favorite" Martin?
Curtis (laughs): Do you like to be called Richard "Ham" Berger?
Me: Touché, Curtis, touché.
Posted by Rich at 8:16 PM
He had no interest in running the New York Knicks well, but Isiah Thomas did have other ideas about how to win games:
"The lawsuit also alleges that Thomas told Browne Sanders he was pushing for more home games at noon on Sundays. His plan, according to Browne Sanders, was to have opposing players go to certain clubs, including strip clubs, that Thomas had connections with on Saturday nights and get them drunk so they would be sluggish for the game the next day."
Brilliant. Oh, and he's also accused of sexual harassment. He told the woman he would trade her five Rolexes (one for each member of her family) for a hand job. And he would continue paying her for the next five years without getting anything in return, while also swearing not to touch another woman.
Posted by Rich at 11:36 AM
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Monday, January 23, 2006
Nostradamus' performance of "Cindy Sheehan," the second single off his debut album, Death-Media Incarnate (for more incredible info about this song and others, download them here and put them into iTunes...the diversity of genres should be of special interest to all music appreciators).
Also, in honor of Nostradamus, check out this "opinion piece" about everyone's second favorite Schiavo.
Someone should Tell "unfaithful" Michael Schiavo that "Terri's not dead yet."
Posted by Rich at 7:08 PM
Sunday, January 22, 2006
Dan and I went to Trophy Dad's excellent comedy show last night.
The group, made up of former Yale students, is extremely funny and the group's 5th show was another great success. Bradley Bazzle was especially impressive, with his solo performance of a 3-man scene from Scarface probably being the top highlight.
If you are in New York, I would definitely recommend going to their show next weekend. If not, watch some of their videos online.
Posted by Rich at 12:06 PM
Saturday, January 21, 2006
Friday, January 20, 2006
Thursday, January 19, 2006
Every time I want to get from the elevator banks into the office, someone has to "buzz" me in (the situation happens more often than you might think because the men's room is near the elevators). This buzz involves a secretary hitting a switch behind his/her desk in order to trigger the door. Some of these secretaries are always on the ball, buzzing you in so that all your motions are natural, as if the doors were just open. More importantly, the good ones don't let you hear that they are pushing the button to let you in. Others prefer to smash it senseless, making sure that you get in, but also making sure that you know who let you in. Still others just don't pay enough attention, a terrible sin that sometimes forces me to use my keycard for entry. Needless to say, I am most impressed by the silent types who allow me to enter the office at my own pace.
Also, I just used the handicapped stall in the bathroom and it was luxurious. It even had its own sink.
Posted by Rich at 5:01 PM
From what I have read, Antonio Davis seems like a great guy and if someone wants to pay him $13.8 million to play basketball for one year, that's fantastic...but only for him. Obviously this has been said a lot, but what the hell is wrong with the NBA that a big man who has barely averaged 10 points a game (for his career) with a terrible field goal percentage is so well-compensated. Oh, he has pulled down 7.5 rebounds per game...ok, that makes the difference. Not! The most amazing thing is that Davis doesn't even have the most absurd contract on the Knicks. At least he is playing, albeit mediocrely for 20 minutes a game. Meanwhile, Penny Hardaway is decomposing on the bench, trying to get back on the floor (but to be fair, Penny was once a top player in the league, Davis was never even close). And the Knicks have no first round picks for the next two years. Smart. No wonder you don't hear "Go New York, go New York, go!" chants anymore. Please don't hurt me Isiah...
In looking through the absurd world of NBA contracts, I insist that if you have a kid who might be 6'6" tall, try to make him into an NBA player.
Posted by Rich at 3:04 PM
"Jews in America aren't just potential Christians, he argued. They are unique conversation partners with insights that may help Christians better understand their own faith."
And I thought that we were only put here to lend people money.
To read more about Jews and Christians, click here.
Posted by Rich at 2:38 PM
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Delino's very own Dan! Check out these perfectly logical assessments of various events.
Further New York Times foolishness. And an incredible sports/drug story. And an update on the Golden Boy, Drew Henson.
Also, check the Marquis archives.
Posted by Rich at 2:38 PM
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
For those of you with too much time on your hands, you can check out all of Steven Levitt's published papers, etc... here. There is some great stuff in there.
Also, as whenever possible, an article about blogging. And another closely related...I still can't believe the nerve of these bastards...but maybe they will take me now?
And more good news for soccer fans.
Posted by Rich at 1:55 PM
Sunday, January 15, 2006
Thursday, January 12, 2006
Since I hate Blockbuster, I like this article. And you should all read this related piece as well.
Also, I felt like a true adult today when I got home from work and entered the elevator with two other men in suits and long coats. Weird.
And in the "ain't-it-cool" news department, I now have a video iPod so I can bring the blog videos (and pictures of Jen) anywhere and everywhere!
Finally, drinking a lot is not as bad as you might think.
Posted by Rich at 7:43 PM
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
A great live-action version of Mike Tyson's Punch Out.
I take it back Southworth, HBO is going out of business if there is more content like this on the internet (kidding, kidding)...
Also, a follow-up to the Adam Morrison-Larry Bird comparisons.
Posted by Rich at 7:21 PM
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
...the days when the Yale blogosphere was a thriving online community (this was before I even blogged). Al used to post kooky stuff at 4 am, Dan would post brilliant things more than once every two weeks, Tom would post. Actual God's Schiavo musings made us laugh out loud and Kingspawn told us his darkest desires (good to see him back the last couple days). Then Nostradamus jumped on the scene and he has remained a steady contributor in the months both B.T. (before Terri) and A.S. (in the year of our Schiavo). Actual Rod has supplied us with wonderful political rants and I am one of the "thirsty masses" who would love to "rejoice" again. Lester...I understand your position with the Munz family. That Girl, R.I.P. Mulatto Jesus, you have been a breath of fresh air and I hope that Lofty didn't kill you. Finally, of course, there is the blogger who started it all, Finnegan. His first post in three weeks should signal a welcome return to regular posting and will hopefully serve as an inspiration to all of us (including maybe his co-blogger, Jeremy?)...
Posted by Rich at 2:31 PM
Monday, January 09, 2006
"It has taken him the best part of half a century to admit it, but Brazilian legend Pelé has recently told a German newspaper that he is heartily sick of his nickname and would really rather be known by his full name, Edson Arantes do Nascimento. "Pelé isn't my name," he said. "My name is Edson and I really don't like people calling me Pelé. I didn't want, and have never liked this nickname." The player picked up his unfortunate nickname from of a team-mate of his father, João Ramos do Nascimento - or Dondinho - who played for a local club. Goalkeeper Bilé was the young Edson's hero, but his constant cries of "Save it, Bilé" earned him mockery and eventually a mis-spelled nickname courtesy of his classmates. "One of the other kids at school used to get on my nerves by calling me Pelé, until one day I had enough and punched him," he said. "I was a good pupil, but that cost me two days of suspension." Interestingly enough, for those who did not already know, Pelé was given the name Edson by his father in a mis-spelled tribute to electrical pioneer Thomas Alva Edison."
So the moral of the story is that you should speak out about not liking your nickname BEFORE you become the greatest soccer player in the history of the world. If you're just a regular person, no one will know your name anyway, so it doesn't matter.
Posted by Rich at 5:02 PM
Coaches in most sports are vastly overrated. Except for Bill Belichick. And in general, football coaches are the most important, because football is the most complicated of the American major sports. The only hard part about managing a team like the Yankees is dealing with the media, personality clashes, and George Steinbrenner. Tactically, a solid knowledge of baseball is all you need, nothing extraordinary. That is not to say that coaches don't make any difference. They definitely set the tone for their teams, but players always make the most impact.
Posted by Rich at 11:30 AM
Sunday, January 08, 2006
All this Rex Grossman bullshit has to stop. Have you seen his career stats (in the pros, not college)? He has played in just eight NFL games (not very well) and he is being anointed the savior of the offense? He may be better than Kyle Orton, but that's like saying I'm better at su doku puzzles than Howie the Retard from Playstation poker club. In my opinion, the Bears have a decent chance to get out of the NFC because their defense is very good and no NFC teams are particularly great. They have no chance to win the Super Bowl.
Saturday, January 07, 2006
I've produced a couple of long posts recently, pretty impressive, right?
So this is a New York thing, but: The escalator in the Union Square subway station was working tonight at 11 pm! I rode up, down, then back up. It was incredible (for those not in the know, I have not seen this escalator in service for about four years).
Also, my friend just subscribed to this remarkable service.
Posted by Rich at 2:06 AM
Friday, January 06, 2006
This article, written by a friend of mine from school, is thoroughly researched and engagingly written. But in the end, I can't believe the kind of leap of faith that he (like so many other Christians) makes. How can he look at the mountains of scientific evidence that prove the Earth to be far older than 6,000 years and just blatantly ignore them. Furthermore, it is interesting that he chooses to discuss the case of the oldest recorded human "civilization" (a term loosely applied here...what about European cave paintings such as those at Lascaux, did they just magically appear, or have they been horribly mis-dated as well...I understand the written records distinction, but even if I had no context, I would think the cave paintings would suggest some "intelligent life," right?), while completely ignoring any other factors about life on Earth or the history of the Earth itself. Has he ever heard of dinosaurs? Or seen ancient human ancestors such as Homo habilis (and for that matter, if Abraham and the rest of the Biblical figures are human, how exactly are they living to as long as 500 years...)? If he really believes that God created the Earth 6,000 years ago, I have a bridge I'd like to sell him.
He has probably been reading too much of the work of his colleagues. It never ceases to amaze me how many intelligent people get sucked into this world of pseudo-science, using "scientific methods" to try and link secular events to the history of the Bible. But as a true scientist, wouldn't he first want to gather evidence for the validity of the events in the Bible instead of trusting it fully as the infallible word of God? For example, I'd like to see him explain just exactly how Moses parted the Red Sea other than "The Bible says so."
If you want to believe in a higher power in this world, like one God, go right ahead (I won't come with you...but I am in the distinct minority there). And I think that everyone should read the Bible because it is without a doubt the most influential book in human history (although the Koran is challenging it these days). It is fascinating because it informs so much of how the modern world evolved (for better or worse). But is it completely factual? I think not...and to treat it as such is doing a disservice to yourself and the evolution of humanity (but since if you fully believe in the Bible, you don't believe in evolution, I guess you don't care).
Finally, I don't want to offend any more people, but I do want to say this: Religion leads to many wonderful initiatives to help poor or less fortunate people live better lives (and even wealthier people who live happier and more peaceful lives because of religion). But it has also led to more wars, violence, and deaths than any other factor in human history. People who want to live religious lives should really think about these two opposing results and try to focus on doing good things in their own lives and being more accomodating to people of different beliefs. You don't have to agree with them, you just have to accept that they exist.
This is my version of Rodney King's "Can't we all get along?" speech. Hat tip to Dan for finding this article for me. If you ever read this Alden, sorry for making an example out of you and I hope that you are doing well in Tennessee. Everyone will probably criticize what I write in this post, so you will get the last laugh anyway.
Posted by Rich at 12:19 PM
Thursday, January 05, 2006
Unfortunately I missed Deal or No Deal's brief run, but supposedly it will be back.
This is an explanation of the rules:
"By now ''Deal or No Deal'' needs to be explained, which can only detract from the fun. Here we go: Twenty-six briefcases are distributed to 26 models before the show begins. Each case contains a paper listing a different dollar amount, from one penny to $1 million. At the start of the game, a contestant chooses one case, which becomes his; he is then allowed to see the sums in six of the remaining cases. After these have been disclosed, a mysterious figure known as the Banker calls the set, offering to buy the contestant's case for a sum derived, somehow, from the cash amounts that are still unrevealed.
The contestant can take the offer and cash out, or move on to the next round, during which he's allowed to open five more briefcases before the Banker's next offer. The second offer might exceed or fall short of the first offer, but it clearly reflects the newly adjusted odds about what the contestant is holding. If the contestant refuses it, he requests to see the contents of four, three, two, and then one more case, with offers from the Banker coming at the end of each round. Each time the contestant can accept and end the game, or proceed to the next round. If he doesn't accept any of the offers, he is left with the sum in his own case."
And no Tom, no game theorists have come out and solved the game yet...but I encourage you (and Al and everyone) to try.
Posted by Rich at 5:46 PM
I'm sure that W. was extremely happy to see Vince Young trot into the end zone with 19 seconds left and lift to Texas to an incredible 41-38 upset victory (do you think he TiVo'ed the game or watched it live?). As for me, I was less happy, but equally impressed.
Somehow, the so-called "Greatest College Football Game of All-Time" lived up to the hype, producing an orgy of offense and a game whose victor was always in doubt. After a somewhat sloppy first half by both teams, and the officials, both offenses kicked it into high gear in the second half. This game was incredibly fun to watch, as the offensive playmaking was top notch for both Texas and USC.
Vince Young was downright unbelievable, and I don't care what people say about his throwing motion (or what I say about how open his receivers were all night). If a man that big, can run that fast, and is that elusive, and he can even throw the ball decently, he will be an NFL star. People will compare him to Michael Vick, but I would put him closer to Daunte Culpepper because of his size and strength (people forget that Culpepper used to run...gaining over 600 yards in 2002). Reggie Bush was "contained," gaining "only" 177 total yards. His touchdown run, however, was remarkable, and a great example of his blindingly fast speed and acceleration (although his lateral was shockingly stupid). The way that he got to the corner showed what separates him from other backs. He will obviously be an NFL superstar barring injury. Everyone says he is like Gale Sayers, which is an apt comparison, but I will throw another name out there: Barry Sanders. Both backs have the ability to be a non-factor for stretches, then come out of nowhere to bust a "How did he do that?" long touchdown play. LenDale White also showed how good he is and he will have a chance to win a third straight Trojan Heisman next year if he returns (although Young becomes the overwhelming favorite if he comes back).
Another thing that needs to be said is that I think that Pete Carroll definitely made the right decision to go for it on 4th and 2 at the 45 with 2:13 remaining. A first down there essentially seals the game, and based on how the USC offense had been moving the ball, they probably had at least a 75% chance of that. And giving the ball to LenDale White was fine, but I think you have to at least have the threat of Reggie Bush on the field. Just the slightest hesitation from the Texas defense there and it's a first down, game over (the way the Texas offense was moving the ball, a short or long field probably would not have made a huge difference, which is why I wouldn't have punted). On the other hand, the wasted timeout on the 2-point conversion was a major mistake by Carroll. Texas is clearly going for two there and even in the situation they were in, a timeout is way too valuable to waste when you only have 19 seconds left. I also don't understand the short kickoff after going ahead 38-26. Totally irrational. Finally, has Pete Carroll ever heard of the "spy" concept where one player watches a running quarterback on every play? He might have wanted to use it...or maybe he just had no one good enough to do it?
I still think that on the whole, as Matt Leinart boldly said in his on-field, post-game interview (one of the must frustrating moments in sports I would imagine...for example, if I lost a squash match to Dan and 50 reporters shoved microphones in my face, I would make the next day's headlines for all the wrong reasons), USC is a better team, but Texas fully deserved to win the game last night. I mean you knew things were going their way after Vince Young lateraled to Selvin Young (after his knee was clearly down) for a touchdown, not long after Reggie Bush had just fumbled away a lateral in one of the dumbest plays in Rose Bowl history.
One good thing to come out of this game is that people will realize that the 2004 USC team was better than the 2005 USC team. One bad thing to come out of this game is that the 2005 Texas team will be overrated. They were very very good, but too reliant on one player, however great he may be.
Posted by Rich at 12:29 PM
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
An article from Slate that confirmed something that I think I already knew, an excellent review of the new iPod (so detailed in fact that the reviewer actually took the thing apart and put it back together), and an article about a game that was actually pretty poorly played but will be labeled an "instant classic" anyway (JoePa is so old it's hilarious...I like the part where he talks about it being past his bedtime).
Posted by Rich at 4:52 PM
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
For better or worse (!), I can't link to this article:
Sony, Samsung Build Alliance Behind Rivalry
Samsung has spent years working to unseat rival Sony as the world's top electronics maker. But an unlikely alliance between two engineers symbolizes how the companies have increasingly come to depend on each other.
If you have an online subscription to the Wall Street Journal or find a copy of today's paper lying around, check this baby out.
Also, more Schiavo!
Posted by Rich at 4:20 PM
I know that we all like the holiday season, but if the end of the festivities means a more productive blogosphere, then bring back the drudgery of everyday life.
Also, I will try to put up more fully original content posts, but it is difficult to compose long posts when one has a full-time job, as opposed to an empty-time job.
Posted by Rich at 3:03 PM
Monday, January 02, 2006
It turns out that there is still some good left in American television. It comes in the form of an "adult" children's show called Wonder Showzen. Airing on MTV2, it is largely hit or miss humor, but when it hits it is very funny. But don't take my word for it, look what this person thinks.
Dan and I have only seen two episodes so far, but our favorite moment was certainly when this happened:
(The scene is a kid reporter at a racetrack, talking to an old gambling addict.)
Kid: I'll do an impression of you, old man.
Old Man: Well, I don't think you could do that, I'm so much older than you.
Kid: No, actually I think it will be very easy. (beat) Gamble, gamble, gamble, die.
Posted by Rich at 7:13 PM
Sunday, January 01, 2006
Both Larry David and Harold Bloom use the term "good acquaintance" in their op-ed pieces in today's New York Times. I found this to be bizarre, as I would probably call a "good acquaintance" my friend. At what point can this distinction be made? Nos, can you shed some light on this situation (including more about Bloom's fascination with Limbo)?
Posted by Rich at 2:58 PM