How did the computer know the exact time and date without access to the internet or my help?
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
If only they had separated them at birth. Scientists are still angry about this. Imagine the reaction 20 years later when they found out that they were sisters!
Hopefully they won't end up like these two.
And also see this follow-up article about the plight of Jews and Muslims in France.
Posted by Rich at 10:48 AM
Monday, February 27, 2006
Here is a sample of some questions from the 50-question Wonderlic test given to prospective NFL players before the NFL Draft. Well, most football players are clearly not smart in a traditional sense. Does this matter? Check it out:
"The biggest buzz coming out of Indianapolis the last few days is the rumor that Texas QB Vince Young bombed his Wonderlic test. Rumor had Young scoring a 6 on the test.
While the results of his first test haven't been confirmed -- and combine officials have said the score of 6 was wrong -- ESPN.com's John Clayton reported that Young scored a 16 on his second try (according to his agent) and he's expected to take it a third time. The results of that test will not be released to NFL teams until next week, so it remains completely speculation at this point...
Just as a barometer, the highest score registered at last year's scouting combine was a 40 (QB Alex Smith) and the lowest score was a 6 (RB Frank Gore). I also have been told by an NFL scout that the other two top quarterbacks this year fared much better on this test, with USC's Matt Leinart scoring a 35 (at the combine) and Vanderbilt's Jay Cutler scoring a 29 (in a test given prior to the combine)."
Posted by Rich at 5:34 PM
My Olympic Dream is finally over. After two-and-a-half long, hard weeks watching these Games of the XXth Olympiad, I will finally have my life back. I would like to thank my parents and my understanding brother for helping make this possible. It took many months of training to reach the Olympic viewing level. But most of all, I must thank my DVR. DVR, you had never taped anything before on NBC, and then all of a sudden you were called into duty every day. Kudos.
And finally to the athletes: Shani and Chad, Apolo, Sasha, Tanith, Seth, Bode, Lindsey, Shaun, and all the rest. I have learned way too much about you these past two weeks. See you in four years.
Posted by Rich at 9:11 AM
Friday, February 24, 2006
Behind the facade of a sometime comic genius lies a tortured political maverick yearning to lock horns with the great Bloviator himself, Bill O'Reilly:
Posted by Rich at 6:00 PM
Thursday, February 23, 2006
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
This trend is so post-modern. But after reading the New York magazine cover story about blogs, I've been digging around a little. Anyway, here's a good look at the ever-changing face of the blogosphere. Courtesy of Blogebrity, a site that I hope Nostra is familiar with.
Posted by Rich at 6:12 PM
This is a blog post, followed by a spirited debate about the "real" merits of a college education. The post is written by Matt Yglesias, a fellow Dalton alum who went to Harvard. He always spoke a lot during government assemblies in high school.
Posted by Rich at 5:27 PM
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Sunday, February 19, 2006
I thought of this again recently when I got a soda in a Bear Rock Foods cup. Whatever happened to Coca-Cola giving out cups to these places? I guess they just scrounge around and pick up whatever they can find. Good old La Mia (now called Roma's) was the founder of this trend for me. I wish I could remember the specifics of some of their cups, but alas, my memory fails me here. I guess I will just have to go back and visit.
Posted by Rich at 6:25 PM
Saturday, February 18, 2006
Glad to see that Bill Simmons agrees with me:
Anyone who thinks that Redick -- on the right team, in the right offense, with shot blockers to protect him on defense -- cannot end up being an asset in the NBA is insane. Repeat: Insane. He's a better shooter than Steve Kerr, John Paxson, Jerry Sichting, Trent Tucker or Craig Hodges, all of whom had similar games and played roles for championship teams. I would actually compare his ceiling to Rip Hamilton's ceiling (who is almost as bad defensively, by the way); you could craft a decent offense from running Redick off multiple picks and getting him open shots.
I look at it this way: If you're an A-plus in any category, you're going to crack a 9-man rotation in the NBA, regardless of whether you have any other skills or not. Desagana Diop blocks shots, and that's all he does; Eddie House makes jumpers, and that's all he does; Carlos Delfino plays defense, and that's all he does; and all of those guys are contributing to 60-win teams right now. Redick is going to find the right team (maybe not right away), and he's going to make open 3s, and even if that's all he does, he'll be one of the best eight guys on the team. It's going to happen. The funny thing is, NBA scouts are always more enamored with multi-tool guys like Dunleavy and Darko who end up not being able to do anything that well. So those guys get drafted above guys like Redick, and then everyone is amazed when Redick turns out to be a better pro.
Posted by Rich at 3:19 PM
Friday, February 17, 2006
From: UCS International Opportunities Program [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Thursday, February 16, 2006 11:21 PM
To: Yale College Students
Subject: Announcing Bulldogs in Baghdad
Dear Yale Undergraduate:
On behalf of Undergraduate Career Services, the Yale College Dean's Office and the Association of Yale Alumni (AYA,) we are pleased to announce the newest addition to Yale's international summer opportunities, Bulldogs in Baghdad.
This ten-week program (June 1 - August 10) will give you the rare opportunity to shadow American contractors working with the U.S. Government in Iraq full-time, as well a variety of co-curricular activities designed to enrich your summer experience.
A variety of internship positions will be available for students of all academic disciplines and career interests. Positions are currently available through Yale affiliates working for Bechtel, Halliburton, Allied Shipping and Logistics, Northrop Grumman, GE and Blackwater Security.
Students will enjoy accommodations with either an American family or, in some cases, with four to six other Yalies in suites at the Hotel Palestine in the heart of historic Baghdad. A typical weekend in the program might include:
• A day trip excursion to the Holy City of Najaf,
• Browsing the vast archaeological collection of the newly-renovated Baghdad Museum,
• Touring to the famous Al-Aqsa Bazaar for local wares and delicacies,
• Dining with Coalition soldiers from the Second Infantry Division at Camp Liberty,
• A scenic boat tour on the Tigris river with your fellow Yalies,
• Sampling the city's vibrant nightlife, and much more!
Successful applicants can expect to join a dynamic and challenging professional environment, where you will build an understanding of Middle Eastern culture as well as developing economic infrastructure, energy policy, and government contracting.
Bulldogs in Baghdad will provide you with comprehensive training and support, including a nine-day PRE-SUMMER ORIENTATION provided by AKI Security Associates, Inc. (http://www.aki.co.nz), as well as ongoing project guidance to ensure you have the best possible experience.
Applications will be available at the information session.
INTERESTED? WANT TO LEARN MORE?
We encourage you to attend our INFORMATION SESSION about the program:
4:00PM Friday, Feb. 17 in LC 101.
-David Quint, UCS
Yale Undergraduate Career Services
David Quint, Associate Director
Telephone (203) 432-0800
Facsimile (203) 432-7184
Posted by Rich at 2:24 PM
Thursday, February 16, 2006
I have been watching them religiously (well DVR'ing them every night and going through all the footage...which is about as good as it gets these days).
Some great stuff:
The guy who yells at every U.S. skier to pump him up before he heads down the mountain. He sounds like Sergeant Slaughter and says things such as "Shred this thing Teddy!" "Come on Bode, own this mountain!"
Interviews with snowboarders. They are so laid back it's sick. They live up to every stereotype about them and more. I love the fact that they actually say what they are thinking and feeling as opposed to the stock professional athlete responses we are so used to these days. Shaun White even talked about hoping that his gold medal would get him "babes."
Underdogs have actually won events. Many of Sports Illustrated's medal predictions were way off (to be fair, it is verrrry hard to accurately predict most of these things, especially when they are decided by such small fractions of a second). But I have also liked when big favorites like Shaun White have won, confirming their greatness. It was amazing to see a Croatian racer celebrating his silver as if it was gold. The Olympics are such a powerful (but shockingly brief)moment of importance for these athletes that it is remarkable to see how they react to the situation.
I can't wait to see the Snowboardcross event (I think that I have it on tape). Four racers jockeying for position racing down a mountain at the same time!
I just wish I could watch the events live and not have to try and avoid discovering the results before I watch the broadcasts.
Posted by Rich at 5:50 PM
Why didn't anyone tell me this sooner? All these years it was actually Jews (and their massive numbers of supporters) who were causing every terrible major event in the world, despite making up way less than 1% of the world population. Even if Hamas doesn't like what has happened, it is pretty impressive, no?
The Jews even manage to hate themselves!
Posted by Rich at 5:00 PM
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
If you were smart, you went to the Peabody Museum's fantastic giant squid exhibit last year. And if you did, you will be very excited by this! And yes, I know that this happened awhile ago. But I just found out about it today. I first became interested in the giant squid after reading Beast, by Peter Benchley (R.I.P.). It is quite an incredible and powerful beast, and it is better known for its appearance in Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.
Posted by Rich at 5:29 PM
As my few loyal readers might remember, my hard drive died/is dying a slow and painful death. Thus, I give you this link.
Also, the Onion is pretty funny this week. I especially like this, this, and this. "Don't forget about me boys," says If a Shrimp was a Horse.
And read recent posts from Finnegan and Eric! Is the blogosphere really back? Only time and updated blogs will tell.
Posted by Rich at 3:08 PM
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
In light of the recent James Frey mega-controversy, I thought that this was an interesting issue. Furthermore, David Kopel posted this uplifting story at Volokh earlier today.
Thus I pose the question to my millions of readers, and especially commenters: How significant is it that an uplifting story or a tale of redemption is actually true?
I understand that there are definite problems with a story that masquerades as truth. But if a story is meant to be inspirational, is it a prerequisite that it is true (clearly not, there are tons of uplifting works of fiction...I guess I am talking more about quasi-fiction stories)? So many people were touched by Frey's "true" story. Was the "truth" of it that important or was the content itself much more significant? For example, if he had admitted that his work was "inspired by true events," would that have been ok? I don't know, does anyone else have any thoughts about this?
Posted by Rich at 5:20 PM
This actually happened:
TO WED OR NOT TO WED?
List made by Charles Darwin
Page 1 and 2 of 3
By the time Darwin drew up this list of the pros and cons of marriage, his father had assured him of a generous living allowance. Still, the issue of freedom to work dominated Darwin's internal debate. Was he willing to give up the "conversation of clever men at clubs," or risk being forced into a time-consuming and frivolous social life? Could he tolerate "less money for books"? A negative even slips in, unnoticed, among the positives: "terrible loss of time."
Darwin may not have had a candidate in mind when he wrote this list, but Emma was a logical choice. The Darwins and Wedgwoods were linked by several generations of matrimony, and Emma was the only Wedgwood daughter of marriageable age.
"Children-(if it Please God)—Constant companion, (& friend in old age) who will feel interested in one,—object to be beloved and played with.-better than a dog anyhow.—Home, & someone to take care of house-charms of music and female chit-chat.—These things good for one's health.-but terrible loss of time.—."
Darwin chose to wed.
Posted by Rich at 11:37 AM
Monday, February 13, 2006
Sunday, February 12, 2006
Friday, February 10, 2006
Thursday, February 09, 2006
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
I have been hesitant to write anything about the Mohammed cartoons for fear of a backlash from my Muslim readers, but I just wanted to show a couple of the more clever new cartoons (here I refer to the third ones down, the skull and pipe). In short, I agree that the cartoons are offensive to Muslims. But there are thousands of cartoons out there equally offensive to Jews, Christians, gays, George Bush, and any other major person, religion, or large group of people. In my opinion, people should just be able to deal with these facts. But they can't.
It is incredibly hypocritical, not to mention utterly disgusting, that Iran is now holding a contest for the best Holocaust-related cartoon. Even the Germans are offended. And much worse is the fact that the recent publicity around these cartoons, which were originally published in September by the way, has led to some extreme violence around a number of Danish embassies. This is clearly not the manner in which Muslims should be responding to these cartoons. It only serves to breed more hate on both sides and reinforce Western views of Muslims as extremely violent. An open dialogue and rational debate would be a much more effective way of dealing with this dangerous and volatile situation. And I think that the people with the best chance of making this happen are moderate Muslims. Don't let your more extreme religious compatriots ruin your reputations. The fact that extremists are blaming the Jews (oh, I forgot, Jews own all media around the world, so it must be their fault...), boycotting Danish goods, and burning down embassies does not seem to be solving anything.
Maybe those Danish cartoonists should have seen that Albert Brooks movie? To read a lot more about this from people smarter than I am, go here. Here is another look at the situation.
Posted by Rich at 4:29 PM
Posted by Rich at 12:05 PM
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
If you liked Freakonomics, read this interview with Gary Becker.
If you have ESPN Insider, this is a great analysis of the last 20 years of the NCAA Tournament. Conclusion: Duke has been unbelievably good. Purdue has been pretty bad considering how well they have been "expected" to do.
Imagine what Borat would do with this. For more info.
And more on the Karl Pilkington phenomenon.
Posted by Rich at 4:57 PM
Courtesy of The New York Times:
Next Time, Wear Loafers
Does it come as a surprise that Nick Flynn is no longer welcome at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, England? Mr. Flynn, 42, wasn't identified at the time, but he is the fellow who fell down a flight of stairs there, managing in the process to smash a set of three 300-year-old Chinese vases valued at $175,000 collectively. Now he has told BBC radio that he has received a letter from the directors asking him not to come back, at least for a while. Mr. Flynn, a frequent visitor to the museum, said, "I snagged my shoelace, missed the step and crash, bang, wallop there were a million pieces of high-quality Qing ceramics lying around underneath me." Noting that the vases, prize possessions of the museum for 40 years, were displayed on a windowsill, he said, "I thought they might take better care of them."
Posted by Rich at 3:31 PM
Move over Gillette Fusion. The race is heating up thanks to the gang over at Hitachi. The most amazing thing about this article is that it dates from August 31, 2005! Makes me wonder if someone else out there has a 25-blade razor under wraps.
Also, if you need advice about how to be a total slut (allegedly) and wear absurd outfits (see: televised sports), contact Bonnie Bernstein.
And J.J. Redick has game. He will be a solid pro if on the right team. You're telling me that he's not as good as Steve Kerr? I don't buy that for a second. A smart team will find shots for him and he will make them.
Posted by Rich at 1:58 PM
Monday, February 06, 2006
No, silly, not the Super Bowl. I'm talking about this thrilling college basketball game from 1973.
Ok, but I will say a little bit about the Super Bowl.
The officiating was terrible. The most obvious mistake was calling Hasselbeck for a chop block when he tackled Ike Taylor after the interception! An inexcusable 15-yard blunder. More controversial were two touchdown calls, both of which went Pittsburgh's way. I think that the Darrell Jackson push-off should not have been called and that Roethlisberger did not get in (on really close plays the initial call is always so crucial...). There also may have been some dubious holding calls against the Seahawks.
On the whole, the Seahawks have mostly themselves to blame for the loss, especially Jerramy Stevens. What a choker. He should be embarrassed for himself. Seattle's clock management at the end of the first half was also atrocious. Was Herm Edwards secretly in charge? Neither team played very well in the game, although like everyone else, I loved the Randle El touchdown pass, so I give the Steelers props for that.
In the end I guess, credit goes to the Steelers for navigating an incredible road to the Super Bowl title, playing the best when it mattered most.
Posted by Rich at 11:07 AM
Saturday, February 04, 2006
The story behind the story. I provide the story, you ponder its legitimacy...
Gather round young men and I will tell you a tale of power and corruption that will make you wish that you had never heard the word blog (ok, that's not possible, but read on anyway).
It all started for Rich with the loss of a coin toss. Rich called heads (seemed rather obvious), and the coin landed tails. Dan blurted out "Tails never fails!" and Rich did "the Rich face" while cursing his bad fortune on the inside. What was kept secret then will be revealed now.
The creators of BTY originally had only one man in mind for the character of Mark. The foremost Bobby Fischer historian in the Blogosphere: Eric. But since they had no idea what he looked like, they decided to hire Satya as the actor and attempt to hire Eric as his blogger. But they did not realize that Eric's self-imposed Icelandic exile would be such a sticking point in negotiations. Eric responded to their submission of a contract with the terse e-mail: "Ne6! Are you crazy? I play Qc4 and the rest is history." It was time for Plan B. Sadly enough that was the last time that anyone this side of the Atlantic has heard from Eric.
Once Eric was out of the picture, the creators knew that they wanted a Berger to blog for them, but which one? Dan may have been the so-called "genius," but Rich was a more reliable contributor. Rather than make this difficult decision for themselves, they allowed fate to intervene and steer BTY down a dangerous path. With Rich on board, future BTY readers and viewers could anticipate a string of short posts with links to articles about crazy people and an attempt to pretend to be British. But don't worry folks, there were still hundreds of millions of thousands of tens of pennies to be made. Or not made.
Not long after Reelblogs finally "went live," Rich finally "got a job." This made his blogging (on BTY) even more sporadic and unreliable. In addition, Rich began working on a secret project (code name: Beriched: How one face made a blogger a minor celebrity among his friends and family or How I learned to stop worrying about the future of the blogosphere because I knew that the Delino crew would help save it...for short, it was called Project Ca Ca and given the easy-to-remember acronym B:HOFMABAMCAHFAFOHILTSWATFOTBBIKTTDCWHSI).
Besides Rich's less-than-100% effort on the written blog, the actual vlog of BTY may not have been quite up to the level necessary to draw in thousands of diverse viewers from all over the internet. But who really has the authority to decide that? After a multiple week "holiday" from BTY in December and January, the creators were ready for Season Two. That was when Rich received the fateful call. He was at work and pondering his own minor celebrity status when he was jolted back into reality by the vibrating of his cell phone.
One of the creators was on the line and he told Rich that he was very excited about season 2 and the "new direction" of BTY, focusing more on technology and various internet social networking stuff, etc... Rich knew what was coming next, but rather than say it himself, he waited for the creator to state the obvious: "We're looking to go in another direction with the blogger for Mark..." The news hit Rich like a handful of feathers. The new blogger was none other than the creator himself! Quite a turn of events indeed.
Some important questions arose from Rich's brief and relatively uneventful tenure as blogger to the minor stars. Would Eric have made BTY profitable? Yes. Do some of the people who read Not About Marquis Grissom read BTY? Yes (they noticed the occasional cross-posting). Is Rich suited for a slightly more mass audience? The jury is still out on this one. We're not sure about his writing, but his acting has excellent potential.
Rich now spends his time plotting out how he can become a cast member of The Surreal Life. He's a moderate Jew from New York...what's not to love?
Posted by Rich at 11:59 PM
Friday, February 03, 2006
That's right Jason Mantzoukas. I hope you're reading this, because I am doing it for you and Jessica.
What you don't know is that the guy sitting next to me who "volunteered" my blog was/is my brother, Dan. What was odd about that interaction was that he was too ashamed to volunteer his own blog, Not About Delino DeShields, which I contribute to as well. I don't know why he would be, but maybe he's just insecure...either way, there's some great stuff over there. Also, as I neglected to tell the guy at the ticket window, these two blogs (Not About Marquis Grissom and Not About Delino DeShields) are named as such not because Dan and I were such big fans of these players. The real story behind the names is that Dan thought it would be funny if people searching for Delino DeShields on the internet accidentally ended up at a blog that, although having a URL named after him, in reality had nothing to do with him. And I figured that Marquis Grissom would be a good partner to Delino, just like on the Expos in the early 1990s. But enough about me.
I thought that your show, We Used To Go Out, was very funny. You and Jessica have obviously worked hard on it and perfected the timing, especially in the scene with The Notebook. I also liked the "It's not me, it's you" line both for its inherent humor and the casual manner in which it was delivered. The "Scooter" character was a good send-up of a certain type of man and my favorite part of the show was probably the answering machine "audio montage." I would recommend this show to anyone who reads this post. I'm not sure what I think about people who are not going to read it.
I hope that this is more than you expected to get when you called out for bloggers. On the other hand, I regret to inform you that I don't really have all that many readers...
Posted by Rich at 11:53 AM
Thursday, February 02, 2006
I had low expectations going into my viewing of this film. In fact, I reveled in the idea that I would watch this movie and then be able to tell other people who like it how mediocre or flat-out bad it was (Note: I took great pleasure in doing this for Anchorman and especially Napoleon Dynamite).
But something funny happened on my way to disliking Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle. I started legitimately laughing. It began with Kumar's interview with Fred Willard and the first elevator scene with Maria (awkward, but plausible situations are amusing to me, partially because I experience them a lot). Overall the movie had a good sensibility and did not go overboard with obvious jokes that just aren't funny (there were some of these, but again, not too many). This film was in a vein similar to Half Baked, another stoner cult classic.
The standout scene for me was Kumar's dream sequence with the bag of weed. It was creative and hilarious. The best part was when the bag of weed wife gets Kumar coffee while he's going over his accounting, and Kumar throws it in the weed bag's face (but then he "comforts his wife"). I also enjoyed the "extreme" sports guys. When one guy called the other guy Extreme Sports Punk #1, that was a clever little joke that probably went unnoticed by many. And of course Neil Patrick Harris was excellent.
For once I was wrong about a comedy like this. In this case, I happily admit defeat to a movie that was funny.
Posted by Rich at 4:12 PM
A Washington D.C. Olympic team? An interesting idea. Check out the website. (Editor's Note: I originally called this idea stupid, but I have re-thought my position after reading Mike's comment.)
And in case anyone wanted to see the cartoons that are causing such a fuss...here they are a little bit down the page.
Posted by Rich at 3:33 PM
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
It just seems like it does. So this week when my office is almost empty and there is not much work going on and people are playing some kind of football golf and I am going home earlier and earlier I just assume that it is the same in every office. Apparently not. Apparently most offices do not send most of their employees to the Super Bowl. Weird.
Posted by Rich at 6:00 PM
Posted by Rich at 11:23 AM