29
Nov
12

Roundup – FDR vs. Werewolves

Line O’ the Day:

I repeat: Andrew Luck at Peyton Manning. The Irsay Bowl.

The Hollywood Xerox of Fate Bowl! The Horsey Bowl! The NeckAIDS Revenge Bowl! The Oh God Fucking Kill Me The Hype Would Be Suffocating Bowl!

I am reminded of a quote Bill Parcells uttered every other week in the four seasons I covered the Giants for Newsday in the ’80s: “Sometimes God is playing in these games.”

“And that’s why we can’t allow faggots and Japs in the locker room!”

- Christmas Ape, “Peter King Thinks God Wants Andrew Luck And Peyton Manning To Meet In The Playoffs” [KSK]

Best of the Best:

Stadiums Cost Taxpayers Extra $10 Billion, Harvard’s Long Finds [Aaron Kuriloff on Bloomberg Businessweek]

The total cost of sport facilities has received little attention from researchers in part “because most economic analyses demonstrate that sports facilities produce very few or no net new economic benefits relative to construction costs alone, and so, in this sense, more accurate cost estimates would only serve to reinforce a case already made.” Public officials shouldn’t spend any more than necessary to secure the participation of the local team, she writes. Small cities tend to fare worse than larger ones, because they either have to offer more money to keep an existing franchise from moving to a larger market, or they have to put up more to compensate a team moving from a larger market. Long concludes that, regardless of profit-sharing or rent, “public partners should avoid paying building costs.”

Why Drones Stayed Out of Sight in the 2012 Campaign [Ramesh Ponnuru via Bloomberg]

“Homeland,” Showtime’s series about an al-Qaeda sleeper agent in Congress, is both implausible and addictive. President Barack Obama is a fan. That means he has heard more discussion of the downside of drone strikes in a television drama than he has in the presidential race…Neither side wants to look softer than the other on terrorists. Hence the bipartisan support for the strikes. Liberal groups that might be inclined to protest the policy have been quiet because Obama put it in place. The lack of debate about our reliance on drones is a shame, because there are both practical and moral objections to it.

US Muslim placed on no-fly list is unable to see his ailing mother [Glenn Greenwald on The Guardian]

The day before he was to travel, a KLM representative called Long and informed him that the airlines could not allow him to board the flight. That, she explained, was because the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had placed Long on its “no-fly list”, which bars him from flying into his own country. Long has now spent the last six months trying to find out why he was placed on this list and what he can do to get off of it. He has had no success, unable to obtain even the most basic information about what caused his own government to deprive him of this right to travel. He has no idea when he was put on this list, who decided to put him on it, or the reasons for his inclusion. He has never been convicted of any crime, never been indicted or charged with a crime, and until he was less than 24 hours away from boarding that KLM flight back to his childhood home, had received no notice that his own government prohibited him from flying. As his mother’s health declines, he remains effectively barred from returning to see her…In February, Associated Press learned that “the Obama administration has more than doubled, to about 21,000 names, its secret list of suspected terrorists who are banned from flying to or within the United States, including about 500 Americans.”

No Way to Tiptoe Around It: This Drink Can Be Hard to Swallow [Ryan Sager on The Wall Street Journal]

The idea was born in 1973, when riverboat captain Dick “River Rat” Stevenson found a severed big toe preserved in a pickle jar in a cabin outside of town. Capt. Dick, as he is known, says he came up with the original rules for the drink over the course of a drunken evening with friends: take a beer glass full of champagne, drop in the toe, tip the glass back…and the toe must touch the lips. In September 1973, eight people participated in the first attempt; nearly four decades later, the Sourtoe Cocktail Club has an estimated 100,000-plus members.

Coke Gets Hacked And Doesn’t Tell Anyone [Ben Elgin, Dune Lawrence and Michael Riley on Bloomberg]

Coca-Cola, the world’s largest soft-drink maker, has never publicly disclosed the loss of the Huiyuan information, despite its potential effect on the deal. It is just one in a global barrage of corporate computer attacks kept secret from shareholders, regulators, employees — and in some cases even from senior executives. When hackers last year waged a large-scale attack on BG Group Plc (BG/), raiding troves of sensitive data, the British energy company never made it public. Luxembourg-based steel maker ArcelorMittal (MT) also kept mum when intruders targeted, among others, its executive overseeing China. As did Chesapeake Energy Corp. (CHK), after cyber attackers made off with files from its investment banking firm about natural gas leases that were up for sale. Each of these cases was detailed to Bloomberg News either by people involved in remediating the situation or executives briefed on the details, who asked not to be identified because the information wasn’t public; or in computer logs compiled by researchers monitoring the activities of hackers in China.

Internal Time: The Science of Chronotypes, Social Jet Lag, and Why You’re So Tired [Maria Popova on Brain Pickings]

Roenneberg points out that in our culture, there is a great disconnect between teenagers’ biological abilities and our social expectations of them, encapsulated in what is known as the disco hypothesis — the notion that if only teens would go to bed earlier, meaning not party until late, they’d be better able to wake up clear-headed and ready for school at the expected time. The data, however, indicate otherwise — adolescents’ internal time is shifted so they don’t find sleep before the small hours of the night, a pattern also found in the life cycle of rodents. Here, we brush up against a painfully obtrusive cultural obstacle: School starts early — as early as 7 A.M. in some European countries — and teens are expected to perform well on a schedule not designed with their internal time in mind. As a result, studies have shown that many students show the signs of narcolepsy — a severe sleeping disorder that makes one fall asleep at once when given the chance, immediately entering REM sleep.

Truth or Consequences [Joe Hagan on Texas Monthly]

And what about George W. Bush? It’s unclear how the curators of his presidential library, which is slated to open next year at Southern Methodist University, will treat the ex-president’s life from 1968 to 1973. They’re unlikely to explore the finer details of his flight logs or offer any further information about his “lost year.” But his time flying planes in Texas during the height of the Vietnam War remains a defining part of his political biography nonetheless, a chapter he proudly referenced in 2003, when he landed in a jet plane on the deck of an aircraft carrier to declare the end of major combat operations in Iraq—right before the country sank into a bloody, years-long war that would divide the United States and claim tens of thousands of Iraqi and American lives. Bush has said history will be the judge. And so it will.

Corruption Is Why You Can’t Do Your Taxes in Five Minutes [Matt Stoller on Republic Report]

In California, the state has a program called ReadyReturnthat lets you do this for California state taxes.  You sign it and send it back, and it takes a few minutes. But for most of us, this isn’t how it works.  We gather our tax forms and various banking information, and spend the weekend facing a difficult bureaucratic set of forms, hoping we did it all correctly.  Or we use a costly tax filing service or software. Candidate Barack Obama promised to end this nightmare.  He said he would “dramatically simplify tax filings so that millions of Americans will be able to do their taxes in less than five minutes.”  The IRS would use information it “already gets from banks and employers to give taxpayers the option of pre-filled tax forms to verify, sign and return.”  Experts, he said, estimated this would save 200 million total hours or work and $2 billion. You can file this under yet another broken campaign promise.  And why?  Who doesn’t like an idea that is so simple and convenient and just generally helpful?  Well, the large software makers, for one.  Intuit in fact lobbied incredibly hard to kill the California program Ready Return (complete with attacks from right-wing tax groups).  Intuit wasn’t completely successful, but under their pressure, California budgeted only $10,000 to get the word out to residents about the program.

Why Everyone Believes in Magic (Even You) [Natalie Wolchover on Live Science]

What do religion, anthropomorphism, mysticism and the widespread notion that each of us has a destiny to fulfill have in common? According to Hutson’s research, underlying all these forms of magical thinking is the innate sense that everything happens for a reason. And that stems from paranoia, which is a safety mechanism. “We have a bias to see events as intentional, and to see objects as intentionally designed,” Hutson explained. “Part of this is because we’re always on the lookout for signs of other intentional beings — people or animals — so we tend to assume that if something happened, it was caused by an agent. If we don’t see any biological agent, like a person or animal, then we might assume that there’s some sort of invisible agent: God or the universe in general with a mind of its own. So the reason we have a bias to assume things are intentional is that typically it’s safer to spot another agent in your environment than to miss another agent.” Or, in the words of the anthropologist Stewart Guthrie, “It’s better to mistake a boulder for a bear than a bear for a boulder.”

“Roadhouse 2012: Pain Still Don’t Hurt” script 4 sale. Full Spread. (Grand Blanc)   [DadBoner]

Night. A bar in the Flint area. (It also serves some of the best eats in the USA. Cheetos on anything for $1. Sammies are all piled high. The works, really. Full spread.) A kickass neon sign says, “Captain Karl’s Pizza Ship.” Van Halen is on stage rockin’ so hard. There’s chest beefers from coast to coast. It’s pretty much the biggest celebraish anyone’s ever seen. Guy Cooler (played by Guy Fieri) is hangin’ out behind the bar, peepin’ all the babes and makin’ sure everyone’s safe. The owner, Captain Karl, is doin’ a new dance that’s sweepin’ the nation called “The Peener” with 4-6 consensual babes, ripe with all the toppings. Drippin’ with sweat (the wet look) Karl decides to play the hot corner for a cold one, and calls Cooler over for a guy to Guy.

Curiously Strong Remains:

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