Line O the Day:
“By the way, I swear I did not write the following sentence.
There is this strange custom called a “Keg Stand” that all kids evidently do now.
No way! Keg… stands? WHAAA? That sounds kooky. I bet those kids do it with Ugg boots on. More stuff Peter learned with his two boys from Chugalug House:
A. These college kids belong to things called “frats,” which have strange letters hanging outside. Might be Russian.
B. Did you know they sometimes put alcohol in Jello shots? And I here I thought they were just a nice pick-me-up when you had the flu.
f. HOW DO I GET TO THE DINING HALL? THERE ARE NO ROAD SIGNS!
Think there’s a chemistry between Drew Brees and Reggie Bush?
I don’t know. For you see, chemistry is a mystery, not unlike the strange college ritual known as “boat racing,” which I’m told features no boats of any kind.”
– Big Daddy Drew, In Which Peter King Learns Of This Thing Called A “Keg Stand” [KSK]
Best of the Best:
Who is Ron Paul? [National Review]
Ron Paul speaks softly and carries Mises. The eccentric, famous, and infamous Texas congressman has a frail frame and a frailer voice. “I am not powerful, but my ideas are powerful,” he says. Everybody knows his name. Everybody talks about him. But nobody can agree as to who he is.
‘Doubling Up’ in Recession-Strained Quarters [New York Times]
As their money dwindled, Ms. Maggi and Mr. Wilson looked into shelters but discovered they would not be able to stay together as a family. It took Ms. Maggi a week to muster up the courage to ask her parents. “It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do,” said Ms. Maggi, who has lived on her own since she was 18, working for most of that time and putting herself through community college.¶ The young couple, however, have come to regret their decision, even as they concede they had no other choice.
On Twitter, the home of microbloggers, the octothorpe has a new career, reborn as the “hashtag.” Tweeters use hashtags to catalogue their tweets. Someone writing about Miles Davis, for instance, will tag his name #Miles. Anyone coming after will be able to find all the tweets dealing with Miles.
Boredom Enthusiasts Discover the Pleasures of Understimulation [The Wall Street Journal]
For seven hours on that Saturday, 20 speakers held forth on a range of seemingly dreary diversions, from “The Intangible Beauty of Car Park Roofs” and “Personal Reflections on the English Breakfast,” to “The Draw in Test Match Cricket” and “My Relationship With Bus Routes.” Meanwhile, some of the 200 audience members—each of whom had paid £15 (about $24) for a ticket—tried not to nod off.
Why the West Rules–For Now [Ian Morris via The Daily Beast]
The main lesson to draw from all this history is that tinkering with exchange rates and legislating against outsourcing will not stop the shift of wealth and power from West to East. The great question for the next generation is not how to stop geography from working: it is how to manage the process.
Predictions Of Today From 80 Years Ago [TechDirt]
And while Abnormal Use disagrees, I actually think physicist and Nobel laureate Arthur Compton’s prediction was pretty dead on: With better communication national boundaries will gradually cease to have their present importance. Because of racial differences a world union cannot be expected within eighty years. The best adjustment that we can hope for to this certain change would seem to be the voluntary union of neighboring nations under a centralized government of continental size.
Philippa Foot, Renowned Philosopher, Dies at 90 [The New York Times]
It was the Trolley Problem, however, that captured the imagination of scholars outside her discipline. In 1967, in the essay “The Problem of Abortion and the Doctrine of the Double Effect,” she discussed, using a series of provocative examples, the moral distinctions between intended and unintended consequences, between doing and allowing, and between positive and negative duties — the duty not to inflict harm weighed against the duty to render aid. The most arresting of her examples, offered in just a few sentences, was the ethical dilemma faced by the driver of a runaway trolley hurtling toward five track workers. By diverting the trolley to a spur where just one worker is on the track, the driver can save five lives. Clearly, the driver should divert the trolley and kill one worker rather than five. But what about a surgeon who could also save five lives — by killing a patient and distributing the patient’s organs to five other patients who would otherwise die? The math is the same, but here, instead of having to choose between two negative duties — the imperative not to inflict harm — as the driver does, the doctor weighs a negative duty against the positive duty of rendering aid. By means of such problems, Ms. Foot hoped to clarify thinking about the moral issues surrounding abortion in particular, but she applied a similar approach to matters like euthanasia.
‘Crash taxes’ are growing in popularity among cash-strapped California cities [Los Angeles Times]
One more good reason to drive safely in California: If you cause an accident, you may be on the hook to pay the police and firefighters who show up to help. At least 50 cities in the state have adopted so-called crash-tax laws allowing local governments to seek reimbursement from insurance companies for the costs of sending public emergency crews to accident scenes. The fees can amount to hundreds or even thousands of dollars. If insurers don’t pay, cities can hire collection agents to seek payment from the motorists involved.
Leading conservatives openly support a Terrorist group [Glenn Greenwald on Salon]
Imagine if a group of leading American liberals met on foreign soil with — and expressed vocal support for — supporters of a terrorist group that had (a) a long history of hateful anti-American rhetoric, (b) an active role in both the takeover of a U.S. embassy and Saddam Hussein’s brutal 1991 repression of Iraqi Shiites, (c) extensive financial and military support from Saddam, (d) multiple acts of violence aimed at civilians, and (e) years of being designated a “Terrorist organization” by the U.S. under Presidents of both parties, a designation which is ongoing? The ensuing uproar and orgies of denunciation would be deafening. But on December 23, a group of leading conservatives — including Rudy Giuliani and former Bush officials Michael Mukasey, Tom Ridge, and Fran Townsend — did exactly that.
Barry Melrose Needs A Beer, And Other Observations From The Behatted And Be-Styxed Winter Classic [Katie Baker on Deadspin]
The Caps and the Penguins may be the most heated of rivals, but outside the rink there was a hockey-first jolliness to most fans’ behavior. I particularly enjoyed Caps owner Ted Leonsis’s comment: “The highlight for me was two sections filled with Caps fans and Pens fans and they looked at each other and they started chanting ‘Flyers suck.’ It’s like they bonded around something.”
Upcoming NewSouth ‘Huck Finn’ Eliminates the ‘N’ Word [Publisher’s Weekly]
Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a classic by most any measure—T.S. Eliot called it a masterpiece, and Ernest Hemingway pronounced it the source of “all modern American literature.” Yet, for decades, it has been disappearing from grade school curricula across the country, relegated to optional reading lists, or banned outright, appearing again and again on lists of the nation’s most challenged books, and all for its repeated use of a single, singularly offensive word: “nigger.” Twain himself defined a “classic” as “a book which people praise and don’t read.” Rather than see Twain’s most important work succumb to that fate, Twain scholar Alan Gribben and NewSouth Books plan to release a version of Huckleberry Finn, in a single volume with The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, that does away with the “n” word (as well as the “in” word, “Injun”) by replacing it with the word “slave.” “This is not an effort to render Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn colorblind,” said Gribben, speaking from his office at Auburn University at Montgomery, where he’s spent most of the past 20 years heading the English department. “Race matters in these books. It’s a matter of how you express that in the 21st century.”
Dave Barry’s Year in Review: Why 2010 Made Us Sick [Dave Barry via The Washington Post]
In other economic news, the first family, seeking to boost Gulf tourism, vacations in Panama City, where Obama, demonstrating that the water is perfectly safe despite the oil spill, plunges in for swim. Quick action by the Secret Service rescues him from the jaws of a mutant 500-pound shrimp sprouting what appear to be primitive wings. The first family hastily departs for Martha’s Vineyard to demonstrate that the water is also perfectly safe there.
Funny = Money [The New York Times]
As Principato put it, agents were encouraged to take a hands-off approach to their clients. Principato never figured out how to do that. Where other agents went home at night to their families, Principato stayed out with his clients, at comedy clubs, in backrooms, on tour, on the sets of movies and TV shows — even flying cross-country to bail them out of jail. Several of his clients speculated affectionately that they serve as Principato’s surrogate family. Referring to past clients like ex-girlfriends, he often uses the phrase “We were together,” as in, “We were together for X number of years.” When Jonah Hill left him recently to pursue his career without management, Principato told me three or four times how well he was taking it — before admitting that in fact, it had been one of the most painful events in his recent life and that he preferred not to discuss the subject any further.
If you want to live longer, then walk faster [JAMA via io9]
Your walking speed can tell a lot about you – including your life expectancy. Amazingly, your walking speed is just as good an indicator of how long you’ll live as your health history, smoking habits, and blood pressure combined.
Some of the more fanciful interpretations have put these forward as signs of the Apocalypse, undoubtedly as the first act of some macabre play of bizarre death and destruction that will end in December 2012. But there are perfectly rational explanations for all of this. Still, I’ll warn you now – the explanations might be scientific, but they’re not exactly likely, and they sure as hell aren’t elegant or logically pleasing.
- The OSU Punishments Are An Embarrassment To The NCAA, And Show Exactly Who Cares About Bowl Games [Barry Petchesky via Deadspin]
- What Happens On A Directional Punt, And Why Coughlin Shouldn’t Have Lost His Shit [Nate Jackson via Deadspin]
- Last Night’s Winner: Ryan Fitzpatrick’s Pro Bowl Candidacy [Barry Petchesky via Deadspin]
- The Greatest Letter Ever Printed On NFL Team Letterhead [Deadspin]
- The NFL Is Phasing Out Saturday Football Because They Hate You [Big Daddy Drew on Deadspin]
- Heat Strokes, Game 31: King of Kings [Bethlehem Shoals on Free Darko via Deadspin]
- Heroic Lawyer Takes Down Pre-Teenage Girl [With Leather]
- Taliban Fighters Appear Blunted in Afghanistan [The New York Times]
- Heat Strokes, Game 32: Kobe, Tell Me How My Christmas Tastes [Bethlehem Shoals on Free Darko via Deadspin]
- The Gospel of Supply Side Jesus [Al Franken and Don Simpson via BuzzFlash]
- FilmDrunk Top 10 of 2010 [Vince Mancini on FilmDrunk]
- Charles Barkley Said Jets Players Should Have Gone Barefoot To Team Meeting To Show Support [Sports Radio Interviews via Deadspin]
- UConn, espnW, And The Welcome New Stupidity In Women’s Sports [Emma Carmichael on Deadspin]
- Seattle’s 12th Man Is A Traitor [Barry Petchesky on Deadspin]
- Gregg Easterbrook Is A Haughty Dipshit [Big Daddy Drew on Deadspin]
- The Best Sports Highlights of 2010 in 247 Seconds [Gawker]
- Leslie Frazier And The Failings Of The Rooney Rule [Barry Petchesky via Deadspin]
- Scientific Proof Of How To Beat Someone’s Ass At Monopoly [Big Daddy Drew on Deadspin XY]
- 2010: The Year in Armond White Quotes [FilmDrunk]
- The 10 Worst Movies Of 2010 [FilmDrunk]
- Payback Is A Bitch For The Favretards Of America [Big Daddy Drew on Deadspin]
- Transcript: The Assange interview [BBC News]
- China Hikes Rates, Ponders Capital Controls to Halt Currency Inflows; Eight Reasons China Faces Hard Landing [Mish’s Global Economic Analysis]
- Militarization of the Economy; Retired Generals “Advise” the Pentagon as Paid Consultants of Defense Contractors [Mish’s Global Economic Analysis]
- China’s Real-Estate Frenzy [Wall Street Journal]
- Charting 2010, Part 0: The Biggest Winners And Losers From The “New Normal”, And The 6 Main Strange Attractors andCharting 2010, Part 1: The Key Jobs Chart(s) Of 2010 andCharting 2010, Part 2: Currency – Printing Money, FX Manipulation And Pricing Unleaded In Bits Of Bacon andCharting 2010, Part 3: Fraudclosure, Halted Traffic, An America Divided: A World Stuck In Its Tracks [Bloomberg BusinessWeek via Zero Hedge]
- The Conscience of a Killer [Pro Libertate]
- Analysis: China property market limps into new year [Reuters]
- ‘Damn right,’ I said: Decision Points by George W. Bush [Eliot Weinberger on London Review of Books]
- The Physics of Terror [Miller-McCune]
- Out of Lehman’s Ashes Wall Street Gets Most of What It Wants [Bloomberg]
- Iraq Wants the U.S. Out [Wall Street Journal]
- Faces of the Home-Foreclosure Crisis [Wall Street Journal]
- Hard Call for FDIC: When to Shut Bank [Wall Street Journal]
- Investing Fads and Themes by Year, 1996-2010 [The Big Picture]
NO ONE CARES ABOUT BASKETBALL: NBA Attendance Is Down – Again [Business Insider]
South Korea Names North’s Regime ‘Enemy,’ Seeks Change [Bloomberg BusinessWeek]
- The Dear Leader Calls for Holy War [Eric Margolis via LRC]
- Jobs Forecast 2011 Calculated Risk vs. Mish [Mish’s Global Economic Analysis]
- Doctors Getting Rich With Fusion Surgery Debunked by Studies [Bloomberg]
- A few for Graphs for 2010 [Calculated Risk]
- How WikiLeaks Just Set Back Democracy in Zimbabwe [The Atlantic]
- 7 Reasons Why Capitalism Can’t Recover Anytime Soon [Shamus Cooke via AlterNet]
- End the Ethanol Insanity [Ed Wallace on Bloomberg BusinessWeek]
- “We’re Fighting A War”: Civilian Disarmament and the Martial Law Mindset [Pro Libertate]
- Theft by Mercantilism: Old and New [Gary North via LRC]
- Game Changer: Why Wikileaks will be the death of big business and big government. [Noam Scheiber on The New Republic]
- Irrational exuberance over the balanced budget multiplier [David Andolfatto on MacroMania]
- Interview: Heads Up Play With David Einhorn [Dealbreaker]
- Gold is Money, What About Silver? Can Gold be Debt? [Mish’s Global Economic Analysis]
- The Pogies: Best Tech Ideas of the Year [David Pogue on The New York Times]
- Bank of America forecloses on house that couple had paid cash for [St. Petersburg Times]
- WikiLeaks, Michael Lind, and the ‘New’ Nationalism [Justin Raimondo on AntiWar]
- Looking for Love in all the Wrong Places? Contrary Investor Examines Misguided Fed and Obama Admin. Efforts to Increase GDP Via Increased Consumption [The Contrarian Investor via Mish’s Global Economic Analysis]
- Is Big Government a Myth? [Robert Murphy via The Mises Institute]
- The merger of journalists and government officials [Glenn Greenwald on Salon]
- The Storming of St. Barth’s [Vanity Fair]
- Why are the letters “z” and “x” so popular in drug names? [Neurocritic]
- Scholars Recruit Public for Project [New York Times]
- The amazing truth about PISA scores: USA beats Western Europe, ties with Asia. [Super-Economy]
- North American English Dialects, Based on Pronunciation Patterns [Rick Aschmann]
- Happy Birthday Ronald Coase [ThinkMarkets]
- South Korean Teen Dies After Twelve Hour Gaming Binge [The Escapist]
- BitTorrent Zeitgeist: What People Searched For in 2010 [Torrent Freak]
- Boomers Hit New Self-Absorption Milestone: Age 65 [New York Times]
- The Costs of Immigration [Mises Economics Blog]
- Here Comes The Ass: Deadspin’s Worst Of 2010 [Big Daddy Drew on Deadspin]
- Brett Favre Sued For Sexual Harassment [Deadspin]
- The Wonderful World Of Twitter Prostitutes, Starring Ronny Turiaf And Ms. Candy Deepthroat (UPDATE) [Deadspin]
- The Secret Underground World Of New York City [Jalopnik]
- What WikiLeaks revealed to the world in 2010 [Glenn Greenwald on Salon]
- Wired’s refusal to release or comment on the Manning chat logs [Glenn Greenwald on Salon]
- Response to Wired’s accusations [Glenn Greenwald on Salon]
- Boos, bravos greet first day of smoking ban [StL Today]
- Virginia DMV Revokes World’s Greatest License Plate [Jalopnik]
- Girls Want To Murder Bieber’s Main Squeeze [Screen Junkies]
- Gilbert Arenas To J.J. Redick: “We’re The Two Best White Shooters In The NBA” [Deadspin]
- Last Night’s Winner: Ricky Williams Is The Real Most Interesting Man In The World [Barry Petchesky on Deadspin]
- One in Five Defibrillators Used Improperly, Study Says [Bloomberg]
- The Mayor Wants You to Lose Some Weight [The Wall Street Journal]
- No Hollywood Ending To Schwarzenegger’s Term [NPR]
- The Blog in 2011: More Pictures, More Words [MediaIte]
- 2000 Vs. 2010: How the world has changed [io9]
- Renewable energy industry shows surprising clout [Stateline]
- Chevy Camaro Outsells Ford Mustang, Ending 24-Year Run [Bloomberg]
- Sudan: Storm Over the Nile [Eric Margolis via LRC]
- The New Art of Central Banking [Institutional Investor]
- How This Guy Discovered Four New Planets Without a Telescope [Gizmodo]
- Were our earliest hominid ancestors hunted by saber-toothed tigers? [BBC News via io9]
- Which science fiction films have the best and worst science, according to NASA? [Metro via io9]
- A history of tipsification [Physorg via io9]
- Why a massive meteorite strike could be the best thing to happen to us [The Guardian via io9]
- The evolutionary basis for morality might be completely disgusting [Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society via Discovery News via io9]
- Nose jobs have been around since the 16th century [Neatorama via io9]
- Invasive species destroyed biodiversity and triggered Earth’s worst extinction event [PLoS ONE via Discovery News via io9]
- Read a famous propaganda comic about life in Soviet America [CONELRAD Adjacent via io9]
- 55 Science Fiction/Fantasy Movies to Watch Out For in 2011 [io9]
- The thermodynamics of rubber bands [Multiple Sources via io9]
- Scientists may have found a new state of matter [ScienceMag.org via io9]
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