Friday, March 31, 2006
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
According to this report, the French are far stupider than the British.
Now, wait just a minute, are you sure about that Professor? I mean, look at this story from today's EUObserver:
BRITAIN and France have experienced long periods of conflict and rivalry, but now victory in one area can be claimed: Britons are more intelligent on average than the French. A new European league of IQ scores has ranked the British in eighth place, well above the French, who are 19th. According to Richard Lynn of the University of Ulster, Britons have an average IQ of 100. The French scored 94. Top of the table were the Germans, with an IQ of 107. The Brits were also beaten by the Dutch, Poles, Swedes, Italians, Austrians and Swiss.
Two of Europe’s largest countries are to be paralysed by strikes today (28 March) over social reforms.In France, trade unions have called on public and private sector workers to protest against a new youth employment law, while in the UK 1.5 million local government workers are planning to strike over retirement rights and cuts to pensions. The British unions say it could turn into be the biggest action since the 1926 general strike, according to Reuters.
Professor Lynn ascribes the differences between British and French intelligence
levels to the results of military conflict. He described it as "a hitherto unrecognised law of history" that "the side with the higher IQ normally wins, unless they are hugely outnumbered, as Germany was after 1942".
His conclusions are that the East Asians (Chinese, Japanese and Koreans) have the highest mean IQ at 105. These are followed by the Europeans (IQ 100). Some way below these are the Inuit (Eskimos) (IQ 91), South East Asians (IQ 87), Native American Indians (IQ 87), Pacific Islanders (IQ 85), South Asians and North Africans (IQ 84). Well below these come the sub-Saharan Africans (IQ 67) followed by the Australian Aborigines (IQ 62). The least intelligent races are the Bushmen of the Kalahari desert togetherwith the Pygmies of the Congo rain forests (IQ 54).
After the ten chapters setting out the evidence for each of the ten races there follows a chapter on the reliability and validity of the measures. These show that the studies have high reliability in the sense that different studies of racial IQs give closely similar results. For instance, East Asians invariably obtain high IQs, not onlyin their own native homelands but in Singapore, Malaysia, Hawaii and North America. To establish the validity of the racial IQs he shows that they have high correlations with performance in the international studies of achievement in mathematics and science. Racial IQs also have high correlations with national economic development, providing a major contribution to the problem of why the peoples of some nations are rich and others poor. He argues further that the IQ differences between the races explain the differences in achievement in making the Neolithic transition from hunter-gathering to settled agriculture, the building of early civilizations, and the development of mature civilizations during the last two thousand years.
Monday, March 27, 2006
Sunday, March 26, 2006
You probably don't remember me, but I was instrumental in garnering those constitutional liberties under that you so take for granted. We should talk about that ....
But not tonight. Tonight belongs to the young men that have brought the Colonial Athletic Association it's first ever Final Four berth. Did I say ever? I meant EVER.
Sure, with Duke, B.C., and UCONN out, my pool picks have about as much chance as George Washington had against the British at Brooklyn. But, by God, that's what we meant about bucking the tyrrany of the majority! Yo! Sizzzle! Speak Truth to Power, and jam the Boards!
Anyway, congrats to all of the young men in the green and gold. You are the best Virginia has to offer, and you have shown us the reason why.
Go kick some ass, fellas.
Friday, March 24, 2006
Well, I don't care if it rains or freezes
Long as I have my plastic Jesus
Riding on the dashboard of my car
I could go a hundred miles an hour
Long as I got the almighty power
Glued up there with my pair of fuzzy dice.
No matter what happens next, it'll happen on the weekend.
Thursday, March 23, 2006
"The fact that Hashemi didn't do actual killing does not absolve him. Goebbels didn't shoot anyone either."
-Yale professor David Gelernter on that university's decision to admit Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi--a former ambassador-at-large of the murderous Afghan Taliban--as a special student.
Huh? George Bush is supposed to come charging out of the Oval Office and deliver a major public smackdown on the Afghanis? The leader of the Free World is supposed to publically interject the United States into this matter? Would this be a wise use of the powers of the Executive Office? Is this what we expect of our leaders, to become personally involved in every injustice? I don't get it.
Sure, the guy's a Christian, and the Afghani law that would take his life is incredibly stupid to we westerners, having ourselves long ago ceased the burning witches and heretics in the name of Jesus. But ask yourself: Of all the injustices in all the world, why this one? Why should we expect that our Government needs to rouse itself and step into the breach?
I suppose the larger question is why does this nation feel the need to react with near hysteria in certain instances and go sleepy time at others? Terry Schaivo? Hysteria. Dharfur? Zzzzzzzz. Dubai Ports? Hysteria. The Walmart-China "joint venture?" Zzzzzzz. Larry Summers? Hysteria. Rapidly dropping U.S. student proficiency in math and science? Zzzzzzzzzz. Abdul Rahman? Hysteria. Bishop Jia Zhiguo? Zzzzzzzz.
I suppose it can be put down to the fact that, thanks to the 24 hour news cycle and a billion blogs we can get hellfire stoked up in mere minutes. "Outrage" is the order of the day, and I admit to routinely drinking from the cup of anger, so I cast no stone. But our national attention span seems to have grown so short that we can only focus on issues that (1) we can put a face to, or (2) can be quickly wrapped up in time for the next American Idol. Impatience, a rush to judge, an inability to think long term, these are rapidly becoming the new American traits. And I find it unsettling.
I certainly hope that Mr. Bush stays quiet on this subject. And, having spoken my piece, I'm going to join him.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
From today's New York Times Corrections :
Because of an editing error, a sports article yesterday about the family of Xavier Nady, who is a contender for the Mets' right-field job, misstated the birthplace of the Hall of Famer Nap Lajoie. It was Rhode Island, not France.
Normally, this is where I blast the dunderheads at the Gray Lady for not doing even a modicum of basic research before blabbing out something completely wrong. But not today. Because it really doesn't matter where Napoleon Lajoie was born. As far as baseball is concerned, he was born at second base.
Nap Lajoie was one of the all-time great hitters of the dead ball era. (This was roughly 1900-1920 before they juiced up the ball for Babe Ruth in order to win fans back to a game tarnished by the 1919 Black Sox scandal.) In those days, home runs were an oddity. The game was all about "small ball" - base hits, bunts and steals - and a team needed a patient slugger to move the base runners along.
Nap was perfect in that role. In 1901, his debut year with the Philadephia Athletics of the brand new American League, he led the league in hits (229), doubles (48), home runs (14), runs scored (145), and RBI (125). His batting average that year was an astonishing .422 . No player since Ty Cobb has ever come close to matching that American League record. (Nap's arch nemisis, Cobb, hit .420 in 1911, but never came close again.)
In 1910 Lajoie was in a hitting duel with Cobb that has become part of baseball lore. As reported by the Baseball Library :
But Lajoie wasn't just a slugger, he was an outstanding second baseman - maybe the best defensive player ever at that position. He also was, apparently, and unlike Cobb, a pretty decent guy on the field.
The 1910 batting title was hotly contested, with a Chalmers automobile to go to the leading batter. Most of the baseball world rooted for the popular Lajoie and against the hotheaded Cobb, who had won the three previous titles. On the final day of the season, Lajoie bunted for seven infield hits and swung for a triple in a doubleheader at St. Louis. St. Louis manager Jack O'Connor was ultimately fired when it was revealed that he had ordered his third baseman to play deep against Lajoie. Lajoie finished second by a point despite the machinations but received an auto anyway. Later historical research by The Sporting News revealed Lajoie 's .384 average actually should have won the title. Cobb's official average of .385 was inflated because one of his games was inadvertently counted twice. In a dispute that rose to the highest baseball levels, Commissioner BowieKuhn ruled in 1981 that the mistake would not be corrected.
In 1937, Nap was the first second baseman to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, the sixth player ever to be added to that shrine. The year prior was the first ever ballot to the Hall, and the sports writers selected the following (in order of percentage of votes received): Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson, and Walter "Big Train" Johnson. Nap Lajoie was next in that balloting, 24 votes shy of the prize. He led the class of 1937, however, winning more votes than both the legendary Red Sox slugger Tris Speaker and that forever famous hurler, Cy Young. All this, despite never having played on a championship team.
"What a ball player that man was! Every play he made was executed so gracefully that it looked like it was the easiest thing in the world. He was a pleasure to play against, too, always laughing and joking. Even when the son of a gun was blocking you off the base, he was smiling and kidding with you. You just had to like the guy." — Tommy Leach
One day, maybe soon, I'll post something about the legal battles that Nap faced in trying to break baseball's infamous "reserve clause" and his place in cementing the American League as an equal to the older, more powerful National League.
But not today. Today is just about remembering a little piece of that grand game our fathers so adored, and about the men who made it part and parcel of an American life. I owe the Times a big one for jogging that memory out of of me on an otherwise forgettable Wednesday in March.
When the big scorecard gets signed, let it read that one hundred and ten years ago, Napoleon Lajoie, from Woonsockett, Rhode Island, picked up a baseball glove and played himself into American history.
The French should be so proud.
Monday, March 20, 2006
Sunday, March 19, 2006
Friday, March 17, 2006
Joseph E. Gannon, The Wild Geese Today
That's a long parade of parades - 245 years worth. And on a crisp, clear morning in 1969, I donned the dress blue JROTC uniform of St. Francis Xavier High School and proudly strode down Fifth Avenue in tribute to my forebearers. From 44th Street north past St. Patrick's Catherdral, where to our youthful cheers Terrence Cardinal Cook extended his blessing. Up past the Met we marched, smart and straight through the stone canyons bouyed by the pipes and the roar of a million voices.
Twenty-six blocks Thirty eight blockswe marched, bursting with pride in our faith and in our heritage. Twenty-sixThirty eight blocks of fame and glory that still tickles me today.
And all of it spent directly behind the NYPD Mounted Patrol. My dress shoes were never the quite same.
See you there again , someday.
Bain taithneamh as an deireadh seachtaine.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Every marriage goes through a rough patch now and again. But a better advertisement for The Silverbullet than this couple would be hard to find.
COUPLE THROWS KNIVES, BOMBS AT EACH OTHER
March 14, 2006
A MEXICAN couple were recovering separately after a marital spat got out of control and saw them firing guns, throwing knives and hurling homemade bombs, Mexican daily Milenio said yesterday.In scenes taken straight out of hit romantic comedy Mr and Mrs. Smith starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Juan Espinosa and Irma Contreras fought until their house blew up in a homemade gasoline bomb explosion, the paper said.
Police called to the home in the indigenous Mayan Indian town of Oxkutzcab in the southeastern state of Yucatan arrested Mr Espinosa. Ms Contreras was taken to hospital with third-degree burns.
A local police official confirmed the report but declined to provide further information.
In the violence-filled movie about the fictional Smiths, Pitt and Jolie play married assassins ordered to kill each other.
Mr Espinosa told reporters he was glad his wife had suffered burns, while Ms Contreras said said she was only sorry she had not "hacked off his manhood" during the fight.
Monday, March 13, 2006
Nothing could have prepared me for the horror that awaited. Pink snow.
Creamy Pink Snow Covers Russian Region
Creamy pink snow has covered the northern regions of Russia’s Maritime territory, news agencies reported Monday.For some reason, the snow that fell in the densely populated northern regions after a powerful cyclone had acquired a pink color of varying tints.Experts at the local meteorology centre said sand from neighboring Mongolia was to blame for this unusual natural phenomenon. Before it arrived in Maritime, the cyclone passed Mongolia, where sand storms had been raging in the desert. “The winds of the cyclone embraced dust particles that colored the fallouts,” the experts said.February’s yellow snowfall with a strong odor and an oily texture was observed on Russia’s Far East island of Sakhalin. The color, odor and texture of the snow may have been a result of environmental pollution caused by the island’s oil and natural gas industry. However, experts do not rule out this could be caused by volcanic activity.
Ho ho ho! Volcanic activity my sorry butt! Sure it looks "pretty," what it being creamy and pink and all. BUT PINK SNOW IS EVIDENCE THAT THE MOST DANGEROUS CALAMITY KNOWN TO MAN HAS BEFALLEN A YOUNG BOY AND HIS BABY SISTER!!!!!
Friday, March 10, 2006
And not just any beer, either. When a panda wants to relax with this week's eye candy, he settles down with a beer that says "I'm Grizzly, and I ain't shaved in a week. Rub my belly." Only one brand can bear the weight of that command: Bear Beer! The Beer of Bears!
Look at the grin on that polar dude, dude! You can tell that he's not spending his weekends shooting pool at the Elks Lodge. No way, man, that bear's gettin' some Ursa major majorette! The dude is positively swimming in it, man. He's a king, awright.
Even little Alberto needs only the bear minimum of cool to snag a whole winter's nap full o' snow bunnies. Yo, Bert! You bad dude! I mean bad! B-A-Double-D bad! You save some of that Olympic "gold" for the rest of us, brother! Shizzle!
What do you mean you just can't get the chicks to notice you? You see Marvin "Stinky" Bear out there at the sidewalk table? Man, that dude is just as plain as a Kansas wheatfield! You think you got problems? That dude has no mouth!
Ah, but do you see that fine fine blonde exiting stage right? She be all about Stinky, my man. All. About. Stinky. You know why? 'Cause Stinky's a bedtime bear, dude! He could be as ugly as a Yoko Ono one-woman show, and still split the sheets with Halle Berry. He's been sleeping every night, with every kind of woman, young and old and rich and poor the overdone and the works-in-progress. He don't care! They snuggle the hell out of him, and he gives them everything they are looking for in a bear. You want a second look, Pinky? You remember that face. That's the face that broke a thousand hearts. The dude is a god, man. A freakin' god.
Oh crap! It's Bruno! No, no! Don't look at him Pinky! You don't want to get tangled with him. He's a mean S.O.B. when he's drinkin'. Strictly a bad news bear when he gets drunk. (And between you and me, I've heard that the reason he's so mean is his whisper whisper whisper wishper wishper.....) Really, dude. If'n it was me I'd be a mean drunk too. But you never heard that from me, right? I mean, I wouldn't want to have to rip your throat out with my six inch claws or anything, ya know what I mean?
So, Pinky, it's Friday evening. Why are you hanging out the freakin' zoo anyway? Sure, you're pink and soft and relatively hairless, but I'm sure that there's someone, somewhere out there that'll take some mercy on you. Here's hoping that she can still walk on all four legs.
You'd better drink...a lot.
Thursday, March 09, 2006
It's just that now, with the Internet, your bad days can live on forever.
Check out one federal bankruptcy judge's evaluation of a motion entitled : "Defendant's Motion to Discharge Response to Plaintiff's Response to Defendant's Response Opposing Objection to Discharge."
Pay special attention to footnote 1 on page 2 of this gem.
Click the images for to enlarge.
How about little empathy?
Sunday, March 05, 2006
Some men look at constitutions with sanctimonious reverence, and deem them like the ark of the covenant, too sacred to be touched. They ascribe to the men of the preceding age a wisdom more than human, and suppose what they did to be beyond amendment. I know that age well. [It] was very like the present, but without the experience of the present. [Let] us [not] weakly believe that one generation is not as capable as another of taking care of itself, and of ordering its own affairs.
-Thomas Jefferson, The Portable Thomas Jefferson, 552, 558-61 (M. Peterson ed. 1975).