<$BlogRSDUrl$>

11.29.2005

"Impervious to the laws of nature" 

I'll admit, I've never been a HUGE pro football fan, generally opting for the collegiate counterpart for most everything. Moreover, I just haven't had the time nor inclination to get into it this year, hacing recently moved.

But I've been vaguely aware that there was this equestrian-themed team from the Midwest that was making a run at an undefeated status. But having finally caught the team last night in their MNF domination over Pittsburgh, all I can say is: these guys are fucking amazing!

Their most recent win prompted CNN's (early) morning sports anchor (yah, that's where I get my sports updates now) to observe about the Colts, "They appear to be impervious to the laws of nature." Well put.

|

Progressive Wal-Mart. Really. 

That's the title of Sebastian Mallaby's latest column in the Washington Post. While usually defenses of Wal-Mart (and business in general) tend to come come from the right, it's nice to see the obviously progressive case for market success. That is, rising tides lift all boats, and Wal-Mart perhaps more than any other business that is alive and kicking has done good for the poor by virtue of its success.

Of course, to accept this premise you have to accept the notion that any competitor somehow has an entitlement to being in business, and thus putting them out of business somehow abdicates a "right." But on that point, John Tierney has an excellent smackdown of "Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price," the latest documentary anti-business polemic. The article requires payment, so here are excerpts.

One point from Mallaby that I hadn't thought of:

Wal-Mart's critics also paint the company as a parasite on taxpayers, because 5 percent of its workers are on Medicaid. Actually that's a typical level for large retail firms, and the national average for all firms is 4 percent. Moreover, it's ironic that Wal-Mart's enemies, who are mainly progressives, should even raise this issue. In the 1990s progressives argued loudly for the reform that allowed poor Americans to keep Medicaid benefits even if they had a job. Now that this policy is helping workers at Wal-Mart, progressives shouldn't blame the company. Besides, many progressives favor a national health system. In other words, they attack Wal-Mart for having 5 percent of its workers receive health care courtesy of taxpayers when the policy that they support would increase that share to 100 percent.
As progressives are quickly coalescing around a mandate of universal health coverage, honest and consistent lefties will have to effectively mute this criticism of Wal-Mart, as well as come to terms with a whole host of conflicts inherent in such a policy.

[Hat tip to The Agitator].

|

NFL Passer Rating... REVEALED! 

Following on our discussion last night (that, might I add, took place while we were busy wiping our dirty asses all over those terrrrrible towels... ahem... go Horse), here is the official equation used to calculate NFL Passer Rating. Don't try this shit at home kids:
a = (((Comp/Att) * 100) -30) / 20
b = ((TDs/Att) * 100) / 5
c = (9.5 - ((Int/Att) * 100)) / 4
d = ((Yards/Att) - 3) / 4

a, b, c and d can not be greater than 2.375 or less than zero.

QB Rating = (a + b + c + d) / .06
For a semi-understandable explanation of this equation, check out this page at NFL.com.

When you look at it in pieces the equation starts to make sense. Basically they found a way to place equal value in completions, touchdowns, interceptions and total yards, despite the fact that besides TDs and INTs the size of the individual numbers typically differ considerably. As for why the Passer Rating can't just be out of 100, I don't really know but I'm assuming that it would make the equation that much more complicated.

|

11.28.2005

Year-End Top 10s 

Yups, any record that's likely to make a Top 10 list is already out so it's time to start thinking about your favorite records of the year, or favorite anythings of the year for that matter. I'll get a list together and post it sometime in the next couple of weeks. As a kickstart, here is Metacritic's top 10 records of the year. Metacritic is a site that assigns a score to each release based upon reviews found throughout internet and print magazines. They compile reviews of movies, music, TV, books, DVDs and video games. It's always the first place I look before picking up something new.

Top 10 CD releases of 2005

10. Andrew Bird - The Mysterious Production of Eggs
9. Kraftwerk - Minimum-Maximum
8. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - s/t
7. M.I.A - Arular
6. Sleater-Kinney - The Woods
5. Antony & the Johnsons - I am a Bird Now
4. Lightening Bolt - Hypermagic Mountain
3. Isolée - Whereamonster
2. My Morning Jacket - Z
1. Sufjan Stevens - Illinois

Start getting used to Sufjan's name in that #1 spot, this won't be the first time (see Saxy's post about the top forty bands of 2005 list for some indication).

Check out the full list here. The worst records of the year? The dubious honor of worst belongs to the Bloodhound Gang's Hefty Fine (an album our own ID included in a September list of would-be mindblowers), with Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill Acoustic and Backstreet Boys' Never Gone close on the heels.

|

11.23.2005

Marginal Revolution redux 

--Bono seems to keep decent company, but I doubt he actually consulted field research on how development policies actually impact different target societies. Peter Bauer, for instance, spent a great deal of time trying to explain why more money not only rarely helps, but actually makes things worse. But the Poverty Action Lab at MIT goes one step further and runs large-scale randomized experiments on various policy ideas.


--Although I tend to still be skeptical of anyone willing to make definitive conclusions on the effect of P2P file-sharing, Rufus Pollock has put together a summary of several of the studies on the subject. Among the general conclusions of the literature:

^Online illegal file-sharing does have a negative impact on traditional sales....a figure of between 20 and 40% would be a reasonable consensus value (i.e. that file-sharing accounted for 20-40% of the decline in sales not a 20-40% decline in sales).

^According to [one researcher] the ‘bottom’ 3/4 of artists sell more as a consequence of file-sharing while the top 1/4 sell less.

^[Another paper claims] file-sharing on average yields a gain to society three times the loss to the music industry in lost sales.


--Finally, if you've made it this far, the Washington Times has the story about "a 15-year-old boy who has been hailed as a new Buddha."

Devotees say that Ram Bomjon, who is meditating silently beneath a tree, has not eaten or had anything to drink since he sat down at his chosen spot six months ago. Witnesses say they have seen light emanating from the teenager's forehead.

...no claim had emerged of Ram breaking his fast or moving, even to relieve himself.
It gets even better--he was recently bitten by a snake!

[Naturally a big hat tip to Marginal Revolution]

|

Quick question 



Why was the hype and anticipation so much greater for the debut of the Lord of the Rings series as opposed to the new Chronicles of Narnia.

It was my impression that more people (atleast around my age) read atleast one of the Narnia books versus slogging through the sometimes dense LOTR. And yet Narnia barely seems to register a blip on the cinematic radar. Is it the marketing (or lack theref)? Did LOTR benefit from first mover advantage? Or has the potential fandom already shunned the movie pre-screening, having already taken into account that it was made by Disney? Or do people just not care for fantasy authored by Christians?

"You'll never get to the bottom of him."
--J. R. R. Tolkein referring to C. S. Lewis.

|

Recent reading 

Around the web:

Ignoring economics: Part II - Thomas Sowell
Why do prices exist at all? To cause things to be produced and made available to the public -- and to cause consumers to limit how much they consume. Why then do prices suddenly shoot up? Because there is either less of a supply available or more of a demand, or both.

Is Wal-Mart a Problem? - John Stossel
"You could not find a more inaccurate term for these men than 'robber barons,'" said philosopher David Kelley. "They weren't barons. All of them started penniless. And they weren't robbers, because they didn't take it from anyone else."

Betting on the Planet - John Tierney (rr)
At the big Earth Day rally in Washington, Ehrlich was one of the many Malthusians warning that this was humanity's last chance to save the planet....The crowd of more than 200,000 applauded heartily after Ehrlich told them that population growth could produce a world in which their grandchildren would endure food riots in the streets of America....That same day Simon spoke only a block away in a small, low-ceilinged conference room at another Earth Day symposium....He seemed a little disappointed that there were only 16 people in the audience to celebrate his message.

Federalism May Offer Abortion Solution - Radley Balko
Abortion, then, is a weighing of the right of a fetus to live versus the right of the woman carrying it to terminate her pregnancy....Abortion policy, then, is a game of line-drawing.

The Top 40 Bands in America Today - 2005 Edition

Two Turntables and a Saxophone - David R. Adler
To borrow a term from DJ Shadow, jazz and hip-hop are omni-genres, held together more by musical and cultural philosophies than by any limiting parameters of "style." While hip-hop has devolved time and again into disposable pop, it has never lost its vitality as an underground, alternative art form.

Argumentum ad Baculum - Julian Sanchez
In my less Buddhist moods, I find myself thinking that a poetic reply would be to punch those people square in the face...

|

11.22.2005

Thought you'd get a kick out of this 



At 11:04:45 AM ET Monday CNN was airing Vice President Dick Cheney's speech live from the American Enterprise Institute in Washington -- when a large black 'X' repeatedly flashed over the vice president's face!

|

High School Mayor 

Now I know, no more attention really needs to be given to this guy, Sessions in some crap town no one should care about. And everyone has probably seen the interview with the guy like, "uh, well, I'll go to school from 8-3 and then I'll do mayor stuff from 3-6." Sweet. Who cares? Does this town really have so much going on that a mayor is needed full time? Does he have to do anymore than to decide where the summer fish fry is held and what day to plug in the lights on the town square. I mean seriously.

But more and more, I wonder what the hell the press is doing. If you read the article, who is Richard Moore..anyone? What the hell kind of shit articles are we producing right now?? Is this because it's on the Internet that the press and writers are just lazy or does no one care anymore?

|

11.21.2005

Exactly 2.5 points per minute, or approx one score per possesion 

Sure, who the hell is Florida A&M? No matter they're just the first team to lose by 37 points this year. That's right, the Hooz be lookin' mighty fine so far. This was the first game I've seen, and it doesn't get any better than having six guys in double digits. Furthermore, it must be nice to break in that third digit on the new Assembly Hall scoreboard. Cross your fingers for this Duke game but I think that even w/o DJ we have a chance if the guards keep playing like this. Hopefully we'll see more of this:

Ah the sweet tears of Duke children.

|

Live Discs 

Here's a few recently released live discs worth checking out. Typically, I love the new Bonnie 'Prince' Billy offering. This one finds him reinterpreting some of his more hushed material for a four-guitar onslaught. It's nice to hear Will Oldham break out the scream/yelp again. As you might imagine, it's sloppy and off-key, but it's also completely inspired. There's even an old Palace tune or two and a cut from the recent Superwolf collab w/ Matt Sweeney (who sings and plays guitar as well).

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - Summer in the Southeast

Also hot is this new double set from Wilco. Tweedy sounds excellent and the new line-up is easily the most stage-friendly Wilco ever.

Wilco - Kicking Television

Also due out soon is a live set from Bright Eyes. This is one band I never thought I could bare, but I'm Wide Awake, it's Morning is a shoe-in for my top 10 this year. I haven't heard this yet, but if you're itching for some emo (and I know you are, Teddy) and some occasional Bush-bashing, Conor Oberst is your man. If you love to hate Cononr Oberst then don't miss Stephen Thomas Erlewine's completely dead-on review of Conor Oberst the man-boy (though he misses the ball with 2/5 stars rating) over at All Music Guide.

Bright Eyes - Motion Sickness

Lastly, big thanks to the ladies and gents over at Red Light Glow, who have provided all of the music above. This site, like Regnyouth and many others under our Blues Riff in B heading, is an excellent resource for album downloads. I would suggest checking it every day or two as they post a ton of different stuff. Sorry Rob, not much hip-hop over there. BUT, I am hoping to start up a similar blog to host albums... probably not here at the Watts but elsewhere. I'm hoping anyone here would also be willing to contribute. Nowak (or someone else), can you suggest a good free software for Mac that I can use to create RAR or ZIP files???

|

11.18.2005

Ryan 

Finally, after much time, my parents finally received the autopsy report back on my brother. Pneumonia. Fucking pneumonia. How fucked up is that? Anywho, I thought most of you would be interested in this info...

|

Boo-ya-ka-sha 

Speaking of great ads, I knows yous alls has seen de ads wit my main man, Ali G to promote TNT's Thursday night NBA show. But I thought I'd post a link with all five spots in one place in case you haven't seen them all.

I hadn't seen the Ben Wallace one, but I think Steve Nash as Most Valuable PLayer -- also known as MP3 is the best. Ali G makes a good point: Nash is Canadian.

|

11.16.2005

I knew there was a reason I liked him! 

Mark Cuban -- closet Objectivist? From Slate's informal survey of "books that changed my life," we get this offering:

Mark Cuban, owner, Dallas Mavericks
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. It was incredibly motivating to me. It encouraged me to think as an individual, take risks to reach my goals, and responsibility for my successes and failures. I loved it. I don't know how many times I have read it, but it got to the point where I had to stop because I would get too fired up.

First, I'm not sure exactly why they asked him, given the other contributors are overhwelmingly writers. But I suppose as Cuban completes his transmogrification (or metamorphic cycle, if you will) from sports fan, to media entrepreneur, to sports fan, to sports executive, and finally to media innovator, I guess he runs in unexpected circles.

I've always maintained that Cuban was the best thing to happen to professional basketball since Jordan pre-first retirement. Given enough drinks, I've been known to let slip I thought he was the best thing in professional sports since Harrey Caray, because I was convinced was going to usher in a new era of fans first-owners second stakeholders.

But this new little tidbit just seals his place in my decidedly unthematic Hall of Fame. It doesn't hurt that he's a Hoosier either.

Related, check out this Slate article on how Cuban might "(Finally) Revolutionize Hollywood." He's enthusiastic about sports, innovative, and above all forward looking...what a dreamboat!

|

The subtle but valid dichotomy 

As Will Wilkinson has an uncanny ability to do, he expresses my opinion better than I ever could.

I like the idea of pro-family policy (as long as that includes a non-bigoted notion of the family). I truly believe that families are a foundational social institution, and that we would all be a bit better off if families were stronger, and even bigger. But the family is the private institution par excellence, and you cannot protect or advance the integrity of the family by eroding the distinction between the public and the private. I worry, and I think many others would worry, that when the state starts rewarding us for childbearing, that effaces the public/private distinction, and opens up a crack into the private sphere that the state is bound to try to squeeze through. The agents of the state will see themselves as having a legitimate interest not only in the quanitity of children, but in their quality, and start shaping policy meant to tell us HOW we should raise our children, and, worse, start shaping policy meant to tell us WHO should have them. Let's stay away from that.

His entire post is motivated by this much discussed (atleast around the conservative "water cooler") big picture article from the Weekly Standard. The article takes the form as an invective to motivate the Republican Party in a new and more coherent picture. There's much to not disagree with in it, but I fully concur with Will's assessment.


|

Things you might not have known about Chuck Norris 

1. Chuck Norris' tears cure cancer. Too bad he has never cried.
2. Chuck Norris does not sleep. He waits.
3. Chuck Norris built a time machine and went back in time to stop the JFK assassination. As Oswald shot, Chuck met all three bullets with his beard, deflecting them. JFK's head exploded out of sheer amazement.
4. Chuck Norris is not hung like a horse... horses are hung like Chuck Norris
5. Chuck Norris can make a woman climax by simply pointing at her and saying "booya".



Check out all of the facts over n'yah.

Also, Vin Diesel's top thirty facts.

|

You Call it Badvertising 

What is the goal of an advertisement? Is it to sell you a good or service? Or is it to provide you with information about a good or service? Mr. Bright Side would call it information, whereas Mr. Dark Side would call it sales. These days, I think we are starting to see a combination of the two. While not yet extinct, I think we are seeing less and less of the "used car salesman" everyday. For me, the ultimate goal of a successful ad is to present the information in such a fashion that the benefit of a good or service speaks for itself. And by "fashion" I mean with lots of window dressing.

Hicks goes so far as to call some advertising art and I love to agree. The people behind many of these ads are writers. And while some of them are terrible, there are good writers out there. In my opinion, ads are better now than they have been in years past (print and tv particularly), thanks to the rising standards for creativity. The youth of today are wittier than those of yesterday and they are coming up in the world. Just ask LCD Soundsystem. Thus, not only do the writers have higher standards, but the audience does as well.

Radio is a dying medium, I'm afraid. Let's look at the many forms of media. Television ads often hit you while you're enjoying the comfort of some long-awaited couch time in front of the tube. Print ads often hit you in a similar way, perhaps while relaxing in a chair with a magazine or newspaper. Web ads often hit you while you're surfing the web and again, you are likely doing so leisurely. Radio ads often hit you in the car. And your time in the car may be some of the most stressful moments of your day. Granted, driving can actually be quite relaxing under the right circumstances. But generally, most of us find that our morning and evening commutes to and from work are hardly what we would define as soothing. Thus, I do not see the logic in running an ad when the listener is in such a state. Furthermore, we now have satellite radio, which Caplan mentioned. Satellite radio services like XM and Sirius are steadily improving their formats, signing popular DJs and remaining commercial-free. These innovations will be the death of radio advertising.

Why do some of us hate advertising? I believe that most of us prefer not to be persuaded. Giving into persuasion often feels like a compromise of our free will. And as we all know, free will is the most valued and respected commodity we have. However, we DO have a choice and regardless of how we choose, it is of our own free will. But the persuasive voice of another instills within us a feeling of guilt for accepting the encouraged choice. Why does Bryan Caplan hate advertising? He stresses that he hates almost all advertising, so much that he goes out of his way to offer ways in which to avoid it. Well, allow me to stereotype, as advertisers often do. Bryan is an economist and Bryan is a nerd. Thus, Bryan does not fall into the psychographics which guide the most common types advertisements. Let's look at some of those ad types. Consider automobile, fashion, financial, and health/physical self ads. Judging from his picture, my guess is that Brian is young. Thus, his health concerns at this point in his life are likely minimal. He is clearly scrawny, so I doubt weight loss is an issue for him and it's pretty clear that working out isn't on the top of his list either. I would assume Bryan wakes up in the morning with no one by his side, so penis enlargement is irrelevant in Bryan's life. It's also clear that as Bryan makes his way to his dresser he does not put much thought into his wardrobe. And when he does finally dress himself, he walks into his garage and climbs into his 1997 Ford Escort with 183,946 miles on it. Finally, as economist, Brian has no use for financial services of any kind.

The difficulty of successfully pitching an ad to someone is a lot asking a person out on a date. Example:

I first present myself to a lady and she may immediately know that she is not interested in what she sees. Perhaps I'm not her type, or perhaps she does not find me physically attractive. She may go so far as to lash out at me in anger over the fact that I even had the nerve to approach her. - Damn you ad-haters and your "you should have known better" attitude. She is completely uninterested in the good or service, ad or no ad. NO SALE.

On the other hand, perhaps I am her type. Perhaps she does find me attractive. However, my approach is way off. Rather than extending my hand to politely introduce myself, I grab her by the tits and lick her face. She slaps me. - She does have some interest in the good or service, but the ad is awful and she is unmoved and irritated. NO SALE.

Finally, I am most definitely her type. In fact, she finds me extremely attractive. Additionally, my approach is with Bond-like charm. However, the gentlemen next to me is closer to her type than I. He is more attractive and his approach makes James Bond look like a drunken frat guy in a trucker hat. - She is very interested in the good or service, but the competition has a better ad. NO SALE.

So what does this mean? Should I be single for the rest of my life? Should I not attempt to date or meet a woman simply because I may not be interested? Well, Bryan certainly thinks so.

|

Things that annoy me, photo edition 

Blocking the escalator. STAND RIGHT, WALK LEFT! We've been over this!


Safety ratings are only useful when the car is in motion.


Sandals with socks. You wouldn't wear a shirt that said douchebag would you?


Wanna off yourself, don't ya wanna, wanna off yourself


I hate all people who are clearly better than me.


How about you?

|

Tornadoes in the Midwest 

The great sense of humour of Southern Indianans. Now I know I picked a lighter picture here, but there was some serious damage done. If you have family in Southern/Western Indiana or Kentucky, then you need to pay attention, watch out and get in touch with them. A quick article that has a link to a slide show as well as a video. Watch the video, there is some severe shit that went down last night!! You'll also notice one or two of our great southern midwesterners (check the mullet and guy with camo gear on when the old lady is talking).

|

11.15.2005

3-Step Program for a Commercial-Free Life 

Bryan Caplan offers up his 3-part system to eliminating around 90 percent of commercial exposure in his media consumption. And it costs about $1/day. Some of his commenters have alternate methods, many of which I imagine participants on this blog are already taking advantage of.

It's done as a letter to Adbusters. One of my friends and I used to argue incessantly about the worth (or lack thereof, from my point of view) of that publication. His critique of my point of view went pretty much like this.

Bryan doesn't get into the socially beneficial aspects of advertising however. For instance, advertising acts as a subsidy for consumers of media. Most magazines and probably newspapers wouldn't be able to survive if they charged what they would need to without ad revenue (many operate at a loss as it is). Commercial TV would of course not be free, but there, it's not clear whether broadcast networks would suck so bad. Even the cost of cable is reduced because of ad revenue.

And despite how much we savvy and discriminating consumers may find advertising annoying, there's also an important feature of advertsing as a channel of information. This information, is on the whole both generally true and beneficial. I'll spare everyone the excruciating explanation of that last statement.

I'm curious to hear what Steve-O has to say on the matter.

|

11.13.2005

Spamusement 

Hi-larious! Cartoons inspired by actual SPAM subject lines.

I really like: "Just 15 minutes and it will be hard as ROCK!"

[Hat tip: publicprivate)

|

11.11.2005

10 Things That Annoy Me 

1. People who laugh at their own jokes. You know what I'm talking about. I don't mean when you've tipped back a few, blazed a hazy path to munchies-town, or are just otherwise in one of those inexplicably giggling moods. I mean people who just make a habit of pointing out how funny they are, by repeatedly signaling what the appropriate response is to one of their pedestrian observations.

2. O.A.R. -- speaking of pedestrian, could their be a more lackluster musical group. Creed, sure, but I really think OAR takes the cake here. Which is not to say there isn't an endless canon of drivel in contemporary music (or in the past for that matter), but something about these guys really get me going. Because while they're paddling themselves deeper into mindless mediocrity, their fans are eagerly in tow. And it's infected people I like. I have lots of friends who have atleast one of OAR's CDs, and admit to listening to it even when they're not being coerced. What's stranger, is that when I confront them on this, even said fan admits "yah, they're not that great." How does a band become so popular when even its fans admit they suck?

I once had to sit through an OAR live show during New Orleans JazzFest. I'll never get that 1:15 back.

3. Small talk -- having recently relocated to an unfamiliar city with its unfamiliar ways (that's a euphemism for "Southern"), I've been been forced to undergo quite a bit of this small talk business. But I can hardly endure, so the net result is usually I say something too familiar without appropriate rapport established, and someone gets offended. To date I still don't have any new friends!

4. Overreaction -- maybe I'm just numbed by an overactive sense of cynicism, but I just don't react that strongly to much anymore (they could study me here perhaps).. Which is not to say there aren't times when some kind of emotional response are not called for. But I find more and more people tend to overshoot (both positive and negative) reactions to things. Few things constitute a personal "end of the world", or "happiest day of your life" so people oughtta keep things in perspective...so sayeth Eeyore. I dunno, maybe I should be more like this guy.

5. These stupid "things I hate" lists.

6. Cereal boxes -- well, not the boxes themselves, per se, but the size. Is it just me, or does it seem like a box of cereal doesn't last as many bowls as it used to? Has my daily portion size really increased so much? Are the bowls I use bigger than when I was in high school? Have the boxes been slowly creeping towards dimunition?

7. Running out of steam mid-post.

|

"Godzilla" was REAL 


Check this Shit out!!! Too Cool for School.

|

Vote or Die! 

...or just stay home, it doesn't really matter either way.

The much heralded and and quite worthy "Freakonomics" column in the New York Times Magazine nails it on the head. I don't know how many times I've had this discussion about voting with people, more specifically why I don't vote. Dubner and Levitt write:

The odds that your vote will actually affect the outcome of a given election are very, very, very slim. This was documented by the economists Casey Mulligan and Charles Hunter, who analyzed more than 56,000 Congressional and state-legislative elections since 1898. For all the attention paid in the media to close elections, it turns out that they are exceedingly rare. The median margin of victory in the Congressional elections was 22 percent; in the state-legislature elections, it was 25 percent. Even in the closest elections, it is almost never the case that a single vote is pivotal. Of the more than 40,000 elections for state legislator that Mulligan and Hunter analyzed, comprising nearly 1 billion votes, only 7 elections were decided by a single vote, with 2 others tied. Of the more than 16,000 Congressional elections, in which many more people vote, only one election in the past 100 years - a 1910 race in Buffalo - was decided by a single vote.

Thanks to Catallarchy via Agoraphilia (who calls Voting Day "Spit in the Ocean Day") for the pointer.

UPDATE: I just recalled a great column from last year in Slate, by Steven Landsburg in his Everyday Economics series. Focusing on presidential elections, he writes:

Your individual vote will never matter unless the election in your state is within one vote of a dead-even tie. (And even then, it will matter only if your state tips the balance in the electoral college.) What are the odds of that? Well, let's suppose you live in Florida and that Florida's 6 million voters are statistically evenly divided—meaning that each of them has (as far as you know) exactly a 50/50 chance of voting for either Bush or Kerry—the statistical equivalent of a coin toss. Then the probability you'll break a tie is equal to the probability that exactly 3 million out of 6 million tosses will turn up heads. That's about 1 in 3,100—roughly the same as the probability you'll be murdered by your mother.

...The traditional reply begins with the phrase "But if everyone thought like that ... ." To which the correct rejoinder is: So what? Everyone doesn't think like that. They continue to vote by the millions and tens of millions.

Furthermore, economic theory combined with recent empirical work indicates the best thing a person could do in lieu of voting is take the money they earn rather standing in line to vote and contribute to your favored candidate or PAC.


|

It is the BEST time of the year again!!! 

When football meets college basketball. And IU may have a team this year, even if it was Indianapolis. I love this shit!!! It looks like Strickland is starting at two (and will piss us off with every inconsistent game), is Vaden playing a 3?? Killingsworth was a monster so we should be ok without DJ for 6 weeks. We have a cake schedule before the big ten season (beside KU and Duke). It sucks I really wanted to beat Kentucky this year and see how well we would do, against an crazy tough Duke team, at full strength. What the FUCK is up with playing UCONN during the middle of the Big Ten season...what an asshole of a fucking choice. Check out this link for the breakdown of the beginning of the year. Notice that IU has a mention up in there, up in there. Of course they leave out our cake schedule compared with last year. Watch out for Knight (with the chance to be the all-time greatest coach in the books), the all-time great coach, and that Maui Invitational looks badass.

|

11.10.2005

Moose Get Loose on Alcoholic Apples 

Howdy ya'll! I was picking stories for the paper yesterday and ran across this brief. Of course, it totally went in our "brighter side" section. I think it's totally clowning that these moose came back for more booze and got violent, just like a couple of frat boys who got kicked out of Yogi's.

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) — They rarely have problems with drunks or rowdy animals, but residents of a retirement home in southern Sweden had to deal with both: A pair of intoxicated moose invaded the premises.
The moose — a cow and her calf — had become drunk over the weekend by eating fermented apples they found outside the home in Sibbhult, said employee Anna Karlsson.
Police managed to scare them off once, but the tipsy mammals returned to get more of the tempting fruits. This time the moose were drunk and aggressive, forcing police to send for a hunter with a dog to make them leave.
Police did not pursue the culprits, but made sure all apples were picked up from the area, police chief Bengt Hallberg said. No one was hurt.

|

Get more than 8-bit sound outta these baddys 

Via Gizmodo, check out this ripe as hell speakers that bring the memorable POW and question mark blocks from Mario Bros. to your desktop. For some reason no one is selling these in the States right now, but cross your fingers.


|

Hicks & Chastain: Euchre GODs 

Excuse me while I gloat for a moment. Preparing to enter the playoffs of our weekly euchre league next week, league rookies Aaron Chastain and Mike Hicks are spening their first week atop the leader boards after seven hard-fought spank sessions. We cannot be stopped. Fools best not even step.

Next up the double elimination playoffs. I can taste that $300 prize homey, let's get this thing.

|

11.09.2005

Sarah Silverman on Fresh Air 

The lovely and talented object of my undying love, Sarah Silverman, was on NPR today talking about her new concert film Jesus is Magic, being a chronic bed-wetter as a child and you know, kikes and chinks and stuff. Check out the audio from her interview with Terri Gross (will be posted at 3pm EST).

And now, some Silverman quote-ness:

-- "My sister was with two men in one night. She could hardly walk after that. Can you imagine? Two dinners!"
-- "Racism is bad. And I mean bad, like in that black way."
-- "I have a ton of Holocaust stuff, and some of it is really hard core"
While the NPR affair is understandably restrained, check out this older interview at Movie Poop Shoot talking about Jesus is Magic in it's early incarnation.
MPS: Colin Quinn once said you had a punch like a Guatemalan heavyweight. Pound for pound, are you the strongest female comic out there now?

SS: That's not for me to say, asshole. Also, I don't like to be judged as a "female" comic. I like to be judged as a "black" comic.
Catch her on hubby Jimmy Kimmel's show Thursday, Nov 10 (tomorrow, fools). Jesus is Magic hits (presumably very few) theaters this Friday.

|

11.08.2005

The Sweet Sweet Taste of Victory 


Sure, the no one really expected the Pats to win, and that's the shitty part. Now the media will say we still haven't beaten a decent team this year. Sure it would have been nice to get those two Marvin TDs over Rodney Harrison, but it doesn't change the fact that the Pats ARE a tough team -- one of 3 we've played so far including the Jags and Rams.

The Colts have a couple more big tests coming up, but after last night this team has that hero's confidence that says, "Come and get me motherfucker," and that's a hard thing to beat. Gear up, the season is finally starting to bring us some games worth getting excited about.

On a side note, bad news about DJ White -- out for 6 weeks with a broken left foot. He'll miss HUGE games against Duke and Kentucky early on this season. Say a little prayer for the Hooz.

|

11.07.2005

Colts, Kate and the Gnar 


Whoa, what's this sitting on my desk at work? Is that a brand-spanking new computer? 'Tis! Now that my employer has recognized the value of ol' T. Renga as an editor, I've been granted a shiny new piece of hardware that allows me to once again slack off at work and post to the blog.

Down to business: the Colts kick fucking ass. At 7-0 and up against the Pats tonight, I haven't been as excited for a game since, well, Notre Dame played USC a few weeks ago. Of course, the Horse may lose tonight, but it's not likely. Besides, we're still the best team in the NFL and one game won't break our season. I just want that scat-eating grin wiped off Tom Brady's and every Pats fans' face every time the Colts play New England. Too many douchey bro-brahs in Jackson like the Pats and they can all lick Peyton's balls after tonight.

In other news, Kate's mom wrote a feature story about her for the Indianapolis Monthly. It's out right now and is worth a read. I admit it's a bit depressing, but it was highly therapeutic for her mom and is a nice memorial to a great friend. On a side note, that cock-smoker who hit her pleaded guilty and is hopefully getting a broomstick up his cornhole in federal pound-your-ass prison. I haven't found out how to make links yet, but an excerpt from the article is at http://www.indianapolismonthly.com/articles.html#flygirls.

On another, frostier note, the pow has started to fall in Jackson and while many of you were pining away at your meaningless jobs this morning I was shredding the gnar BEFORE work. At one point it was so deep my Big Styx couldn't cut through it. Waist deep, gigabitches, waist deep. I know I posted about this last year and don't want to gloat, but have fun at work, boys. I think I hear your boss calling...

|

T.O.: Now EVERYONE Hates You 

Thank god the Eagles are sidelining Terrell Owens for the season. Hopefully he won't be back in an Eagles uniform ever. Sure, the man has talent but I think we're all pretty sick of reading / watching / hearing about his diva bullshit. I can only hope more front offices take the lead and suspend their players when they refuse recognize the fact that they are selfish, whiny bitches. I feel bad for all the kids who got his jersey for Xmas last year.

Furthermore, shame on Michael Irvin and Steve Young on NFL Countdown for saying that T.O. should still be in the lineup simply because he has gamebreaking talent. Listen to your friend Tom Jackson fellas, he's a good guy. Tom knows that he'll break the big play, but he's been breaking that team since Week 2 of the 2004 season when he wouldn't stop jarring in McNabb's ear. T.O. destroys teams and I wouldn't want him playing for my team if he was free.

Sure, he wants the big contract -- too bad. He won't see more than a one-year deal next year no matter where he goes, guaranteed. That said, who will be stupid enough to take him? The Vikes? The Pack?

|

Panthers Cheerleaders Nailed for Nailing Each Other 

This is the type of news that was bred for Giga-posting. Last night two Carolina Panthers cheerleaders were busted for boffing each other in a restroom stall in Tampa club. Check out the full story at ESPN.

While the team has not commented we can only assume that this is the type of mid-season distraction is openly welcomed by Panthers players and fans alike.

Larry Flint better get on the phone and get these ladies booked for a shoot.

If I can find pix of these two I'll post'em, but keep your eye on the unofficial NFL Cheerleaders fan blog in the meantime.

|

11.05.2005

Litmus-Shitmus 

I'm just not sure how Roe v. Wade became the standard litmus test for federal judges. That is, it's not clear to me how "wanting to overturn" that case (as glib as that is) means you're a crimson state bible-thumper, and "wanting to uphold" it automatically establishes one's credibility as a tax-hiking lefty.

It's even more amazing that I appear to be the only one. Let me break it down for you. While Roe established something of a positive right of access to abortion (or rather individual sovereignty), ot did so only partially. The painful and ill-concieved three trimester system established in the case simply says in certain cases (i.e., early on) is this right guaranteed, and it diminishes over time until eventually the state has a compelling interest in the life of the fetus.

In other words, if I am someone who wants to guarantee a woman's universal, everywhere, any time access to abortion, than I should also be in favor of overturning that case. Because while it may be viewed as having granted a partial positive right, it also firmly removed the negative right of preventing the state from interfering later on in pregnancy.

In the absence of Roe, states would be free to adopt whatever regulatory policy they wanted, and thus Massachusetts and California could have drive-through abortion clinics, and Texas and Kansas could eliminate the words from their dictionaries (and curriculum).

|

Classic... 

From The Agitator, spurred by a piece by Jacob Sullum:

"It's an odd breed of federalism that grants states the right to break into your bedroom and arrest you for butt sex, but says states aren't sovereign enough to let cancer patients smoke marijuana.

"Weep for the Constitution."

My sentiments exactly.

|

11.03.2005

Change the Headlines 

I know that we do this all the time, but I thought it would be fun to start a new post called change the headlines. Anyone can do, and oh what fun. Either make up your own and post it or if you have a better one make a change in the comment section. Say like this:

Bush and Cheney Decide It's Libby Who Takes the Fall...Literally

Some headlines that make me think of Teddy

Man Kills Dear in Bedroom with Bare Hands
This happened in Arkansas...go figure. Of course, it has to be changed for Tedrow purposes to: Man Kills Tang in Bedroom with Bare Hands

This one needs no change. Denver Voters OK Pot for Adults
Although when you see this, you think totally awesome. Anyone with less than an ounce can't be prosecuted. But, actually, that's only on city laws. The state and federal laws still stand. So basically, there is 0 difference here...but maybe a start??

|

11.02.2005

Stat-Tracking at the Watts 

In honor of our recent 69,000th hit here are some interesting stats I gleaned from our free stat-tracking service:

I. Search phrases that brought visitors to the Watts, by rank:

1. Amanda Bynes - 554 hits
4. Angela Buchman - 120 hits
7. Amanda Bynes Hot - 72 hits
9. Teen Porn - 53 hits
19. Shit Fountain Chicago - 18 hits
21. Hot Tits - 16 hits
28. Arabian Goggles - 11 hits
43. Angela Buchman Nude - 7 hits
74. PUBES - 4 hits

One thing's for sure - Bynes is web traffic GOLD! Thanks to all our visitors for you support. I would like to reward you with what you crave... more BYNES!


THIS is the most popular page in our archives with 2471 hits. Curiously enough it IS NOT the month that contains Ian's now infamous Amanda Bynes post. Even more, that has to be the shittiest month of posts out of the entire history of shitty posts here at the Gigawatts. It's no wonder the average visitor stays for less then one minute.

|

Don't Be a Bojo, Donate to Buy Me a Hoverboard 

The Original Hoverboard Prop is now for sale on eBay at a starting bid of $2,000. So... if each one of us pitches in a measly couple hundred I can have it. Granted, the board does not work on water but I can overlook this minor problem.

Hey, it's $2,000 for the original prop or $9,000 for the real deal. Yups, someone actually mounted a lawnmower engine on a sturdy piece of plastic and styrofoam and is trying to pawn it off as a hoverboard. The thing weighs 80 lbs, is powered by gasoline and goes 20 mph.

No mention of a braking mechanism.

|

11.01.2005

Get Some Acting Skillz or Die Tryin' 

Some thoughts that occured during last night's Monday Night Football contest:

Does anyone else think that new 50 Cent flick, Get Rich or Die Tryin' looks like the most bogus two hours of film this year? The guy can't even act in the trailer. He doesn't even look convicing staring off in to the sunset. I'm sick of rappers playing some glorified version of themselves in movies, it's just flat-out boring. Show me a rapper playing a gay man and I'll cough up 12 bucks.

That Domino's man fuel looks straight nas-tay. First off, they show the big chunks of medium-rare steak and then they show the pizza, which has thinly sliced strips of steak. I guarantee that pizza has zero steak chunk-ige. Domino's is the weakest pizza evs. You're better off with microwaved Totino's Personal Pan, a la Donnoe of course.

Has there ever been a football team with a black kicker? I can't name one.

Has an NFL QB ever gone on to become headcoach of an NFL team? I can't name one of those either.

|

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?