Re: Two thoughts on race

1

Back in the day, Jews were overrepresented in boxing and later in basketball.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 6:21 AM
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2

My grandmother dated Hank Greenberg.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 6:22 AM
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Isn't The Sports Gene all about this? I haven't read it. My osmotic understanding was that there's more genetic variation among blacks, so they're overrepresented at the tails of ability.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 6:24 AM
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I thought that was what Malcolm Gladwell was all about before he went into the 10,000 hours business.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 6:25 AM
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One preliminary point that might save trouble: some apparent correlations between American race categories and athletic performance, drug efficacy, etc. are going to be explained by the relationship between race and more narrow, more biologically robust categories. E.g. suppose there's a biological component to why people of Kenyan and Ethiopian descent keep winning marathons. It isn't their blackness that does the explaining; it's membership in a narrower group [whatever the underlying east African genetic thing is?] that also is also sufficient for the same people to be classified as black by the (non-biological) race concepts we use.

Obligatory Gladwell link.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 6:25 AM
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During the interwar period, public recognition of Jewish basketball led both Jews and non-Jews to describe basketball as a uniquely 'Jewish game.' The 'Jewish game' existed not simply because of the prevalence of Jewish players, but also because Jews were considered inherently good at basketball. This led to the construction of a racialized 'basketball Jew,' whose small, but quick body and mental agility produced the ideal basketball player

http://gradworks.umi.com/33/38/3338249.html


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 6:26 AM
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Regarding Jews and basketball, if I recall correctly, their success was explained based on different stereotypes, like the fact that Jews were extra cunning, not that they could jump higher (not that there was a lot of jumping in basketball then).


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 6:26 AM
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White people are really good at pwning.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 6:27 AM
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Maybe we should put the rim up to 14' and see if we can't recreate the conditions during the interwar years.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 6:28 AM
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5 is more or less what I believed - that there are athletic genetic factors that are overrepresented in black American. However, I do not believe that about, say, Asian people and math, or Hispanic children and speaking Spanish. It's possible that speaking Spanish, doing math, and playing sports use different parts of the body, though.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 6:31 AM
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Apparently, I have good genes for speaking Spanish. I've forgotten all the words and syntax, but I'm told I have a very nice accent by people who know about such things.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 6:32 AM
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My osmotic understanding was that there's more genetic variation among blacks, so they're overrepresented at the tails of ability.

Because the common ancestor for African groups is the most ancient common ancestor, and then Europeans and Asians and North Americans split off in later branches, beginning with a bottleneck, is my understanding.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 6:35 AM
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OP.1: When Derek McGinty (not that you should know him - local DC media personality) switched from radio to being a local TV anchor it took several weeks for the producers to figure out the lighting and camera tweaks to make any of his features show up. He's a relatively dark skinned black man, and the previous host had been a light skinned guy. The first few days he just looked like a couple of eyes and a mouth in a black oval. Also I realize that's TV and not film, but something something something.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 6:36 AM
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And South Americans, and Australians, and, and...


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 6:36 AM
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6 makes my head hurt. My loathing for basketball feels downright genetic. Though I suppose really it has lots to do with having lived in Kentucky.

A day late, I hate the word burpee. What a stupid fucking word. Who makes this shit up?


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 6:38 AM
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12: I was under the impression it's simpler than that: Africa is where we started, so that's where the greatest variation is found, just because there's been people there for longer. Presumably there are other things going on alongside, but the basic idea makes sense to me.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 6:38 AM
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This morning, I am Andy Rooney wit profanity.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 6:39 AM
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15.last I agree. They should be called something cooler. Personally I think the best sounding exercise is 'skull crushers.'


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 6:40 AM
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15.2 is right.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 6:40 AM
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Africa is where we started, so we should all bless the rain there.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 6:41 AM
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p.s. what should my new morningtime hobby be, now that I am reliably up every day at 6? Don't say crossfit.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 6:41 AM
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Burpees.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 6:42 AM
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16: I didn't intend to say anything other than what you said.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 6:42 AM
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Say "burpees" one more time.


Posted by: Opionanted Whoever With the Gun in that One Movie | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 6:44 AM
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21: Have you thought about getting a dog?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 6:45 AM
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15.1 : Sorry for making your head hurt, Smearcase! 6 was mine.

BTW, everyone loves my new name! Thank you!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 6:46 AM
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27

How about NYT crossword puzzles?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 6:46 AM
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26 It's not your fault. It's everything's fault.

I am guilty of severely early thread derail. Sorry Heeber Geeber.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 6:47 AM
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Is there for real a claim that Hispanic children are better at speaking Spanish for reasons of genetics? And not, like you know, the fact that their parents taught them to speak it.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 6:49 AM
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30

Claro.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 6:51 AM
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29 - It's a classic analogy ban violation when discussing IQ and heritability. The fact that children's g seems to be correlated to parent's g doesn't mean that there's an "IQ gene", any more than the fact that parents who speak Spanish are likely to have children who speak Spanish means there's a Spanish-speaking gene.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 6:52 AM
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They should be called something cooler.

They are - squat thrusts.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 6:56 AM
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21: Masturbate. Or cry. Your call.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 6:56 AM
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A friend and I once settled on "crying in the shower" as the best sign of when it's time to quit a job.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 6:58 AM
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Being black in the US generally means being mixed-race, though, which makes me extra suspicious of certain kinds of "genetic" explanations. That said, Mara runs really fast and also has race-linked bloodcount abnormalities, for lack of a better word, since white standards are the norm, so I'm not saying there's nothing going on.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 6:58 AM
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Squat thrusts is indeed a lot cooler. Sounds both vaguely scatalogical and vaguely sexual. Double win!


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 6:58 AM
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There's a lot of technically incorrect bullshit in the various race/film/camera technology discussions that have been going around. I mean ludicrous bordering on fraudulent nonsense. People linking the '42%' bullshitter, are being misled.

But ...

Colour film isn't colour accurate, in the sense that all colours are equally well captured. Photographers, know, for example, that a particular film produces over-cooked bright greens, or washed out blues, or (white) skin tones with a reddish or magenta colour cast, and so on. And pre-digital photographers knew they needed to add a particular colour filter, or gel the lights in a particular way to get accurate skin colour, in a particular lighting environment. Combine that with that fact that film manufacturers, when marketing film as portrait film, would definitely have been targeting accurate white colour skin. There's definitely something there. As it happens, I'm pretty sure that photographers who worked a lot with black skin would have been perfectly able to get accurate colour and exposure with the films they had, but lots of photographers and lighting people don't know how to shoot and light black skin well. I'm sure _I_ don't.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 7:06 AM
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Of course you don't want to waste your precious tears in just any old shower:

Acupuncture body massage jets, Handheld showerhead, Overhead rainfall showerhead, Chromatherapy (colored mood lights), Aromatherapy (scented oils), Ventilation fan


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 7:13 AM
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39

While not ruling out some demographic-based genetic component to sports success at the Olympic level, I don't think the 'greater genetic variation' explanation makes any sense for why you notice that the good athletes in any given elementary/high school school are likelier to be black than white. If you think about it, most schools aren't going to have anyone at all out at the ultimate tails of athletic capability, so the fact that you might be likelier to have more black superstars won't show up locally. (To put it another way, the exact same argument is used to explain both why girls get better grades in math in most schools, but men get more Fields Medals -- I still think it's bullshit in that context, for different reasons, but that version makes more structural sense.)

Really, I think people vastly, vastly, vastly underrate the power of internalized expectations: both your own and those of other people, in motivating the kind of commitment to something that generates the hard work you need to do to be a success at it. It's hard to impossible to control for this kind of stuff, so you can't rule out some group-based genetic component, but the almost universal belief that black people have more athletic potential than white people is going to have a giant effect on how kids perceive themselves, and so how they behave athletically.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 7:15 AM
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40

||

Has this thread been derailed? Cause I have a question.

Tim has a conference to go to in Toronto. It's a few days before a good friend's wedding near where his parents live, so he's planning on driving and taking a few days to visit his parents. I was going to fly up for the weekend and take the train.

I'd like to drive back with him instead of flying. How much hassle am I going to get for flying one way? Remember, I'm white. Would bringing a copy of the wedding invitation help?

|>


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 7:15 AM
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The theory ogged describes in 3 doesn't mesh well with anecdotes about the athletic feats of black people you happen to know. You are unlikely to have met many people very far out on the tail.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 7:16 AM
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42

LB-pwned.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 7:20 AM
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43

Remember, I'm white.

Just say that to the security people if they ask any questions and you'll be fine.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 7:20 AM
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44

Eggplant in his role as Shorter LB Interpreter.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 7:21 AM
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45

JP in his role as Longer Eggplant Intepreter.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 7:21 AM
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46

I think that's actually "Quite A Bit Taller LB Interpreter".


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 7:21 AM
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47

On top of internalized expectations, I can think of some other factors that might play into more expressed athleticism among American blacks: tendency toward self-segregation -- to the extent that athletics is thought of as a black thing, in integrated schools black kids are going to gravitate toward teams as safe, comfortable social spaces, and white kids are going to gravitate away from them. It'd be interesting to compare white athletic performance/participation in effectively segregated versus integrated schools: my guess would be that white kids under-participate in integrated schools (to an extent not explained purely by having less demonstrated athletic ability at the signup stage). And athletic scholarships -- that an ambitious black kid is likelier to believe that athletic skills are their best route to a respectable college than a white kid is.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 7:28 AM
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48

||
So, I had (and then complained about here) some more follow up doctor visits last week- autonomic neurology specialist (who didn't have anything helpful to say) and then a geneticist (of whom I had zero hope for anything helpful, or really anything at all other than "huh something's sure wrong with you!").

But then yesterday the genetic counselor person emailed me twice and called to leave a message, all of which seemed abnormally attentive and urgent. She left the main doctor's cell number and told me to call back asap - "We found something in your blood work and there may be a treatment; we'd like to talk to you more about this."

So I called this morning. Dr. Geneticist wants me to come in (again ASAP. This afternoon? oh but probably no interpreters. How about next week? she's technically out of the office but will make an exception to see me). There is now apparently an identifiable genetic cause for everything. (EVERYTHING! what?) hearing loss, nervous system failure, autonomic instability, etc. Some mitochondrial issue with processing riboflavin. Some of it is probably correctable (probably I won't get my hearing back, she said, though... which I actually hadn't thought of as a possibility) or at least if I take massive amounts of some specific vitamin combinations, I won't get worse.

I feel super weird about this development! Actually I am kind of afraid to think about it very much. I would prefer not to get my hopes up about things if they are going to be crushed again next week. Also I might have to have an identity crisis if I suddenly am all healthy and well and not in bed all the time. Who would I even BE?
|>


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 7:29 AM
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Wait, what? Wow! Awesome!


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 7:30 AM
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!!

I'll keep my fingers crossed, Messily!


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 7:30 AM
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43: For the record, I was half kidding. But it's also the case that I know someone Mexican would get bothered more.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 7:31 AM
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My nephew was a pretty good basketball player as a kid. He was really into it ,and his parents encouraged him -- he must have been playing in some pretty strong leagues, because two kids he played with, are currently playing in the NBA. Was the difference between my nephew, (who didn't even play college ball) and these future NBA players, talent? Maybe, but it wasn't obvious when they were kids.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 7:31 AM
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Holy crow!! Gleep!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 7:31 AM
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Also I might have to have an identity crisis if I suddenly am all healthy and well and not in bed all the time. Who would I even BE?

This seems totally plausible. Disruptive craziness!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 7:33 AM
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48: Holy smokes, Messily! That is 6 different kinds of overwhelming.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 7:34 AM
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Looking back at the OP, heebie raised the scholarship/route to success issue, and wondered if it would show up more in the lower classes and less in the middle and upper classes. I think it might, but I also think the percentage of the black population that's wealthy enough to not worry about college costs is really, really small, meaning that if this is a real effect, it's going to hit very broadly.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 7:34 AM
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48: My fingers are crossed too!

Relax about determining who you are -- some of us work on that our whole lives.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 7:34 AM
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And one thing on the identity crisis -- if you're feeling healthy and strong, you'll have the time and energy to be at least as functional and productive as you are now, while still having vast amounts of time and energy to freak out with.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 7:36 AM
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An excellent point. I'll probably have a lot more time and energy for drinking whiskey, too.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 7:38 AM
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Very sound, very sound.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 7:38 AM
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I hope the doctor has something that works for you Messily.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 7:38 AM
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39.last: this is something Epstein discusses in The Sports Gene. He points out that, if you're a kid growing up in Jamaica, a bunch of the local sports heroes are going to be sprinters, and many of them train there in pretty open conditions (IIRC he mentions local kids being allowed to run on the same track just for fun). So a ton of kids want to be sprinters and they have a pretty good shot of being noticed by coaches. A lot of the same factors come into play in Kenya; it's not that Kenyans in general are great distance runners, it's that one particular part of the country is way overrepresented.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 7:38 AM
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48: Good luck, Messily! Keep us updated!


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 7:40 AM
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64

The next step is to travel within Messily's mitochondria to stop the Echthroi from preventing the maturation of her farandolae.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 7:41 AM
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65

Is there for real a claim that Hispanic children are better at speaking Spanish for reasons of genetics? And not, like you know, the fact that their parents taught them to speak it.

No, but that's the point. If you look at an typical US school population you can bet that the Hispanic kids are going to be, on average, the best Spanish speakers (even though many Hispanic kids aren't going to speak a word of Spanish and even though you may have a good number of white kids who speak Spanish as fluently as anyone in the school). But, on average, if you're a coach who is looking to pull in a good Spanish-speaker for your Spanish-speaking team, a Hispanic kid is probably a reasonable bet. And that's obviously not genetic. But the same basic forces also explain why if you're a coach who is looking to pull in a good player for your basketball team, a black kid is probably a reasonable bet. And yet people want to attribute that one to genetics differences.

(And make no mistake: in the minds of most people who make this claim (present company obviously excluded), if genetics explains why black people are overrepresented in sports, it also explains why they are underrepresented in academic pursuits, why they are underrepresented in high-income jobs, etc.)


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 7:42 AM
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Also I might have to have an identity crisis if I suddenly am all healthy and well and not in bed all the time. Who would I even BE?

Not that I dealt with anything like the same level of chronic illness that you have, but having found a treatment that basically erased my chronic pain and let me be way more active than I could have been previously... I didn't actually freak out about it. Although I did have a wonderful moment just after I started the drugs, walking down the street thinking "hey, something feels different but I can't put my finger on it... WAIT NOTHING HURTS."

I really hope this works out for you.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 7:42 AM
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67

A lot of the same factors come into play in Kenya; it's not that Kenyans in general are great distance runners, it's that one particular part of the country is way overrepresented.

Not just that, one particular tribal group. There's a theory that this relates to an incredible tolerance for pain that they develop as part of their coming-of-age rituals.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 7:42 AM
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68

Good luck, Messily.

Sports is a pretty broad category-- sprinting and endurance sports like long distance running or maybe cycling I think bump up against physiological constraints. Maybe there's population variation there.

But for sports like basketball or hockey, motivation and a life that allows for many many hours of practice as a teenager I bet trump small variations in complicated phenotype among populations.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 7:43 AM
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Another component is interpersonal/social respect, in American schools. For black kids, athletic success is probably going to be perceived at the easiest route to being well thought of and treated by the authority structure. Think about Jammies' coach, slavering at the thought of hypothetical black-rookie-Jamaal. Hypothetical black-rookie-Jamaal is plausibly going to expect and get less affirmation and recognition from his math teachers and the school principal than a white kid. But the football coach is going to appreciate him and be on his side (in that kind-of-racist way, but you take what you get.) That's going to motivate him to work harder to excel on the team than white-Jammies, who has more other options.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 7:43 AM
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Also, 65.last.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 7:45 AM
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71

Access makes a difference. This is the road C grew up on: http://greenreading.blogspot.co.uk/2010/06/reading-12-table-tennis-stars-from-one.html?m=1 He went to the primary school at the other end of the road though, and thus missed out on the opportunity of becoming a table tennis champion.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 7:49 AM
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re: 67

The long term conventional wisdom that I've always read is that, i) they run a lot*, ii) they grow up at altitude iii) there's some genetic benefit to being East African, iv) there are cultural and economic reasons that act to reinforce running as a pursuit and a route out of poverty.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/olympic_games/world_olympic_dreams/8886705.stm


* kids running long distances to school, etc.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 7:49 AM
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40: You and Justine Sacco.


Posted by: marcel | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 7:50 AM
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Best hopes and wishes for you, Messily! Completely sympathize with the not wanting the psychological disruption of hopes dashed. Am hardly able to imagine having Josh's fabulous moment but maybe someday in the other side of the current baroque and surprisingly painful therapy I'm doing.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 7:50 AM
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The next step is to travel within Messily's mitochondria to stop the Echthroi from preventing the maturation of her farandolae.

I thought this said something else at first, and I was all "HEY! Let's leave my farandolae's private lives out of this, thank you very much!"


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 7:51 AM
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48?!!! Holy shit. What a mindfuck. Trying not to get too excited on your behalf, but WOW.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 7:52 AM
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71 to 62/67.

Messily, that sounds exciting and daunting. I do hope something useful comes of it.

47 - like girls and science on single sex vs mixed schools. Girls are about 2.5-3 times more likely to do Physics A level (last two years of school) if they go to an all girl school rather than a mixed school.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 7:53 AM
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While I'm always on the "Social factors are huge compared to group-based genetic differences", on sports, I really would believe that genetic differences might have some effect. I just have a whole lot of trouble believing (1) that they're big enough to show up strongly at anything but the very most elite levels, and (2) that they're going to show up strongly between genetically incoherent groups like 'blacks' (including, as Thorn says, American blacks who are largely mixed race to an extent) and 'whites' rather than in geographically small genetically similar populations like the Kenyan tribes under discussion.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 7:54 AM
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"HEY! Let's leave my farandolae's private lives out of this, thank you very much!"

"No, Meg. They Xed themselves. That's a very different matter."


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 7:55 AM
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I believe that LB and FL are correct. WRT distance running, there are ethnic groups who have been shown to have a slight physiological advantage (e.g. red blood cell counts, lung capacity) mainly due to living at altitude and relying on running as a primary form of transportation for hundreds of years. The fact that some of those groups are from Africa and African-Americans have at least partial African heritage is pretty coincidental, as most black Americans aren't descended from the Kenyan and Ethiopian ethnic groups with a distinct advantage with running. Other groups with similar advantages (e.g. Andean indigenous groups) don't tend to go into distance running, which would broaden/change the stereotype. With distance running, before the East African domination, the top runners were mostly from Northern Europe, esp. Finland. Then there were narratives about how being tall and lanky like a Scandinavian made you a better runner, and before that there were less savory narratives about being Nordic and athletic prowess.

But anyways, the reason why most elite runners are either E African or N & E European is mostly cultural, in that there are strong histories of distance running, so you get more people doing it and believing it's something they can excel at, and a greater chance of someone at the far end of the bell curve becoming a runner. Secondly, I read a convincing article in a running journal pointing out that distance running physically sucks* and the monetary rewards are pretty low by international sports standards, so it's less attractive to athletes from developed countries. E.g. Italian or German children who are good distance runners become soccer players instead.

*It's one of the few sports where if you don't vomit and pee your pants you're probably not pushing yourself hard enough.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 7:57 AM
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Dammit! Pwned by 72. At least I said it more verbosely.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 7:58 AM
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48

Wow, that's exciting! I know people who study geneticists, and it's really rare that they can identify a rare condition AND treat it. Good luck!


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 8:00 AM
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Oh, EM, that's so great.

Shall we make a date to bike the Sun Road when they close in the fall?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 8:00 AM
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40 But traveling while (nominally) French?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 8:05 AM
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40

How white are you, exactly? I've found that flying is one of those things where the whiter the better.* I'm really white, and on rare occasions I get to bypass normal airport security, don't get interrogated at entry points, and don't have to throw out oversized containers of liquid on the plane. Perhaps relatedly, I sometimes get flirted with by customs/immigration agents and security check people. I also get directed into the Schengen lines at some European airports, despite not being from a Schengen country.

*This is my current working hypothesis, since I am skin color-wise the whitest person I know and the only person who gets special positive airport treatment, but I haven't talked to all that many people about it, so it's possible 1) it's more common outside my circle of friends and 2) some other factors are at play.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 8:08 AM
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*to get on the plane


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 8:16 AM
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British people of European descent still hold some of the fastest times ever recorded in the 800 and 1500/mile, but have become genetically slower post-Thatcher.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 8:20 AM
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Schengen lines at some European airports

I looked it up and it's not as fun as it sounded at first.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 8:20 AM
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Bostongirl: as an actual Canadian I don't really know, but I think you're fine - border scrutiny generally seems pretty perfunctory, and I doubt they'll ask to see a return ticket. Both sides do worry mildly about people sneaking in to work without the right sort of permits, since it's easy to do -- so some random bit of evidence of an ongoing job/place to live in the US would be more relevant than the invitation, if they did decide to give you the third degree. But I'd be pretty surprised if they did.


Posted by: edna k. | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 8:23 AM
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British people of European descent still hold some of the fastest times ever recorded in the 800 and 1500/mile,

...passing through airport security event, specializing in extenuating circumstances.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 8:25 AM
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but have become genetically slower post-Thatcher.

The people simultaneously became wussier and more callous.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 8:26 AM
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but have become genetically slower post-Thatcher.

It's most likely that the Brits are genetically predisposed to running fast in leather soled shoes.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 8:34 AM
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||
No time to read thread before posting this link. Everyone must read it. I would excerpt something except that would require not excerpting something else equally amazing.
|>


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 8:35 AM
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91: Like a toe after a hike in poorly fitted shoes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 8:41 AM
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89: I'm not as worried about the Canadian border guards- more about TSA thinking that I'm a terrorist. Before I got my Global Entry card, I got selected for extra screening a lot.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 8:45 AM
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I don't buy much at all on genetic differences, but do consider "culture" much more powerful than is usually accepted.

A little tangentially, I have wondered if East Asians or Jews (Indians;Arabs?) have a little intellectual edge by being raised in an environment with two contrasting alphabets (Hebrew;kanji) and if this gives an advantage in symbolic thinking. Easy enough to check with 2nd or 3rd generations.

But this is always where I look for differences, environment...and this includes gender differences.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 8:46 AM
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95

Hmm. Do you have a Muslim man's name? Or are you exceptionally hot and TSA agents were hoping for a little "extended patdown" action?


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 8:51 AM
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Don't you wish your potential security threat was hot like me?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 8:53 AM
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I wish I could "like" all of LizardBreath's comments in this post (maybe, you should put them together as another post)? The hypothesis ("oh, maybe blacks really are better at sports") was bumping into problematic territory. It's no more sensible than any of the other half-thought out stereotypic connections one might make (like, say, women must have some genetic predisposition to quilting).

It's conceivable that there's a genetic trait in a subgroup of people that enhances performance in some activity or another. But, if such a genetic variant existed, it wouldn't particularly be likely to associated with race (a very poorly defined characteristic) or color. The possibility that there is more genetic variation in the African population than in, say the European or South Asian populations (I don't know enough about population genetics to have a strong opinion on that question) doesn't preclude the possibility that a variant would be present in European populations (say, like eye color, which shows much more diversity in Europe than in Africa). Also, if such a trait existed in the European population, in the "white" race, we'd be less likely to notice it, today, in America, where we tend to group all whites together (say, all the star players carried an Icelandic gene variant -- would we notice? No. But, we notice if they have dark skin). The Jewish basketball player is a case in point, since it's an example of a time when white people in the US were differentiated, in that case, by religion/ethnicity.


Posted by: bj | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 8:58 AM
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It's one of the few sports where if you don't vomit and pee your pants you're probably not pushing yourself hard enough.

Life is tough in international-standard Beer Pong.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 8:58 AM
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48 sounds amazing, and I'm annoyed that snarkout got to the appropriate response first.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 8:59 AM
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Whatever the empirical facts are regarding the genetic components of this or that trait (individually or in a population), I do think it's important have understandings of racial equality and non-discrimination (and their opposites) that aren't contingent on what the empirical facts are. I think urple's (1) gets you most of the way there.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 9:02 AM
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Have I mentioned that we have a family friend -- a 5'6" Jewish gynecologist, now in his eighties, who put himself through med school in Italy as a professional basketball player? A cousin of his, a bit taller, was a benchwarmer for the Knicks.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 9:04 AM
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God do I wish articles like 93 didn't get written. Even when they're about genuinely sucky people. They did one on my ex-gf's dad once (he's a common target of scorn at Unfogged as well) (actually they've done several on him) and it was so bitter/hateful/unfair that it almost made me want to defend him, even though he's a terrible person for reasons no one who doesn't know his family could possibly know.


Posted by: torque | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 9:05 AM
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|| Axelrod Tweet: In all my years as journalist & strategist, I've never seen as stark a failure of polling as in UK. Huge project ahead to unravel that.

Ok presuming this isn't spin of some sort, aren't there really only two explanations: (a) samples aren't properly representative or (b) people didn't answer honestly?

I know it's a mistake to ask you people statistical questions -- because I'm unlikely to understand any or the answers -- but, it's Friday, so what the hell. |>


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 9:06 AM
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I never read or hear anyone say this, so it's probably obviously wrong, but it seems to me that the massive massive amount of death caused by slavery together with the weird structure of family relations during slavery had to have resulted in some kind of selective pressure. That is, you could very well have genetic differences for american black people which are not "racial" (i.e. coming from differences between Africans and Europeans) but caused by slavery.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 9:06 AM
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48 is incredible news!

Genetic variability in African groups is probably not a great go-to when it comes to explaining much, though. It's true that humanity originated in Africa and spread out from there but that doesn't mean everyone living in Africa was part of, or is much closer related to, the starting group (coughAfricaisnotacountrycough). From what I know the (genetic) starting point is thought to be found mostly in southern Africa among some of the indigenous* groups living there. But that's a pretty small (and distinct) population in a really large continent.

The African American population probably has more genetic variability than (almost) any African one for what are uncomfortable but obvious reasons, though. I don't know any reason to think it would have much bearing on sports, though, especially since the San aren't famous for their magnificent sports skills.


*Meaning 'very, very indigenous', or 'already there when the bantu groups showed up'.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 9:08 AM
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106: there was a lot of death sure but what differences do you think there are between survivors and non-survivors? Seems like it'd have been mostly random.


Posted by: torque | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 9:10 AM
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I never read or hear anyone say this, so it's probably obviously wrong, but it seems to me that the massive massive amount of death caused by slavery together with the weird structure of family relations during slavery had to have resulted in some kind of selective pressure.

I really don't think so. First, think about how few generations you're talking about: humans are longlived, and our generations are long. Five or six, maybe, enslavement to freedom, fewer for lots of the black population.

Then think about how random the pressures you're talking about are. Sure, there was huge amounts of death, but for different reasons in different areas, and a lot of it based on human whimsy.

Then think about the amount of genetic intermingling with white slaveholders.

Now compare all that to what someone breeding animals would do -- to get an effect, you need a lot of generations, total control of the genetic inputs, and consistent, controlled selection criteria. What you're thinking isn't, maybe, absolutely impossible, but it doesn't strike me as anywhere near likely.

(Also, not attributing this to you at all, but this is a standard racist trope. I can't remember the guy, but some football commentator got in trouble maybe a decade or so ago babbling on about how black football prowess was explained by slaveholders breeding for big strong stock.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 9:14 AM
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For sports specifically, I think you need look no further than the significant recent decrease in the number of African-American baseball players, combined with a large increase in the number of Dominican baseball players (both ethnic groups being "racially black" to a typical white person) to see that cultural effects have really really huge impacts on sports participation.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 9:14 AM
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93 links to Speakerpedia, which is fascinating. Apparently people who I know to be objectively terrible speakers get paid in the mid five-figures for giving public talks. How do I get in on this racket?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 9:14 AM
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So what's the explanation for why white men can't jump?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 9:14 AM
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Or not-public talks. Whatever.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 9:17 AM
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108: The obvious two are: amount of time one can spend outside doing incredibly physically demanding labor, and looking big and strong so that you (and your children) are more likely to fetch a high price. One could endless speculate further, but one could come up with "just so" stories for just about anything.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 9:17 AM
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112: My ankle hurts when I land.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 9:18 AM
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LB, this won't be news to you, but you're old. Jimmy the Greek (it was a simpler time) has been dead almost twenty years, and his comments were made in 1988.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 9:18 AM
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Hah. I said a decade, and immediately knew it was going to be much, much more than that. Now shut up or I'll hit you with my cane.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 9:19 AM
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He probably wasn't that racist if we norm the comparison to people with "the [ethnicity]" nicknames.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 9:20 AM
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Here's the quote, if anyone's interested.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 9:21 AM
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106

I read an article about maternal and infant mortality once, which pointed out that doing a week-by-week comparison African-American preemies did better than white preemies. They hypothesized this could be selective pressure from slavery, where black children who were "heartier"* in utero were more likely to survive given the harsh conditions their mothers endured.

107

I also read an article looking at skin color mutations among various African groups, Irish, and Swedes. which if IIRC found 1 genetic mutation for dark skin shared by otherwise very genetically distinct groups, and 17 mutations for light skin in Ireland and Sweden, despite less overall genetic diversity. The conclusion was that dark skin was clearly advantageous near the equator and thus heavily selected for, while light skin isn't nearly so advantageous near the poles, so it was under much less selective pressure. This fits with findings that skin cancer is a severe problem for light skinned people in sunny climates, but dark skin really isn't a problem in the far North, since any possible disadvantages have easy behavioral remedies. (Ok, this is only tangentially related to your point, but I am procrastinating hardcore on formatting a latex document and wanted to awkwardly share random information.)

*My language, not the article's, which used actual science-y terms.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 9:22 AM
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I've heard that in the mills they* used to refer to Jewish guys who kept sports books as "[First Name] the Jew."

* Italian guys.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 9:22 AM
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There has to be some genetic component (not necessarily race-based) to athletic ability. I mean certain people have the body-type to be linebackers rather than cross-country runners. And I don't think that all of that is due to training and diet.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 9:24 AM
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I'm not saying the article on infant mortality was right, just simply that it was an article that attributed some sort of selective pressure to slavery.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 9:24 AM
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I see that Jimmy the Greek was from Steubenville, so probably the same social environment.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 9:25 AM
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122: This, certainly. The only reason my sister played basketball is that the coach demanded she try out purely on the basis of her height, which is obviously largely genetic.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 9:27 AM
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Hooray for 48!

I am about to travel to distant Canada without a return ticket and it didn't even occur to me for one second that there might be a fuss about that, so … I hope there isn't a fuss about that.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 9:32 AM
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106.1 surprises me. I've heard a lot about (mostly implicit) racist assumptions in NICUs, plus aren't black infant mortality rates already much higher than white ones in most of the US for poverty-related reasons? Maybe that's just here.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 9:33 AM
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48 tentative keinahora wood-knocking yay without exclamation point because they are a jinxy punctuation mark.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 9:33 AM
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For black kids, athletic success is probably going to be perceived at the easiest route to being well thought of and treated by the authority structure.

I want to draw out here relative ease - I'd imagine in both athletics and entertainment, there's the strong and correct perception that the deck isn't nearly as stacked against low-income black kids as in other professions they could aspire to - all the professions where you need more and better schooling, social capital, or just money, to break in at all.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 9:34 AM
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(And of course all the flat-out discrimination in roads to other professions.)


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 9:35 AM
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Yes, E. Messily, that is really potentially exciting news! It would be so great to have clarity about what's going on! And I've also had the mindblowing Joshlike experience of recognizing the strange lack of pain.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 9:37 AM
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I don't really have much useful to add to this discussion except that I have three cousins who are Jewish, white, over six feet tall, and terrible at basketball.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 9:42 AM
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Oh, and on the OP point one, I have also read stuff saying that ttaM's take is right, but I also think that people who were taking a lot of photos of black people could manage just fine. We have a ton of Lee's family photos around the house and they have the same quality level my family's would have and the professional ones, though mostly not in color, are very striking. What's difficult is when you're trying to photograph someone with very light skin and someone with very dark skin in the same photo.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 9:43 AM
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132: Did you break them?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 9:47 AM
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For all of doctor's being the worst, every once and a while modern medicine really is remarkable. I'm excited for you that things might take a turn for the better. I also just think mitochondria are really interesting. I hadn't been keeping track, but did you already know it was a mitochondrial issue? Usually when I hear about people getting DNA tests I assumed they're just looking at regular DNA and not mitochondrial DNA.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 9:47 AM
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127: A friend of mine had a premature baby who was in the NICU. She was pretty insulted when she was asked about the baby's father (maybe they said baby's daddy). She would have preferred that they say husband. But that's not ideal either--if someone's gay or isn't married. And a non-black person can also be unmarried.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 9:52 AM
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127

Oh black infants have much higher mortality rates than white infants nationally too, but that's in part because a much higher proportion of black infants are born premature. Also black mothers are significantly more likely to have pregnancy complications, which raises the mortality for both preemies and FT babies. I don't know if you control for SE status what happens, I imagine it's much more equal but that there's still a noticeable racism effect.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 9:54 AM
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I didn't really already "know" anything. People have been tossing around the idea of mitochondria for ... 8 years or so, I guess, but without any conclusive diagnosis one way or the other.

I don't think any mitochondrial DNA testing has actually been done yet (although I stopped really keeping track of what all tests people have been doing a while ago)- it sounds like this is based on blood abnormalities and symptoms. And I think we're still waiting on permission from BCBS to run the (non-treatment-related, so maybe not covered) genetic tests that would be the most conclusive.

I'm also still supposed to get some more detailed ophthalmology testing and (as always) more bloodwork, this coming week.

It turns out that I don't feel much like grading papers or writing exams, today. Maybe if I do 30 minutes of actual work I will have earned the bottle of cava in my refrigerator...


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 9:56 AM
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but that's in part because a much higher proportion of black infants are born premature.

And that seems like a huge confounding factor, which you'd want to resolve before taking speculation about genetic effects of slavery too seriously.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 9:57 AM
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What's difficult is when you're trying to photograph someone with very light skin and someone with very dark skin in the same photo.

A problem in software groups. I remember one poor photographer working in daylight who got all the darker people to one end of the curve to face into the light, and realized how bad that looked. I think he ended up taking photos with different settings and hoping he could splice them.

I proposed that we scatterplot ourselves by skin tone and height but this did not go over well.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 10:00 AM
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||

I read a longish piece 2-3 weeks ago about someone going through her late father's effects and finding writings that made it seem very likely he had been a predator/abuser. Does anyone know where to find this again? I thought it was on or linked from the Toast, but I've combed through and not found it.

|>


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 10:02 AM
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The hypothesis ("oh, maybe blacks really are better at sports") was bumping into problematic territory. It's no more sensible than any of the other half-thought out stereotypic connections one might make (like, say, women must have some genetic predisposition to quilting).

Or women must be genetically worse athletes.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 10:05 AM
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139

Yeah. Also according to wikipedia black women in the UK also have double the premature birth rates of white women (same as the US), and black women in the UK are generally not descendents of slaves. IIRC the article I mentioned in 106 suggested that African-American babies were full-term at 36ish weeks, rather than 40ish weeks, which meant the high preemie rate for AA infants could in part be explained by miscategorization, and higher black infant mortality should be attributed to other factors. A quick google search shows this is counter to most explanations for why we have higher black infant mortality in the US.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 10:07 AM
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What's difficult is when you're trying to photograph someone with very light skin and someone with very dark skin in the same photo.

I had this problem a lot in China. In many photos I'm my face is an over-exposed blob of whiteness practically indistinguishable from the background.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 10:10 AM
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I'm not white, and in fact was once detained at the Buffalo land border by American immigration for not being white (I'm saying this based on the fact that there were only three white people in the crowded waiting room and most of the detained were Canadians of Asian ethnicity). Nonetheless, I've never been asked to show a return ticket when flying to Canada.


Posted by: Ponder Stibbons | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 10:11 AM
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141: It was on the toast.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 10:17 AM
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Provisional congratulations to E. Messily (pending further information). And, yes, that does sound like it would be odd to figure out how to process.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 10:17 AM
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I've never had trouble with Canadian borders, even one way flights, and I'm only part white. I've been singled out for questioning, pulled out of line and searched, had my passport taken and specially analyzed, and aggressively questioned but not taken out of line, at enlightened topless European borders. Flying to Europe, back to the US, crossing borders by ferry, only person checked on a train car from Luxembourg to Paris, etc.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 10:22 AM
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I used to get irritated with white people saying "baby mama" and "baby daddy" because it seemed like there was an element of "look at me being cute using black English" to it but they're useful kinship terms so I guess why not. I still just say "her kid's father" or whatever.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 10:24 AM
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How white are you, exactly? I've found that flying is one of those things where the whiter the better.

"See, I have virtually no vertical leap. Can I board now?" In my limited experience observing, white people are definitely better at getting on planes. Just one anecdatum: before a recent flight, the person in front of me in the security line was young and swarthy, and I thought, I'd bet good money this guy gets taken aside. Sure enough...


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 10:25 AM
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they're useful kinship terms

They really are.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 10:27 AM
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Also, more fingers crossed for Messily.

Also also, that's awesome about Heebie's grandma and Hank Greenberg, and nice of Heebie's parents to commemorate that in her own initials.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 10:28 AM
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I used to get irritated with white people saying "baby mama" and "baby daddy" because it seemed like there was an element of "look at me being cute using black English" to it but they're useful kinship terms so I guess why not.

I find it irritating. If you don't normally have a black accent, then you can damn well say "baby's mama" like you normally would.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 10:31 AM
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That's great news Messily.


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 10:32 AM
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Way back in the archives, I think I mentioned once being seated next to a very white Belgian guy who'd been searched at the gate. He complained that since he decided to shave his head after going bald enough that it looked better that way, security started to treat him like a possible hooligan or skinhead.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 10:32 AM
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you can damn well say "baby's mama" like you normally would.

You mean "baby's mother".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 10:33 AM
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101 - A masturbation joke involving microscopic creatures in a beloved children's book?


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 10:33 AM
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What if the baby has two mothers, heteronormativists?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 10:34 AM
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I think the scrappy versus naturally athletic stereotypes are picking up on a real tendency for black atheletes to more comfortably inhabit movements that involve coordinated activity of multiple large muscle groups. The white athletes may be doing similar movements but are more likely to look like they're working hard, because you can see the seams; they're not as smoothly integrated. See also, dancing.
Needless (I hope) to say, this is almost certainly a product of culture. I also think these differences are going away, as physical training regimens become more refined and effective.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 10:37 AM
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Then one is the baby mama and one is the baby mommy.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 10:38 AM
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you can damn well say "baby's mama" like you normally would.

You mean "baby's mother".

You mean "offspring's biologically female and/or female-identified parental figure"


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 10:39 AM
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They're useful kinship terms, but their widespread adoption may have more to do with (and is certainly suggestive of) certain negative stereotypes of black families.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 10:40 AM
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So if two women use a surrogate to have a baby, is there a baby mama, a baby mommy, and a baby mother? Clearly we need a new taxonomy of motherhood.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 10:43 AM
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at the Buffalo land border by American immigration

I'm sorry you had to go through that, but also those guys are just THE WORST. I haven't crossed enough to compare and yet I still feel comfortable saying that. I have everything I need for the girls this summer (birth certificates, adoption decrees, joint custody papers) and still expect it to be a painful fiasco.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 10:44 AM
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Let me restate 162 in a less universal way:
I don't use much black English, so I worry that, were I to use either term, any comfort I might have would derive from subconsciously reaffirming my own negative stereotypes.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 10:45 AM
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146: Thanks. Farther back than I thought it was.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 10:55 AM
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Just to add to the discussion -- the sports scientists guys have a bit in their book about the physical traits of elite distance runners. The list includes everything from VO2max and cadence to having proportionally longer legs and smaller feet and narrower hips. Unsurprisingly, skin color isn't listed; it's just that if you really want to find a group of delicate people with tiny feet who grew up at absurd altitude, Iten is your place. (and maybe some doping, too.)

And 5 can't be harped on enough. Africa is a giant fucking continent; we group everyone socially together based on skin tone and then wonder why black people are overrepresented in two major revenue sports in the U.S. and in the marathon and conclude that black people are just more athletic. Reasoning is a bit off to me, but if you want some fun, historical stereotypes are all over the place w.r.t. whether a specific group is just better at sports.

40: They may ask, because people overstay between the U.S. and Canada all the time -- but you probably won't be hassled too much. When shiv immigrated I flew to Canada and we drove him back, and I just explained what I was up to, and my expected time frame to be home. I had a copy of my lease with me as proof of residency just in case it came up -- proof of plans to return is more important than reason for going in -- but they didn't ask for it.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 10:57 AM
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[finally scrolling up]

Yay, Messily! (provisionally)


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 10:58 AM
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the sports scientists guys have a bit in their book about the physical traits of elite distance runners.

What book is this?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 10:59 AM
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I guess the moment has passed, and I can't really evaluate the science here, but fwiw: http://www.nairaland.com/1010925/why-black-sprinters-dominate-olympics
Basically the claim is that people of West African descent are as dominant at sprinting as East Africans are at distance running, and there's a plausible genetic explanation for that, but (a) it's a matter of unequal distribution of the gene, not an all or nothing thing, so there are going to be plenty of 'exceptions' in both directions, (b) obviously race is not the right unit of explanation, and © actual West African countries full of West Africans don't do very well at Olympic sprinting, so clearly cultural traditions, expectations, funding etc. are even more important.


Posted by: edna k. | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 11:01 AM
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I watched a grand rounds' presentation about adolescent psychiatry. The guy kept referring to the Moms and Dads instead of parents. The doctor giving the presentation looked pretty conservatively Midwestern, and I bet that he expected to be called Dr.

Even more irritating are the people in the elder care industry who say "Mom and Dad". The one who irritated me the most was a crook in addition to being smarmy.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 11:02 AM
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I hear Mom and Dad used, without so much as a definite article, to refer to clients' parents quite a lot. It bugs me marginally less than "I'm going to Santa Rita to see client tomorrow."


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 11:05 AM
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I know 172 is standard but really hate when it's done to the actual people. Foster care team meetings all start with a caveat about referring to everyone by name and then immediately devolve into "Mom has been having clean drug screens" or whatever while Mom sits right there with her name written on the placecard in front of her.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 11:13 AM
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Muad'Dib, I see client sign ahead.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 11:13 AM
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I call them Dadburp and Mompee.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 11:14 AM
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169: The Sports Gene goes into it at length. It is an interesting book.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 11:15 AM
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Especially, that is such an incredible possibility! I hope it pans out. (I told Chris and he was thrilled at the thought.)


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 11:23 AM
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175 Client likes to taunt me.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 11:24 AM
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I call them Dadburp and Mompee.

We haven't talked about dadbod here have we?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 11:25 AM
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Is that somebody's pseud?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 11:28 AM
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What is dadbod? I've seen it referenced and couldn't tell if it was something more specific than just making fun of middle-aged men for being soft.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 11:35 AM
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It appears to be a momentary fad rebelling against the oppressive female gaze/gynarchy.

Actually it's about ethics in abdominal-fat journalism.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 11:37 AM
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Needless (I hope) to say, this is almost certainly a product of culture. I also think these differences are going away, as physical training regimens become more refined and effective.

As evidence for it being cultural I submit the fact that Jason Williams was nicknamed "White Chocolate" because people thought that the way he played the game looked black. (Looking up some highlights they are gorgeous -- too bad he wasn't a more disciplined player :)


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 11:39 AM
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This one, heebie. Most of what I learned is that I am really not built for running.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 11:40 AM
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181: Think Baron Harkonen.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 11:40 AM
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174: It's infantilizing to old people too.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 11:43 AM
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The spice extents life without making anybody an infant.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 11:44 AM
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I think the 'Dadbod' thing is effectively a claim that women generally prefer slightly heavy, softer, middle-aged men to athletically muscular and well-groomed young men with regular features. And I think it's probably emotionally healthy for most men to believe that.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 11:57 AM
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You left out balding.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 12:00 PM
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No one's even trying to sell that one.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 12:00 PM
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One of my best friends as a kid has spent most of his life as part of Leonardo DiCaprio's entourage, and his swimsuit-clad body next to Leo has shown up in a bunch of the "Dadbod" photos. Nice reminder of being old and gross, I preferred living vicariously through that guy when he was young and attractive.


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 12:03 PM
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184: thanks!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 12:07 PM
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193

191: Is he a dad?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 12:19 PM
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yep


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 12:21 PM
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At least it's applicable.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 12:22 PM
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While being grumpy about 'dadbod', it seems to me to be the result of unnecessary confusion being created between the obviously true fact that someone can be sexually attractive to a partner, or to lots of people generally, without being one of the most physically perfect people in the world, and the false claim that therefore being physically imperfect makes you more attractive than the overly perfect.

There are seven billion people in the world. If only the couple of dozen who can make a living having people take pictures of them were attractive to sex partners, the species would die out.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 12:22 PM
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Will nobody think of the next generation of funny-looking children?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 12:24 PM
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I wouldn't be extinction. Just a genetic bottleneck.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 12:27 PM
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Now I'm picturing impossibly tan and ripped archeologists reading this thread and suddenly comprehending the great population crash of a thousand years beforehand.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 12:29 PM
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Like after the Toba eruption, except with swimsuit models.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 12:29 PM
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Hey, LB, don't be so strict! There are plenty of people who make a living at e.g. singing who are basically physically perfect.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 12:30 PM
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Is being ripped a heritable trait?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 12:30 PM
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He likes Katy Perry.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 12:30 PM
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Given that physical perfection isn't an option, my strictness is the only source of my peculiar appeal. I'm sticking with it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 12:31 PM
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202: Probably more so than being tan.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 12:32 PM
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Also, 196 fails because it's an age thing. Right now basically 90% of say the USC undergrad population is physically awesome. None of those guys have Dadbod. They can all get together, have sex, and reproduce just fine. No sense in pretending that hideous 45 year old men with distended bellies are necessary for the survival of humanity.


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 12:33 PM
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90%? California is a strange place.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 12:35 PM
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No sense in pretending that hideous 45 year old men with distended bellies are necessary for the survival of humanity.

There goes middle management.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 12:35 PM
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The kids are allcute.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 12:35 PM
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Higgledy Piggledy
Anthropological
Questions concerning our
Musculature

Need to consider if
Heritability
Matters as much as does
Wearing couture.

I know that doesn't make any sense but let's see YOU do better in seven minutes.

Given that physical perfection isn't an option, my strictness is the only source of my peculiar appeal. I'm sticking with it.

And yet when people appeal to you for a sample of your strictness, you rebuff them.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 12:37 PM
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207: Given the wildfires, mudslides, mountain lions, earthquakes, and drought, there has to be some reason people live there.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 12:38 PM
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And yet when people appeal to you for a sample of your strictness, you rebuff them.

Paradoxically alluring, isn't it?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 12:39 PM
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I'm just saying that there's probably at least 10% here with bad acne and more than that are obese.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 12:40 PM
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Maybe those are all graduate students.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 12:40 PM
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Everyone knows the joke about the masochist and the Marquis de Sade right?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 12:41 PM
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207: Actually, this started running through my head after this morning's news:

Messily, Specially,
'Specially Messily's
Suffered for years
Some mysterious plight.

Doctors say maybe her
Mitochondriacal
Functioning's fixable:
Future looks bright.

Also not that great a specimen of the genre, but for what it's worth.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 12:43 PM
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AIMHMHB, once when I and a friend were out in the little parklet in Hayes Valley, I turned to her and, with reference to the people also enjoying the park, attempted to say "look at all these people in their summer dresses". But what I actually said was, "look at all these pieces in their summer dresses", one effect of which was immediate and plentiful laughter and another of which was that for years after she would refer to women in whom I was or might be interested as "pieces".

But my point here was that I was attempting to agree with 206, more or less; the world, or at least the SF bay area, is full of super attractive persons! They surround us.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 12:43 PM
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And I think it's probably emotionally healthy for most men to believe that.

You'd think! But it turns out that when they want to illustrate Dadbod, they show pictures of Jon Hamm or DiCaprio, which is kind of demoralizing.

This is the male equivalent of when they talk about plus-size models and show you a picture of a slender-but-non-anorexic woman.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 12:43 PM
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Always nice to have more activity in Unfogged Double Dactyl Club.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 12:45 PM
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206
None of those guys have Dadbod. They can all get together, have sex, and reproduce just fine.

If true, this would be very big news.

Also, wow, good luck E.M.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 12:46 PM
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For some reason they're much easier than limericks for me. I can put together a lousy but recognizable double dactyl pretty easily, but I find limericks defeating.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 12:47 PM
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The river behind our house is very heavily used - swimming, tubing, picnics, etc. There are tons of scantily clad people wandering up and down our street all summer. But it's noticeably not restricted to conventionally hot bodies, which I appreciate very, very much. We let our flab flag fly.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 12:48 PM
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Also my mom writes a family poem in lieu of a year-end card every year. The verses are comically strained and syllables generally have to be emphasized in a weird way, and the whole thing is telegrammatic in order to fit as much content in as possible. The net result is bizarre and hilarious and lovable. I'll have to find some of them and post them here.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 12:50 PM
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Huh strange. I find DDs slightly more challenging even setting aside the necessity of the single double-dactylic word, though I certainly have more recent experience with them than with limericks. A friend and I used to play limerick chess, where each move had to be accompanied by a limerick describing the move/state of play/etc. (We'd abandon that in the endgame, though, usually, since we just wanted to get on with it at that point.)


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 12:50 PM
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I find DDs slightly more challenging...

Person-first language please.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 12:52 PM
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hideous 45 year old men with distended bellies

Hey! I like bodies in lots of shapes! I want to vote for the "regular bodies are not inherently gross" option.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 12:54 PM
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But the hideous ones are.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 12:55 PM
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A friend and I used to play limerick chess, where each move had to be accompanied by a limerick describing the move/state of play/etc.

Wow! I'd have to resign on my first move.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 12:57 PM
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Person-first language please.
indeed!


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 12:59 PM
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Speaking of things that cause Dadbod, why does my kid's school lunch for next month inlcude a "Dyno-mite bagel burrito dog"?? How can that bagel-burrito connection even work?


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 1:01 PM
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Probably beans on it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 1:03 PM
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"It certainly strikes me as odd / that a move so remarkably flawed / could be made by a guy / who claims to be sly / but may in fact just be a fraud." was a good one (directed, rather accurately, at me).


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 1:03 PM
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An atypical opening I'll admit
though I thought for near a minute
But when playing against a master
I may as well just lose faster
Or should I learn a new gambit?


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 1:08 PM
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Admit/minute/gambit? Not only do all three of those not rhyme, no two of them are particularly close.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 1:10 PM
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Plus your meter is all farblondzhet. I give you an F.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 1:12 PM
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Yeah, I didn't think it was very good.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 1:13 PM
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Much like my chess.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 1:13 PM
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238

Guess I'm in the same boat as peep.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 1:14 PM
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239

238: We're drowning!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 1:15 PM
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I was interested in becoming better at chess... it seemed too daunting.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 1:16 PM
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As limericks go, yours was crap;
Were I you, I'd just hang up my cap
And write no more verse
Before I got worse,
So please sit down and shut up your trap.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 1:16 PM
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242

That seems about right.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 1:17 PM
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243

POSSIBLY, 241 constitutes "piling on".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 1:17 PM
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239 - 1.73 answer: The boat was moving along a river in India when a large snake dropped onto the deck. The passengers all rushed to the other side of the boat, thereby overturning it. This is apparently based on a true incident reported in the World Almanac.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 1:18 PM
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I don't think two people delivering three pans really constitutes a pile.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 1:21 PM
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The dadbod thing speaks to age, not just pudginess, right? And suggests formerly being conventionally hot and going slightly to seed? You can't be a dadbod at age 20.

So it's basically Gen X arguing that their favorite movie stars are still hot even though they're no longer ripped 20-year-olds?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 1:22 PM
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I don't think two people delivering three pans really constitutes a pile.

But my pan was delivered in verse.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 1:24 PM
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It was very dadpan.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 1:25 PM
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Ichabod Dad


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 1:27 PM
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246: I don't have time to look this up right this minute, but I thought it mainly was about pudginess. Obviously, there's a correlation between that and age, but I thought it was a male version of "real women have curves" or something.

As for dadbod in the 20s, isn't Jason Segal kind of doughy? Like I said, not looking any of this up at the moment, and I realize that he'd only be doughy by Hollywood standards rather than real humans, but still.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 1:36 PM
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Dad Bodhi


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 1:37 PM
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252

The pan was delivered in verse
Could anything possibly be worse?
The heat could have been on
You could be well done
They would not even need a hearse.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 1:37 PM
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253

Jason Segal is at least 35 now.


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 1:37 PM
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254

This is apparently the locus classicus of dadbod discussion.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 1:39 PM
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Damn it I know perfectly well that it's "Segel."


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 1:39 PM
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At least one of the dadbod articles I saw was illustrated with Parks and Rec-style Chris Pratt, who's not much over thirty if he's that old. (I suppose I could look it up... 35, but might have been younger in the picture.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 1:39 PM
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The guys pictured seem to be basically fit people, just not with the insane definition that's currently the thing. Like the strong, tough guy of movies in days gone by.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 1:40 PM
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254: And seems to be a claim that middle-aged-type-pudginess is appealing even on college boys.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 1:41 PM
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Yes, even non-dads can have the dad bod.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 1:42 PM
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How can that bagel-burrito connection even work?

It's like you never celebrated Taco Cabanakah. Ocho loco nights, fiesta of lights.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 1:44 PM
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To flesh out 223, now that I'm home, here is the verse she wrote for Jammies' and my family this year:

Rascal: Born in November, a cute small fry
Newborn perfection: nurse, sleep, poop, cry
Ace: Walk, talk, and be silly, learning to share.
To build and then topple, shelf contents beware.
Hokey-Pokey: Broken arm mended, much more in control
Passions for soccer, ninjas, Paw Patrol.
Hawaiian-Punch: Reading, ballet, on Dad's soccer team
Crafts, making songs, sib game leader supreme.
Jammies: Korea trip to explain chips flip-flop
Hockey games, soccer, kid duties non-stop.
Heebie: Sabbatical problem: focus, be clever.
Pregnant again? All done! No more ever!
Together: Montana, Florida: long road trips are fun.
Camping, weddings, home insides redone.

There are other verses for my siblings and for herself and my dad, plus a general year's-end look back. There are probably over 45 years worth of these by now.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 1:51 PM
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That really is adorable, and I bet they make a great family history when read together.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 2:02 PM
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Given the wildfires, mudslides, mountain lions, earthquakes, and drought, there has to be some reason people live there.

Still workin' on it. Will get back to you.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 2:47 PM
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264

The supernaturally attractive population isn't doing it for you?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 2:51 PM
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The part of it I live with is but I brung him so he doesn't count.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 2:53 PM
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Unfogged Double Dactyl Club

I think the name we should put on our leather jackets is clearly The Pair 'o Dactyls.

Much like my chess.

I like my women like I like my chess: thousands of years old and of no interest to most of humanity.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 2:58 PM
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267

Higgledy Piggledy
Bagel burrito dogs
(No less than "dyno-mite"
So we are told.)

Don't sound quite kosher (con
Queso y fleishig)--nor
carblessly paleo,
Halford might scold.



Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 3:12 PM
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A good limerick can be infelicitous
Due to metrification ambiguous.
On a read-through, first take,
It's a hobbling mistake,
But then later it comes out mellifluous.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 4:12 PM
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269

nurse, sleep, poop, cry

That's not how it goes.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 6:30 PM
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270

Your castle was hopelessly late
with your king now exposed at g8
one move with my knight
and you've no room for flight
bishop to d5, and mate


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 6:49 PM
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48 is indeed awesome news. Fingers are crossed, Messily.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 6:55 PM
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267 is quite excelllent.

Re: athletics and ethnicity, I can't help thinking of hockey (because it's playoff season, and I'm a Canuck). There's no "Canadian" gene; there's no "hockey" gene, either. If you look at the names in the, admittedly Canuckicentric, Hockey Hall of Fame, they are the names of, mostly, Canadians of French, Irish, Scottish, and English origin. But France, Ireland, Scotland, and England do not dominate in hockey, obviously. It's only the descendants of people (from France, Ireland, Scotland, and England) who predominate, but only once in Canada. It's all cultural, in other words.


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 7:34 PM
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273

||

My 97 yr old mother just recited Invictus to me.

What a weird appeal that poem has, quoted by Mandela and Obama and many others, although literary types like me hardly ever think of it.

|>


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 7:47 PM
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274

Wrong. Canadians have sex with bears. Bears are strong. Bears have genes.


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 7:48 PM
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275

Canadians have jeans.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 7:59 PM
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274: But the Bruins (an Original Six hockey team) are located in Boston, which is not even in Canada. Please explain.

(We need a more sophisticated model of causation versus correlation when it comes to hockey, obviously).


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 8:01 PM
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There's a narrow claim about this stuff that I'll defend to the death: take the top (say) 10% of athletic American black dudes and 10% of athletic American white dudes, and the black dudes will have an edge in what normally gets called "explosiveness:" quickness and leaping ability. Like Heebie said above, if you've played a quick sport against American blacks, this is just unquestionably true. Lots of stuff I'll write off to culture or whatever, but not that.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 8:10 PM
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273: Don't forget Timothy McVeigh!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 8:26 PM
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279

A hockey team based in Florida has the Habs on the ropes.

Ok, none of the Lightning players are from Florida, but looking at the roster, Canadians only barely outnumber Americans.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 9:09 PM
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but looking at the roster, Canadians only barely outnumber Americans.

Mes chers amis Canadiens, we live in a fallen world.

(And it's still all cultural, not "racial," obviously).


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 9:20 PM
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277 -- and yet the most explosive oly lifters are -- Iranians and Bulgarians and Kazakhs.


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 9:33 PM
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Don't forget Timothy McVeigh!

I didn't; I thought of it while she was talking, but didn't mention it.

There's no equivalent to the original six in other sports, because so many baseball teams moved after the war, or since. Also football Expansion in Hockey always involved new teams, and the originals are institutions. Their moving is unimaginable.

Seinfeld's jest about rooting for clothes is least true about hockey.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 9:34 PM
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281: Yeah, but i think that's a different knack. You don't see Iranians winning Olympic sprints.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 9:58 PM
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284

Too hairy.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 10:00 PM
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New Kids Got Run Over By A Reindeer


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 10:45 PM
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281: if you're thinking of that study that purported to show that Oly lifters were as explosive athletes in terms of vertical lap and such, it's bullshit.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 10:51 PM
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Er, as explosive as the track and field athletes.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 10:52 PM
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Cholmondeley and Tagliaferro,
Unfoggéd Commenters,
Straining to rhyme
In a poetry thread

Metaphors, similes,
Even a synecdoche,
Nonanalogically,
Because ogged said.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05- 8-15 11:03 PM
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Either Natilo pronounces "even" as "ev'n", or "synecdoche" as "sin-neck-doash".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 9-15 4:58 AM
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277 - It sounds like this is the exact sort of thing that gets captured by better coordination, as in 159. I mean there are differences between people as far as explosive power and speed go that aren't just the result of training, because everyone has different levels of potential there. But that's a tiny, tiny factor when compared to training, even among very serious athletes.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05- 9-15 6:47 AM
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Dead thread, but I have things to say:

I can't think of any viral whatever that swept up quite as fast as "dadbod". I never saw the word before IIRC Weds, and by Friday it was fucking everywhere. Even AB, who is always behind the curve on internet chatter, had things to say about it this morning.

It's interesting how fast it got away from what seems to be the true definition - note how, before the originating post was linked, everyone assumed that it was, literally, praise of doughy - repulsive, even - middle aged bodies, when that's roughly the opposite of the actual meaning.

That said, since my first exposure wasn't the originating article, my first reaction was, indeed, that this was a bunch of doughy middle age-approaching writers jumping on a meme that could reduce their self-loathing, and I thought it was gross.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 9-15 3:36 PM
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To clarify, the grossness isn't in the bodies, it's in the misconstrued meme.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 9-15 3:37 PM
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99 misunderstands the genetics of human dispersal. The following is not an analogy, but an illustration:

If you put 10 couples into a village and permit no one to enter, 5 generations later you'll have a population of a couple hundred people, but they will only have genotypes derived from those 10 original couples. There will be variation, but there will be limits. If all 10 couples were northern Europeans, none of their descendants will be dark skinned; if all 20 individuals were quite tall, the vast majority of descendants (nutrition permitting) will be tall as well.

Put 1000 couples into a village under the same rules, and pick out a couple hundred of their 5th generation descendants, and there will be a broader set of genotypes. You will be more likely to find very tall or very short individuals, or however you like to search.

Virtually every group in Africa has a broader genetic heritage than every non-African group. For that not to be the case, you'd have to find a group that has not interbred with a single outsider for 60,000-125,000 years. Whether you're talking tribesmen living within walking distance of Taung or the Moroccan coast, you're simply not going to find that.

African-Americans possess more genetic diversity than any (non-intermingled*) African because of the European, uh, contributions to their genotypes. The point isn't that Africans or A-As have been "bred" to create super-athletes; it's that greater genetic diversity leads to a broader set of possible outcomes. And I'm pretty sure that no group on earth has greater genetic diversity than western hemisphere descendants of Africa. This is separate from the specific traits of specific groups as noted above; this is about possibilities.

None of which is to say that I disagree with LB's run of points. I just see a lot of misunderstanding (not just in 99) of the part of science that aren't quasi-racialist just-so stories, and it was bugging the shit out of me.

*can't think of a less gross term, sorry


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 9-15 3:53 PM
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