Ok, you whining non HBO-having readers of Unfogged, out of the goodness of my otherwise hard and flinty heart, I risk being thrown in jail to bring you the Chris Rock clip with which I teased you to such satisfying effect.
The Times has an interview with Tina Fey about her new movie, and why do I feel obligated to link to it?
Has this been blogged up and down already? If so, I haven't seen it: Premier's list of the 100 greatest movie characters of all time. Usually, I draw a blank on these things, but I immediately thought: Darth Vader. Hmm, they have him stuck at 84. I protest, and take issue with his "defining moment." Without a doubt, it was "I find your lack of faith disturbing."
Do you feel kinda dorky sometimes? Think you might be a geek? Here, let me fix that.
What's the opposite of the fundamental attribution error? Good economists, like Tyler Cowen, know that people often give too much weight to personality and individual agency and not enough to situational or institutional factors when they try to explain a pattern. If there's an intersection in town that has five times as many accidents as any other, you aren't really explaining the phenomenon if you say: in this accident, the driver was sleepy; in this one, she was on the phone; here, the kid was drunk. It's much more helpful to figure out if there's a blind turn or poor signage, etc.
But there are times when the "dispositional" answer is the correct one; so it is with basketball players and technical fouls. As Tyler summarizes, "Much of bad behavior is not predicted by any particular variable and thus can be thought of as idiosyncratic." You can say that again. Why do players get technicals? Because they're hotheads.
I played organized basketball in my youth and there was nothing special about me except for the fact that I had a horrible temper. Given that admission to high-school games is free, those fans were getting a real treat when the fifteen year-old started cussing out some shocked grown man who happened to be reffing the game. And yes, like Tyler also notes, "Technical fouls are positively correlated with bad behavior off the court." I wasn't any less likely to fly off the handle off the court (see also, Charles Barkley, plate glass window). Finally--much like Barkley, who is now thriving as a commentator--after this memorable exchange with my coach:
Ogged, I'm tired of you talking back to me.
I'm not talking back.
That's what I mean!
I quit basketball and joined the debate team, where my gifts were appreciated.
Thanks to reader T.S. for letting me know about this: you might have seen a few reports when Pat Tillman, a professional football player with the Arizona Cardinals, gave up a $3.6 million contract to join the Army after 9-11. I'm very sad to say that Pat Tillman has been killed in action in Afghanistan.
Any of us could have joined; only Pat Tillman, and few others like him, did. That's extraordinary, and humbling. My deep condolences to his family, who must be very sad, and very proud.
Why is the TNT basketball halftime show so much fun? Charles Barkley last night: "You couldn't get a needle up his butt with a jackhammer." Meaning: nervous.
I know I shouldn't always link to silly things, but the will is weak.
And they should be seen.
more: Many more at the indispensible Memory Hole.
And: The New York Times picks up the story.
Ok, be sure to follow the link in the link, and tell me: Does anyone else have this kind of structure in their lives?
Also: On the same blog, this post about the pressures and vagaries of billable hours is very good.
MORE: A friend emails this very helpful reply.
Did I ever tell you about the pact my sister had with her two best friends from high school? Apparently they made a deal that the first husband would not be commented on -that is, each would be supportive of the others' decisions to marry their first husband. After that, all bets were off, and the three of them could comment freely. This is more interesting as the other two (not [sis]) are each on their second husband. Of one of the three's first husbands, my mother was heard (by me) to utter that famous remark "It is a good first marriage."
So, regardless of the level of "structure" I would guess that almost every woman has some kind of intimate friendship in which that kind of relationship dishing and analysis takes place. [Friend] and I have our Friday (now Thursday) night meetings, after all. The fact is, in this day and age, with everyone with conflicting schedules, and many with billable hours either formal or informal, in order to engage in the give and take of friendship, one actually has to "make" time.
Someone far more incisive than I will have to reconcile the current FCC crackdown on "indecency" and any given page of Bob Woodward's Plan of Attack, in which the people running this fine nation regularly swear like motherfucking sailors.
Oh yeah, the kids. We wouldn't want them to learn that swearing is sometimes appropriate, sometimes not; better to let them think it's a marker of adulthood.
I'm sure we'll be hearing more about this, so let me get out in front: this is ridiculous.
Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock spent a month doing what 10-year-olds only dream of. He ate nothing but food from McDonald's. No side trips to Burger King, no midnight raids on the fridge in a desperate search for salad greens.
By the end, he had gained 25 pounds and added 65 points to his cholesterol count. His head ached continually and he was depressed. His doctors were referring to his liver as pâté and his girlfriend reports -- on camera -- that his erections just weren't what they used to be.
Sounds pretty damning, right? But...
Spurlock's approach was undeniably extreme. He supersized his meals whenever a counter worker made the offer, and ordered everything on the menu at least once. He also stopped exercising. As a result, he was often eating twice as many calories a day as he needed.
What's the point of that? If he'd eaten this much with Alice Waters as his personal chef, he still would have wound up a lard butt.
You can also see this boring, but relevant, counter-example: a woman determined to lose weight eating nothing but Mickey D's.
It is a lot like blogging, isn't it?
Top 5 Rules of asshole drunkenness
1. It's always your turn to talk
2. You are always right
3. You are the most intelligent person in the room
4. Nothing you do is stupid
5. Know when to get the fuck out of there because you've offended too many people and they outnumber your drunken ass
Sure signs that you're not dying.
This past weekend my mom thought she had a heart attack while she was in the shower. And being embarrassed that paramedics might see her naked, she hurried to dress and primp her hair in the seven minutes it took the paramedics to arrive. At the hospital, she was diagnosed with muscle spasms to the relief of everyone.
If you still care at all about the Columbine shootings, this is the best article I've ever read about it. I had no idea.
The killers, in fact, laughed at petty school shooters. They bragged about dwarfing the carnage of the Oklahoma City bombing and originally scheduled their bloody performance for its anniversary. Klebold boasted on video about inflicting "the most deaths in U.S. history." Columbine was intended not primarily as a shooting at all, but as a bombing on a massive scale. If they hadn't been so bad at wiring the timers, the propane bombs they set in the cafeteria would have wiped out 600 people. After those bombs went off, they planned to gun down fleeing survivors. An explosive third act would follow, when their cars, packed with still more bombs, would rip through still more crowds, presumably of survivors, rescue workers, and reporters.
There's also one of the best and most succinct explanations of what it means to be a psychopath (note: only one of them was), and be sure to read the myths vs. facts sidebar. Good stuff. via Gary Farber.
Colin Powell has appointed James Brown the new Secretary of Soul and Foreign Minister of Funk. Good god. Jump back, wanna kiss myself.
Jack O'Toole is on a serious roll. Just go to his main page and keep reading.
The American Anthropological Association has a thing or two to say about the "tradition" of heterosexual marriage.
The results of more than a century of anthropological research on households, kinship relationships, and families, across cultures and through time, provide no support whatsoever for the view that either civilization or viable social orders depend upon marriage as an exclusively heterosexual institution. Rather, anthropological research supports the conclusion that a vast array of family types, including families built upon same-sex partnerships, can contribute to stable and humane societies.
Just more elites trying to confuse the ignorant, I suppose.
This is a great idea, and I hope to see more like it.
The doctor is nice enough to call it bicipital tendonitis, but what he really means is, "you're getting old." I hurt my shoulder a couple of months ago (not too badly, just no sports), and it hasn't gotten better. So, I've been sent to physical therapy, where, after one session, my shoulder feels about the same, but suddenly, I understand why people pay for sex.
My physical therapist is a young woman, which helps, though it's not as if she's what I'd call my type. But when she runs her hand over my back to check my posture, or grabs my arm to pull it this way and that, I do find myself thinking, "it is nice to be touched." I'm not about to start paying for sex: there are taboos and diseases (yeah, and laws, but really...) to stop me there, but the unimaginability of it has vanished--poof.
I'm taking this one personally. I was out for my lunchtime run through my lovely neighborhood, when, like some hapless dissident in a sci-fi movie, I was clutching my head, tearing at my heart rate monitor, and looking around in a panic to see where that damn shrieking noise was coming from. It went away for a moment, then wheeeeeeeee. Finally, I spotted this instrument of torture stuck to a tree along my path. What the hell? I quote.
Repel deer, raccoons, rodents, bats, dogs, cats, insects and other critters with high-frequency sounds inaudible to humans.
Does this make me "other critters?" Look, as any of my ever-accumulating exes will attest, I can be a bit, um, sensitive to noise. The following is a non-exhaustive list of forbidden sounds: vacuum cleaner, hair dryer, music involving a) sopranos or b) wind instruments. Maybe that seems a bit much, but I didn't think I'd crossed the fucking species barrier. Somebody, throw me a bone here.
The world of music is large.
Wayne Gretzky, the only man I'd have sex with
Wayne Gretzky, I'd be intimate with
Wayne Gretzky, I think he's kinda sexy
Wayne Gretzky, I wonder what he looks like naked
Truth be told, being in Chicago for much of the 90's, I heard similar sentiments regarding Michael Jordan. But, come on, Jordan is so much sexier than Gretzsky. And this band is from...Southern California. What?
Through the magic of DirecTV, I can turn HBO on and off whenever I want and only be charged for the time it's on. I turned it on for Chris Rock's latest stand-up concert. Obviously, Rock is hilarious, but during this concert, he said something (don't worry, I won't give away the punchline, but it was his answer to the "number 1 reason your woman is mad at you.") so cutting and so true that I was just stunned for a second. I really did think: "you're not supposed to say that." And the audience didn't even laugh, it just went, "oooooo."
Oh, squirm squirm.
At a recent dinner party... [Condoleezza] Rice was reportedly overheard saying, "As I was telling my husb—" and then stopping herself abruptly, before saying, "As I was telling President Bush."