This Hope Solo business is getting to be fascinating. Despite not allowing a goal in her last three games, Solo was benched for a crucial game against Brazil, in which the US was demolished 4-0. After the game, she said "there's no doubt in my mind I would have made those saves," which is, of course, an implicit criticism of Briana Scurry, who replaced her. (The interview and game highlights can be seen here. (Marta is really good.)) Now, not only is Scurry going to start the next game as well, but her coach and teammates have decided that Solo isn't even going to be allowed to be with the team. Check out how the players and coach explain the decision.
``Her going public has affected the whole group. Having her with us is still a distraction,'' U.S. captain Kristine Lilly said of the reason for the decision.
``The forgiveness in our hearts is just going to have to come with time,'' said Abby Wambach, the team's leading scorer.
``I don't want to speak for Hope, but I think she understands she lost this team,'' coach Greg Ryan said Saturday. ``She knows that trust is hard to gain, easy to break and even more difficult to regain.
``I believe she is committed to the process, and it takes more than apology. It takes actions day by day, living right, being a good teammate.''
Now, I don't know how the rest of the world works, but while criticizing teammates is frowned up on men's sports in the US, people still do it all the time, but no one gets banished for it. They take some shots at each other, they might even fight in practice, and then they go out and play. I'm probably supposed to be valuing the different model of women's sports in which team unity is even more important than fielding the best team, but to my mind, this just makes the women seem weak and unprepared for serious competition. And it's worth noting that "team chemistry" is generally bunk as far as game performance is concerned: many, many championship teams in various sports have hated each other's guts, and there are teams with great chemistry that go nowhere. But when a team with good chemistry wins, it's easy to say that they're winning because they're all buddies.
It's also worth noting that Greg Ryan is a complete ass who made a wrong decision and has not only failed to acknowledge that, but is milking the Solo drama in what one assumes is an effort to save his own job. Please get hit by a bus, Greg Ryan.
A student at Tri-Valley High School was called out of class by a security guard during a school sweep last week to make sure no kids had backpacks or other banned bags. Samantha Martin, 14, had a small purse with her that day.
That's why the security guard, ex-Monticello cop Mike Bunce, asked her The Question.
She says he told her she couldn't have a purse unless she had her period. Then he asked, "Do you have your period?"
Samantha was mortified.
I'm happy to see that students, including the boys, are protesting. I think all of the girls should start carrying a small purse every day to show the absurdity of this -- either the administration will realize that they can't make a girl prove whether she really has her period or, if they try, surely they've got some civil rights suit on their hands.
And the reason for banning backpacks in the first place is ridiculous. The usual overblown security concerns and:
Student health, because...people could trip on them
A little birdy landed on my shoulder and chirped into my ear, "Wacky fun-time weekend mixtape thread?" Which struck me as a top notch idea though it's going to be, at a minimum, several hours before I can get anything assembled and uploaded and all the rest. Anyhow, dowhatchagottado and pop a link in the comments, but a minimum, we can use this for a general music thread. One of my first posts here was a "what was your first concert" thread, which has long been a favorite bar question because the answers are often so funny. My ten-year-old will be going with my ex to his first concert this weekend. Verdict: more or less funny than mine over the long haul?
The backs of my ears are rubbed raw from my shoulders brushing against them each time I start my arm stroke in the breaststroke.
And this is a great picture.
Help a Heebie out:
At Heebie University, we have an honors course where students read books with different faculty members throughout the semester. I signed up for SlaughterHaus 5. So, during October, I meet weekly with four students and we discuss the book, and then they write a short paper about it.
I haven't discussed a book in ten years. What are good conversation-starters? Are we all going to stare at each other for an hour, once a week for four weeks? How do I prepare for this?
It's open-ended. Other faculty members are reading Harry Potter, Blink, etc. Faculty members are from any discipline, and not expected to know much about literature. Mostly, though, I want to keep a lively discussion going and I have no clue how to do that.
An interesting hypothesis from Marginal Revolution (though not original to them, apparently):
In the past most people didn't much like or listen to most of the music they bought, or in any case most of the value came from their very favorites. A relatively small percentage of our music purchases accounted for most of our listening pleasure. So if people can sample music in advance, and know in advance what they will like, music sales will plummet. This will be a sign of market efficiency, not market failure.
That's plausible. I'll bet it does account for some of the decline in sales. Although I'll also bet that the youngins who think that music is always free also account for some of the decline. And then there are oldsters like me who would buy a lot more music if DRM-free downloads of more music were available.
Condolences to Teofilo, whose father passed away today.
We're not sure what's going on, but Becks put in a ticket and we hope it'll be sorted soon.
In the comments to the previous post, Heebie-Geebie linked to this very cool site of pictures of people in a height/weight matrix. Check it out, send in a photo, fill in the gaps.
Before I started swimming seriously, I was running a lot and really did weigh 150 pounds. My mom told me yesterday that on one of my trips to Chicago then, someone asked her if I was anorexic. Do not freak my mother out, you fuckheads! This was the wife of the guy who kept reminding her last year that doctors sometimes take out the wrong organ. What a pair! No wonder that when I've told my mom lately that I've put on weight she starts ostentatiously thanking god. Actually, first she says "No, you don't weight that much. You're just saying that to make me feel better." Then I swear I'm telling the truth, then she ostentatiously thanks god. Anyway, this is all by way of saying that this article about the suitability of various body types to various sports notes
The tallest elite marathoner today, Robert Cheruiyot, is 6-foot-2. But he weighs only 143 pounds. Most elite male marathoners, Dr. Joyner notes, are between 5-foot-7 and 5-foot-11 and weigh between 120 and 140 pounds.
Take that, you unfit alarmists. I know where you live.
I thought the intro to this video, explaining the many similarities between Bill O'Reilly and gangster rappers, was funny and pretty damn accurate.
I know a lot of posts have to do with dating so here's a game for you married folks. Tell Emily what a real bachelor/bachelorette party should entail:
I honestly don't think I am acquainted with a single person who would find this enjoyable: being squired around town to unfamiliar clubs by a strange man, forced to play terrible games, all the while knowing that your friend(s) paid someone to set the entire thing up because he/she couldn't be bothered to, you know, pick a place you might actually WANT TO GO. What does this have to do with getting married? I can at least understand the male equivalent strip-club-night, but in what way does being married prevent you from spending hellish Smirnoff-soaked evenings at loud thumpy clubs? Shouldn't bachelorette parties be about something that is ACTUALLY more difficult to do once you're married? Like a party where we all sleep with our bosses to get a promotion!
Hey listen NYC but probably, realistically, just Brooklyn unfoggies. I'm going to be in NYC next week, and there's some sort of reasonable chance that I'll be free after the dinner hours on Friday the fifth. Since I will be dining, and staying, in Park Slope, I propose ... something in Park Slope! I see that at 10pm, at Barbès, a band featuring both washboard and tuba will be serenading the crowd. (Though Ted Daniel's International Brass and Membrane Corps, the Wednesday before, sounds yet more enticing.) LET'S DISCUSS.
Similarly-named though otherwise entirely distinct band Barbez is touring in November, incidentally; I recommend them highly. They'll be in notable unfogged enclaves Brooklyn and DC on, respectively, the third and the eleventh.
I can't believe y'all want me to give up Whole Foods when it's the only place I run into women. There was a very, very cute woman there today ("Damn, she looks like Thandie Newton. Wait, is that Thandie Newton??" -- It was not) looking over the same shelves of prepared food I was looking over (looking for my chicken salad breakfast, of course) and I couldn't find what I was looking for, and she wasn't finding what she was looking for and we stood there for a minute before I gave up and went elsewhere, only to have her also give up and go to the same elsewhere, and I was sort of aware of where she was, and she was sort of aware of where I was and I got my food and was on my way out when I saw her back at the first shelf, her cart still sadly empty :- ( "You know you have to choose something," says I. And she (nice voice!) did a theatrical throw-up-the-hands "But I just can't!"
And that, dear reader, is when I saw her wedding ring :- ( :- ( :- (
But I'm sure it's all for the best, since the thought of actually dating someone, you know, paying attention to the ideas and emotional states of another sentient being, makes me want to flee over the nearest mountain range. I hope this tired old man thing is a phase, or my mom is never getting those grandkids.
It's not from the NY Times, so it's probably true: Tom Cruise is building a $10M underground bunker to prepare for Xenu's attack on the earth.
With a big round milestone birthday approaching, I've been feeling somewhat unmoored. All my life, I've been complimented on being ___ for my age. Aren't you smart for your age! Aren't you successful for your age! Over the last few years, I've noticed those affirmations going away. When part of your identity is tied to being considered precocious, it's odd to realize you're now being lumped in with all of the adults and held to a different standard. It's been an awakening, of sorts. All of those "you're special"s through my youth and young adulthood were really "you're special, when graded on a curve".
I'm not depressed or upset about it, just trying to fill in the gaps of my understanding of myself that that role used to fill.
He's so helpful.
President Bush is quietly providing back-channel advice to Hillary Rodham Clinton, urging her to modulate her rhetoric so she can effectively prosecute the war in Iraq if elected president.
In an interview for the new book "The Evangelical President," White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten said Bush has "been urging candidates: 'Don't get yourself too locked in where you stand right now. If you end up sitting where I sit, things could change dramatically.' "
To that end, the president has been sending advice, mostly through aides, aimed at preventing an abrupt withdrawal from Iraq in the event of a Democratic victory in November 2008.
Polish politics, says the party's founder, the novelist Manuela Gretkowska, is run by men in suits on behalf of other men in suits. The party has taken up the cudgels against right-wing religious parties - such as the League of Polish Families, which wants to tighten the already restrictive abortion laws - and the male-dominated political spectrum. They argue that the status of women in Poland has deteriorated, especially under the nationalist Government of Jaroslaw Kaczynski. It wants free contraception, an increase in the number of gynecologists, a right to pain-free birth, expanded child care, equal pay and pension rights. [...]
The latest opinion poll by the TNS-OBOP institute gives the party three per cent of the vote, below the five per cent needed for parliamentary seats. But surveys this year suggested that as many as 60 per cent of Polish women might be ready to vote for the party on October 21, in the privacy of the polling booth. Even a handful of seats could be enough to give it a say in a finely balanced parliament.
There is a growing male/female education and income disparity. But it is occurring several rungs down the SES ladder from the precious princesses in the story, clipping off price tags and hiding shopping bags lest He realize that she shops at Prada. This problem is afflicting mostly poor women, particularly black and latino women, who have seen their earnings prospects improve dramatically relative to those of the men in their communities. For a paper as liberal as the New York Times to take their plight--which is real, and troubling--and turn it into an exposition on how hard it is to be a female corporate lawyer, is really pretty embarrassing.
But you can't have a Styles article about poor people! You just can't!
As you know, Iranian President Ahmadinejad spoke yesterday before a raucous crowd at Columbia University. The president of the university excoriated him. He backtracked a bit from his statements about Israel, perhaps as some commentators have noted because they've caused him trouble within Iran. In other cases he put together a fairly incoherent mix of religious interpretation and political rambling. And in still more he simply sounded ridiculous, as when he assured the audience that there were no gays in Iran -- a claim that prompted a round of guffaws from the audience.
I think it's hard to come to any conclusion but that Ahmadinejad was diminished by yesterday's events, not elevated. And America seemed bigger for not having cowered before him, as so many wanted to.
This is the best way to handle ludicrous ideas: let the speaker make his argument, then laugh at him, loudly and publicly. If you watch the video of that "no gays in Iran" exchange, even Ahmedinejad looks sheepish making it, sporting the same goofy grin my kids can't suppress when they know they've been caught in a lie. He knows full well what he's saying is inane, and that every person in the audience is only wondering, "Clown, tool, or idiot?"
And the next person we should point and laugh at is Duncan Hunter.
Tweedledopey flying through the air with the greatest of ease.
Matt F shooting trap.
Lucy & friends try to keep a cop from harassing some people, and wind up cuffed and roughed up themselves.
I continue to enjoy Joe Mathlete explains today's Marmaduke and I just began to enjoy the Mathletes cover album . I do not know what it is like to be Joe Mathlete but I confess that he has achieved something close to my vision of the ideal life by posting amusing things and pleasant recordings on the internet. May peace be upon him.
"So how does meeting someone on Match.com work? Do you get to meet them online first, or is it a blind date thing...?"
Asked by someone in his early twenties, of someone in his mid-thirties (not me). No doubt dating sites seem to be one small step above mail-order brides to this cohort.
I genuinely don't understand the quaking fear over Ahmadinejad's interview at Columbia. When did America become so weak, so insecure, that we mistrust our capacity to converse with potentially hostile world leaders? Do we really believe the president of Columbia is so doltish as to be outsmarted by a former traffic engineer from Tehran? Do we really see no utility in publicly grilling prominent liars in such a way that their denials lose credibility? What do we have to lose from a foreign leader, even a hostile one, somberly laying a wreath at the site of a tragedy? When did we become so afraid? And for all the conservative talk that a loss in Iraq will diminish our reputation for strength and thus harm our security, how must it look when some three-foot tall Iranian firebrand keeps trying to dialogue with us and we keep dodging his calls?
I agree, except for the issue of the wreath at Ground Zero. I think it's one thing to give a world leader with views your country opposes a platform for their ideas and another to provide them with a photo-op. I think it is important for people to be able to hear what the leader of a country our government is calling hostile has to say so that they can evaluate whether the actions taken against them in the future are appropriate. The point of a photo-op, in contrast, is to circumvent the exchange of ideas and bypass saying what you really stand for by manipulating the image presented to the world.
A while back Ogged and I were musing about (a) how many Americans knew that the President of Iran is not the functional equivalent of the President of the United States, and (b) whether ignorance of this fact would be exploited by the pro-bombing faction. The answers were, if I recall, (a) not many at all and (b) you betcha. Today there's an interesting article on related issues in the NYT:
Since his inauguration two years ago, Mr. Ahmadinejad has grabbed headlines around the world, and in Iran, for outrageous statements that often have no more likelihood of being put into practice than his plan for women to attend soccer games. He has generated controversy in New York in recent days by asking to visit ground zero -- a request that was denied -- and his scheduled appearance at Columbia University has drawn protests.
But it is because of his provocative remarks, like denying the Holocaust and calling for Israel to be wiped off the map, that the United States and Europe have never known quite how to handle him. In demonizing Mr. Ahmadinejad, the West has served him well, elevating his status at home and in the region at a time when he is increasingly isolated politically because of his go-it-alone style and ineffective economic policies, according to Iranian politicians, officials and political experts.
Well-played, o my people.
I haven't had a chance to read this thread yet but I did go see Dragon Wars today and it was really just an extended metaphor for The Academy: A tenure-track position for dragons opens up only once every 500 years and last time around the hiring committee defunded the position instead of awarding it. The two candidates were pissed. This time, neither of them was going to let anything stand in their way.
I've mentioned that I went to elementary school in a small town in downstate Illinois. In a fit of nostalgia last night, I looked up some of my grade school classmates. Of the ones I could find, one is VP of a firm that loans money to farmers, one is a grade school teacher in Texas, and another an aikido instructor in Arkansas. I'm not sure this is significant, except for the fact that I'm going to claim particular insight into both the South and Real America from now on. A couple more were in medium-sized towns in Iowa and such, and some had even stayed in the original small town. This always blows my mind, and puts me in mind of these lines from the James Mc/Murtry song Angeline, which I provide now for your listening pleasure.
And your mama don't like it that our children all scattered
She swears it's my blood, it was not meant to farm