Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘bracketology

Select Links While I’m Away (Part 2)

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* You know your discipline is in crisis when a 28% drop in job listings in a single year is good news.

* Bullying in higher ed.

* If you want to know why your bracket’s already busted (Georgetown!), my friends at The March to Indy is the source.

* Democrats giddy with CBO score. More Americans getting behind health care reform. Democratic Health Care Skeptics Fall Into Line For Reform. Lynch: Obama Told Me He Might Try To Get Public Option Next Year. Reid: I’ll Try Again For A Public Option This Year.

* What’s not debatable is that this process highlighted — and worsened — the virtually complete powerlessness of the Left and progressives generally in Washington. If you were in Washington negotiating a bill, would you take seriously the threats of progressive House members in the future that they will withhold support for a Party-endorsed bill if their demands for improvements are not met? Of course not. No rational person would. More here.

* Will the Supreme Court strike down health care reform? Probably not.

Jon Chait, however, points to another reason to worry: “nobody who recalls Bush v. Gore could completely rule out five Republican justices deciding on a wildly activist ruling on a high-stakes political fight.” This is true insofar as it proves that it wouldn’t be fear of being logically inconsistent that makes it unlikely that Scalia and Kennedy would stay their hand.There is a big difference, though. Bush v. Gore was decided from a position of great political strength: the only two legislative bodies in a position to do anything about the ruling strongly supported the Court’s actions. In this case, however, the White House and very possibly at least one house of Congress will be controlled by people who would be infuriated by an adverse decision, and unlike with an election, Congress would still be in a position to retaliate if it returned to unified Democratic control. It would be shocking if the Supreme Court were to announce a major doctrinal innovation in those circumstances.

* Teabaggers still don’t know what they’re so angry about.

* What’s happening with cap and trade?

* Kuwait says peak oil by 2014.

* No one could have predicted that randomly taking FlashForward off the air for six months would go badly. I recall kind of liking the last aired episode, but haven’t really missed this show at all, and won’t be watching.

* Action Comics #1 to reclaim its top spot as most expensive comic book next week.

* How will Warner Brothers make money after Harry Potter’s over? A DC Comics superhero blockbuster every summer.

* If Dr. Horrible 2 is feature-length, I hope they do bring Penny back. I really don’t see a film working without her.

* The ten most important gay moments in comic book history.

* Zombie apocalypse survival flowchart.

* And the Iraq War is seven today. They grow up so fast…

But Before That

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* Dennis Kucinich is said to be switching his vote on health care to “yes,” possibly in exchange for an ERISA waiver that would remove a major roadblock to state-based single-payer.

* Help wanted: astronaut. (via)

* Muppet Madness. Just one of the many alternative brackets to be found here.

* U.S. exceptionalism watch: As a society gets richer, its tax rates tend to rise. But in the U.S. demand for governmental spending grows and grows, while tax rates drop…

Written by gerrycanavan

March 16, 2010 at 11:07 pm

Tuesday Night Linkdump #3

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Tuesday night linkdump #3.

* Here comes the Dollhouse? ‘Scientists Erase Painful Memories Without Drugs.’

* Both Inside Higher Ed and Barack Obama himself can declare victory alongside UNC.

* Even the National Review says it’s time for Coleman to concede.

* Environmental reporters at The Washington Post hit back at George Will over the many inaccuracies in his climate change columns.

* More on the Morristown UFO hoax.

Written by gerrycanavan

April 8, 2009 at 2:08 am


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* The claim that ‘independent researcher’ Dr. John Casson has discovered six new plays by William Shakespeare (alias Sir Henry Neville alias Christopher Marlowe alias “Tony Nuts” alias Queen Elizabeth alias Harvey the Rabbit) is all over the place today—but my proof that Shakespeare/Newfield is a time-traveling Lizard Person born 3000 A.D. remains completely ignored by the fools in the MSM.

* (South) Indian Superman. I love this video.

* Gynomite! has sitcom maps of New York City and the U.S. There’s more from Dan Meth, who started it all off with the trilogy meter from not that long ago.

* has the latest bracketological research into the science of upsets. See also: Nate Silver crunches the numbers on Obama’s shameless bias towards universities in swing states.

* Scenes from the recession, at the Big Picture.

* And a short piece at BBC News considers the science in science fiction. Of the four, Paul Cornell’s gesture towards satire seems by far richest to me, especially with regard to its Darko Suvinian disdain for fantasy:

The mundane movement is challenging writers to drop ideas that once promised to be scientific ones, but are now considered as fantasy – faster than light travel, telepathy etc – and to concentrate on the problems of the human race being confined to an Earth it is using up.

But this is as much an artistic movement as an ethical one. The existence of such a movement, though, suggests that science fiction feels a sense of mission.

Unlike its cousin, fantasy, it wants to be talking about the real world in ways other than metaphorical.

One of the problems is that where once there was a consensus view, broadly, of what the future was going to be like – bases on the Moon, robots etc – post-Cold War chaos leaves everyone thrashing around, having to invent the future anew.

Artificial intelligence, aliens and easy space travel just haven’t shown up. They may never do so.

It’s an exciting moment, but the genre needs to be strong to survive it, and see off fantasy’s vast land grabs of the territory of the stranded human heart.

UPDATE: Paul responds in the comments to this notion of disdain:

Just to be clear: I love fantasy as much as SF, but we asked to talk about some of the current issues facing, specifically, SF. I think fantasy’s done really well lately, and that SF has to respond to match it. No anti-fantasy thing going on there with me at all.

Obama Plays the Brackets

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As he did on the campaign trail last year, Obama is filling out a bracket.

The Presidential Seal is a nice touch.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 18, 2009 at 2:46 am

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Return of Bracketology

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As in years past, I’ve filled out a March Madness bracket on Facebook using my usual method:

Higher seeds always beat lower seeds unless

* I know someone who went to the lower-seeded school, or otherwise just sort of dig it;
* I have a beef with the city or state in which the higher-seeded school is located;
* I have a special feeling.


* I have a special feeling the other way.

It never fails.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 17, 2009 at 10:41 pm

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Strategy for Total Basketball Dominance

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For years my strategy for total basketball dominance has been:

a) Find someone who can hit a three-point shot from anywhere on the court;
b) Always give the ball to that person.

At last someone has taken my advice, and #10 seed Davidson is on a pretty unbelievable tear.

Click the image below for my bracket thus far. It’s actually in fairly good shape, as all my final four picks are still alive. I even managed to shoot up to #3 in the coveted “people I know on Facebook” category yesterday, and judging from the picks people around me have made I should stay fairly close to the top, especially if Texas is able to upset Memphis today tomorrow…

Written by gerrycanavan

March 29, 2008 at 1:13 pm

Obama’s Bracket

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The New York Times has Obama’s bracket:

East – North Carolina.
Midwest – Kansas.
South – Pittsburgh.
West – U.C.L.A.
Championship game: North Carolina over U.C.L.A.

More here. (UPDATE: Politco’s got the whole shebang.) Great minds think alike, except for that Southern bracket, where he’s clearly just pandering to Pennsylvanians. Shame on you, Barack Obama…

Written by gerrycanavan

March 20, 2008 at 5:52 pm


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My enjoyment of March Madness bracketology is tempered only by how little I know about college basketball. Click the image to enlarge it to slightly more readable proportions:

I’ll fill you in on my method:

Higher seeds always beat lower seeds unless

* I know someone who went to the lower-seeded school, or otherwise just sort of dig it;
* I have a beef with the city or state in which the higher-seeded school is located;
* my gut tells me otherwise.

As you can see, it’s foolproof.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 20, 2008 at 3:56 pm

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