Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘World Cup

Links for Tuesday

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* Obligatory: So you want to get a Ph.D. in the humanities.

* Donald Brown at Penn State’s Climate Ethics blog is the latest person to suggest that corporate behavior in the face of climate change could constitute a new class of crime against humanity.

* Good Jersey, Bad Jersey: You can have new anti-bullying legislation, but Christie’s still not sure about the Hudson River Tunnel.

As the candidates arrived, a group of Paul supporters pulled a female MoveOn member to the ground and held her there as another Paul supporter stomped on the back of her head and neck.

* Outraging conservatives everywhere, the Texas Supreme Court has cited international interplanetary law.

* Durham: Proud to be one-half of America’s 4th smartest city. Duke doesn’t even make the list of most dangerous colleges, though nearby NCCU clocks in at #7.

* Confirmed: the Moon has water. Let’s go back and get it.

* Crooked Timber coins the term: zero-dimensional chess.

After two years of operating at loggerheads with Republicans, Mr. Obama and his aides are planning a post-election agenda for a very different political climate. They see potential for bipartisan cooperation on reducing the deficit, passing stalled free-trade pacts and revamping the education bill known as No Child Left Behind — work that Arne Duncan, Mr. Obama’s education secretary, says could go a long way toward repairing “the current state of anger and animosity.”

Translation: Mr Obama and his aides plan a series of pre-emptive capitulations, after which the Republicans will demand the repeal of the healthcare act (or maybe abolition of Social Security). When/if that is refused, the Repugs will shut down the government, and this time they will hold their nerve until Obama folds.

* And Paul the Psychic Octopus has died. Good night, sweet prince. May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.


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* We now have Howard Zinn’s FBI file.

When the FBI again took an interest in Zinn in the 1960s, documents show the bureau evidently tried to have the historian fired from his job as professor at Boston University.In a document from the Boston FBI office (see PDF file here), an FBI “source,” whose name was redacted from the publicly released documents, was quoted as being outraged over Zinn’s comment at a protest that the US had become a “police state” and that prosecutions of Black Panther Party members were creating “political prisoners.”

The bureau’s Boston office then indicated it wanted to help the source in his or her campaign to unseat Zinn. “[The] Boston proposes under captioned program with Bureau permission to furnish [name redacted] with public source data regarding Zinn’s numerous anti-war activities … in an effort to back [redacted] efforts for his removal.”

* Surprising no one, North Korea is doing the World Cup wrong.

* In the wake of strong U.S. government statements condemning WikiLeaks’ recent publishing of 77,000 Afghan War documents, the secret-spilling site has posted a mysterious encrypted file labeled “insurance.” The MetaFilter thread is rife with speculation about what might be in the file; about whether the government has been given the key, or indeed if Assange knows there really is an NSA-backdoor in AES256 after all; about who is and isn’t incentivized to murder Assange as a result of this upload; and about which classic cyberpunk writer this whole storyline was stolen from.

* The latest in the $45/$200,000,000 Ansel Adams negatives saga: the interesting copyright issues involved have been short-circuited by the revelation that the negatives are probably the work of someone’s Uncle Earl.

* Science—well, Nature—says we wouldn’t miss mosquitoes.

* And RSA Animate animates Slavoj Žižek on charity and consumerism. Charity degrades and demoralizes. It is immoral to use private property in order to alleviate the horrible evils that result from the institution of private property… Via MeFi.

A Few Links

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* Nobody knows how much milk you should drink a day, but it’s pretty likely I drink too much.

On the other side, groups promoting animal rights and veganism — including PETA and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine — say that cow’s milk is a nutritional nightmare that doesn’t belong in the human diet. “It’s gross,” says Dr. Neil Barnard, author and founder of the PCRM. “Milk is nutritionally perfect for one purpose: feeding a calf,” he says. “The idea that we should be drinking milk from a cow is just bizarre.”

Okay, that’s fair.

* Democracy Now reports on Haiti six months after the earthquake.

* Duke University in the news, shamelessly promoting belly-buttonism.

* A Texas company S2C Global Systems has announced that it is moving forward with a plan to ship 2.9 billion to 9 billion gallons of water a year from the small Alaskan town of Sitka to the west coast of India (near Mumbai). If the company succeeds in carrying out the shipments, the deal would represent the world’s first regular, bulk exports of water via tanker.

* And Talking Points Memo and The Big Picture (1, 2) have your World Cup 2010 methadone.

Alas, 2014

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The World Cup is over and I was able to watch only a few minutes of the final (though I did see the goal). Spain’s win salvaged my showing in the ESPN bracket to a still-disappointing 6th place, while in the McDonald’s Cup I managed a heartbreaking second in both regular and tournament modes. I will be sad forever. See you in 2014.

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July 11, 2010 at 6:43 pm

Alas Poor Holland?

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World Cup Daily has me second-guessing my endorsement of the psychic octopus. Maybe Holland will pull it off. I really don’t know.

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July 11, 2010 at 8:25 am

Alas, Poor Holland

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The psychic octopus has picked Spain. I picked Spain to win it all way back in the ESPN pool, and I suppose I’m sticking with that after watching them dispatch Germany—though I’ll be rooting for Orange.

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July 9, 2010 at 9:48 am

Quick as Possible Prediction Thread

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Netherlands-Brazil: Sorry, Orange, but you’re going home. Brazil 2, Netherlands 1, maybe 0.

Argentina-Germany: My head says Argentina but my heart says Germany. I think it’s pretty much a tossup, with a slight edge to Argentina… Oh, right. Uruguay-Ghana: I think Uruguay wins, but I may just still be bitter over our devastating loss. Without Ayew, though, Ghana has real problems. Call it 2-0.

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July 2, 2010 at 1:12 am

Žižek on the World Cup

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July 2, 2010 at 12:43 am


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* FIFA may be cracking on goal line technology.

* As Ireland’s experience shows, austerity makes no sense as an economic policy during a downturn.

* Boing Boing highlights Buzz Aldrin’s UFO claims.

* Yglesias points out that the Presidential Succession Act makes no sense. When I found out that Robert Byrd was third in line for the presidency a few years ago I was completely aghast, and I remain thus.

* The other day we were wondering why LEGO has no real presence within the Toy Story universe. This is probably why.

* And because you demanded it: Hot Tub Time Machine sequel fodder.

Paul Just Has a Good Instinct for Football

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June 29, 2010 at 12:24 pm

FIFA Apologizes To England & Mexico For Referee Errors

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So reports the Huffington Post. If only there were some commonsense solution to all this….

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June 29, 2010 at 12:11 pm

Group of 16 Prediction Thread #4

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I find today’s games are relatively uninteresting (Paraguay v. Japan) and totally fascinating (Spain v. Portugal). I think Paraguay will beat Japan but I feel uncommitted as to the magnitude of the victory; it could 1-0, it could even go to penalty kicks, or it might be another 3-1 blowout. I likewise find myself unable to choose between Spain and Portugal; I think Portugal (and Ronaldo) are better than most commenters seem to think, and I further think that Spain is overrated—but I still don’t know how this one shakes out in practice. Flip a coin! My totally speculative guess is Spain by one.

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June 29, 2010 at 1:57 am

A Few Links

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* If you’d been foolish enough to bet $5 that Joe Biden could walk into a Midwestern custard shop and not create some sort of national incident by uttering a mild profanity, well, it’s time to pay up.

* FIFA to address calls for technological replays in the stupidest manner possible.

* Following up on yesterday’s links, Robert Byrd has died.

* One reason why humans are special and unique.

* How a superhorse travels through time (and why).

* Rithmomachia: the Philosophers’ Game.

* And Conan the Barbarian: The Musical. It’s been that sort of week.

Soccer & Technology

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Regardless of the supposed merits of “pure” soccer without technological review of close calls, it’s patently absurd to show everyone the replay, including the refs and all the spectators in the stadium, but then refuse to act on what is plainly visible to all. I am sympathetic to the specific tempo of soccer, which would be damaged by instituting any sort of replay delay, as well as to the fear that players would maliciously try to game any review system as a delay tactic—but surely we can install simple goal-line detectors, or make an immediate offsides call against a player we can all see was offside by a few yards. A ten- to thirty-second review window would change nothing about the game.

The abysmal officiating that kept Ireland out was bad enough—game after game in this Cup has been tainted by inexplicably bad calls, ands something’s got to give.

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June 27, 2010 at 10:25 pm

Group of 16 Prediction Thread #3

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Brazil v. Chile: I’m biased by the fact that I’ve loaded my fantasy squad with Brazilian defenders, but I think Brazil will shut down Chile just like they always do.

How big an underdog is Chile? It has lost seven straight games to Brazil, including being swept in the World Cup qualifiers, and has been outscored 26-3 in those games.

I’m predicting another 3-0 or 4-0 blowout. My only hesitation is that Brazil may be so dominant that they put in their second-stringers too early to really run up the score.

Netherlands vs. Slovakia: I’d expect Netherlands to take this one walking away, though it’s hard for me to predict the magnitude. 2-0? 2-1? In any event, I think Netherlands wins.

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June 27, 2010 at 10:12 pm