The Electric Commentary

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

News and notes

I've been meaning to write an Ode to Mike Martz all week (I think I can blame him for the apparent weakness of the NFC) but I'm extremely busy (as are all EC contributors) so it will have to wait until tomorrow or Friday. In the meantime:

Start with the Carnival of the Vanities (see below)

Then read this weird item about the Saints (hat tip, Outsiders). While you're at it, check out the Outsiders and William Krasker, who makes an excellent point:

Commentator Al Michaels remarked after the play that a field goal would have made it a one-possession game. We think it was a bit early to reduce the score differential to a "number of possessions." (Even near the end of the game, one shouldn't overestimate a team's prospects when they pull to within 8 points: In addition to scoring a touchdown, they still have to make a two-point conversion and then win in overtime. Down 8 is much worse than down 7, which is much worse than down 6; yet all are one-possession games.)

Bill Simmons threw out his back, which means he had to watch TV for an obscenely long time, which usually makes a good Sports Guy column. I did not know that this existed:

DATE MY MOM Here's what I sent to a buddy in an e-mail yesterday: "Yo, have you seen 'Date My Mom?' Just when you think MTV can't top themselves, they go ahead and top themselves. A kid takes three different Moms out on a date -- each of them try to sell him on their daughter. The sexual tension is disturbing and palpable. All the Moms say their daughters look like Britney Spears even though some of them look like dudes. Then he has to pick a winner without ever seeing the three daughters. Mesmerizing stuff. When they realize that they passed up the hot daughter for a dog, they all make the same face that ML Carr made when he missed out on Duncan in the '97 Lottery. FANTASTIC TV." (By the way, I graduated from college 12 years ago.)

Ken Jennings finally lost on Jeopardy, on an answer that I got right:

As someone who always has prepared his own tax returns, Jennings was tripped up in Final Jeopardy by this answer: Most of this firm's 70,000 seasonal white-collar employees work only four months a year.

Dan Drezner has two interesting posts. The first in on trade barriers and sea food, and the second is on increased demand for goat meat. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.

The Commons links to an interesting and optimistic NYT article:

Researchers at a government nuclear laboratory and a ceramics company in Salt Lake City say they have found a way to produce pure hydrogen with far less energy than other methods, raising the possibility of using nuclear power to indirectly wean the transportation system from its dependence on oil.

At The Volokh Conspiracy, Randy Barnett talks about his recent appearance before the US Supreme Court, and Orin Kerr notes that Yale got Harvard good. After you read that post, check out the 10 best college pranks ever.

Virginia Postrel has an interesting post about flowers combating land mines.

Evan Schaeffer's Wednesday guest writer, David Austin
, takes Judge Richard Posner to task over his recent criticism of Law Reviews.

Alex Tabarrok at Marginal Revolution
points us to an interesting idea for school reform.

Dr. Tufte has some interesting observations about rules v. discretion in blackjack.

Finally, The Onion notes that US security reforms have caught on in Iraq.

That should keep you busy for a while. Enjoy!

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