The Electric Commentary

Monday, January 23, 2006

I'm Impressed/Unimpressed

I'm unimpressed with Kobe Bryant's 81 points.

However, I am impressed that Kobe Bryant managed to maintain such a high shooting percentage while scoring 81 points.

If you take a lot of shots, you will score a lot of points. Scoring points in the NBA isn't that impressive, and if someone wanted to break Wilt's record, they probably could. I wouldn't be shocked at all if Mamba pulls it off this year. But making yourself the lone offensive threat, and still scoring at will, that's impressive.

Potential Onion headline:

Antoine Walker scores 100 points in a game! (On 300 shots.)

I am impressed with Pittsburgh.

A great team peaking at the right time. I'm not making them my official pick (yet) but they certainly look like they're championship caliber.

I am unimpressed with the Badgers in general.

Bleh. Ughh.

I am impressed with Marquette.

A nice win over Notre Dame, and another great game from Steve Novak.

I am unimpressed with these activists, as they are jackasses.

I don't like Zima or "Mike's Hard Sunny Delight" any more than you do, but a few years ago the big American breweries all decided that there was a large market for beer that didn't taste like beer, and with all of our modern scientific advances, we can now make beer that doesn't taste like beer without much difficulty (and frankly, it's developments like this that make me understand the Luddite position).

There are a few folks out there who think that cherry flavored beer appeals to teenagers. They seek to make these beverages unprofitable by forcing the state to classify the beverage as liquor instead of beer.

We all know that these affronts against nature actually appeal to women, specifically, women in sororities (who are over 21, of course), and that teenagers will not, in fact, drink this crap. Why?

1. Teenagers are fairly reliant on "older brothers," to get their booze, and "older brothers" will not buy Zima, or "Mike's Hard Ecto Cooler" under any circumstances.

2. Teenagers are also reliant on the "fake I.D." If you are using a fake I.D., the best way to tip off the retailer is to purchase Zima.

3. Teenagers are more prone to be influenced by peer pressure, and more likely to dish it out. No one wants to get to school on Monday to find that they've acquired the nickname of zteven, or Pema, or Mike's Hard "x", where x is overtly offensive to homosexuals.

Some people have too much time on their hands.

Hat tip to Reason's Jacob Sollum, who addressed the idiotic point that some parents may not be able to tell these beverages from Snapple:


Even if parents are too stupid to realize that products with names like Mike's Hard Lemonade, Bacardi Silver, and Jack Daniel's Country Cocktails might contain alcohol--despite hints such as "5.2% ALC/VOL" and the surgeon general's warning--they probably will realize their error pretty quickly, once their youngsters start stumbling around, slurring their words, and crashing their tricycles.


I'm unimpressed with this, but I am also unsurprised.

I'm impressed with this post by Allison Christians, guestblogging at the Conglomerate.

It has caused me to rethink the merits of any government sponsored savings account.

I am impressed, and grossed out, by this:


Toxoplasma gondii is a favorite parasite of evolutionary biologists because it has an incredible property. The parasite lives in the guts of cats where it sheds eggs in cat feces that are often eaten by rats. Now how to get back from the rat to the cat? Amazingly, Toxoplasma gondii infects the brains of rats making them change their behavior in a subtle way that increases the genetic fitness of the parasite. Toxoplasma makes the infected rats less scared of cats and so more likely to be eaten!


Read the whole thing for the surprise ending.

I am unimpressed with the Buffalo Bills.

Really? Dick Jauron?

Finally, I am impressed with Our School by Joanne Jacobs, the story of the first years of Downtown College Prep, a charter school in San Jose California aimed at educating underachieving kids, and making college a reality.

Most of their students do not speak English, and their average student enters 9th grade with 5th grade reading and math skills.

There is no magic bullet here, a point that I think is lost on many critics of education in America. The teachers at DCP work their kids hard. They drill them to death, they focus on the fundamentals, and they always assign homework, every day. They also require that parents sign homework logs, and they call parents for even minor offenses. They are also perfectly willing to expel students for bad behavior.

However, they do have some amazing success stories. The book is an excellent reality check, but it is also inspirational. Most of the kids at DCP probably would have failed miserably in any other environment, but with DCP's help, most of them manage to turn their lives around.

It is an excellent story, and an excellent book.

4 Comments:

  • I agree wholeheartedly. The one impressive thing about Kobe is that teams know he is their main weapon yet they still don't shut him down. I have to add that because Kobe takes so many shots every game odds are that eventually he'll actually make a lot of them and thus keep shooting them. After this showing he moved up to 68th in the league in FG% (right below Allen Iverson). So basically his game is probably a consequence of probabilities due to repeated plays.

    By Anonymous Scott H, at 4:17 PM  

  • You're not impressed by a feat that hasn't been done for over 40 years? And in a winning effort? That's actually kind of disturbing.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:13 AM  

  • Seriously, anyone who is unimpressed with Kobe's 81 points is kidding themsleves above all else.

    Look in the mirror, Noonan. 81 POINTS! MJ never even really came close. C'mon.

    By Blogger Ace Cowboy, at 12:28 PM  

  • I think Paul's underlying point is not that 81 points isn't impressive in itself, but rather than it doesn't go far to impress him that much more with Kobe as a player compared to other players because it is largely the result of a willingness to take a lot of shots all the time. More players haven't scored like this in large part because they don't take 50 shots a game, not because they are incapable of scoring so much. I mean I don't know about Wilt's, but I know that David Robinson's record was set when the Spurs were basically riding him every game.

    That said, I don't doubt Kobe's ability one bit.

    By Anonymous Scott H, at 6:46 PM  

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