August rambling: No room for fear

Fall Springs, a New Musical

at the drop of a hatCondolences to fillyjonk on the death of her father.

The Rise and Fall of ‘Mentally Retarded’.

How vaccines cause autism.

How to Prepare for a Hurricane.

Dr Dicky Doyle.

Jeff Lasky on JEOPARDY! Part 1 and Part 2 and Questions answered.

The Man with the Golden Airline Ticket.

When New Yorkers Were Menaced By Banana Peels.

Now I Know: Nothing Motivates Like Free Pizza and Why You Shouldn’t Discount Discounts and Why Those Two Little Black Bumps Are In The Road.

TONI MORRISON, R.I.P.

The Los Angesles time obituary.

Her Black Art Spoke in a Nation That Would Silence Us

No Place for Self-Pity, No Room for Fear; In times of dread, artists must never choose to remain silent.

Angela Davis, Nikki Giovanni and Sonia Sanchez Pay Tribute

In her own words.

We feel like she’s a piece of us: her time in Albany (I am briefly quoted)

AMERICAN ROULETTE

The U.S. Culture of Violence is Killing Us All.

The Second Amendment doesn’t give you the right to own a gun; Federalist Papers #29.

‘A Guarantee of Not Being Shot Is Impossible’: Amnesty Issues Global Travel Warning to All People in the United States.

Americans are saving too little for retirement.

Why Didn’t America Become Part of the Modern World?

:Republican Whataboutism Gets More Desperate.

Foreign Policy magazine cataloged the U.S. Democratic presidential primary candidates’ stances on foreign-policy issues.

djt

Desperate Fear.

The regime’s trade threats, tariffs, and bullying both allies and rivals into submission was based on an ambitious theory. It turned out to be a fallacy. and More tariffs ahead as he admits agriculture deal with China never really existed and Wall Street Fears He Is Too Dumb to End Trade War Before 2020.

Republicans Now Are More Open to the Idea of Expanding Presidential Power.

MUSIC

Nasty Man – Joan Baez.

C’mon Science — Fall Springs, a New Musical.

THE 8 WEIRDEST VIDEOS MTV PLAYED ON ITS FIRST DAY Yes, it includes Lifeguard.

Heartbeats Accelerating – Linda Ronstadt.

Harry Belafonte: Turn Around and Jump in the Line.

All Over the Place – HYLLS

Coverville: 1272: The 35th Anniversary Track by Track Cover of Purple Rain and 1273: Cover Stories for Counting Crows and Dire Straits.

Inspirit – Lola Astanova.

K-Chuck: the funkiest tracks buried deep in his record collection.

LOUIS ARMSTRONG DANCES WITH SUSIE Q DOLLS?

Rhiannon Giddens: Defiant in the Face of “Othering” and What Folk Music Means.

The woman who saved Paul McCartney | 60 Minutes Australia.

Unwritten rules for Canada Day

respect the queue

mercator_projection
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License.
I was astonished. During that Team JEOPARDY! tournament, there was a question in the Dates category. “The Dominion of Canada was proclaimed on this date in 1867.”

The players at the time were Julia Collins, who had won 20 regular games; Austin Rogers, 12 regular games; and Ken Jennings, a record 74 regular games. None of them rang in, and Canadian-born Alex Trebek appeared genuinely disappointed.

But I knew. Heck, I’ve known since at least 1967, when EXPO ’67 took place.

Sometimes, Quora is useful. I have pilfered some unwritten rules in Canada. They are fairly consistent among the over 40 contributors.

Say “I’m sorry” for everything, even when the other person is wrong. Hold the door for others.

Don’t make ostentatious displays of wealth, or brag about your material success.

Never raise your voice in public. You will scare the natives.

Don’t litter. Respect the environment, National and Provincial Parks.

Take off your hat and shoes when entering the home.

Never refer to people by their physical ethnic group or by skin color. Do not make nasty or negative comments about immigrants or refugees. Respect the diversity of ALL cultures, and their relationship to Canadian culture as a whole.

Don’t talk about religion or politics unless it’s brought up in a meaningful way. Separate religion and politics altogether.

Feel free to gripe about the weather.

Queuing up is mandatory. Jumping the queue will always be met with a dirty look, snide comments, or, on occasion, worse.

The left lane is the passing lane on the highway.

Feign an enjoyment of hockey.

Americans on Quora have heard that the wait time for Canadian medical care is excessive. To a person, the feeling is exactly the opposite.

As one fellow put it, “Canadian healthcare is so much better than US healthcare it’s like comparing apples to a moldy pile of compost with something fuzzy and odoriferous growing on it.”

Happy Canada Day!

James Holzhauer didn’t “throw” JEOPARDY! game

J-Archive wagering calculator says he did it right

To no one’s surprise, I was happy to see Emma Boettcher, a user experience librarian from Chicago, Illinois beat James Holzhauer, a professional sports gambler from Las Vegas, Nevada (whose 32-day cash winnings total $2,462,216) Monday on JEOPARDY! If you want to see that game, watch it here, only through June 7, 2019.

I am bemused by all these recent fans who decided that he “threw” the game because he was homesick or tired of playing. Some thought his style was “blah”, but that was a function, I think, of good competitors, including Jay Sexton, a senior research engineer from Atlanta, Georgia.

James hit the Daily Double on the first clue, thus was unable to forge a large enough lead at the end of the first round. Then, in the Double JEOPARDY! round, Emma, not James, hit the first Daily Double, bet it all, and took control. She also hit the second Daily Double, won $3000, and never relinquished her lead.

Was he tired? Maybe. But it would have been the first game of the week – they generally tape five shows in one day.

James explains his Final JEOPARDY! wager. If you go to the J-Archive wagering calculator, here are the recommendations:
James: “Try wagering $1,399, which is as much as you can put up against Emma without being usurped by a doubled score on the part of Jay.”
Emma: “Wager $20,201 to cover James.”
And that’s exactly what each of them did. James wagered based on what his score was in the game. He knew he would lose if she got it right so he bet small in case they both got it wrong and Jay got it right.

Usually James had an insurmountable lead in a game, which allowed his massive bets. Still, James’ Coryat score, his score if all wagering is disregarded, was $23,400, with 25 right, and 0 wrong answers. Emma’s was $18,800 (21-0), and Jay’s was $11,000 (13-1).

I am disappointed that the CBS Evening News did a spoiler, as did other outlets. But it’s hard to keep a secret for something that happened in March with 250 people present.

in any case, James Holzhauer will be back for the Tournament of Champions in November.

Addendum from friend Carol:

James Holzhauer on JEOPARDY!

Some people get really upset if you don’t love what they love

James HolzhauerI was at a work conference. A long-time work friend asked me about James Holzhauer, the 22-day JEOPARDY! champion, and counting, who has pretty much destroyed the competition.

Before I could give my opinion, She says, “Boring! Right?” And I agreed.

I was wary about answering because SO many people have expressed a different viewpoint. That is fine by me, but sometimes it’s not fine by them. I say it’s not interesting. They say, “That’s your opinion!” Of course, it’s my opinion.

I say, “It’s like watching a 15-4 baseball game or 62-7 football game.” They say, “I hate football,” which is rather not the point. It is watching contestant after contestant going through a meat grinder.

I’ve freely noted that Holzhauer is doing something that no one else has done. A million dollars in 14 games; it took Ken Jennings twice as long to reach that threshold. He’s rightly made the mainstream news.

He knows a lot, but he also beats people on the buzzer, because his opponents often think they know the answer and can’t get in. And he bets HEAVILY because betting is what he does for a living – professional sports gambler.

Still, it’s like why people HATED the New York Yankees after they won five World Series in a row in 1949-1953. Many of the games are like the Yankees playing a Little League team.

So people are SHOCKED that I don’t particularly enjoy the games. I could just write it off as Arthur’s Law, but I think there’s a more specific thing here.

Mark Evanier has engaged in a series called Cranky, Rambling Rant. Part One was “about how some people get really upset if you don’t love what they love.” Part Two was “about how some people (including probably most of the same ones) get really upset when you do love something they don’t love.”

I’m experiencing Part One a lot. In most cases, they’re asking ME because I was once – OK, twice – on JEOPARDY! But I’ve been watching the show for a long time, back when Art Fleming was hosting back in the 1960s.

There was a long period when no one could appear on the regular show more than five games. For all sorts of geeky reasons, having to do with the quality of Tournament of Champion winners, I thought that was a good rule.

The rule won’t return, I don’t think, because more people are watching when James Holzhauer or Arthur Chu or Austin Rogers is on. Some folks, regular JEOPARDY! watchers, have told me they won’t watch it again until Holzhauer is gone, but I expect they’re in the minority.

I’ll still tune in because that’s what I do. But I’ll enjoy seeing new champions.

April rambling: the triumph of zealots

If every episode is a blowout in which two of three contestants are basically never competitive, does that not grow uninteresting over time?

Women and the Resurrection
Women and the Resurrection cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward
Read the redacted Mueller report here OR here.

Yes, Obstruction.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Mueller Report and Opioids II.

Deconstructed: A Migrant’s Journey and refugees to America brought in $63 billion more in government revenues than they cost in the last 10 years.

As Mr. Parrot pointed out: “Why on earth didn’t we [the UK] follow the Code of Good Practice on Referendums which the UK signed up to in 2006? This advocates a referendum as a two-part process, starting with an advisory vote and proceeding to a detailed proposal, with a second vote by either parliament or the people. They also advise that a vote below 55% in favour should be ignored.” (Brexit passed with 51.9% of the vote.)

When Did Faith & Science Become Enemies? Lessons from a Christian Physicist with Dr. David Larrabee.

Selling the Soul of Franklin Graham.

How Sovereign Citizens Helped Swindle $1 Billion From the Government They Disavow.

Do not mess with Katie Porter. EVER.

“I’ve lived long enough to see the triumph of zealots and absolutists, to watch money swallow politics, to witness the rise of the corporate state. See the party of working and poor people become a sycophant of crony capitalism.

Watch the union of church and state become fashionable again. Witness the coupling of news and entertainment. See everyday people cast overboard as the pirates and predators of Wall Street seized the ship of state. I didn’t drift; I moved left just by standing still.”

  • Bill Moyers, from an interview at The Progressive in 2014.

Why James Holzhauer Is Bad for JEOPARDY! “If every episode is a blowout in which two of three contestants are basically never competitive, does that not grow uninteresting over time?”

The Tragic Story of Bob Fosse’s Second Wife, Joan McCracken.

The #MeToo Blacklist?

What Will Hollywood Do with Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin?

Ken Levine interview with Al Michaels Part 1 and Part 2.

The Exaltation of Anger.

Why do we laugh?

Sesame Street/HBO: Respect is Coming and Respect World.

I like cursive.

We stan: Merriam-Webster just added 640 new words.

Just blog it and 101 Blogging Statistics for 2019.

Waiting for the doctor.

Neil Gaiman on Jack Kirby.

Are X-Men human… or monsters?

Now I Know: The Surströmming Offensive and Why Do Escalators Have Those Brushes Along the Edge? and The Swimming Pool That Was Literally Blacked Out and The Bug in the Plan.

MUSIC

Wayfaring Stranger – Rhiannon Giddens.

My World is Empty Without You/Maneater – Hall and Oates and The Supremes.

Hail Mary, Gentle Woman – Jamie Biller.

Coverville 1258: Cover Stories for Indigo Girls, Dave Edmunds and Dusty Springfield.

The Grande symphonie funebre et triomphale – Hector Berlioz.

O Mio Babbino Caro Darci (Italian Opera) – Darcy Lynne and Petunia.

Triumphal March from Aida – Verdi.

Greg Burgas: The Unsung – the weirder end of the Phil Collins musical spectrum.

K-Chuck Radio: The many branches of Bruce Channel’s one-hit wonder.

Jupiter from The Planets – Gustav Holst – Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Sh-Boom – Sh-Pony.

Guitarist J. Geils Dead at 71.

Top Ten Most Worthless Records, and I own half of them.