Sunday, August 05, 2012

GREAT BRITAIN JUST LOST TO CROATIA IN HANDBALL 37-14: Which is massive blowout if you know your handball and I think you do, and the 14th goal for Team GB came at the 29:59 mark, so the very last second, and the crowd went wild and the team celebrated like mad, this team of people with day jobs I'm sure who were only slightly conscious of the sport four years ago but who went out and played handball for four years or whatever because the host nation HAS to have a team. Yes, I watch the Olympics for moments like the home team scoring a last second goal in a tournament where they haven't won a game.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

YOU KNOW YOU'RE NOT LIVING IN A TABLE TENNIS NATION: When your best young player is giving interviews like this:

"If I didn't have straight A's, I wouldn't play table tennis. My parents told me I couldn't play table tennis if I didn't get straight A's," said Hsing, who did interviews in English and Mandarin Chinese.
She has applied to Stanford. She is considering applying to Princeton. She's also thinking about taking some time off before starting college to focus full time on her sport.
"I think it's something that would be really, really interesting to me," she said. "I thought it would be really cool because I usually don't play a lot of pro tours. I've only played one, and I think to just for one year just focus would be really, really fun."
Oh hey yeah, devoting one's self to one's sport might be fun! Or, you know, maybe she'll go to college and work on the school paper or something. Who knows. 
And straight As, shmaight As--if this was China she'd already be in table tennis school. We're never going to get anywhere in this country in table tennis with this level of support. IS THAT WHAT YOU WANT, AMERICA? A MORIBUND TABLE TENNIS PROGRAM? We'll never beat the Chinese that way!

EDIT TO ADD Ariel Hsing is close personal friends with Warren Buffet and Bill Gates, so it's not like she'd lack for support if she wanted it. The problem is that she isn't sure if she wants it and if this was a real table tennis nation that wouldn't even be a question. So AMERICA IS NOT A TABLE TENNIS NATION. I have proven it on my blog.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

A THE DARK KNIGHT RISES REVIEW: By Alan David Doane. I am only lukewarm on the Nolan-Bale Batman project, and ADD seems to be on a similar wavelength, so I may agree with this review in large part whenever I end up seeing TDKR. I mean not to prejudge something, but: "In the end, after three overblown and undercooked Batman movies, the only thing we’ll remember, the only thing that felt right and transcended genre, was Heath Ledger’s Joker." <---strikes me as something accurate. Liam Neeson's Ra's definitely wasn't memorable, and Bane will have to be Lord Humungus levels of awesome to be memorable in that mask.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

COOKING AS A FORM OF CULTURAL APPROPRIATION: I've already forgotten where I got this from--it's a really great debate between Francis Lam and Eddie Huang. Is it fair for chefs to cook other culture's foods? is the question. Here, taste something flavored with out of context:

That type of “modern” food with international influences is like diversity at a law firm or Ivy League school. There is an “international class” that produces similar individuals worldwide. At a certain point, food isn’t an ethnic thing, it’s a class thing. You can go to Taichung and there are “modern” restaurants like Wein that use “international class” techniques like sous-vide, foam, square plates, and exotic reductions “inspired” by Taiwanese folklore and Shanghainese flavors. The food at Empellon could be the food at Wein could be the food at Aquavit could be the food at Kin Shop. There is a formula to these restaurants and the foreign influences are interchangeable like WWF characters.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

BLOGGING AS A FORM OF SOCIAL BOOKMARKING: Little note on writing well that I wish to keep track of. Via Maria Yang.


Sunday, April 29, 2012


This article does no good for the Economist's credibility. I'm asking myself: "If articles about a country which I know well (I'm French) are so misguided and misinformed, how can I trust the Economist for news about other parts of the world - which is why I read the Economist in the first place?"

I remember Atrios saying something like this years ago, and I was all, "OH THAT ATRIOS. He's just a meanie. He doesn't even take Instapundit seriously!" Atrios was right about Instapundit, and right about The Economist. Once you see them write about something you know something about, it's invariably at least questionable and then you start thinking--hey, is this page on Ecuadorean politics also suspect? And your interest in The Economist starts to trail off. Plus it's right bloody expensive, as they say over there.

(The comment appears in this article on Francois Holland's probable victory over Nicolas "Jon Corzine in 2009" Sarkozy in the French elections, where a right bloody war has broken out in that comments thread.)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

AH, I SWEAR I DON'T PLAN ANY OF THIS: Like writing a post a month. I mean I don't have a reminder set up in my phone or something that tells me, "it's been a month! Update the stupid blog again!" It must be something primitive, in the back of my hindbrain, that gives me the ability to post on a nearly monthly basis. OMG IT'S INNATE! EVOLUTION PROVIDED FOR A BLOGGING GENE!
DEPT. OF PRESSING THE LIKE BUTTON ON COMMENTS MADE ON OTHER PEOPLE'S BLOGS: The entity known as "elm," a member of the LGM commentariat, offers the following on the "Corey Robin on Cory Booker" thing:

Yes, sure, but how do we know he didn’t set the fire to begin with just so he good [sic] save the woman? Answer me that, will you.
(Seriously, even if Booker had funded the fire department up the wazoo, do we think that it would have improved reaction time such that they got there before Booker, who lived next door? Once he saw the fire and knew someone was inside, what was he supposed to do? He did the brave–even heroic–thing, but we’re not supposed to applaud him because he’s not always as progressive as we would want? Really?)

Yeah, the Robin just struck me as the work of someone so focused on their own set of issues they can't even enjoy a good set of "CORY BOOKER IS CHUCK NORRIS" jokes in the aftermath of an elected American official saving a woman from a fire.

Friday, March 16, 2012

LONG NATIONAL NIGHTMARE OVER: In record time, and in close to the most humiliating way possible, in terms of seeding. Never humiliating to lose to a Patriot League team, though, not really--those kids can hit their free throws.

My favorite part was the Lehigh coach and one of the players really really trying hard not to smile when there were like 20 seconds yet.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


This is re: that idiotic "state workers forced a preschooler to eat chicken nuggets!" story out of North Carolina. Stupid right-libertarian argle bargles always take this form, by the way: state agent forces unwitting and/or powerless citizen to do something stupid! AREN'T AGENTS OF THE STATE ALWAYS DOING STUFF LIKE THIS? They are, like, the worst. And then you gargle with that argle bargle until the next one comes around.

(I like using the phrase "right-libertarian," I think. Non-left-libertarians are the ones most likely to claim they're neither left nor right, simply AWESOME FREE-THINKERS. They're also the ones most likely to side with the right on issues of GIT OFF MAH PROPERTY. "Propertarian" is kind of an epithet. "Right-libertarian" isn't, and it's descriptive, and contrasts well with left-libertarians, like, I don't know, ACLU members or something. Right-libertarians would be those in the Kochosphere certainly, employees of Reason or Cato. I guess it would also apply to the paleo-libertarians...well, "right-libertarian" is the umbrella term then, covering paleolibs and Kochlibs. There! Easy, cheap categories! I love the Internet.)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

GETTING ON THAT LOCAL ISSUES TRAIN: The audience for my blog is already very tiny, and the remaining audience that would be interested in subject matter of this post is even tinier--it has not even been determined if that number is nonzero--but: the Chris Christie administration has come out in favor of the entirety of the UMDNJ Committee report (you can read it here) which contains some sensible recommendations, like dissolving the corrupt UMDNJ institution, and some odd ones, like giving the medical school in New Brunswick to Rutgers (makes sense) but spinning off the rest of the spare parts into a new institution that's, ummm, indistinguishable from UMDNJ (what?) The real headscratcher, though, is the proposal to fold Rutgers-Camden into Rowan University, which would involve a regional, undergraduate focused university with little graduate activity absorbing South Jersey's only public research university, which of course carries the centuries of prestige of the Rutgers name with it. This is, of course, completely illogical. It's being done so the nascent medical school in Camden (which still hasn't admitted anyone to my knowledge) can have the backing of a public research university, which it does need. But this can be done just much more simply with Rutgers maintaining its AAU status and creating a formal research relationship with Rutgers, as in the model proposed by former Camden Dean Margaret Marsh here. Otherwise the proposal destroys Rutgers-Camden to no good purpose I can imagine, though I can imagine some less good ones with no relationship to education or research.

Too long? Didn't read? Just sign this petition opposing the merger, please.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


(Seriously, though, SOPA is terrible and needs to be stopped. Don't let ancient corporations Sonny Bono Act the whole Internet, y'all.)

EDIT: And every other jerk who never updates their blog made the same stupid joke. STOP SOPA, PREVENT REPETITIVE HUMOR.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

RANDOM "WHO COMMENTS ON THE COMMENTATORS?" SORT OF THOUGHT: Glenn Greenwald occupies the same position in the pundit ecosystem than Camille Paglia did back in the late 90s/early 00s. Right? I mean, the Salon thing is obvious--possibly too obvious and also misleadingly obvious--but also the liberalish politics that could not possibly be constrained by the Democratic party. There's just less "porn is art" and more "how can liberals POSSIBLY NOT LIKE a Texan Republican congressman who wants to dismantle Social Security?!?!?" with Glenn.