Friday, 28 December 2012

How watching basketball rots your judgement

How could basketball be better than hockey.

When you use the sex metaphor, there is no comparison.
We all know that when your team wins or scores,
it's good for fecundity.
There's also the issue that a goal is a stress release,
much like spunking. So, when basketball has over
150 such events, then you cannot receive sexual
pleasure or even a good stiffy. The metaphor doesn't
Hockey often has 5 or 6 climaxes a night. That's just
about right.

check it and laugh:  Reformed banker

The Difference Between Skill and Luck (or why basketball > hockey)
    Joshua M Brown
    November 18th, 2012

This book The Success Equation: Untangling Skill and Luck is probably my next read as soon I finish this teen vampire thing I've been poring over with a highlighter for the last six months.  I find this stuff utterly fascinating and Michael Mauboussin uses lots of examples from investing and finance to make his points.

There's a really good talk with Mauboussin posted at Wired this weekend in which the writer and scholar explains why some sports have a higher degree of luck relative to skill affecting final outcomes.

Basketball comes closest to chess in terms of being the game with the most skill involved. In comparison, hockey looks more like the lottery (and don't even ask about trading). His spectrum of pro sports and other activities below:

The bottom line is that the law of smaller numbers allows for more variance in individual player and game outcomes in a sport like baseball or hockey - in baseball the most skilled hitter only gets up to bat a few times per game and in hockey the star players aren't on the ice much more than a period or two out of three. Less plate appearances or ice time can mean that it is more likely that a fluke of some sort, good or bad luck, can make an impact.  This is in contrast to basketball where there are only five players at any time and the stars typically play most of the game - more playing time means a bigger sample, by extension this means less variance.
I'll pause for a moment to allow all the Canadian, Russian, Eastern European and Minnesotan readers of mine to scream out an open window in outrage....feel better? Good. No one is saying skill isn't important in hockey, merely that half the goals are scored via accidental ricochet. Just kidding.

Anyway, it's more complicated (and interesting) than that, obviously, so I'll send you over for the whole thing. The applications here for investing and fund selection and stock portfolios and trading etc are mind-boggling...

Van Gogh & Gaugin in the Last Utopians

It was early to mid 19th century time when those two great artists met
and were motivated by other artists to imagine a just world.

Anybody like that today would be bloodtested for crack.

That's not to say that they were not averse
to using the food budget on some hookers.  
let's see how they perceived their world,
through an absynthe glass
checkit:  The Guardian
Van Gogh and Gauguin letter tells of artistic hopes that turned sour
'Electrifying' missive written by artists on pages of French exercise books goes on sale in Paris next month
  Kim Willsher in Paris
   , Friday 23 November 2012 18.12 GMT
The handwritten letter, penned jointly by Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin on cheap paper torn out of a school exercise book, speaks of friendship and hope. Written at a critical point in the careers of both men, it refers to dreams of founding a utopian community of brother artists, of a new artistic renaissance, and of paintings now recognised as masterpieces.
The reality was to be less idyllic. Shortly after the missive was sent, the pair quarrelled violently and in one of history's most notorious acts of self-mutilation, Van Gogh sliced off his right ear. It was an act that marked the Dutchman's final decline into madness and suicide.
Now, the four-page letter signed by both artists has emerged from a private collection before its auction in Paris next month, where it is expected to fetch up to €500,000 (£405,000).
Thomas Venning, an expert with the auction house Christie's, said the document offered an insight into the "most famous artistic menage in history".
"I spend my life dealing with letters and this is one of the greatest, most electrifying I have ever seen," he said. "It takes you into their house, into their lives at this particular moment.
"You can imagine Van Gogh sitting down to write the letter on cheap paper because they didn't have much money, then saying to Gauguin: 'You finish it off'."
The letter is written on the square-ruled paper of French exercise books and addressed to Emile Bernard, a young avant garde artist who inspired both men. It was composed in November 1888 at Arles in Provence, where Van Gogh had rented two floors of a private house, 2 Place Lamartine, the subject of the painting La Maison Jaune.
The previous week, after months of procrastination, Gauguin had arrived to live and paint with Van Gogh for one or two years. At the time, the French art world was moving from impressionism to modernism and surrealism, but Van Gogh and Gauguin had yet to be widely recognised.
Van Gogh, mentally fragile and prone to violent mood swings, was fired up with childlike excitement. In the letter, he gives his first impressions of the French painter.
"Gauguin interests me much as a man – very much – I have long thought that in our dirty profession as painters we have the greatest need of people with the hands and stomachs of a labourer – and more natural tastes – more amorous and benevolent temperaments – than the decadent and exhausted Parisian boulevardier.
"Now here without the slightest doubt we are in the presence of a virgin creature with the instincts of a wild animal. In Gauguin, blood and sex prevail over ambition."
He adds: "We have made several excursions to the brothels and it's likely that we will end up working there often. Gauguin has at the moment a painting under way of same night café that I also painted, but with figures seen in the brothels. It promises to become a beautiful thing.
"I've made two studies of falling leaves in an avenue of poplars and a third study of this whole avenue, entirely yellow." [Les Alyscamps.]"
Van Gogh writes that he and Gauguin are discussing "the terrific subject of an association of certain painters" and of his "presentiment of a new world … and a great artistic renaissance" that will find its home in the tropics.
On the final page, Gauguin adds: "Don't listen to Vincent, as you know he's prone to admiration and ditto indulgence. His idea about the future of a new generation in the tropics seems absolutely right to me as a painter, and I still intend to return there when I have the means to do so. Who knows, with a bit of luck …?"
Eight weeks later, on 23 December, the partnership came to a violent end when the pair quarrelled violently over, it is believed, Van Gogh spending the meagre household budget on prostitutes, and his refusal to stop drinking absinthe.
Van Gogh threatened his "friend" with a razor before slicing off his own ear. Shortly afterwards he entered the first of a series of asylums and died in 1890 aged 37 after shooting himself.

Gazan kids rock their world

We've got new multimedia messages from Palestinian youth,
coming soon.

They slap everyone around, including their own leaders.

They just want a chance at life, like any kids would,
in an Occupied city.

checkit:  The Observer

Gazan youth issue manifesto to vent their anger with all sides in the conflict
An anonymous group of students has created a document to express their frustration born of Hamas's violent crackdowns on 'western decadence', the destruction wreaked by Israel's attacks and the political games played by Fatah and the UN
    Ana Carbajosa
  Sunday 2 January 2011
The meeting takes place in a bare room in a block of flats in the centre of Gaza City. No photographs, no real names – those are the conditions.
This is the first time that a group of young Palestinian cyber-activists has agreed to meet a journalist since launching what it calls Gaza Youth's Manifesto for Change. It is an incendiary document – written with courage and furious energy – that has captivated thousands of people who have come across it online, and the young university students are visibly excited, but also scared. "Not only are our lives in danger; we are also putting our families at risk," says one of them, who calls himself Abu George.

... The Manifesto

"Fuck Hamas. Fuck Israel. Fuck Fatah. Fuck UN. Fuck UNWRA. Fuck USA! We, the youth in Gaza, are so fed up with Israel, Hamas, the occupation, the violations of human rights and the indifference of the international community!

"We want to scream and break this wall of silence, injustice and indifference like the Israeli F16s breaking the wall of sound; scream with all the power in our souls in order to release this immense frustration that consumes us because of this fucking situation we live in...

"We are sick of being caught in this political struggle; sick of coal-dark nights with airplanes circling above our homes; sick of innocent farmers getting shot in the buffer zone because they are taking care of their lands; sick of bearded guys walking around with their guns abusing their power, beating up or incarcerating young people demonstrating for what they believe in; sick of the wall of shame that separates us from the rest of our country and keeps us imprisoned in a stamp-sized piece of land; sick of being portrayed as terrorists, home-made fanatics with explosives in our pockets and evil in our eyes; sick of the indifference we meet from the international community, the so-called experts in expressing concerns and drafting resolutions but cowards in enforcing anything they agree on; we are sick and tired of living a shitty life, being kept in jail by Israel, beaten up by Hamas and completely ignored by the rest of the world.

"There is a revolution growing inside of us, an immense dissatisfaction and frustration that will destroy us unless we find a way of canalising this energy into something that can challenge the status quo and give us some kind of hope.

"We barely survived the Operation Cast Lead, where Israel very effectively bombed the shit out of us, destroying thousands of homes and even more lives and dreams. During the war we got the unmistakable feeling that Israel wanted to erase us from the face of the Earth. During the last years, Hamas has been doing all they can to control our thoughts, behaviour and aspirations. Here in Gaza we are scared of being incarcerated, interrogated, hit, tortured, bombed, killed. We cannot move as we want, say what we want, do what we want.

"ENOUGH! Enough pain, enough tears, enough suffering, enough control, limitations, unjust justifications, terror, torture, excuses, bombings, sleepless nights, dead civilians, black memories, bleak future, heart-aching present, disturbed politics, fanatic politicians, religious bullshit, enough incarceration! WE SAY STOP! This is not the future we want! We want to be free. We want to be able to live a normal life. We want peace. Is that too much to ask?"

Bullyngdon Club Strikes Again

When Dave had a gathering in Boris's territory, everyone went "bonkers."

They tore the place up and caused 4 million pounds worth of damage,
and shrugged it off in 15 minutes.

Because now they run the show.

Of course, I'm talking about the Leveson Report.

While the Bullyngdon club, of rich bored kids, existed
and used to trash restaurants, what I'm
saying is that now they're in politics in the UK, and
trashing the country.
Each of them has their turf.
Dave has the UK, with his second in command, George.
London, the Greater part without the City part, is Boris'
turf. But he let's Dave run the Westminster part without
getting in his face.

Anyway, the royal and privileged are more ensconced
in  power now than they have been since the early days
of Victoria.

The Leveson enquiry was charged with getting a grip
on the out of control media in this country lest they
take over the government (too late).
So, in order to show that the country is not run by
Rupert Murdoch, his sock puppet Dave trashed the
Leveson report 15 minutes after it became public.

The annoying thing is that Leveson dealt with illegality.
Phone tapping. e-mail tapping. These are traceable
and punishable crimes. It's just that nobody is looking
to charge the media bosses.
Piers Morgan gets a pass because he knows where some
bodies are buried.
In fact, an Inquiry was called because the government
did not want their friends and bosses to go to jail.
ah, British justice. spelled JUST- US

And the whole sick show continues on as before.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Monogamy is not a type of wood

-but it can be used to beat you senseless
-but it can be formed into a yoke

I don't even know who the guys on this video are,
but they had the best discussion I've heard
normal-seeming guys, like me, have about
issues such as monogamy, attraction,
unconscious attraction, and nudity.
[on the wood theme, nudity helps you to achieve wood.]

These buys don't have all the research angles
or the appropriate PhD, but who cares.
Food for thought.

the blurb under the video:
Published on 25 Nov 2012

"Most Americans were shocked that retired four-star general and CIA Director David Petraeus resigned after admitting to an extramarital affair. Few should be surprised.

Modern life distances humans from many natural experiences, but not without some negative consequences. Heating and air conditioning let some of us live in 24/7 comfort, but mostly by digging up fossilized carbon deposited over millions of years and releasing it into the atmosphere—something that's bringing our entire species ever closer to disaster.

Sadly, we've also unnaturally altered our sex lives.

In their 2010 book Sex at Dawn, psychologist Christopher Ryan and his psychiatrist wife, Cacilda Jethá, reject the notion that we moderns know how to do sex. From studying behavior in primitive cultures and among our primate cousins, they conclude that the modern social requirement for lifelong fidelity has seriously messed us up."*

Are men and women wired to for monogamy or multiple partners? What attracts people to each other, and what is the evolutionary root? In the wake of the David Petraeus affair scandal, Steve Oh (COO, The Young Turks) and Jimmy Dore (The Jimmy Dore Show) break down the nature of cheating and sex.

*Read more from Jim Catano/ Salt Lake City Weekly:

newest military hardware: ready-made tourniquets

At Christmas time, this is just the gift for the soldier of
fortune, or poor dupe in the US or UK army,
especially those stationed in Afghanistan.

Ever wondered what was going through the mind
of a soldier right after stepping on a land mine?
(other than shrapnel, that is)
Where's the f$^&kin' goddamn tourniquet?

Now, his prayers have been answered by this product 
from Stump Brothers, Inc., 
the ready-made tourniquet

You wear it on any limb and if needed, it is readily adjustable
to cut off the flow of blood at any point on that limb.
your ankle's blown to smithereens?
squeeze the velcro tight

Saturday, 8 December 2012

does Starbucks have an image problem?

it certainly doesn't have a financial one,
despite posting no profits in the UK.
What some people forget is that ,
like the Banks, Starbucks is a globalised company
with its tentacles , I mean, interests in many of the
key tax havens, like Switzerland, which must have
the best hothouses, seeing as it's supplying the UK
branch with plenty expensive coffee beans.

So, the UK Uncutters don't seem to understand
that "Starbucks tells UK it's broke, after 20 years here"
and tells its investors
"we're making a killing. buy our stock"
because their stock takes into consideration all of their
tentacles, I mean, interests.