Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Marvin Gaye - I Heard It Through The Grapevine (a capella)

And another version - this time with full instrumental.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Michael Lewis, author of Liar's Poker, gives five positives that have come out of the current financial crisis. An excerpt:

Our willingness to believe that we can hire some expert to tell us how to outperform markets is a big problem, with big consequences. It underpins Wall Street's brokerage operations, for instance, and leads to a lot more people giving out financial advice than should be giving out financial advice.

Thanks to the current panic many Americans have learned that the experts who advise them what to do with their savings are, at best, fools. Merrill Lynch & Co., Morgan Stanley, and all the rest persuaded their most valuable customers to buy auction-rate bonds, telling them the securities were as good as cash.

Those customers will now think twice before they listen to their brokers ever again.

Many, I'm sure, are just waiting to get their money back from their brokers before they race for the exits and introduce themselves to Charles Schwab.

Here is the full article.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Doing the Bull Dance

Just like Happy Gilmore - this guy has to be my favorite golfer.

Friday, September 12, 2008

"I believe in Sewanee with all my heart. I do not know of any institution of its size in any part of our country which has done more for the cause of good citizenship than Sewanee has done. As an American I am proud of it; as a citizen I am grateful to it. It is entitled The University of the South, but it is much more than that; it is a University of all America, and its welfare should be dear to all Americans who are patriotic and farsighted, and therefore anxious to see every influence strengthened which tends for the betterment and enlightenment of our great common country."

— President Theodore Roosevelt, June 4, 1907

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Russia/Georgia Conflict Debunks McDonald's Theory of War

Excerpt below from the article here at The Guardian.

The logic is thus: countries with middle classes large enough to sustain a McDonald's have reached a level of prosperity and global integration that makes warmongering risky and unpalatable to its people.

The Russia-Georgia conflict has finally blown this theory out of the water.

Thomas Friedman, who invented the theory in 1996, said people in McDonald's countries "don't like to fight wars. They like to wait in line for burgers."

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Don LaFontaine 1940 - 2008

Read more about him here.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Saturday, August 30, 2008

\rih-DRES\, transitive verb:

1. To put in order again; to set right; to emend; to revise.
2. To set right, as a wrong; to repair, as an injury; to make amends for; to remedy; to relieve from.
3. To make amends or compensation to; to relieve of anything unjust or oppressive; to bestow relief upon.

Before adjourning in October 1774, the First Continental Congress called for the convening of another congress at Philadelphia on May 10, 1775, only if Britain had not redressed the Americans' grievances.
-- Pauline Maier, American Scripture :Making the Declaration of Independence

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Scott Russell Sanders:
There is a mystical virtue in right angles. There is an unspoken morality in seeking the level and the plumb. A house will stand, a table will bear weight, the sides of a box will hold together only if the joints are square and the members upright.
When the bubble is lined up between two marks etched in the glass tube of the level, you have aligned yourself with the forces that hold the universe together.

- The Paradise of Bombs

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Phelps 100 Meter Fly Photo Finish

Also, Sports Illustrated has a very good frame-by-frame sequence of pictures that show the finish.

Also of interested is this article on how Omega, the official timekeeper of the Olympics, keeps time in the Water Cube. Here's a neat excerpt:

OMEGA touch pads and starting blocks are part of an integrated timing system capable of recording times to the nearest 1/1000th of a second. However, because it is not possible to build swimming pools in which each lane is guaranteed to be precisely the same length, Olympic and World Records are still recorded to the nearest 1/100th of a second.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

List of Common Misconceptions

Per one of my favorite web resources, Wikipedia. Here are a few examples:

1. Christopher Columbus's efforts to obtain support for his voyages were not hampered by a European belief in a flat Earth.[3] In fact, sailors and navigators of the time knew that the Earth was spherical, but (correctly) disagreed with Columbus' estimates of the distance to the Indies (see Flat Earth). If the Americas did not exist, and Columbus had continued to the Indies (even putting aside the threat of mutiny he was under) he would have run out of supplies before reaching them at the rate he was traveling.

2. The Coriolis effect does not determine the direction that water rotates in a bathtub drain or a flushing toilet. The Coriolis force is relatively small; it appears over large scales (like weather systems) or in systems such as the Foucault pendulum in which the small influence is allowed to accumulate over time. In a bathtub or toilet, the flow of the water over the basin itself produces forces that dwarf the Coriolis force. In addition, most toilets inject water into the bowl at an angle, causing a spin too fast to be affected by the Coriolis effect.[33]

Monday, August 11, 2008

Monday, August 04, 2008

Friday, July 25, 2008

Randy Paush 1960 - 2008

The Process

What if there were no stop signs... and a major corporation was charged with inventing one?

Pretty humorous commentary on marketing these days.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What can $5 buy?

A website which shows pictures of all kinds of thing in the world that cost $5.00. They call it The Five Dollar Comparison.

To explore the relative value of five dollars we are collecting examples from around the world by asking people to submit photos of objects or services that cost the equivalent of $5.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Food Court Musical

Brought to you by Improve Everywhere. Read more about the mission here.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

How the Rich Would Fare Under Obama, McCain

This is all straight from the WSJ. The last paragraph is especially instructive.

There’s a lot confusing information out there about how the next president will tax the rich. But one chart boils it all down. It comes courtesy of the Tax Policy Institute and I’ve reproduced it below. It shows the average percentage change in after-tax income for various groups in 2009. The blue bar is Barack Obama and the red bar is John McCain.

Not surprisingly, Mr. Obama’s plan helps those at the bottom of the wealth ladder while Mr. McCain’s plan helps those at the top. What’s most striking, however, is the divergence in incomes for the truly wealthy — the top 1% and the top tenth of 1%.

Under Mr. Obama’s plan, the income for the top 1% would decline by an average of 9%. The incomes of the top tenth of 1% would shrink by more than 10%. Under Mr. McCain, incomes for the top 1% would grow by 3%. The top tenth of 1% do best — with more than 4% growth in incomes.

The estate-tax differences are also stark. Both candidates plan to increase the estate-tax exemption, and would also reduce the rate as it’s now scheduled through 2010. Yet Mr. McCain would raise the exemption and lower the rate more. The impact: 8.8 million Americans in 2009 would file estate-tax returns under Mr. McCain, while 15.5 million would file under Mr. Obama’s plan. Mr. McCain’s plan would collect $4.2 billion in estate taxes, while Mr. Obama’s plan would collect $17.9 billion.

It’s unlikely either plan will be implemented as is. But one thing is clear: Mr. Obama sees taxes as a way to ease inequality, while Mr. McCain sees them as a way to encourage economic growth by helping the top.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

dilatory \DIL-uh-tor-ee\, adjective:

1. Tending to put off what ought to be done at once; given to procrastination.
2. Marked by procrastination or delay; intended to cause delay; -- said of actions or measures.

I am inclined to be dilatory, and if I had not enjoyed extraordinary luck in life and love I might have been living with my mother at that very moment, doing nothing.
-- Carroll O'Connor, I Think I'm Outta Here

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Trombone Shorty

I saw this guy the other night at a music festival...he's the real deal. His style is more a funky, souped up style of jazz. Very entertaining, and I wouldn't be surprised if you here of him much more in the future. Here's a nice little interview of him.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Gas hits $4 / gallon

The average price of a gallon of gasoline in the U.S. hit $4.00 yesterday. Here is a neat map which shows the "temperature" of the U.S. according to how high the price of gas is in each area.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Word of the Day

Potemkin Village \puh-TEM(P)-kin\, noun:

An impressive facade or display that hides an undesirable fact or state; a false front.

When will the West have the guts to call Russia what it really is: a semi-totalitarian state with Potemkin village-style democratic institutions and a fascist-capitalist economy?
-- "Western Investors Defend a Potemkin Village", Moscow Times, January 9, 2004
The route of this term came from fake villages which were set up in Russia to please Catherine II. Read more about this here.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

The Annual Quintessential Mint Julep Post

With the 134th running of the Kentucky Derby today, I feel that it is my absolute duty as author of The Mint Julep, to write a post concerning that lovely libation that is the essence of Kentucky in May. Of course, I am talking about the Mint Julep.

Just as I did on this day, one year ago, and just as I did on this day two years ago, so too today will I include a letter, written from a Lieutenant in World War II, to a fellow comrade. The description of how to create this fine beverage is nothing less than awe-inspiring, and worth reading in whole. Please enjoy.

March 30, 1937

My dear General Connor,

Your letter requesting my formula for mixing mint juleps leaves me in the same position in which Captain Barber found himself when asked how he was able to carve the image of an elephant from a block of wood. He replied that it was a simple process consisting merely of whittling off the part that didn't look like an elephant.

The preparation of the quintessence of gentlemanly beverages can be described only in like terms. A mint julep is not the product of a FORMULA. It is a CEREMONY and must be performed by a gentleman possessing a true sense of the artistic, a deep reverence for the ingredients and a proper appreciation of the occasion. It is a rite that must not be entrusted to a novice, a statistician, nor a Yankee. It is a heritage of the old South, an emblem of hospitality and a vehicle in which noble minds can travel together upon the flower-strewn paths of happy and congenial thought.

So far as the mere mechanics of the operation are concerned, the procedure, stripped of its ceremonial embellishments, can be described as follows:

Go to a spring where cool, crystal-clear water bubbles from under a bank of dew-washed ferns. In a consecrated vessel, dip up a little water at the source. Follow the stream through its banks of green moss and wildflowers until it broadens and trickles through beds of mint growing in aromatic profusion and waving softly in the summer breezes. Gather the sweetest and most tender shoots and gently carry them home. Go to the sideboard and select a decanter of Kentucky Bourbon, distilled by a master hand, mellowed with age yet still vigorous and inspiring. An ancestral sugar bowl, a row of silver goblets, some spoons and some ice and you are ready to start.

In a canvas bag, pound twice as much ice as you think you will need. Make it fine as snow, keep it dry and do not allow it to degenerate into slush.

In each goblet, put a slightly heaping teaspoonful of granulated sugar, barely cover this with spring water and slightly bruise one mint leaf into this, leaving the spoon in the goblet. Then pour elixir from the decanter until the goblets are about one-fourth full. Fill the goblets with snowy ice, sprinkling in a small amount of sugar as you fill. Wipe the outsides of the goblets dry and embellish copiously with mint.

Then comes the important and delicate operation of frosting. By proper manipulation of the spoon, the ingredients are circulated and blended until Nature, wishing to take a further hand and add another of its beautiful phenomena, encrusts the whole in a glittering coat of white frost. Thus harmoniously blended by the deft touches of a skilled hand, you have a beverage eminently appropriate for honorable men and beautiful women.

When all is ready, assemble your guests on the porch or in the garden, where the aroma of the juleps will rise Heavenward and make the birds sing. Propose a worthy toast, raise the goblet to your lips, bury your nose in the mint, inhale a deep breath of its fragrance and sip the nectar of the gods.

Being overcome by thirst, I can write no further.

S.B. Buckner, Jr.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Larry Bird

Like the Michael Jordan video I put up several months ago, this montage of Bird highlights is also from NBA Superstars. Gotta love Bird - and those passes he used to make...Unbelievable.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Final Jeopardy

This website posts a video of each day's Final Jeopardy question.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Eagle v. Goat

This is amazing...and somewhat disturbing.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


This is a surveillance camera, showing the elapsed 41 hours which Nicholas White spent trapped in an elevator in the McGraw-Hill building in New York City. The New Yorker has an excellent, very in-depth article about this event. If you have about 15 free minutes, here it is.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Cool Picture

Deus ex Machina

1. In ancient Greek and Roman drama, a god introduced by means of a crane to unravel and resolve the plot.
2. Any active agent who appears unexpectedly to solve an apparently insoluble difficulty.

In times of affluence and peace, with technology that always seems to arrive like a deus ex machina to solve any problem, it becomes easy to believe that life is perfectible.
-- Stephanie Gutmann, The Kinder, Gentler Military

Monday, March 31, 2008

The Real Animal House

Old video about the DKE house at LSU...this is insane.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Sunday, March 23, 2008

This is an interesting list of foods which had not been discovered in the Middle Ages. The list includes chocolate, iceberg lettuce, and peanuts.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Western Kentucky over Drake

Nailing a 3 as time expires in overtime...March Madness at its best. Gotta love it.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Watch NCAA Tourney Online

Watch or listen to every game from the NCAA® Championship

This is great for catching the out of market games.

Saturday, March 08, 2008


Here's a fun game where you shoot up Big Macs.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Just the Black Notes

Amazing Grace, by Wintley Phipps

Saturday, March 01, 2008

World's Tallest Snowman

"Olympia," named for Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe, is said to be about 122 feet tall. That's 10 feet taller than "Angus, King of the Mountain," who has held the record as tallest snowman since 1999. He was named for Angus King, who was governor at the time.

Olympia's creators say she has eyelashes made from skis and bright red lips crafted from painted tires. She wears a giant pink hat and gets some bling from a snowflake pendant that's more than six feet in diameter. Her arms were created from pine trees.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Take My Breath Away

Back in the late '80s I had a fantastic highlight video called "NBA Superstars." This was the highlight of Michael Jordan. Much like the post several days ago about the Bull's introduction, this video also gives me chills. Its just unbelievable to see what he can do - especially his altered lay-ups which occur in mid-air.

Its my bet that there will never be another player who can totally dominate the game as MJ was able to.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Obama Supporter Cannot Name One Legislative Accomplishment

Quote of the Day

"Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful."

- Warren Buffett

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Cooking by Numbers

Here's a neat website where you select what ingredients you have in your fridge, what ingredients you have in your cupboard, and it spits out a list of different recipes.

Looks like I'll be having a Croque-monsieur for dinner tonight.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Friday, February 15, 2008

Boogie Shoes - Circa 1974

Make sure to catch the moves of the jazz guys at the beginning. Personally, I like the trombonist.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

Read about this history of Valentine's Day, here.

Also, here is a nice Wikipedia article covering Valentine's Day.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

This Gives Me The Shivers...

This was game 4 of the '98 Finals. Bulls v. Jazz.

From Wikipedia:
Starting Lineup Introductions
The Chicago Bulls were the first NBA team to dim their lights during the starting lineup introductions of home games. Other teams around the league soon followed suit. During the Bulls' run of dominance, the player introductions became world famous. Longtime announcer Tommy Edwards was replaced by Ray Clay in 1990, and Clay continued many of the traditional aspects of the Bulls introductions, including the music, Alan Parsons Project's "Sirius", for all six championship runs. The lights are first dimmed during the visiting team introduction, accompanied by the song "On The Run" by Pink Floyd. Then virtually all lights in the stadium are shut off for the Bulls introduction, and a spotlight illuminates each player as he is introduced and runs onto the court. Since the move to the United Center, laser lights and fireworks have been added, and with improvements to the arena's White Way video screen, computer graphics on the stadium monitors have been added. Coincidentally, Alan Parsons wrote "Sirius" for his own band and was the sound engineer for "On the Run" from Pink Floyd's album Dark Side of the Moon.

Traditionally, the players have been introduced in the following order: small forward, power forward, center, point guard, shooting guard. Thus, Scottie Pippen was usually the first Bulls player introduced, and Michael Jordan the last. (Pippen and Jordan were the only players to play on all six Bulls championship teams.) Although internal disputes eventually led to the dismissal of Clay, the Bulls in 2006 announced the return of Tommy Edwards as the announcer.[3]

As part of Edwards' return, the introductions changed as a new introduction developed by Andy and Larry Wachowski, Ethan Stoller and Jamie Poindexter, all from Chicago, The introduction also included a newly composed remix of the traditional Sirius theme.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

copacetic \koh-puh-SET-ik\, adjective:

Very satisfactory; fine.

Although all will seem copacetic on the CBS broadcast from Madison Square Garden in New York, there will be a big black cloud hanging over the glitzy proceedings.
-- Patrick MacDonald, "Major labels struggling with huge slump out of tune with listeners", Seattle Times, February 20, 2003

Monday, February 11, 2008

Apologies that this is not easier to read. The charts are interesting, so click here if you want to go to the actual source.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


Since the 50th annual Grammy Awards are being held tonight, I thought I would post one of my favorite Grammy moments.

The clip below is from 2004 and is an assemblage of some of the greatest funksters of all time. With Samuel L. Jackson presiding over the festivities, Earth Wind and Fire kicks it off with "Shining Star." Soon to follow are Outkast, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, and George Clinton and the Parliament Funkadelic. The culmination of it all finds all four groups on stage jamming out together in a ridiculous medley of old and new, sharing the same, sweet style.

Remarkable Memories

This article comes from National Geographic. It is a fascinating portrait of a woman who can remember every day of her life since she was eleven years old. In contrast, there is a man who is unable to create any memory at all - he is only able to live in the present, never knowing where he is or what he is supposed to be doing.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Battle of Shiloh

Read about it here.

Monday, February 04, 2008

MJ - McDonald's Commericial - Circa 1993

This is one of my all-time favorites.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Frozen at Grand Central Station

This is pretty neat.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Awesome Dave Ramsey Call

Shows what you can do when you live within your means and save, save, save.

Word of the Day

sylvan \SIL-vuhn\, adjective:

1. Of or pertaining to woods or forest regions.
2. Living or located in a wood or forest.
3. Abounding in forests or trees; wooded.
4. A fabled deity or spirit of the woods.
5. One that lives in or frequents the woods or forest; a rustic.

They probably picture it as a kind of modest conservatory, set in sylvan splendour in some charmingly landscaped garden.
-- Sally Vincent, "Driven by daemons", Guardian, November 10, 2001

Monday, January 28, 2008

Ron Paul Gives Us An Update on His Campaign

Things are going better than he ever thought possible.

An interesting tidbit I learned from this video. Norma McCorvey, aka Roe, in Roe v. Wade, has given her endorsement to Paul. McCorvey of course has reversed her position on abortion and is now an ardent pro-lifer. Concerning Dr. Paul, she stated "I support Ron Paul for president because we share the same goal, that of overturning Roe v. Wade. He has never wavered on the issue of being pro-life and has a voting record to prove it. He understands the importance of civil liberties for all, including the unborn."

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Sunday, January 13, 2008

People in Order

Quote of the Day

“The Zuckermans have fallen for it, and so has everybody else. Zuckerman thinks Wilbur is an unusual pig, and therefore he won’t want to kill him and eat him. I dare say my trick will work and Wilbur’s life can be saved.”

Charlotte, from Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White

Friday, January 11, 2008

Word of the Day

imprimatur \im-prih-MAH-tur; -MAY-\, noun:

1. Official license or approval to print or publish a book, paper, etc.; especially, such a license issued by the Roman Catholic episcopal authority.
2. Approval; sanction.
3. A mark of approval or distinction.

Vatican officials have overruled a 1994 decision by a bishop in England, ordering him to withdraw his imprimatur from a popular religious education text that had come under attack from conservatives.
-- "Vatican orders bishop to remove imprimatur", National Catholic Reporter, February 27, 1998

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Friday, January 04, 2008

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Right Brain vs. Left Brain

From the Herald Sun

Do you see the dancer turning clockwise or anti-clockwise?

If clockwise, then you use more of the right side of the brain and vice versa.

Most of us would see the dancer turning anti-clockwise though you can try to focus and change the direction; see if you can do it.

uses logic
detail oriented
facts rule
words and language
present and past
math and science
can comprehend
order/pattern perception
knows object name
reality based
forms strategies

uses feeling
"big picture" oriented
imagination rules
symbols and images
present and future
philosophy & religion
can "get it" (i.e. meaning)
spatial perception
knows object function
fantasy based
presents possibilities
risk taking