Saturday, December 20, 2014


here they are by day with lines

Saturday, Dec 20
Colorado St. (+3) vs. Utah
Western Michigan (-1.5) vs. Air Force
Bowling Green (+2.5) vs. South Alabama

Tuesday, Dec 23
Northern Illinois (+10) vs. Marshall
Navy (+2.5) vs San Diego St.

Friday, Dec 26
Illinois (+6) vs. Louisiana Tech
North Carolina (-3) vs. Rutgers
UCF (-2) vs. NC State

Saturday, Dec 27
South Carolina (+3.5) vs. Miami (FL)
USC (-6.5) vs. Nebraska

Monday, Dec 29
Texas A&M (+3.5) vs. West Virginia

Tuesday, Dec 30
Notre Dame (+7.5) vs. LSU

Wednesday, Dec 31
Arizona (-3) vs. Boise St.

Thursday, Jan 1
Wisconsin (+6.5) vs. Auburn
FSU (+9) vs. Oregon

Friday, Jan 2
Houston (+3) vs. Pittsburgh
Iowa (+3.5) vs. Tennessee

Saturday, Jan 3
East Carolina (+6.5) vs. Florida

Sunday, Jan 4
Arkansas St. (+3.5) vs. Toledo

so charles has 14 faves and I have 5, how fun

Friday, December 19, 2014


In the format of CAP'N vs. CHOORLES, here are the CRISIS GAMES for the 2014 Bowl Pick Them. 19 crisis games!

Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl
Colorado St. vs. Utah

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Western Michigan vs. Air Force

Camellia Bowl
Bowling Green vs. South Alabama

Boca Raton Bowl
Northern Illinois vs. Marshall

Poinsettia Bowl
Navy vs, San Diego St.

Heart of Dallas Bowl
Illinois vs. Louisiana Tech

Quick Lane Bowl
North Carolina vs. Rutgers

St. Petersburg Bowl
UCF vs. NC State

Independence Bowl
South Carolina vs. Miami (FL)

Holiday Bowl
USC vs. Nebraska

Liberty Bowl
Texas A&M vs. West Virginia

Music City Bowl
Notre Dame vs. LSU

Fiesta Bowl
Arizona vs. Boise St.

Outback Bowl
Wisconsin vs. Auburn

Rose Bowl
FSU vs. Oregon

Armed Forces Bowl
Houston vs. Pittsburgh

TaxSlayer Bowl
Iowa vs. Tennessee

Birmingham Bowl
East Carolina vs. Florida

GoDaddy Bowl
Arkansas St. vs. Toledo

C Picking Bowls

We're all busy in this crazy world, so just picks.


Utah State


Air Force



We are Marshall

San Diego State

Western Kentucky


La Tech


NC State


AZ State

Miami (FL)

Boston College


West effin' Virginia






Texas Christians

Boise State

Mississippi State



Michigan State



Kansas State




We all know it's going to be Alabama winning the national title




New Orleans Bowl
Nevada vs. UL-Lafayette

New Mexico Bowl
Utah St. vs. UTEP
Utah St.

Las Vegas Bowl
Colorado St. vs. Utah
Colorado St.

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Air Force vs. Western Michigan
Western Michigan

Camellia Bowl
Bowling Green vs. South Alabama

Miami Beach Bowl
Memphis vs. BYU

Boca Raton Bowl
Northern Illinois vs. Marshall
Northern Illinois

Poinsettia Bowl
San Diego St. vs. Navy

Bahamas Bowl
Central Michigan vs. Western Kentucky
Western Kentucky

Hawai'i Bowl
Fresno St. vs. Rice

Heart of Dallas Bowl
Illinois vs. Louisiana Tech

Quick Lane Bowl
Rutgers vs. North Carolina

St. Petersburg Bowl
NC State vs. UCF

Military Bowl
Virginia Tech vs. Cincinnati

Sun Bowl
Duke vs. Arizona St.
Arizona St.

Independence Bowl
Miami (FL) vs. South Carolina
South Carolina

Pinstripe Bowl
Penn St. vs. Boston College

Holiday Bowl
Nebraska vs. USC

Liberty Bowl
West Virginia vs. Texas A&M
Texas A&M

Russell Athletic Bowl
Clemson vs. Oklahoma

Texas Bowl
Texas vs. Arkansas

Music City Bowl
Notre Dame vs. LSU
Notre Dame

Belk Bowl
Louisville vs. Georgia

Foster Farms Bowl
Maryland vs. Stanford

Peach Bowl
Ole Miss vs. TCU

Fiesta Bowl
Boise St. vs. Arizona

Orange Bowl
Georgia Tech vs. Mississippi St.
Georgia Tech

Citrus Bowl
Minnesota vs. Missouri

Cotton Bowl
Baylor vs. Michigan St.
Michigan St.

Outback Bowl
Wisconsin vs. Auburn

Rose Bowl
Playoff Semifinal
Oregon vs. Florida St.

Sugar Bowl
Playoff Semifinal
Alabama vs. Ohio St.

Armed Forces Bowl
Pittsburgh vs. Houston

TaxSlayer Bowl
Iowa vs. Tennessee

Alamo Bowl
Kansas St. vs. UCLA
Kansas St. 

Cactus Bowl
Oklahoma St. vs. Washington

Birmingham Bowl
Florida vs. East Carolina

GoDaddy Bowl
Toledo vs. Arkansas St.
Arkansas St.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday links

1. Mapping the Nation is neat

2. "I don't want to be right"

3. Death by Caffeine

4. Daft Punk soundboard

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

So that weird rapper Lil B hates Kevin Durant (?)

Apparently this has been going on for years??

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Top Ten Current CFB Coaches Likeability Ranking

1. Steve Spurrier
2. Tommy Tuberville
3. Bill Snyder
4. Gus Malzahn
5. Mike Leach
6. Dana Holgorsen
7. David Cutcliffe
8. Bronco Mendenhall
9. Mike Gundy
10. Les Miles

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Tuesday links

1. You're getting old

2. The best way to win an argument

3. E. coli long-term evolution experiment

4. How to make a rope hammock

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Friday, June 20, 2014


TThere’s an open secret in America: If you want to kill someone, do it with a car. As long as you’re sober, chances are you’ll never be charged with any crime, much less manslaughter. Over the past hundred years, as automobiles have been woven into the fabric of our daily lives, our legal system has undermined public safety, and we’ve been collectively trained to think of these deaths as unavoidable “accidents” or acts of God. Today, despite the efforts of major public-health agencies and grassroots safety campaigns, few are aware that car crashes are the number one cause of death for Americans under 35. But it wasn’t always this way.
Murder Machines

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Friday, June 13, 2014

Approximate World Cup Rooting Rankings

Subject to drastic and frequent change:

Costa Rica
South Korea
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Ivory Coast

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Some stuff

1. Here is a weird story about Chris Anderson and cat fishing and other things.

2. How to use Tinder

3. As Court Fees Rise, The Poor Are Paying The Price

4. Johnny Cash Has Been Everywhere

5. Ayn Rand's Harry Potter

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Tank Man

Perhaps even more importantly, the internet itself breeds an ethos of transparency and healthy skepticism of power. The first generation that can’t remember a time before the internet is a generation that craves information, loathes censorship, and revels in exposing abuses of power. We seem to have reached a tipping point, at least in the developed world, where technology has surpassed and by all appearances will continue to outpace government efforts to contain information. It’s hard to envision a time when we won’t have an Anonymous, a Snowden, or a Manning who have the technical know-how and the ideology to bring abuse to light. And the internet generation generally sees that as something to celebrate.

The beautiful thing about all of this is that today, anyone can be Tank Man, at least metaphorically.
Be your own Tank Man | Dan Luvisi Art

Friday, May 23, 2014

Link dump!

1. Wet dog

2. Interesting article series on the "Traditional City"

3. Time traveling rules

4. Now That's What I Call Songs Sung To The Tune Of "Two Princes" By The Spin Doctors 5

5. The '90s Alt-Rock Vocal Hook Supercut

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


Frantz Schmidt hanged his first thief when he was 19, on a June day in 1573. Either his father or another master executioner pronounced the hanging “executed adroitly,” concluding Frantz’s apprenticeship and certifying him as a master in his own right. Over the next four decades, Frantz would hang, behead, or otherwise kill 394 people, and flog, maim, and torture confessions out of hundreds more. He began as a traveling freelancer around Bavaria, and then, from 1578 until his retirement in 1618, served as the full-time executioner of the jewel of the Holy Roman Empire, the populous, prosperous, and cosmopolitan city of Nuremberg. In elaborate sentencing rituals behind closed doors, the patrician judge and jurors of Nuremberg’s “blood court” pronounced who should die and by what means. Before crowds of hundreds, it was Frantz and his assistants who carried out the punishments, embodying the legal authority of empire. For Frantz, there was no special skill in hanging someone: just tie the noose and push. Beheading, by contrast, required an exact position of the feet, eagle eyes and a steady hand, a fluid swing of the arm. One blow must neatly and completely sever the head, lest the crowd erupt in anger: in a few instances, spectators had responded to a miscarried execution by stoning the executioner himself to death. Frantz, then, took pride in his near-flawless record. In almost 200 beheadings, he required a second stroke only four times.
More inexplicable than the persistence of capital punishment is the rest of America’s carceral iceberg. In the 1970s, the United States not only revived the death penalty but also embarked upon a penal experiment without world-historical precedent in a democracy. This complicated and interlocking array of state and federal laws, programs, and construction projects has vastly increased the number of prisons, the number of people sent there, and the number of years they stay. By 2008, for the first time in history, one in a hundred American adults was either in prison or jail. The numbers have since declined slightly, but remain very high in both historical and international perspective. With 5 percent of the world’s population, the United States holds 25 percent of its prisoners, often in brutal and sanity-threatening conditions that most Americans would not hesitate to label torture if they encountered them somewhere else.
Progress and Execution

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

College-related links

1. A is for Adjunct Part 1 and Part 2

2. Toss out abusive college administrators

3.Why I Teach Plato to Plumbers

Monday, May 05, 2014

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


A voluntourist is someone like Jack, who wishes to combine exotic vacation travel with volunteer work. For anyone interested in being one, a dizzying array of choices awaits, from building schools in Uganda or houses in Haiti to hugging orphans in Bali. In all of them, the operational equation is the same: wealthy Westerners can do a little good, experience something that their affluent lives do not offer, and, as in Jack’s case, have a story to tell that places them in the ranks of the kindhearted and worldly wise.

As admirably altruistic as it sounds, the problem with voluntourism is its singular focus on the volunteer’s quest for experience, as opposed to the recipient community’s actual needs. There is a cost associated with such an endeavor. A 2010 report by the Human Sciences Research Council, based in Pretoria, South Africa, analyzed the thriving AIDS orphan tourism business in South Africa.

Under this program, well-to-do tourists sign up to build schools, clean and restore riverbanks, ring birds and act as caregivers to AIDS orphans for a few weeks. This led to the creation of a profitable industry catering to volunteer tourists. The orphans’ conditions are effectively transformed into a boutique package in which “saving” them yields profits from tourists. The foreigners’ ability to pay for the privilege of volunteering crowds out local workers.
The White Tourist's Burden

Monday, April 28, 2014

Monday link list

1. Can't remember if we linked GeoGuessr or not, but it owns.

2. Winnie the Pooh and Zombies

3. Schwarzenegger sound board prank friends

4. All of China, IL is online.

5.YouTube numbers stations. Here's my favorite.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

MST3K history

When they told me, my only objection was that he was kind of like me—a white doughy guy from the Midwest. But it worked out great. They stuck with the formula really closely. I think they did a really good job.
It began getting difficult when USA Network started exercising more control over the Sci-Fi Channel. And then we picked up these fucking production executives from the network. We had these bitter, dry, humorless trolls in charge of our show. And they were giving us notes. And they were insisting on our having a story arc. What the hell do you want with a story arc? This is a puppet show.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Definitive Oral History of a TV Masterpiece

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Surveillance and Language

To Orwell, this threat was not merely that loose and imprecise writing fails to convey one’s real meaning. His more immediate fear was more fundamental: that reliance on vague, “ready-made phrases” would, over time, conceal one’s real meaning even from oneself. Orwell understood that when a population stops “hunting about” for words—when it instead regurgitates the limited vocabulary of those in power—it stops truly thinking. “The fight against bad English,” Orwell wrote, “is not frivolous and is not the exclusive concern of professional writers.” Far from it—it is “a necessary first step toward political regeneration.”

The government’s mass-surveillance apparatus, and the secret legal gymnastics that purportedly justify it, is a chilling expression of Orwell’s worst fears.
Dragnet Surveillance and the English Language

Monday, March 31, 2014

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Press statement

Tri Epsilon can neither confirm nor deny that the image reproduced below, among the documents leaked by Edward Snowden, portrays an invitation to induction in Tri Epsilon.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Here's me and Tha Captain hard at work

yes I am saying that this blog is run by Andrea Bocelli

Friday, March 14, 2014

friday stuff

1. Fun game: Luftrauser

2. Fun game: Mini Metro


Saturday, March 01, 2014

This is no time for confessing

I keep up with pop culture enough to know and like about four new songs a year, so I guess this is the first one for 2014.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Vegetarian ancestors

Most primates have the capacity for eating sugary fruit, the capacity for eating leaves and the capacity for eating meat. But meat is a rare treat, if eaten at all. Sure, chimpanzees sometimes kill and devour a baby monkey, but the proportion of the diet of the average chimpanzee composed of meat is small. And chimps eat more mammal meat than any of the other apes or any of the monkeys. The majority of the food consumed by primates today–and every indication is for the last thirty million years–is vegetable, not animal. Plants are what our apey and even earlier ancestors ate; they were our paleo diet for most of the last thirty million years during which our bodies, and our guts in particular, were evolving. In other words, there is very little evidence that our guts are terribly special and the job of a generalist primate gut is primarily to eat pieces of plants. We have special immune systems, special brains, even special hands, but our guts are ordinary and for tens of millions of years those ordinary guts have tended to be filled with fruit, leaves, and the occasional delicacy of a raw hummingbird.
Human Ancestors Were Nearly All Vegetarians

Monday, February 24, 2014

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Barbershop Quartet's Ignition (Remix)

I am not really a fan of Jimmy Fallon, but I like him more as a host and a quasi-vaudevillian than as a comedian or actor.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Monday, February 03, 2014


Compulsory schooling has been a fixture of our culture now for several generations. It’s hard today for most people to even imagine how children would learn what they must for success in our culture without it. President Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan are so enamored with schooling that they want even longer school days and school years. Most people assume that the basic design of schools, as we know them today, emerged from scientific evidence about how children learn best. But, in fact, nothing could be further from the truth.

Schools as we know them today are a product of history, not of research into how children learn. The blueprint still used for today’s schools was developed during the Protestant Reformation, when schools were created to teach children to read the Bible, to believe scripture without questioning it, and to obey authority figures without questioning them. The early founders of schools were quite clear about this in their writings. The idea that schools might be places for nurturing critical thought, creativity, self-initiative or ability to learn on one’s own — the kinds of skills most needed for success in today’s economy — was the furthest thing from their minds. To them, willfulness was sinfulness, to be drilled or beaten out of children, not encouraged.
School is a prison

Friday, January 31, 2014

Monday, January 20, 2014

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

2013 Movie Year in Review

Here is a list of the films which were both released and seen by me in 2013, in rough order of how much I would recommend them:

Gravity - In a year without a really great movie (there were at least five movies in 2012 that would have been my favorite movie of 2013 (though I haven't seen the movies which look best of 2013, including: 12 Years a Slave, Inside Llewyn Davis, and Her)), this was my favorite. It's not a good movie in the sense that there's a lot of great acting and characterization and such. But seeing this in the theater was definitely worth the money - it's beautiful to look at, and I was immediately immersed in the story. There are a couple of moments when the movie lost that, just a little; the imagery is a little heavy-handed at times, and the film is too sentimental. But then again, I am dark-hearted and cynical. And sometimes even over-the-top sentimentality is okay, in an over-the-top movie.

Pacific Rim - Look, this is a movie about robots fighting monsters. If you don't like that sort of thing, move on. I love it, this movie was awesome, and if they want to make more Robot Jox meets Godzilla movies, I will pay to go see it.

Much Ado About Nothing - IMDB says this is 2012, but Wikipedia says 2013 for its theatrical release, and I am going with that. Except for the Leo Romeo and Juliet, I always enjoy these "Shakespeare in modern day" adaptations. The most recent I'd previously seen, Coriolanus with Voldemort and 300, owned. Much Ado About Nothing is not quite as good, but it's still excellent: funny and entertaining.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - I am glad these movies are all making trillions of dollars, because it increases the chances of a gritty two-part version of The Children of Hurin.

Iron Man 3 - I liked the second Iron Man best of the three RDJr ones. This one is a fine superhero movie, well-acted and all. It feels long, though, and I was ready, by the end of the movie, for it just to be over. There are several scenes, especially at the end, that clearly were put into the film just for trailers.

Oblivion - Pretty good! Remember when sci-fi action movies were all Real Dumb? They aren't anymore, and I like that. Oblivion doesn't do anything special, but it doesn't dick anything up, either. People are critical of Tom Cruise, and he seems like a bad person, but I almost always like the movies in which he stars. Cruise is not a great actor, but he's competent and generally seems to know his limits. This is one reason War of the Worlds worked - Cruise as a smug semi-loser who doesn't really know what's going on? Believable!
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire - At points I found myself not really caring what happened to most of the characters, which is a bad sign, but it's overall a pretty good movie. Most of the actors in this are strong, which is surprising since it is a movie made from a series written for teens and pre-teens.

Star Trek into Darkness  - This is basically the first Star Trek reboot movie, but with Sherlock as the bad guy. Somebody (Mobute?) said that the bad guy is basically Sideshow Bob, and the movie works much better that way. It's too bad that the main actor who plays Kirk is such a weak imitation of world-crushing hero Shatner, because everyone else is pretty competent. I never quite, in terms of plot or characterization, understood why anyone in this movie did anything.

The Place Beyond the Pines - This is a not terribly compelling but generally watchable generational drama about secrets and crimes and connections. I was really excited about it, because the movie looked like Drive but with motorcycles and bank robberies. It isn't.

The Great Gatsby - This movie runs into the same problem as the next one, which is source material. Why make this movie now? If it's a portrayal of the failures of the rich and the inherent corruption of great wealth, something we had in the 1920s and today, why make that great wealth look so awesome? I have suspicions this will be the problem with The Wolf of Wall Street - allegedly an indictment of excess and criminality which ends up glorifying it. Leonardo DiCaprio does not pick movies which best suit his acting.

Man of Steel - I liked this movie, I guess, except for the Superman part. The fight scenes are cool and the actors (except for the guy who played Superman, Handsomey McStrongWhiteJawline) are all better than this movie deserves. The plot mostly makes sense, at least as far as stupid superhero movies go. Still: Why make an angsty Superman? Star Trek sort of had the same problem: if your film relies on people knowing things about the character because of previous incarnations, and not because of things which the film or its immediate predecessors explain, then you are failing. I really wish the movie had just been a space political drama starring Jor-L and Zod.

This Is the End - If you like those Pineapple Express/Superbad kind of comedies, this is an entirely competent (if self-indulgent) version.

Ender's Game - Not a terrible movie, and they do some things right I didn't expect to work (like portraying the Battle School formations in a way which makes sense), but this movie was rushed and, as a result, lacked emotional impact. Except for some parts of the fighting in Battle School, this movie looked cheap: there were about four different sets, total, plus a lot of obviously-CGI space ships. The main actors are mostly fine, but this movie had some poor casting, too: the kid who plays Bonzo was a terrible, terrible choice because he's not intimidating. Harrison Ford doesn't try acting anymore. The book Ender's Game is really a dark subject, and it's got some difficult themes that the movie can barely address.They really should have made this at least two films, and probably a trilogy (everyone loves trilogies). A trilogy would allow three films to each have a slightly different feel and address some of the larger themes the movie just misses.
The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia - Fun to watch, but dumb. 

Elysium - I was super pumped about this movie, made by the guy who made District 9 (which I really liked). But this is the dumb version of District 9. It's absurdly heavy-handed, the plot does not make sense, and the world is not believable. It's never clear why, in an obviously post-scarcity economy, the economic and social distinctions remain. Given that it's obviously easy to land a ship on the space station thing, why not put a bunch of diesel-filled barges around it in space and hold the rich people hostage? Why don't the rich people on Elysium throw asteroids into earth, killing all the poor people? That said, the effects and action were good, mostly the acting is fine, and I actually cared what happened to a couple of people.

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues - It's like the first one, but not as good.

World War Z - This is nothing like the book World War Z. It's a stupid plot. Brad Pitt is irritating in this movie (usually I think he's pretty good). The zombies are not scary or interesting (I Am Legend, another movie which entirely misses the point of its source material, had a similar problem).

Oz the Great and Powerful - Dumb and tiresome. I am sure everyone involved made a billion dollars. You can often tell when people make a movie because it's a lot of money, and not because, say, there's a story they want to tell or a character or situation they want to explore. I will say, it was fun watching this movie in 2-D and seeing all the tossed hats and such which were clearly designed for 3-D.

Gangster Squad - This movie has a fascinating subject and a great cast. It's really terrible, though, and I can't quite put my finger on why. I think part of it is that everyone is too much, if that makes sense -- the heroes too heroic, the villains too villainous, the fights too astounding. The plot is dumb and writing lazy: The movie ends with a fist fight between the main good guy and the main bad guy. Everyone involved in this was a pro, and I wonder if there was a point when they all realized that they were working on a crap movie.

Olympus Has Fallen - Woof, what a terrible movie. The plot is ridiculous, the acting terrible, the special effects laughable. Nothing redeems this movie.