Friday, March 31, 2006


Lynching? OJ? George W.'s DWI?

I can't stop reading about the duke lacrosse scandal. I am literally obsessed with it.

It sure looks bad for those guys, but let's presume for a moment that they didn't do it. That would make us the only ones besides their lawyers doing so. There is a little bit of evidence of contrary evidence. No one has been charged yet. Imagine you are 19-years-old, your name and picture are all over the internet. you are villified in print for wearing "duke lacrosse sweats and jackets apparently as a show of solidarity" and you actually didn't do it. Let's not put the scandalous cart in front of the factual horse.

That being said, imagine for a moment that they did. Heaven help them, because that is absolutely terrible. They should not be spared on account of "[sic] wealthy privilege, white privilege, or male privilege." But let's allow DNA and law enforcement to do its work. It seems difficult to trust a legal system which is so easily bought and/or manipulated, and the vigilence of the protesters is important to prevent that. However, banging pots and pans and demanding the helmets of eastern anglos as retribution for racial and economic segregation doesn't really seem appropriate in the same way that laughing it off as rowdy athletic boys-will-be-boys is completely unacceptable. The best thing we can do right now pay close attention. Don't let the university hide this from view. Don't let the accused cut a deal and hope we forget the whole thing if it doesn't go to trial. If what is alleged actually occured, there should be severe consequences even if they are not legal punishments. And if it didn't, we should not hold the swirl of rumor against them long-term.

other things we can do:
Stop calling for the president's head because he hasn't been harsh enough on students who haven't clearly done anything wrong. He is handling the situation appropriately. The season is suspended, and once all the information is made clear, I have confidence he will act appropriately.
Quotes from Brodhead include:

"While we await the results of the investigation, I remind everyone that under our system of law, people are presumed innocent until proven guilty," Mr. Brodhead said in his statement. "One deep value the university is committed to is protecting us all from coercion and assault. An equally central value is that we must not judge each other on the basis of opinion or strong feeling rather than evidence of actual conduct."

"How can I be surprised at the outrage?" Mr. Brodhead said. "If the things alleged are verified, they're outrageous."

Hard to argue with that.

also: stop villify lacrosse players unilaterally. I know it is fun and easy; "Hockey with butterfly nets" is catchiest epithet I have heard so far. But go easy on the stereotypes. You know better than that.

this is a fairly comprehensive daily index of articles about the situation. I encourage you all to remain attentive to the situation.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

so it is finally melting in winnipeg. I can see the ground for the first time since november. that means huge pools of stagnant water, mud, and accumulated trash. yuk.

the duke lacrosse team is in a lot of trouble, as those of you who read senorbeavis already know.
I believe in witholding judgement on individuals until conclusive evidence has been reached. but I also believe in staying up to date on stories that have been receiving less media attention than one might expect.

best discovery of last week: Nanaimo bars. named for Nanaimo, British Columbia. so delicious. like cookie/brownie on the bottom, custard/frosting in the middle, and chocolate fudge on top. truly differnt from all other desserts encountered. and very cheap at superstore. between that, pierogies, and poutine, everything delicious in winnipeg will stop your heart.

good gracious, are people in new york really having this much more fun than I am?
damn it!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


Ok, so are these guys way smarter than me, or WAY stupider?

I saw their office when I was last in new york, and almost died laughing.
for those of you unfamiliar, "Ozymandius" is a Shelley poem about the hubris surrounding permanence and importance of humanity--physical structure in particular.

And clearly these dudes have read the poem because they post it on the site. What I can't tell is if these upscale real estate developers get it or not? Are they selling a cool, educated lifestyle: "You are smart and cultured and cool. We all get the inside joke. it's just real estate, cool people don't get caught up in material posessions?" Kindof like Citibank counterintuitively advertising quality-of-life.

Or are they just flat out dumb, and think it is a poem about power and awe? This has to be settled.

This is important because of the theme of my junior year of HS yearbook which was....."the Lovesong of J. Alfred Proofrock." Why? because yearbook editors being yearbook editors, they took our egomaniacal/charismatic english teacher's suggestion to "revisit this poem every 10 years" literally without figuring out why he might instruct us to do so.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006



sorry, scoop. I beat ya to it. But at least we are better than Patrick Hruby.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The stick I took to the cheek durign spongee which I thought was just a little cut decided to swell over the weekend and now the decomposing RBCs have migrated the orbital socket. (I have a black eye). So now my profs think I am a barroom brawler all in the name of defending zoology's honor.

Am I the only person who thinks the 'skins way overpaid for antwaan randle-el? I see this as being a classic dan snyder move whih will be filed next to Deion Sanders.

why didn't the caps move kolzig at the deadline?

candlesticks are always a nice gift. Now, let's turn two.

Sunday, March 12, 2006


malcolm gladwell is very smart and interesting

ignore bill simmons' pieces of this email exchange. They only reveal him to be the second-tier jester whom we love because he isn't so different from us. focus on gladwell. it is awesome.
and fund paulette's research. She deserves it


canada, science, NYT same as it ever was

so much to cover.
I engaged in spongee for the first time. It is basically broomball, but with sticks. hockey, on ice, but no skates--just shoes. There are actually specialized spongee shoes one can buy (with increased traction) and we apparently have the world's largest spongee league in winnipeg. I had regular shoes. I emerged from my first foray as the losing goaltender, but with 0 separated shoulders making the game a success. Lots of good clean young adult fun. In a odd sidebar, there was a fair bit of making fun of my accent. This not the first time it has happened here, but still very novel because I have never felt self-conscious about the way I speak before this year (unless you count word choice). But apparently when I open my mouth (which I do a lot), everyone around knows my nationality and region immediately. I guess accent is all about frame of reference--like velocity in physics. It is a very odd experience and can make one quite self-conscious. apparently the guy who wrote this article a rival sports columnist with senorbeavis in college. This predisposes me to hate him, but this article is makes me hate him more. It is such a clear example of average columnists in the oversaturated medium of sports commentary. I know realism is cool and detached both in a hipster way and a Henry Kissinger way, but don't let holden caulfield write your pieces. He is all bluster and no substance, constantly seeking to have the halo of cool without the ramifications of his foolish statements. He adopts a pro-steroids position simply to be novel, because novelty sells; however, he won't even stand behind his assertions about their physiological effects (he palms that off on Jose C. with a puff of smoke and a swipe at congress). He willfully ignores/minimizes biological implications of steroid use in the charmingly bush-ite style of undermining strong long-term correlations with the know-nothing statement "scientific results are inconclusive." Guess what, genius, variation exists within a population (tm charles darwin 1800s) and cause and effect are going to be muted. That is why we have statistical significance. In short, Patrick Hruby, you suck. Clovers does not salute you.

oh and apparently harvey mansfield is a complete buffoon. Or the NYT is now teenpeople. Since when to university professors give 1 sentence answers to questions, and base their answers solely on anecdote ("I lift furniture")? It is hard to tell if he has ridden the tenure-train completely round the neoconservative bend or if the NYT has set him up to look like a fool in a vast liberal conspiracy. Either way, this is really a weird piece.

Friday, March 10, 2006


speaking of barbaric yawps (TM Walt Whitman via Senorbeavis)

Bit o' science:
many mammals engage in post-copulatory vocalizations. After male ground squirrels finish getting busy with female ground squirrels down under in the burrow, they will immediately climb to the surface and give a unique call. Fallow deer do the same thing (except for the underground part). There is a body of literature dedicated to discovering whether these vocalizations have an intersexual benefit (hey ladies, I am such a stud. You want my genes in your next generation) or intrasexual (Dudes, I'm a stud defer to me on future conflicts over mates and food because I am the muthafuckin' fittest). The latter seems roundly untrue. and all animal communication is tempered by the fact that it is waste of energy and can attract predators. It seems most likely that these animals are calling to other females or indicating thier continued fecundity to them. so next time some dumb-ass at the water cooler is talking about the pipe he laid last night, you can know that he is channelling his inner ground squirrel (or maybe that is just if he is telling his date about the pipe he laid the other night with someone else).

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


more metablogging

I wonder sometimes if the comments section is a resonable cross section of what people are actually thinking, or who reads this and flies totally beneath the radar. my best analogy is the processes of fossilization and taphonomy. I secret thinkly paleantologists are crystal-ballers. I am totally ok with this because there isn't any better data around or better way to interperet it, but I would feel better if the massive anomalies in how things fossilize and the huge leaps of faith we take to reconstructions of former worlds were acknowledged in popular perception.

so for a brief run-through for non-taphonomists of the 2 basic rules. (taphonomy is the science of how stuff dies and breaks down, it has been getting lots of pub because Grissom's forensic entemology is a subfield of taphonomy, but it is also used in reconstructing what fossilized and how)

1.hard stuff fossilizes way more often than soft stuff
2. stuff that dies in a bog or the bottom of the deep ocean or some other anoxic environment fossilizes wayway better than the average thing that dies in the forest. (The forest isn't filled heaping piles of 100 years worth of dead chipmunks is because they decompose.)

so for all you soft-bodied, terrestrial internet butterflies, I am aware of your possible existance, but I have no way of knowing what your life history strategies.

Think of all the things throughout history that we do not and will never know. it is mindblowing and runs fairly counter to the optimistic E.O. Wilson neo-enlightenment style science.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


I'll take "old news" for $600, Alex

So we all knew Barry was on the juice. Then the BALCO scandal broke so we really knew he was on the juice. Yet for some reason, these two dudes decided to write a book based largely on the testimony of a slighted ex-girlfriend and trainer to make lots of money. And sports illustrated dedicated basically the entire issue to it.
In case you live on a desert island, barry bonds is a jerk...and on the juice.

I think much more interesting than the details of nearly institutional juice-use, is the collective blind eye we as a sports-watching society turned to the whole thing despite its glaring obviousness. That is a book I would read.

Why did we give these people the benefit of the doubt when they were experiencing physical renaissances long after their physiological primes? Was it fuelled by a boomer establishment and fan base which was seeking a mythology to support for its own quest for continual youth? Is our understanding of biomedical engineering so fuzzy and our imagination so powerful that simply no one bothered to ask proper authorities if this was possible?

Did we just flat-out not care: the ends justified the means in the winner-take-all system that is American society. or the feat itself was worth the fact that it was meaningless--we gave a blowjob to see the panda (If you got that reference, you are a true 4-leafed clover).

Monday, March 06, 2006


wealthy jesters

so all we do is criticize the oscars and the dresses and the couples. Is it possible that we as a society have hired a class of people at exorbitant sums to do situps and wear dresses and act foolishly for our amusement. Are celebrities that don't do outlandish things or look glamorous breaking their contractual obligations and consequently become less famous and command a lower salary? on a related note, I love it just brightens up the day when you need a 5 minute mental break.


Of LaLaLand and LaVar

As a perennial no-talent, all-heart athlete (at least after the age of 15), I am normally against flamboyant individuals who undermine the larger team. But I LOVE LaVar Arrington, and I will be sad to see him go. He has been the only consistent and defining point on the team in the last 5 years (besides Ray Brown who is apparently eating the same avocado and flax seed as Julio Franco).

In a totally unrelated story, I only saw 10 minutes of the Oscars, but they involved an incredibly self-congratulatory montage about politics and social agitation in cinema that just screamed "what we do is relevant and important...right? we aren't just barbie dolls...really." This silly bit was followed by the president of the academy making an empassioned speech about how the aesthetic virtues of the theater would never be eclipsed by DVD viewing. Althouh his tone was exhortative, the shrill pleading was all too obvious. Although the Bush Administration has made the creation of a desired reality through repetitive assertion into an art form, it is not a democratic meme available to all. sorry guys.

Friday, March 03, 2006


show me your...pigmentation

this story rather horrified me. I had heard lots of stories about racism in New Orleans, but the fact that Comus krewe decided to stop parading rather than admit black people really took me aback. Where is Homer Plessy when you need him?

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

curling is very difficult. the whole sliding out with all your weight balanced on one foot in an extended lunge is very tricky. Other parts of curling--sweeping, and calling for what shot you want the skip to throw are pretty intuitive. Will have to do it more until I figure out the sliding. If you can keep the slide under control, throwing a well aimed and properly curling stone is manageable. if you slide badly, it is all over. many thinks to the pembina curling club. Teenage competitive curlers are a humorous breed. sortof like a cross between D&D kids and XC runners.



so I was googling myself (you do it too, so wipe that smirk off your face) and apparently the first hit to come up is this blog. I don't like this. Whenever you interview for something, the interviewer googles you. And not that I am not proud of my insights on clovers, but maybe they shouldn''t be the face of the franchise. Luckily, I am locked away in canada for a little while, but if I ever go back on the market, dear clovers will probably bite the dust. Any ideas on how to make it go away from the google search? Maybe I could googlebomb the other options to move it down the list?

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