Sunday, March 31, 2013

That makes me feel bad.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Six years ago the proudest boast was "civis Alligatorus sum." Today, in the world of college basketball the proudest boast is "Ich bin ein Figucuan."

All college basketball followers wherever they may live are citizens of Fort Myers. And therefore as a basketball follower I take pride in the words, "Ich bin ein Figucuan."

At halftime Florida leads Florida Gulf Coast 30-26. :(, US Government, Department of Justice. Eeeck!  "amanda marcum enfield." Whew.

-Wofford College.

-Bellevue University. "wang guangmei." Bellevue University or Bellevue Hospital?

-San Diego State University. "wang guangmei."

-Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. "china's red legacy."

-Bowdoin College. Anthropology II post.
Today is a sacred day for Christians. This is what Stephen Greenblatt writes about them and the great religion of Christianity. From "The Swerve:"

What flickers through such moments of [Christian] abdication is a fear of being laughed at. The threat was not persecution--the official religion of the empire by this time was Christian--but ridicule...What was ridiculous about Christianity, from the perspective of a cultivated pagan, was not only its language--the crude style of the Gospels' Greek resting on the barbarous otherness of Hebrew and Aramaic--but also its exaltation of divine humiliation and pain conjoined with an arrogant triumphalism.

Christians could try, of course, to reverse the mockery. If such doctrines as the Incarnation and the resurrection of the body seemed absurd-"figments of diseased imagination," as one pagan put it, "and the futile fairy-tales invented by poets' fancy"—

The Incarnation, Epicureans scoffed, was a particularly absurd idea...Why should anyone with any sense credit the idea of Providence, a childish idea contradicted by any rational adult's experience and observation?...Christians are like a council of frogs in a pond, croaking at the top of their lungs, "For our sakes was the world created."

Some of the jibes were common to all of Christianity's polemical enemies--Jesus was born in adultery, his father was a nobody, and any claims to divine dignity are manifestly disproved by his poverty and his shameful end.

[Lucretius] would not have been surprised by...the endlessly reiterated, prominently displayed images of the bloody, murdered son.

Wang Guangmei died in 2006.  Why would there suddenly be this extraordinary interest in a 2009 post, 212 pageviews since Tuesday?  And only 12 from China. The vast majority from the U.S.  And so many hits from U.S. governmental agencies. I don't know. I have never seen anything like this pattern before. Mysteries of Wang Guangmei.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Today there have been 95 pageviews of "Anthropology II," the Liu Shaoqi post. Numero dos in today's top ten posts is "Costa Rica" with four. FOUR.

A trip. Maybe a nice trip. I think I'll take a trip somewhere., County of San Diego District Attorney. Hola. "Sexy Chinese Women Soldiers.", U.S. Senate Sergeant at Arms. :o Search keyword "wang guangmei." I think there is Chinese infiltration at the highest levels of the U.S. government. I demand a witch hunt., State of Washington Legislative Service Center. Clicked on the "Anthropology II" post on Liu Shaoqi.  And the State governments., State of Texas General Services Commission. "wang guangmei."  The Eyes of Texas are upon me., USAISC-Fort Benning. "Anthropology II."  And the military. USAISC, are they in the NCAA tournament?, United States Department of State. Same post. Holy shit., U.S. Government, Department of Veterans Affairs. Ditto., Ecole Centrale Paris. Same frigging post.

That is freaky. And that freaks me out a little.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

"Costa Rica Protests Loss Against United States."-New York Times.

What is their damage?  It was a little blizzard. USA! USA! USA! he-he-he. The ball's half buried! Look at that little Costa Rican guy. Bet they had to dig him out too. he-he-he.

Uh, no. That is embarrassing. Totally embarrassing. The game never should have been played.

"Social Isolation Increases Death Risk In Older People."-BBC

Funeral TBA.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Mr. Personality, Xi Jinping, has escaped Beijing and the insufferable business of greeting Americans
and is on his first road trip abroad with his significant other Peng Liyuan. Here the PRC's First Laddie and First Lady are getting off a plane somewhere.

Somewhere cold. They went to Russia, maybe it's there. Is her hand bigger than his?  Xi looks panda bear-huggy there, Peng looks like she's taking some oath of office, like Pope Francis. Other right hand, Peng.

The media have been captivated by Peng, a former star singer in China. 

                                                                        So attractive.



It all reminds me of Wang Guangmei's trip to Indonesia with hubby/prez Liu Shaoqi in 1963.

Wang charmed President Sukarno in her form-fitting dress and pearls.

                                                     That glam came back to haunt Wang. Never forget class struggle, Peng.

 It reminds me of "the Jackie Kennedy of China," Gu Kailai.


And, speaking of being in the dock, it reminds me of Madame Mao her ownself. Before:

                                                                          And after.

Hazardous job being First Lady of China, hazardous job. Take care, Peng. Avoid pearls.  

"China Pulls 1000 Dead Ducks From Sichuan River."-BBC.

You know, China is weird.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Raise your hand if you had heard of "Florida Gulf Coast University" before last week.

Now, this is why colleges and universities in America sponsor big-time athletics:

1. florida gulf coast coach wife
2. florida gulf coast
3. florida gulf coast coaches wife
4. florida gulf coast images
5. tiananmen square 1989
6. wang guangmei
7. amanda marcum enfield
8. andy enfield wife
9. andy enfields wife
10. are the girls hot at florida gulf coast university

Those are the top ten search keywords that landed people on this one tiny blog in the last 24 hours. It is called "the Flutie effect:"  the media exposure that a university gets when its high-profile, i.e. football or men's basketball, team accomplishes the extraordinary can lead to increases in applications, enrollment, donations. Doug Flutie's last-second, 63-yard touchdown pass in 1984 to beat the University of Miami resulted in a 16% increase in applications to his school, Boston College. And Boston College was known; Figcu was not known.

"Did China Just Declare War on Apple? Sure Looks Like It."-Forbes

Hit 'em again, hit 'em again! 
My noble Chinese comrades, I am with you.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Florida Gulf Coast is not the first 15-seed, of which there are four in every NCAA tournament, to beat a two-seed as Figucu did Georgetown. They are the first 15 seed to win a second game and advance to the round of 16. For our Chinese friends, who have a penchant for numerology, FLorida Gulf Coast has been in existence as a university for...16 years.

We are all witnesses.
There have been more pageviews of yesterday's post on Florida Gulf Coast than on any other post since February 10. After one day.
Mysteries of Florida Gulf Coast University.
You have to be kidding me.
Dear Jesus, Figucu.
How do you double-check the thujone content of absinthe? While you're drinking it.

Seeking the Soul: Jamie Dixon and the Mystery of Pittsburgh.

*Near the opposite end of the excitement spectrum from Figcu are "UCLA," the University of California at Los Angeles and "Pitt," the University of Pittsburgh. Both suffered blowout losses last week in college basketball's national championship tournament. UCLA's coach, Ben Howland, may be fired* but last night Pittsburgh extended coach Jamie Dixon's contract by ten years. Howland used to coach at Pitt where Dixon was one of his assistants. Both teams flourished until recently and both coaches are well-regarded but Mr. Dixon's trouble began more suddenly and mysteriously. What happened to Jamie Dixon and his Pitt team can be documented with some precision.

On November 16, 2011 Pitt was the 9th ranked team in the country and played Long Beach State University in Pittsburgh. The game was considered a “tune-up” for Pitt, who almost never lost at home and was heavily favored. Long Beach won 86-76. Pitt then won, against inferior competition, nine games in a row and regained nearly all of its public reputation, climbing back up to 13th in the country. But then it happened again. On December 23 Pitt lost at home to Wagner College—and then lost seven more games in succession. Later in the year Pitt lost another five games in a row. This was inconceivable. This was the most mysterious event in men’s college basketball in the 2011-2012 season. Why had this happened?

Jamie Dixon had lost his team.

The players stopped playing for Dixon as they had for years before. Since that loss to Wagner, Dixon’s won-lost record has been 35-25, 58%.  In the eight-plus years prior, Dixon’s won-lost percentage had been 79%.

Why had that happened?  I think Jamie Dixon lost his soul, "the animating principle," of  his coaching career. Pitt had played in the Big East conference and Jamie Dixon loved the Big East. He recruited the eastern cities, selling tough inner-city high school players on a tough city coach at a tough inner-city university in the best basketball conference in America, and who would play their conference tournament in Madison Square Garden in New York City. As rumors swirled concerning “conference realignment” Jamie Dixon was vocal in opposition. Why would anyone want to leave the Big East?  In September, 2011 the University of Pittsburgh administration announced that it was leaving the Big East for the Atlantic Coast Conference. Jamie Dixon and the school’s other sports coaches were told to keep their mouths shut. They did. Two months later the dismal 2011-2012 basketball season started.

Pitt’s decision to leave the Big East took part of Jamie Dixon’s soul.  Recently he joked that he has no relatives in Greensboro, North Carolina, frequent home of the ACC tournament. Dixon is a man who knows what he wants and he had found it at Pitt and in the Big East. He recruited and played his players the way that they played for success in the Big East. And he had found success, winning the Big East three times in nine years.

A man who knows what he wants and who has found it, such a man can be rigid, uncompromising, stubborn.  The Atlantic Coast Conference is a very small step down in basketball from the old Big East, which ceased to exist at the end of this season, and is a substantial upgrade academically and in football, the cash-cow of college athletics. Dixon should be able to succeed in the ACC. If he can adapt. Just a little. He will have to learn how to coach against Mike Krzyzewski and Roy Williams, to beat their systems the way he learned how to beat Jim Boeheim’s 2-3 zone defense. The ACC is not as physically rugged as was the Big East; Dixon may have to successfully recruit more naturally-talented players to beat the bluebloods of Duke and North Carolina. But that may mean recruiting less “coachable” players.

Dixon may have to recruit more players with the pedigree of Khem Birch.

Another event that can be identified precisely in the failed 2011-2012 season is the decision of Khem Birch to leave Pitt and transfer. Birch was the most highly regarded prospect that Jamie Dixon had ever recruited to Pitt. He lasted 1-1 ½ months. On December 16, 2011 it was announced that Khem Birch had left Pitt. On December 23 Pitt lost to Wagner, beginning its eight game losing streak. How can there not be cause and effect there? Khem Birch did not play at Pitt like the McDonald’s All-American that he was, he has not played like a McDonald’s All-American for his new school, the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. We know what happened after Khem Birch left but we don’t know precisely why, we don’t know the precise cause. Maybe Jamie Dixon’s soul took another hit. Whatever it took for Dixon to land Birch had been for naught.

A tough inner-city coach at a tough inner-city school can also be a coaching taskmaster. It can wear on the most “coachable” players. Dixon is all of those things. The blueblood talent that Dixon may have to pursue a little more now may be less attuned to a coaching taskmaster. Dixon may have to change his coaching style a little. Or maybe not. Elite, coachable players exist.

The failure to recruit elite talent has always been a justified criticism of Dixon; failure in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) tournament is another. For if Jamie Dixon is to succeed through his contract to 2023 he will have to succeed in the NCAA tournament. Dixon has never made the “Final Four” of that competition much less won it. The two, recruiting and NCAA success, would seem to be related. There is only so much “coaching up” you can do on pedestrian talent; there’s a talent ceiling that you hit and no matter how much a taskmaster the coach is, no matter how prepared he has the players, in the end talent will out. That’s the argument. It is a good argument. But it does not appear to explain NCAA tournament losses to Bradley in 2006, Villanova in 2009, and Xavier in 2010.

 Is Dixon even a taskmaster?  That implies thoroughly-prepared teams, teams that are perhaps over-prepared, whose players are worn-out by season’s end by the physicality that Dixon demands, by his constant drilling. Yet, one of Pitt’s players said the team “was not prepared” for its game last week against Wichita State.  Is that why Pitt lost?  Or was it lack of talent?  Pitt with less talent than Wichita State?

University of Arizona head coach, and Pitt graduate, Sean Miller said Friday that Jamie Dixon is an “elite” coach. He said coaches know these things. Yes, they do. Coaches also never criticize other coaches (but Miller didn’t say that). Maybe Dixon's team was unprepared by him for Wichita State. It says here though that if that was the case it was one of the few times Jamie Dixon did not have his team prepared.

Maybe Jamie Dixon is just not a great coach, how about that?  He is, like the university that employs him, very good, but not great.  No. No, we don't permit tautological arguments here, we must try to identify those components of coaching greatness that Jamie Dixon lacks, if he does. Something indeed happened to Pitt and Jamie Dixon in 2011. I think there was a "loss of soul" but the soul is a mutable thing. Dixon seemed to get his soul back this year. 2011 was aberrational. This season was better and the seasons before 2011 were better. Still, with as much excellence as Dixon has produced there have been these failures. Why?  The one factor that explains most of the most is recruiting. In nine years only four of Jamie Dixon's players have been drafted into the National Basketball Association. Maybe Jamie Dixon has not had the players, or coached them up, to win at the national level. His focus was always on winning the Big East; win the Big East, the best conference in the land, and the national picture will turn out the same way! That's a good argument, too. It doesn't necessarily follow and it did not follow. Maybe Jamie Dixon could change his coaching style in the ACC just a little. Maybe Dixon could recruit to win the NCAA tournament, not the ACC tournament in Greensboro.

*The beginning of this post has been substantially reworked and is taken from an earlier draft in which Mr. Howland was still the UCLA coach. He has since been fired. March 26, 8 pm. For a story that similarly traces Howland's fall to a precise event and uses similar "soul" language to explain what happened see George Dohrmann, "The Moment Things Started to Unravel for Ben Howland at UCLA," Sports Illustrated, March 25.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

-florida coast.
-florida gulf coast.
-gulf coast.
-gulf shores florida.
-hello andy.

Top five search keywords today.
Continuing our coverage of Florida Gulf Coast University we should like to familiarize pageviewers with the head basketball coach of Figucu Andy Enfield!

Hello Andy and congratulations on that big win over Georgetown!

And now ladies and gentiles say hello to Andy's wife!

Hello Andy's wife!  Hello Andy's wife supermodel in a black bikini Amanda Marcum Enfield!

And that's the end of this post!

Friday, March 22, 2013

As was revealed exclusively on this pretty good blog many weeks ago FGCU ("Fig-Gu-Cu"), Florida Gulf Coast University is a renowned institution of advanced education with an excellent basketball team which surprised all but loyal Publocc readers by defeating Georgetown University in tha American national championship basketball tournament tonight. As Jeremy Lin would say if he had been privileged enough to have attended Figucu, "hahaha i told you!!!"

Does America Still Work?

"Security Hole Allows Anyone to Reset an Apple ID with Email and DOB."
                                                 -Slashgear, today.

-University of California at Berkeley.
-Mount Holyoke College.
-Columbia University.
-Coláiste na hOllscoile Corcaigh. ("University College Cork." My Spanish is improving.)
-Wake Forest University.
-University of Brighton, England.
-Fayetteville State University.
-Princeton University.

Every one of them China-related except Brighton.

Wait a minute. Cal-Berkeley: "Donkey Baby: From Beijing to Berkeley and Beyond," Sonia J. Song...I can follow a lead.
Albuquerque, New Mexico is the home of the university that lost to Harvard yesterday but more impressively the home of Tim's Place.

Tim Harris (nice name) is a 27 year old man with Down's Syndrome.

Tim's parents started the café (I can't believe Blogger put the thing over the "e.") for their son to work in. Asked recently on the Today Show what he does at, Tim replied: "I'm in charge of the hugs."

As McDonald's has "over 4 billion sold," Tim's has "over 32,000 hugs given."

Bless his heart.

A big hug to mi amor Carmen for telling me about this.

Now, when you go "benjamin harris public occurrences" you have to go down pretty far not to see an image related to this piece-of-crap blog.
The first google image for "benjamin harris."

The first google image with search keyword "public occurrences."
Good. I was afraid it might be an upskirt. Or "the finger." Or a frying pan. Good.
When you click on "Penn State" the first six google images are sports related.

When you click on "Harvard," the Penn State of Cambridge Massachusetts, you have to go 31 images before you get to anything related to sports.


The Harvard men's basketball team won a game in America's national championship tournament yesterday, beating the Harvard of Albuquerque, The University of New Mexico 68-62.

According to the Associated Press, Jeremy Lin tweeted:


Penn State didn't qualify as one of the 68 best teams in America for the tournament. They only won 10 of the 31 games they played this year.

Images: the first on google for "penn state" and "harvard."

"pretty good blog."


"up skirt in public"

That's another one and I am innocent of that one. That one post, "Women Hold Up Half the Sky" is the reason. I have seen a lot similar. Men are such cockroaches.

"giving the finger graphic"

Search keyword of the day.

Jeezus, I can't believe somebody typing that in would get here. I have posted that graphic several times. Maybe I won't anymore. Note that no search keyword of the day has ever been anything like "really good blog." Ah, jeez.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Old Bach has come.

When Frederick the Great was told that Johann Sebastian Bach had arrived the Prussian emperor said to his retinue appreciatively, "Old Bach has come." It was at that meeting at the Potsdam palace that Bach composed on the spot, in response to Frederick's challenge, a six part ricercar that came to be known as the Musical Offering.

J.S. Bach was not appreciated, as he was by Frederick, by the public in his time. His sons Carl Philipp Emmanuel, who worked at the Potsdam palace, and Johann Christian, were better regarded. Not until years after death in 1750 did he come to be recognized, as he is by many, as the greatest musical composer in human history. Bach's musical output was astonishing, over 1,000 compositions that included orchestral works, chamber music, cantatas, chorales, and fugues. All of it was done in service to Protestant Christianity. Bach's music is in the heavens today, on the Golden Record of humanity aboard the Voyager spacecraft. And on this, Julian calendar, date in 1685 Old Bach came into the world.

Image: The Haussman portrait.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Men are such cockroaches, aren't they?

I couple of weeks ago I text-messaged CCC:

Night mi amor. XOXOXOXO.

Only I transposed two numbers.

The next day I got this message:

Who are you.

I was mortified:

Wrong person, I apologize.

Now, this is the response I got:

Hey never let anyone know you are scared.  By the way are you a female. I would hate to be saying all this to some guy.

He saw an opening!  This guy saw an opportunity! 

You're saying it to a guy, an old guy. I had meant to text my gf good nite.

Ok then buddy thanks for the info.
Men are such cockroaches, aren't they?
A prominent public occurrence in the world today concerns "Lululemon yoga pants," which the undersigned had not heard of until today. Lululemon yoga pants are see-through, which the undersigned had not heard of until today. Lululemon is recalling them.
Google's spam filter is a thousand times better than aol's, though. There, Google, take that and be happy.
Google, really nice job on the spam filter. I can see how "" would throw you off.

from: 工程、人力课程
to: "Undisclosed-Recipient:;"
date: Wed, Mar 20, 2013 at 10:05 AM
subject: 【2013新版《清单计价规范》深度解读、实操】;人力绩效-薪酬、财务、营销、外贸...(约50-60个精品课程)
: Important mainly because of the people in the conversation.

1, the latest 2013 edition of "Construction Works list pricing norms depth of interpretation, application operating-cum-construction project cost the whole process of refinement of management practices classes

30-31 Hangzhou in March 2013, April 13-14, Chongqing       April 23-24, Kunming, Zhengzhou, May 11-12, 2011
Cost: 2200 yuan / person   (Including training, information, experts, etc.), accommodation arranged, at their own expense.
Will apply advanced engineering and legal counselor, senior engineering cost management division, "Advanced Project Management Professional Certificate

"Lost Sleep Can Lead to Weight Gain."-New York Times.

Then I'm going to weigh 500 pounds.

Who is Sonia J. Song?

Someone prove to me that this woman exists. Go ahead, google her. There is nothing. I have asked two people, one a former student at the school: they never heard of her, never even heard of this book. Whoever she is, she doesn't know what she's talking about. Song Binbin did not make the announcement over the loudspeaker that Bian Zhongyun was dead; Liu Jin made that announcement. Who the hell is Sonia J. Song?

Who is Sonia J. Song?

Below is from a self-published book, "Donkey Baby: From Beijing to Berkeley and Beyond" (2008), by Sonia J. Song. I know of no such person by that name, which is almost certainly a pseudonym, who attended the High School for Girls Attached to Beijing Normal University. Nor have I heard this account of the announcement over the loudspeaker being attributed to Song Binbin. Anyone with information on the identity of Sonia J. Song or the accuracy of this information please email me at

"On August 18... Mao received tens of thousands of Red Guards in Tiananmen Square...The head of the Red Guards in our school, Song Bin-bin, pinned a Red Guard armband on his sleeve...So Song Bin-Bin changed her name to Song Yao-Wu." (42)

"Since ours was a girls' school, the detention center at my school, in a corner house, detained female 'bad eggs.'  A first cousin of mine was a Red Guard in my school.  In the fashionable Red Guard outfit of faded army uniform, army cap, and a heavy buckled belt, she often boasted about how hard she had beaten a detainee. Horrible screams came out of that house day and night.  Nobody dared to go near."

"One day when I did go [to school], I heard that our school principal, Bian, had been beaten to death the day before in the schoolyard. I sat in the classroom, listening as Song Yao-Wu's voice came through the loudspeaker. 'Counter-revolutionary revisionist capitalist-roader Bian Zhong-Yun died of a heart attack yesterday. We Red Guards had no responsibility for her death. Whoever dares to say things contrary to this fact, be aware of the consequences.' " (43)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Last night the Miami "Heats" won their 23rd game in a row. That is the second-longest streak in National Basketball Association history.

The University of Miami "Hurricane" finished the regular season ranked as the fifth best team in America and are one of four teams seeded second in the upcoming college basketball national championship tournament.

It was not always thus.

From 1988-2004 the "Heats" were the definition of mediocrity. Then they got Dwayne Wade. In 2006 they won the NBA championship, becoming unofficial world champions. Then they got LeBron James. Ditto 2012. Now, 23 in a row and one of the most glamorous, popular (and hated) teams in any sport.

The University of Miami didn't play basketball from 1971-1985. For lack of interest. Then they restarted the team. Little interest, mediocre; the highest they were ranked prior to this season was 8th. Then they hired Jim Larranaga as coach. Now they're fifth.

The number of people in the world whose favorite sports teams are the Miami "Heats" and the basketball "Hurricane" is pretty small. Miami has traditionally been a football city: the professional "Dolphin" have won two Super Bowls and were infinitely more popular than the pre-Wade "Heats," and the football "Hurricane" have won five college national championships. Now, almost incomprehensibly, Miami is a basketball city.
Continuing or popular series "Visual IQ," we present for analysis these two photographs.

Ignore who these three guys are for the moment. Who looks more interested? The guy on the right in both photographs looks bored out of his mind, like he'd rather be any other place doing any other thing than shaking hands with the other two guys. In the top photo the guy on the left looks like he's just received his university diploma and is excited to be shaking hands with the Dean. The guy in the background in the top photo looks intimidated, defensive. I guarantee he's got his hands folded over his crotch because he's self-conscious about his small pee-pee. The guy on the left in the bottom photo is the same as the guy in the background at top. Now he looks obsequious, leaning forward slightly as if he's about to bow and the guy on the right is turning away from him as if thinking "Oh jeez, this is the guy with the small dick."

Unfortunately the guys on the left are Americans, Gary Locke at top, Ambassador to the People's Republic of China, and Jacob Lew, Secretary of the Treasury. And the guy on the right is Chinese president Xi Jinping. These photographs were taken at the start of a meeting on trade and economic issues between the two countries. Gary, Jack, how are those talks going?

Monday, March 18, 2013

Visual IQ Pre-Test.

Of all the images on this god...blessed blog, why this one? What was it about this one that made my...examiner think, "I'll suggest the idea of a visual IQ test to Benjamin Harris?," huh?  I don't know.

So. Anyway. What do we see here?  I, Benjamin Harris, see a hard-working, keenly intelligent, male civil servant at the top of his profession laboring with furrowed brow over an intellectually challenging task.

Am I right? Who amongst us does not see a hard-working, keenly intelligent male civil servant at the top of his profession there?  Oh, there may be some--there may be--who see a moe-ron: a balding, guy with a double chin doing drudge work counting ballots by hand after the election was over, embarrassing his state, country and species, whose alternative career path of professional pizza delivery was foreclosed to him for lack of "skills." And another guy in the background with love handles. But I am confident, I am confident, that the "correct" answer...Visual IQ-wise, is mine. Thank you. 

And I want points added to my score on the real test for this. Thank you.

This could end badly.

Hi Benjamin,

I wanted to reach out to connect with you about a graphic I helped create which examines the state of America's visual IQ by revealing the percentage of people that can correctly identify politicians, countries, and even popular logos.

I came across this post on your site: – and given that you might have an interest, I thought it'd be a great fit and wanted to see if you'd be interested in taking a look at the piece. If so, let me know and I'd love to pass it along!

[name withheld]

My IQ, visual and otherwise, is not very high so I'm hesitant to bring down "the state of America's" IQ. Oh, the pressure! But, I'm intrigued. Let's do it.

"China river's dead pig toll passes 13,000"-NBC News


That would be the Headline of the Day except I violated the rules of H.o.t.D. by reading the article.  The article doesn't help understanding the headline much. The headline states the fact, bizarre as that is. What the article adds is that this has all happened in a little over a week (!). It says "reports" are that a "number" of the dead pigs have tested positive for some pig virus, which is not very specific or authoritative. Are those "reports" even plausible?  Who amongst us out there knows pig viruses?  Can a pig virus kill that quickly?  I don't know.  The Chinese authorities are not even sure where the dead pigs are coming from...Not even sure...where dead pigs...How can that be?   How large is the potential pool of sources for 13,000 pigs around Shanghai?  How about as one potential source, oh I don't know, let's guess...pig farms. A pig farm is a pretty big thing, right? It's not like an ant colony, I think you could find pig farms around Shanghai without too much difficulty. How in the world did 13,000 dead pigs get put into rivers, 9,500 into one river, the Huangpu?  Pigs are pretty big too. How would pig farmers, people, take 13,000 dead pigs and dump them into a river and no one notice? Why would they dump them in a river?  Dead things float. Chinese pig farmers know this, right?  If Chinese pig farmers dumped some dead pigs in the river, they would have seen them float in the water. They didn't drop like stones to the bottom. Rivers carry floating things downstream to other people who will see them. Chinese pig farmers know this about rivers, right?

Sunday, March 17, 2013

I went to see Beethoven's Ninth Symphony in concert tonight and had anticipated it with great excitement. Joy. First time for me. Cleveland Orchestra. Major orchestra. Really looked forward to it.
The orchestra, which did look a little spare based on my expectation was seated when CCC and I walked in.  The violin soloist walked in to applause...violin soloist? Eh, what did I know. The Conductor, Giancarlo Guerrero, who did a brilliant job in the end, came out and introduced a genu-ine fat lady, Elizabeth DeShong, dressed in a glorious red gown that depleted the supply of red gown material in Cleveland and environs I was sure. Where were the other singers?  The Ninth requires a full choir, Ms. Deshong was full but did not constitute a choir. These were unexpected and confused me. Then Mr. Guerrero introduced the evening's program. With a saccharin sweet voice he explained that we would hear the Nerudo Songs by Peter Lieberson. "Why is he talking about this?" I whispered to Carmen, thinking it was a coming attraction. We checked our tickets. Beethoven's "Nine," that's all it said, that's all I expected and all I paid for. Instead the fat lady began singing:

"Si mo fueta porque tus ojos tienen
color de luna...oh, bienada, yo no te amaria!

And like that for five syrupy songs and 25 minutes.

Then the Beethoven. Mr. Guerrero was magnificent directing the Cleveland. He jumped, rode the horse to that particular sequence and communicated intense, playful energy to his musicians and his audience, both of whom fed off him and reciprocated. And I didn't get arrested or even kicked out for my f-bomb rant during intermission before the real deal started. So, successful night.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Continuing our theme of image-conscious entities with image problems we treat now with Carnival Cruise Lines. This week the bird hit the air pump on the Carnival ship called "Dream." The "Dream" got stranded on the island of St. Maarten, from which 4,000 dreamers were ferried home by other more reliable transportation means. Yesterday, I think it was, the Carnival "Legend" crawled into port in Tampa with a problem with its propulsion system. One suggestion, cosmetic it might be called, for these public relations disasters is that Carnival stop taking names for its ships from the perfume aisle of department stores. More substantively, the United States government should ground the entire Carnival fleet, as it does with airlines, until every last boat has been inspected and deemed dream-worthy and sea-worthy.

Image: The misnamed "Dream" in St. Maarten.


Soot Effluence, Beijing.

Wouldn't you think, no matter how bad pollution might be in other parts of China, in Beijing, at the center of everything, the Center would do whatever it took to have the air cleaned?  For example, during the Great Leap, 40,000,000 died but Beijingers hardly noticed. The Center made sure that Beijingers--like themselves--were adequately fed. China is so image-conscious and this is the capital, with all the world's press and embassies. It's embarrassing and Zhongnanhai doesn't do embarrassing very well.

Soot Effluence, Beijing.

Beijing on a clear day and on February 27. Max Fisher of the Washington Post calls it "the most shocking photo of Beijing air pollution I've ever seen." Photo by Dan Bishop.

Hogg's Bison Seen.

Why is this in the news? Again. They saw it at CERN last year. Who frigging saw it this time, Stevie Wonder? Is that why this is news, huh? How much mileage can you get out of a frigging bison?  You going to do a new story every time a new person sees this frigging thing? Fine, I just saw one, do another frigging story tomorrow. First Google reader and now this.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

"End of Google Reader Sends Internet into an Uproar." New York Times.

I don't know what it is, or was, either. No frigging idea.

Excuse me, scholar? Excuse me up there. HEY YOU, YES YOU!  The New York Times says "End of Google Reader Sends Internet into an Uproar."  Whaddya think about that?

Really intelligent look on your face, man.
That awesome guy Dr. Weimon Mo sent me the great painting of his below as a gift. Carmen and I got it framed and it now graces the casa de work, the Institute for Advanced Legal Study. Now Dr. Mo, he's a scholar and an artiste. My inestimable thanks to Weimin, whose art can be found here:

Look at the movement he captures in the dancer, especially the arms.  

Cambridge University! Wow. What's better, Oxford or Cambridge?

Wolverhampton University. What's better, Wolverhampton or Oxbridge?

Bergen University, Norway.

Rutgers University. Ruptures.

Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universitaet, Frankfort. They should play Wolverhampton in some sport.

Vanderbilt University. Vandy should play Rutgers.

University de Los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia. Ooh, Blogger put the thing over the "a." So scholarly of Blogger.

Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. The In-sti-tute for Ad-vanced Stu-dy? That is the best yet. Einstein worked there. I didn't.

Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas.

University Hospital of Linkoping, Sweden. Uh..No, I don't think that counts.

God, that's an absurd portrait. It's even goofier enlarged.

"Rand Paul Steals Show From Marco Rubio at CPAC," Time.

That's good news--for the Democrats. I don't know what has happened to the GOP but they're nuts.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Pale Effluent.


C'mon man, don't do a Brezhnev, you can wave better than that. Put a little Argentine oomph into it, a little tango, cha-cha-cha, huh? Arright fine, then just don't wave! If that's the Full Francis then DON'T DO IT.  Just say no to waves! Bow or something. Just do not wave. Ever again.