Monday, June 29, 2009

RIP Billy Mays

"Billy Mays, a beloved and parodied pitchman who became a pop-culture figure through his commercials for cleaning products like Orange Glo, OxiClean and Kaboom, died Sunday at his home in Tampa, Fla. He was 50."

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

"Really classy dudes."

Jason Rezaian, a journalist who recently left Iran, has a nice on-the-ground piece in Slate.

"I had watched public sentiment go from one of apathy a few weeks before the election to the point at which many people felt they had been robbed. In Iran, public opinion flows in waves. The sea seemed tranquil for the supreme leader and the president in the run-up to the election, but after June 12 a tsunami of resentment and frustration came crashing down on top of them, and they've been bailing water ever since. I don't even think they realize how ridiculous their public reactions to the current turmoil look. . . .

"When I got to Imam Khomeini airport, it was crawling with government security forces. They're never hard to spot: dark suits, blue shirts, cropped beards, big ruby or turquoise pinky rings, trying conspicuously to be inconspicuous. Really classy dudes.

"People preparing to depart huddled around a lone TV monitor to watch a report about the terrorism being inflicted on the people of Tehran by the protesters. It showed a member of the Basij being beaten with his own baton. It was meant to induce sympathy for the militiamen. People only smiled. These punks, who have long been a face of Iran to many outside the country, were finally getting some comeuppance.

"Over the years, I've read several authors describing Iranian society as a place where people live as if they were free—doing all the things that are banned in public behind closed doors, accepting the rules of the Islamic republic as a series of annoyances to be worked around. Over the last few weeks, those doors blew open, and now it feels like the regime is the one acting as if it still has a handle on things. . . ."

Monday, June 22, 2009

This makes sense

To those of you who've asked me about what's going on in Iran, I recommend this Op-Ed in the NYT.

I believe the loss of trust by millions of Iranians who’d been prepared to tolerate a system they disliked, provided they had a small margin of freedom, constitutes the core political earthquake in Iran. Moderates who once worked the angles are now muttering about making Molotov cocktails and screaming their lungs out after dusk.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


This is possibly the best piece of sports journalism I have ever read, a piece worthy of the greatness of Rafael nadal, and it's today's must-read.

"There is debate among serious tennis watchers . . . as to whether Nadal’s victory over Roger Federer in the Wimbledon final last year was the greatest tennis match ever played or whether it has only been called the greatest tennis match ever played when, in fact, Nadal’s victory over his Spanish countryman Fernando Verdasco in the semifinals of the Australian Open in January was greater. Each match went on for more than four and a half hours. Each was desperate, operatic, repeatedly to-the-brink-and-back; each ended with Nadal collapsing to the court in triumph and the spectators exhausted and perspiring, and if you are not a tennis person, I suspect this may be somewhat hard to fathom — the idea that watching two men spend that many hours hitting a ball could actually make your heart pound so hard that you have to keep jumping up and yelling and grabbing your own head. But let me just suggest that if there were ever a time to understand why people invoke Shakespearean tragedy and ancient gladiators and so on when they carry on about competitive tennis, now is that time."

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

What has two thumbs and got paid today?

This girl. Right here.

Silly Bullshit

"This very second, a 30-minute TV program is in progress that is predicated on the assumption that you are stupid. Depending on which one you watch, you will be told that sitting in a little rotating chair will give you six-pack abs, that juicing all your vegetables will give you six-pack abs, that jumping rope/dancing to very specific types of music/pretending to kickbox/turbojamming (all of which feature things called "moves") will give you six-pack abs. You might be encouraged to buy an Ab Roller, Ab Lounger, Ab Belt, Ab Energizer, AbTronic, Ab Rocker, Ab Doer, Ab Force, Ab Swing, Ab Rocket, Ab Flex, Ab Dolly, Ab Away Pro, Ab Lifter Plus, Abrageous, FastAbs, HipHop Abs, or 6-Second Abs by the promise that they will give you six-pack abs. The iGallop really looks like fun—like riding a horse!—and will give you six-pack abs. You might even own a ThighMaster, bought many years ago (Still available today! Call now!) because they promised that it would give you six-pack abs."

This alone was worth the $25 annual fee. Thanks to Mark Rippetoe and his disgust with "silly bullshit" for my biggest laugh of the day.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Headings are important

a. Oat bran craze.

How great is that!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Who said this?

"It is neither possible nor desirable for a [judge] to whom the State entrusts an important judgment to decide in a vacuum, as if he had no experiences."

Put your best guess in the comments. I'll post the answer tomorrow.

Monday, June 8, 2009

One of the worst opinions ever

California v. Ramos, 463 U.S. 992 (1983). It makes NO sense. Hey Sandra Day: WTF?!?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Lawyers need pats on the back sometimes

"The Court commends counsel for their advocacy of the issues presented in this motion. Counsel for the Class and the Defendants have each done a remarkable job in distilling complex and important issues into concise briefing. The fairness and effectiveness of the advocacy is appreciated by the Court and is an increasingly rare commodity."

Compliments of the U.S. District Court for the Northern Distict of Georgia, Atlanta Division.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Never thought it could happen

Today I ran 800 meters in less than 4 minutes.

It was the last in a set of 3 runs, and the fastest of the day.

I fell down afterward and scared these guys who were trying to un-parallel-park their car. I was tired.

For someone who runs an 11-minute mile, this is A Big Deal. It was a good start to the day.