The Beavers Win a Game! The Beavers Win a Game! The Beavers Win a Game! I don't believe it! I don't believe it! I do not believe it!

Throwing off what must be a monkey of cosmological size, the Caltech men’s basketball team won their first conference game since 1985, 46-45 victory over Occidental. For those counting that is 310 straight conference loses:

New York Times article. What the world was like when Caltech men’s basketball last won a conference game. ESPN coverage.
Now I just hope they don’t let their basketball program take over the school at the expense of their academic reputation 😉


Freaks, beards, panda bears.  Aubrey, Buster, Timmy.  Hell yeah, the SF GIANTS are world series champions!!!!  GIANTS!!!
For some reason, the only words that really come to mind are the opening lines to a place just down the road from San Francisco, a place called “Cannery Row”:

Cannery Row in Monterey in California is a poem, a stink, a grating noise, a quality of light, a tone, a habit, a nostalgia, a dream. Cannery Row is the gathered and scattered, tin and iron and rust and splintered wood, chipped pavement and weedy lots and junk heaps, sardine canneries of corrugated iron, honky tonks, restaurants and whore houses, and little crowded groceries, and laboratories and flophouses. Its inhabitants are, as the man once said, ‘whores, pimps, gamblers and sons of bitches,’ by which he meant Everybody. Had the man looked through another peephole he might have said, ‘Saints and angels and martyrs and holy men,’ and he would have meant the same thing.

Truly a team of Everybody, sinners and saints (and a few good pitchers), scratched and clawed their way past teams five time their size this post season to win the first world series in San Francisco history.  In typical San Francisco fashion they looked nothing like you’d expect, were assembled from the dregs the rest of the nation threw out, and destroyed the predictions made by certain East coast pundits who shall remain nameless.  Tonight in San Francisco they will celebrate!
Hell the high (vote yes on 19?) might even last long enough that their leftist butts won’t even feel the pain of the November 2 election 😉


Jerry Rice to be inducted into the Hall of Fame tomorrow. It really was a lot like this
Not bad for #16 in the draft:
One of the greatest draft moves of all time, I think.

A Curmudgeon's and Improv's Guide to Outliers: Chapter 1

Moving on to Chapter 1 in my ongoing pedantic plodding through Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers: The Story of Success. See here for what this is all about. Note that I really am doing this as I read the book (I’m reading it really really slowly), so what I say here may be outdated by the time I get further into the book.
List of posts here: introduction, ch 1.
SPOILER ALERT: Dude, I can’t talk about the book without giving away what the book is about, so if you don’t want the book’s main ideas to be spoiled, don’t continue reading.
IDIOT ALERT: I’m in no way qualified in most of the fields Gladwell will touch on, so please, a grain of salt, before you start complaining about my ignorance. Yes I’m an idiot, please tell me why!
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Quantum Rugby

A quantum physics spotting in….rugby? An article about rugby player Jonny Wilkinson:

The experiment was conceived by the Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödin-ger to demonstrate a conundrum at the heart of quantum physics: that a sub-atomic particle exists in two states. However, the act of measuring it effectively forces it into one particular state, rather as England’s discounted second-half try in the 2007 World Cup Final appeared to many fans to be both a try and not a try, until the referee called for a video replay.

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Tiger Versus the Theoreticians

David Brooks, has an op-ed in the New York Times about Tiger Woods and his astonishing string of triumphs in the golfing world (including last weekends U.S. Open which I watched the end of on both Saturday and Sunday: my wife was right he did make that last put.) Brooks piece waxes on and on about the Tiger’s ability to concentrate

And for that, in this day and age, he stands out. As I’ve been trying to write this column, I’ve toggled over to check my e-mail a few times. I’ve looked out the window. I’ve jotted down random thoughts for the paragraphs ahead. But Woods seems able to mute the chatter that normal people have in their heads and build a tunnel of focused attention.

Now Tiger’s concentration level is definitely astounding (and his combination of hard work, athletic talent, and mental toughness is certainly unmatched in golf), but I wonder if David Brooks every seen a theoretician or mathematician working?
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Love Songs at a Football Game

Last night I went to the Seahawks/49ers game at Seattle’s spectacular Qwest field. While the field was spectacular, my SF 49ers were less than spectacular, losing the game 24-0. In fact they down right stunk. Ouch. Qwest field really is a rocking venue: I attended a game last year right after the league started investigating the Seahawks for pumping in noise over the speakers (which the team denied, and as far as I know no one has ever shown.) That game had the loudest crowd I have ever heard. Walking to the game from downtown Seattle you could hear the crowd from a huge distance away.
Last night’s game wasn’t quite as loud, but still the crowd was able to illicit multiple off-sides from the niners. More interestingly, and more disturbing I might add, I’m pretty sure the guy right behind me was yelling “I Love You!” throughout the second half whenever the crowd started making noise.
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