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Ryan Noonan

Ryan Noonan is an economist with a small federal agency. Fields in which he considers himself reasonably well-informed: literature, college athletics, video games, food and beverage, the Supreme Court. Fields in which he considers himself an expert: none. He can be found on the Twitter or reached by email.

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74 Responses

  1. “O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming” is grammatical, actually, just part of an unforgivably long phrase. Rewritten, it could be: “Whose broad stripes and bright stars were, through the perilous fight, so gallantly streaming o’er the ramparts we watched.”Report

    • Avatar wardsmith in reply to Phillip J. Birmingham says:

      It beats the previous song (to the same tune)
      To Anacreon in Heaven, where he sat in full glee,
      A few sons of harmony sent a petition,
      That he their inspirer and patron should be.
      When this answer arrived from that jolly old Grecian:
      Voice, fiddle and flute no longer be mute,
      I’ll lend you my name and inspire you to boot,
      And besides I’ll instruct you like me to entwine
      The myrtle of Venus with Bacchus’ vine.”

      I know some rube here will want to sing the olde song in praise of wine so here’s you linkReport

  2. Avatar Murali says:

    Speaking of times we’d rather be watching a baseball or football game. Good grief. I realize a lot of the world has simmering resentments they need to work out, but could we select a sport that doesn’t involve people running back and forth for a few hours, nobody accomplishing anything, and a final score of 0-0? The only upside of the World Cup is that it’s usually on at a time I don’t have to see it.

    Americans just like games where the scores tend to run into double digits. Actual soccer is fun to watch as there is constant movement of the ball. Its kind of a constant motion thing so there are few moments of boredom. (I mean that is if you are into the whole sports thing)Report

  3. Avatar Blazinghand says:

    Ack, I’ve been drawn out of my cave.

    Ryan Writes:
    >>Or at least the lyrics are terrible; I don’t mind the music itself. “O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming” doesn’t even appear to be English.

    It’s a valid point that that “O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming” is not a complete sentence. However, the O in “O’er” is only capitalized becuase it begins a line. The full sentence goes:

    O! say can you see by the dawn’s early light,
    What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming,
    Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
    O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming.

    Conserving sentence structure(but not meaning) this means in modern english: Can you see what (that which) we hailed, whose broad stripes through the perilous fight, over the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming.

    So “were so gallantly streaming” is the predicate to “broad stripes” in this long sentence. I agree that there is a pretty big tendency to over-sing it though, making it rather obnoxious.Report

  4. Avatar Kim says:

    The star spangled banner is a fucking drinking song, and before/during the Civil War, it was sung at twice the speed people do now.

    It’s kinda fun when sung right.Report

  5. Avatar North says:

    Regarding The Star Spangled Banner; I have always liked the words but disliked the tune. I was told once that the tune was originally a drinking song which was then adapted to the Star Spangled Banner after the War of 1812 and I’d be willing to believe it.Report

  6. Avatar Plinko says:

    Nearly all of the supermarket bread we eat is really just cake with a lot less sugar. I really can’t stand much of it, white or wheat.Report

  7. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    1. Bread — if you’re going to give me wheat bread, go whole-hog and get the kind with the nuts, seeds and whole grains, and toast it. Otherwise, gimme the sourdough. What Americans call “white” bread is too sweet and there’s something unnatural and disturbing about a loaf of bread that stays soft for two weeks in the fridge.

    2. The problem with mayo is lack of restraint. Folks slather it on their sandwiches by the inch and there isn’t any real taste to it to begin with. If you want an eggy taste, fry up an egg and put it in the sandwich already. Mayo needs some garlic or chipotle mixed into it, and then a conservative amount of the stuff makes a good binding to chicken salad or (my European affectation showing) a pleasant sauce for french fries.

    3. 3D is no substitute for a good script. I’m looking at you, Green Lantern.

    4. Totally disagree with you here. I enjoy The Star Spangled Banner in its modern incarnation. You’re supposed to think about why America is a good place when you hear it. Sung straight and with talent (that is, not yodeled), it’s quite pretty and touching. Done very well, it brings a tear to my eye.

    5. Soccer is like hockey, except on a bigger field and therefore apparently a little bit slower. Same strategies, same setups; because it’s on a field, it’s easier to see the strategies setting up. And the tackles, fouls, and injuries can be damned vicious if what you want is blood. The offsides rule does take a little getting used to.Report

    • Avatar Kim in reply to Burt Likko says:

      french fries are best with vinegar.
      I love a good sourdough, but I can’t see why people insist on “whole wheat” bread. Eat some oatmeal, or some other whole grain instead, folks. Bread and bran do not mix. They are not happy together. Have a tortilla, _that_ doesn’t need to rise.Report

    • Avatar wardsmith in reply to Burt Likko says:

      Wheat bread. When I was a young’en with my countless brothers and sisters in our large Catholic family my Mom would buy the “wheat bread” because IIRC it was about 5 cents less. This of course when a loaf cost about 35 cents (and a gallon of gas cost a quarter AND they gave you free glassware and checked your oils and tires). Sad to say, over time it got where I couldn’t stand white bread. Tasted exactly like cotton candy to me (and a similar consistency).

      Now I own a bread machine (my 4th, the do wear out eventually) and buy red wheat by the bushel, literally. Turns out if you buy whole wheat flour at the store, it only lasts about 1-2 weeks before it goes bad. Wheat lasts forever if you don’t grind it and keep it dry. I grind it immediately before I use it, in a conical burr coffee grinder I re-purposed for the task. Just like coffee, the fresher the grind the better the product.

      Ryan I’d guess you have never had the kind I make, possibly you’d love it. All the commercial bakeries just buy ground wheat in 50 lb bags and it has been going bad since it was ground. I hope some enterprising entrepreneur reads this and opens a bakery someplace grinding the flour just before they use it and makes hundreds of millions of dollars.

      2. Mayo. Take it or leave it
      3. I pilot planes and don’t get vertigo. I watch a 3D movie and I’m ready to hurl. I’m hoping it’s a fad like in the 50’s but at least the glasses don’t make you look like a complete dork.
      4. STB above
      5. Soccer should encourage fighting just like hockey. They should have the penalty box and everything. Rugby is a game of hooligans played by gentlemen and hockey is a game of gentlemen played by hooligans.Report

  8. Avatar NoPublic says:

    You want a sport with a lot of motion and occasional high scoring? With the added appeal of injury and mayhem?

    Hurling.

    (You thought I was gonna say Hockey, didn’cha)Report

    • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to NoPublic says:

      The violence in hockey is overrated. You can’t plant your foot when you’re wearing skates.

      Not that I’d want a hockey player beating on me just by holding my shirt, mind you. But I’d much, much rather have a 170 lb. hockey player hold onto my shirt and punch me in the face when we’re both wearing skates on an ice rink than have a 170 lb. boxer with 6 oz gloves give me a planted right hook to the noggin.Report

  9. Avatar DarrenG says:

    I can get with this list except the mayo part. Real mayonnaise, as opposed to what’s in most supermarket jars in the condiment aisle, is a wonderful thing and high on my list of “things people don’t like because they’ve never been exposed to the Good Stuff” along with sushi, tomatoes, cured sardines, and whisky.

    Burt is also right about mayo being way, way over-used in American fast food.Report

  10. Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

    I align with Burt a bit.

    Bread: Rye, Sourdough, Wheat, everything else. I agree that all wheat at TJ’s tastes like chaff.

    Mayo: a little bit of the light mayo next to bacon or tomatoes on a sammich is aiight. More than a little bit and you might as well just eat a stick of butter.

    3D: the hate, it burns

    SSB: America the Beautiful would be a better anthem. Or almost anything by George Cohan.

    Soccer is basketball played with your feet on a huge court covered with grass. If you want strategy, you watch baseball. The whole season. If you want small unit tactics, you watch basketball. If you want to watch people overuse their protective gear, you watch football. Really, Australian Rules Football is probably the real second king of sports. It’s got everything that baseball doesn’t.Report

  11. Avatar Jeff Johnson says:

    I don’t see any controversy here. I hate nationalism, patriotism, religion, sports, pop-culture, luxury, war, death, disease, video games, automobiles, iphones, fast-food, noise, loudness, confidence, pretense, certainty, crowds, parties, light beer, pick-up trucks, Republicans, southern-accents, the confederacy, white-supremacists, west-bank settlers, Greater Israel, jihadists, murderers, Glen Beck, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Bryan Fischer, John Hagee, John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Sam Alito, Antonin Scalia, and everyone else whose beliefs align with aforesaid individuals.Report

  12. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    Bread – Wrong. White bread turns all pasty on the roof of your mouth. Yuck.

    Mayo – Ditto your views. Yuck.

    3D – You kids today.

    Star Spangled Banner – There used to be a movement I would hear about periodically of people who wanted the NA changed to America the Beautiful. (“Hopefully the Ray Charles version,” I used to think.) I was totally behind that movement. I haven’t heard anyone talk about the America the Beautiful movement in a long, long time. I think that movement was a victim of the whole And Then Everything Changed thing.

    Soccer – Bored me to tears most of my life, or at least would have if you’d been able to get me to sit and watch for more than 5 minutes. After having kids play it at a fairly competitive level, though, I have learned to like it. But hey, it’s still not basketball.Report

  13. Avatar mark boggs says:

    I kinda liked you until you got to soccer.

    Now I’d like to make you eat entire loaves of bread with no drink.Report

  14. Avatar Steve S. says:

    Wheat bread: prefer it to white bread.
    Mayonnaise: you’re right. Mayonnaise was invented by a sadist.
    3D: no idea if I like it and I never will find out. I’m certain it would give me motion sickness.
    Nat’l Anthem: the only reason to sit through this awful song is the same reason to watch NASCAR. I guess I’m jaded because I no longer do either. On the positive side, it’s a convenient potty break right before opening kickoff.
    Soccer: it’s not so bad, but there are things I’d change about it, starting with the offside rule.Report

  15. Avatar A Teacher says:

    Okay here’s the thing about the SSB:

    It’s a song about Endurance. It’s about Persistence. It’s about refusing to surrender.

    All through the night, light always by the light of rockets and cannon shells, there was a flag steady and steadfast over that fort. We will not retreat. We will not surrender.

    America the Beautiful is a wonderful song about the land, and all of it’s glories. I can’t argue that. But I don’t see it as an “Anthem”. I don’t see it as a “Rallying Point”. A wonderful patriot song, yes. But it just lacks that “punch” that I think the SSB has.Report

  16. Bread: I like variety: bagels and English muffins are my go-tos. White bread is best for rolling up into gooey balls and throwing across the cafeteria.

    Mayonaise: Perhaps the only food in the world I actively hate, although I’ll eat it very occasionally, and I love deviled eggs.

    3D: I think it looks like shit, and I can’t understand why the general reaction to Avatar was Oscars instead of flipping cars and nationwide assaults on police stations.

    Star Spangled Banner: This might make for the best U.S. National Anthem: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4tDP-yMwXI. Seriously though, I prefer America the Beautiful to the Star-Spangled Banner, but I prefer This Land is Your Land to any other possible choice. But no matter what, no American song can hold a candle to the Soviets: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yDrtNEr_5M. Contrary to popular belief, the Nazi Anthem is not very good. DJ Adolph is far superior: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4UqalmHFiY&feature=related. As you watch any or all of those videos, remind yourself of the power of aesthetic experience to hypnotize and manipulate crowds into glib, organized violence.

    Soccer: Soccer sucks. I don’t think the sport inherently sucks, but I can’t see any way to treat the duel cancers of shootout victories and French, Italian, and Latin American players rolling around on the ground nursing imaginary injuries to help run out the clock so their team can winReport

  17. Avatar stuhlmann says:

    White bread is to a good wheat bread (I too like a variety of seeds thrown in) what Miller Lite is to a good wheat beer.Report

  18. Avatar Jason Kuznicki says:

    Bread: You’re wrong.

    Mayonnaise: You’re wrong, but only about from-scratch mayo. Make some in a blender; here’s how it’s done. The stuff you get in jars is insipid.

    3D: You’re right.

    The Star-Spangled Banner: You’re right. Among patriotic songs, “Battle Hymn of the Republic” wins the prize for the best tune. It even beats the Soviet anthem, to my ear. By far.

    But it would annoy other countries at the Olympics to no end if we changed our anthem to “Yankee Doodle,” so that one gets my vote.

    Soccer: It’s fun to play and lousy to watch.Report

  19. Avatar Michael Cain says:

    Anyone who can complain about “nobody accomplishing anything” for extended periods in a soccer match has never watched a pro football game at the stadium. Until you’ve done that, you don’t realize just how hard the networks work to fill the dead space of the contemporary game with replays, commercials, meaningless shots of the coaches, gratuitous close-ups of the cheerleaders, etc. DIRECTV’s Short Cuts shows every play of a “three hour” game, with numerous replays of the most important plays, in 30 minutes.Report

    • Avatar Ryan Bonneville in reply to Michael Cain says:

      I’m not even sure how that’s possible. Do they cut out huddles, lining up, etc? You’re missing a fair amount of the game if you can’t see the audibles, check-downs, and all that.Report

      • Avatar RTod in reply to Ryan Bonneville says:

        I heard this statistic once on ESPN: if you count only the time between the snap of the ball and the whistle that stops the play – the actual plays where the playing of football is happening – the average game is about 11 minutes. This is because each play is just a few seconds long. They explained this is why linemen that along with having huge muscles have very high amounts of body fat can play so competitively for an entire game – they’re really only playing for 11 minutes.Report

        • Avatar Ryan Bonneville in reply to RTod says:

          Again, that depends greatly on what you count as playing. A lot of things happen before the ball is snapped that really, really matter. Football, far more than any other sport, is a game of pure strategy. Many things that happen are improved by the skill of the players, but mostly what’s going on is a chess game or a super-complicated game of Rock, Paper, Scissors.Report

          • Avatar Kim in reply to Ryan Bonneville says:

            … not at all. baseball’s the game for strategy, if you ain’t playin’ Civ. Football’s all about the tactics, because there are a lot of people on that field, and a lot of interactions. It’s why big ben’s good at the game, after all.Report

          • The point here — at least my point — is that adding those cerebral parts to modern pro football (and tinkering with it to fit the needs of television) has resulted in a game that, watched at the stadium, absolutely drags along. TV doesn’t show you the ten seconds following every long incomplete pass while the players and officials jog back before the ball is marked ready, they show you three replays. TV shows you something else for the 20 seconds each play when the players stand around while the QB listens to the coaches on his radio. TV doesn’t show you the two minute commercial break following many changes of possession where the players just stand on the field because they’re not allowed to huddle or talk to the coaches. At the stadium, you suffer through all of them.Report