Monthly Archive: February 2016


Jeb Bush was not a joke.

I never expected to like Jeb. Boarding school toff. Political scion. Staunch pro-lifer. NRA favorite. Oh, and ugh, the Terri Schiavo stuff. Still, I couldn’t help but warm to him as the campaign wore...


July 4, 1939: Lou Gehrig’s Speech

Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about the bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth. I have been in ballparks for seventeen years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans.

Look at these grand men. Which of you wouldn’t consider it the highlight of his career just to associate with them for even one day? Sure, I’m lucky. Who wouldn’t consider it an honor to have known Jacob Ruppert? Also, the builder of baseball’s greatest empire, Ed Barrow? To have spent six years with that wonderful little fellow, Miller Huggins? Then to have spent the next nine years with that outstanding leader, that smart student of psychology, the best manager in baseball today, Joe McCarthy? Sure, I’m lucky.

When the New York Giants, a team you would give your right arm to beat, and vice versa, sends you a gift – that’s something. When everybody down to the groundskeepers and those boys in white coats remember you with trophies – that’s something. When you have a wonderful mother-in-law who takes sides with you in squabbles with her own daughter – that’s something. When you have a father and a mother who work all their lives so you can have an education and build your body – it’s a blessing. When you have a wife who has been a tower of strength and shown more courage than you dreamed existed – that’s the finest I know.

So I close in saying that I might have been given a bad break, but I’ve got an awful lot to live for.

Lou Gehrig, speaking at Yankee Stadium




There are nominees for Best Director (and for Best Supporting Roles, I guess)



On Mixing Tired Old Formulae Up A Bit (e.g., Far Cry Primal)


What Should We Say About David Bowie and Lori Maddox?

David Bowie died on January 10, 2016, two days after his 69th birthday and the release of Blackstar, his 25th album. The news came meteorically; we were dazed and flattened, looking at the world through debris and glitter that suddenly it seemed we’d borrowed from him. Lady Gaga paid extended, exhaustive tribute to him at the Grammys on Monday night; in the week following his death, there was a second line for him in New Orleans, a shrine outside his apartment in Tribeca, a series of farewells from his musical echelon, a million Instagrams, a segment on SNL. Bowie was that rare thing, a revolutionary who was also near-universally beloved. He gave off an uncanny combination of generosity and brilliance, in which he seemed to give everything to and ask nothing of the people who idolized him—except for, I guess, the bodies of the young teenage girls he fucked.

Word choice is hard here. Should we say “raped” automatically if a grown man has sex with a teenager? Does it matter at all if the 15-year-old, now much older, describes their encounter as one of the best nights of her life? What is our word for a “yes” given on a plane that’s almost vertically unequal? Does contemporary morality dictate that we trust a young woman when she says she consented freely, or believe that she couldn’t have, no matter what she says?

From: What Should We Say About David Bowie and Lori Maddox?


Predicting Judicial Greatness in A Theoretical Justice Barack Obama

Were a hypothetical President Hillary Clinton to nominate him to the Supreme Court, would Barack Obama’s service as President be reason to foresee that he’d become one of the great Justices on the Supreme Court? What about his lack of prior judicial experience or his lack of scholarly publications?


Cut The Crap, Apple, And Open Syed Farook’s iPhone

Apple has the ability to temporarily update the software on Farook’s iPhone and remove the three barriers to using a brute-force attack. But before any iPhone will accept new software, it checks to see...


September 29, 1954: Wille Mays’s Catch

I’m playing a shallow center field. It’s the eighth inning, the score is tied and I don’t want Larry Doby scoring from second base. One run could be the ball game. The ballgame could be the series. You never know. Wertz hits it. A solid sound. I learned a lot from the sound of the ball on the bat. Always did. I could tell from the sound whether to come in or go back. This time I’m going back, a long way back, but there is no doubt in my mind. I am going to catch this ball. I turn and run for the bleachers. But I got it. Maybe you didn’t know that but I knew it. Soon as it got hit, I knew I’d catch this ball. But that wasn’t the problem. The problem was Larry Doby on second base. On a deep fly to center field at the Polo Grounds, a runner could score all the way from second. I’ve done that myself and more than once. So if I make the catch, which I will, and Larry scores from second, they still get the run that puts them ahead. All the time I’m running back, I’m thinking, ‘Willie, you’ve got to get this ball back into the infield.’ I run fifty or seventy-five yards – right to the warning track- and I take the ball a little toward my left shoulder. Suppose I stop and turn and throw. I will get nothing on the ball. No momentum going into my throw. What I have to do is this: after I make the catch, turn. Put all my momentum into that turn. To keep my momentum, to get it working for me, I have to turn very hard and short and throw the ball from exactly the point I caught it. The momentum goes into my turn and up through my legs and into my throw. Larry Doby ran to third, but he couldn’t score. Al Rosen didn’t even advance from first. All the while I was running back, I was planning how to get off that throw. Then some of them wrote, I made that throw by instinct.

Wille Mays in The Era, 1947-1957, by Roger Kahn



On low-carb diets.