# Calendar!

Back in the 90′s, I watched The X-Files. Every Friday Night, I knew that The X-Files was going to be on, and the only question was whether it’d be a new show or a rerun. It’s how I pretty much kept track of the week. “Is X-Files on tonight? No… it’s on the day after tomorrow. It must be Wednesday.” Well, this week at work, they had The Test From Heck and so they needed people to man the lab […]

# Babylonia!

We’re back on track with our Eighth installment of the Babylon 5 Viewing Club! The introductory post was here, The Soul Hunter was covered here, and Born to the Purple was covered right here. After that was Infection. Then came The Parliament of Dreams. Following on its heels was Mind War.  Then, RTod covered War Prayer. Last week, Patrick recapped Sky Full of Stars! This week: Death Walker! (Dman does the honors.) You can watch it here. It’s very difficult […]

# Busterhugs!

A guy I work with named Jeremy created this poster, which has gone viral in Giants circles. So if you solve a problem where no one﻿ else can help, and if you can find him, you just might be able to get A Buster Hug!

# Order!

We discussed fields here. Today we’re going to continue by talking about a more specific kind of field. To recap, here are the basic field axioms: A1: Addition is commutative: for all x and y, x + y = y + x A2: Addition is associative: for all x and y, (x + y) + z = x + (y + z) A3: The field contains an additive identity: there exists a member 0 such that for all x, x […]

# Sunday!

Well, I’ve been watching mostly Babylon 5 (which isn’t that interesting to talk about on a blog that’s watching Babylon 5 as a group) but also a couple of fan films from Fallout that are, seriously, *SURPRISINGLY* good. There’s Fallout: Nuka Break and, now the sequel, Fallout: Nuka Break – Red Star. If you’ve ever been in love with the Fallout Universe, you need to watch both of these and count the minutes until Fallout 4. Or 5. Or whatever […]

# No-no!

Tim Lincecum has had a rough couple of years. After winning the Cy Young award his first two years and helping to lead the Giants to a championship the next year, he somehow lost it. Last year he was bad, in fact the worst starting pitcher in baseball. He still struck a lot of hitters out, but also gave up for too many walks and home runs. He was generally lucky to last through the sixth inning. For the post-season, […]

# Bodies!

Last year, I shared some of the images from ESPN the Magazine’s annual “The Body” issue.  The joke then was that the seemingly perfect specimens they were offering us should make anyone a sports fan.  But this year, ESPN included a number of non-traditional “bodies”, an effort for which I applaud them. You’ve got 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s almost entirely tattooed torso. Golf legend Gary Player in his 77-year-old glory. Motorcross racer Tarah Gieger and her stacked thighs. And perhaps most amazingly, and beautifully, […]

# Saturday!

So I’m in The Last of Us. This is the game that’s getting all of the “Citizen Kane” awards from folks and I’m struck by how linear the storyline is. Maybe that’s the price to pay for this sort of thing… but, so far, it’s like hearing that they made a Citizen Kane Video Game, then made all of the action scenes interactive between walking scenes with dialog exposition. That’s not what made Citizen Kane Citizen Kane, guys. Which is […]

# Sandwiches, cont.

In preparing for my recent instructional guide on sandwich making, I asked the MD crowd whether a hot dog qualified.  Responses were mixed.  Included in the conversation were whether burritos ought be classified as such. It turns out their is legal precedent for just such a question: “A sandwich is not commonly understood to include…

# How To Make a Sandwich

Now, it’d be foolish of me to declare that there is a right way to make a sandwich, that I have discovered it, and that you all ought to accept my word as gospel.  That would be a bridge too far.  However, I am arrogant enough to believe that I’ve discovered some tips for making…

# So Now We All Need to Learn the Words

Dunno if it got the most votes because it was the best song, or because it was the first nominated, or because there wasn’t a whole lot of agreement with any other song.  Regardless, it appears that as of now the League’s Theme Song is:

# Driving Blind: Austerity, Street Art, and Books

Let’s get right down to business. Paul Krugman comes out swinging in the New York Review of Books with a piece of extended economic criticism that will surely draw much ire, but push an important debate back into the the public consciousness. On the Verge returns today, and with one of my favorite scientists: Brian…

# Thursday Bar Fight #12: Just Like The Travelling Wilburys, Only Not Really

Good news, everyone! In an attempt to reverse trends in flagging record sales, the music industry has agreed to allow you to create an all-star superband to be The Next Big Thing.  All you need to do choose the actual band members.  You can choose any personnel you wish, provided that the band has at…

Last week I got an email from reader Karen, who asked if I would be willing to share some book titles that might help her better know and understand my political philosophy of principled pragmatism.  At first I had no idea what to tell her; there really is no such thing as a compendium for…

# The Cheap-Ass Gourmet – Puttanesca

Note: The Cheap-Ass Gourmet is a cooking series we recently started doing here at the League.  Each recipe in the series has three things in common: each is perfect for a person on a budget, each is well-suited for those who say “But I don’t know how to cook!,” and each is delicious.  A listing of…

# Gastrodestination Portland

To the left is a meal I had in Portland, Oregon this weekend. It was not the best meal I had. But it was the gayest. (Read more at NaPP…)   Burt Likko is the pseudonym of an attorney in Southern California. His interests include Constitutional law with a special interest in law relating to the…

# Iron Man 3: One Big Joke

Tony Stark suffers from PTSD, Pepper Pots is mad because he bought her a giant stuffed rabbit for Christmas, and an enigmatic terrorist called the Mandarin is taking responsibility for supposed suicide bombings in major cities all over the world. Iron Man 3, on paper at least, resolves each of these crises and more before…

# The judge as moral philosopher

Reviewing Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and Bryan A. Garner’s Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts in the Claremont Review of Books, David Forte exposes Justice Scalia’s famous legal positivism as moral philosophy by another name.  “They call false,” Forte writes of Scalia and Garner, “the ‘notion that the quest in statutory interpretation is to do justice,’” and they, like Alexander Hamilton, prefer judges to be “‘bound down by strict rules and precedents.”  But judging, Forte pushes back, is […]

# Highlights from Game of Thrones Season 3, Episode 2

Last night’s episode of Game of Thrones, “Dark Wings, Dark Words,” was the first one I watched all by my lonesome. Sipping some gin and finishing off the remnants of a week old chocolate Easter bunny, my solitude helped emphasize my favorite moments from the episode—mostly because I had no one else to share my…

# Books On Which to Build a Civilization: The Thursday Night Bar Fight Results

As many of you know, this week’s Thursday Night Bar Fight was a Survivor-like game where readers had to hash out which three books should be taken to a deserted island to build the culture of a new civilization. The rules were simple: Make a pitch for three books, make a case against others’ choices,…

# Add Me as a Co-signer

In the Washington Post, Alexandra Petri pleads with Barnes & Noble not to marginalize itself, with more effectiveness and less of the accidental elitism of a former Classics major than I could muster.  (h/t Rod Dreher)

# Beowulf-Grendel book club reminder

Just a quick note to remind everyone we’ll be starting our Beowulf-Grendel book club tomorrow.  We’ll be discussing lines 1-1007.  (Pages 3-67 in the Heaney translation – only about 30 pages or reading for those worried they don’t have time to catch up). Hope to see you there.

# Pork and Pickles

~by M.A. Since some of the Gents on the Masthead have shared their cooking treats with us, I’ve decided to pass on a little cheap-eating trick I discovered about four years ago. There’s really not a wrong way to do this, but it works superbly and I think you’ll find it highly flavorful. My secret…

# In Praise of the Big Box Bookstore

Sitting in a Barnes and Noble cafe at the start of January, I read: What is astonishing is the quantity of books worth reading at college age and later which cannot be bought except by luck and at second hand.  The recently established “Classics Club” has done something to remedy this situation.  Until it began…

# Kathryn Bigelow Trolls Zero Dark Thirty Critics

Kathryn Bigelow’s op-ed in the L.A. Times rebutting criticisms of her film is about more than Zero Dark Thirty. The piece also demonstrates a tendency that’s only all to frequent when it comes to the upper echelons of cultural and political discourse. Bigelow manufactures accusations in order to easily rebuff them, ignoring the best critiques of Zero…

# Announcing the Beowulf & Grendel Book Club

Starting the week after next, the League will be hosting the Beowulf & Grendel Book Club*.  Everyone and anyone is invited (nay, encouraged!) to participate. For those not familiar with either work, Beowulf is an epic story of heroes and monsters, written by an unknown poet sometime between 700 A.D. and 1000 A.D. Set in…

# Why Zero Dark Thirty?

I went into Zero Dark Thirty with several preconceptions. I followed the debate between film critics and political journalists very closely. I was aware of the movie’s major plot points and already had a list of key moments, and other people’s interpretations of them, floating around in my head by the time the hunt for Osama bin Laden…

# Briefly, On Football’s Culture and Rape

On Monday, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish will compete for college football’s national championship. This is the kind of thing that gets sportswriters in a tizzy. If you’re of a certain Age, Notre Dame is what college football is all about, so the school’s sudden (and entirely unexpected) reappearance in the sport’s championship is a…

# As American as Apple Pie

by Zic The request for instructions on pie crust challenged me. It’s so easy to do. And so difficult to explain; for it’s all in the touch, the fingers, a delicate thing, stroking butterfly wings. Since a crust alone is an empty shell, we’ll fill it with apples. How American. To start, you need a…

# The Cheap-Ass Gourmet Cookbook Shelf

As most of you know by now, one of my on-going projects here is the Cheap-Ass Gourmet series.  The purpose of the Cheap-Ass posts is to provide a starting point for readers who are on a tight budget, want to eat healthy, and are a little intimidated about stepping foot into their own kitchen.  I…

# Surely a sign of the Apocalypse…

I’m starting to wonder if the Mayans were at least in the right ballpark on the date of the whole end of the world thing. Last night my beloved and perennially hapless Seahawks destroyed the the San Francisco 49ers, currently the #1 team in the country, by a score of 42-13.  And this comes on the heels of…

# The Cheap-Ass Pantry

This past October I launched the Cheap-Ass Gourmet series, which CC added to with his most awesome homemade yogurt post.  The purpose of the series was to provide a starting point for readers who were on a very tight budget, wanted to eat healthy, and were a little intimidated about stepping foot into their own…

# 2012-13 College Football Bowl Season Preview

Last year, I posted the bowl preview I always write for a friend. Since I wrote it again this year, I figured I’d post the new version. I tried to edit for a more general audience, but it may still be pitched a tad toward Michigan and the Big Ten in general. As with last…

# The Cheap-Ass Gourmet – Thai Coconut & Lemongrass Soup

This is the second part of a three-part series of economic meals, all of which stem from a simple roast chicken.  (We also looked at using leftovers from that same meal to make chicken and red mole enchiladas.)  Each of these recipes is especially good for those on a budget that love tasty food but…