Tuesday, September 27

You doctors have been telling us to drink 8 cups of gravy a day.

So this is an article from some idiot at the new york times about fast food. I wrote a big thing about how stupid it was on her wall, so here it is for the blog audience.

Spoiler, this article is completely stupid. What a stupid, stupid article, on so many different yet stupid levels. First off
this article purports to be about people who are on a budget, but then the author goes on an extravagant spending spree at McDonald's and claims it's not cheap at all. What's cheap at McDonald's is their dollar menu I've eaten off of it many times. It is extremely cheap, a 200 pound man like me can eat a very full meal for $3. Don't tell me it costs 28 dollars to feed a family of 4 at McDonald's, that just a lie. Yes you could spend that much, but if the point is that good food is just as cheap as junk food, then you need to compare it to cheap junk food, not expensive junk food. This is a completely straw man, and completely delegitimizes the entire article right off the bat.

Second, Comparing food to alcohol is a false analogy. Food has a primary purpose which is to keep us alive, alcohol's purpose is purely pleasurable, people drink it because they enjoy it. For some (me) who drink it mostly for the alcohol content we do in fact judge alcohol based on the price per alcohol content (also with some weight given to taste and calories.) For those who drink not so much for intoxication but for flavor, that takes precedence. There is no point in them pay money for grain alcohol which they will not derive pleasure from because their goal wasn't to get drunk. Also grain alcohol is not even the cheapest way to get drunk, cheap vodka and box wine is. Something i was already pretty sure of, but took me all of 30 seconds to check on the internet. Way to do your homework new york times writer, i guess actually fact checking his claims just wasn't worth 30 seconds to him. Delegitimized number 2.

And then as if that wasn't enough author goes on to admit (perhaps to missed it alexandra) that junk food is cheaper than other food, but he chooses not to recognize this fact because people have enough food already. If you are measuring how expensive food is, the only way to measure it is based off of the number of calories, not some fictional notion of how much it takes to be a meal (apparently a lot if your at McDonald's but much less if it's real home cooked food.) Thus the author dismisses objective factual proof that contradicts his thesis and relies only on his own opinion to prove that he is correct. In fact the only other piece of hard evidence he points out again contradicts his thesis. Fresh produce has gone up in price by 40% well junk food has fallen by 30%. Despite his assertion that broccoli is cheaper than chips we are given zero evidence of this and forced to rely entirely on trust that he must be right. which makes sense i guess given how right he is about everything else in the article. Delegitimized number 3

And finally he completely ignores all the other problems some people might have with cooking the food he so much prefers. Yes it might be cheaper to cook a chicken for you family, if you have a working stove, if you have a working refridgerator, if you have someone at home who can put the chicken in the oven so it's ready in time for dinner. Many of the things he wants will require upfront purchases of pots/pans (which also have to be cleaned afterwards.) A bag of chips you can just eat any time, it doesn't need a fridge, it doesn't a stove or cleaning. Ditto fast food restaurants. He contends that because people watch an 1 and a half of television a day they must all have time to cook dinner. What terribly stupid assumption, the one has nothing to do with the other. If i'm a single mother, i get off of work at 5 get home at 5:30 and have hungry kids i need to feed them soon. So i take them to McDonalds or give them something processed from the super market (frozen pizza, etc.) and then after dinner i watch tv for an hour and a half. So that means that in the authors world i should have started preparing the chicken and made the kids weight until 8 in order to eat dinner. Obviously this makes no sense. Delegitimized number4.

And finally he never writes anything about the true nature of food costs. Carbs, and fat are cheap and high an calories leaving children full on the cheap. Vegetables, fruits and low fat meats are expensive on top of which children don't want them (especially vegetables) leaving children irritated, and not full while spending more money. You can have cheap home made meals if they consist mostly of carbs like rice/pasta/potatoes, which are all dirt cheap. People have also been eating said carbs in huge amounts, maybe because the government told us, maybe just as a coincidence. In either way that's what led to the fattening of america. The more meat and vegetables you start trying to add in the pricier it gets. Especially vegetables which don't do nearly as much to leave someone feeling full as carbs or protein (at least in my experience. This doesn't really delegtimize what the author wrote, just makes it pointless since he completely ignors the real costs of food.

In conclusion i actually agree with some of what he thinks, but everything he wrote is just awful. The fact that he gets paid to write something so full of poorly thought out arguments and logical fallacies boggles the mind. I guess thus ends the rant.

Thursday, September 22

Sir, there's an unruly mob here to see you. Does it have an appointment? Yes, it does.

Is this the future of human ingenuity. I've been reading more and more about things like this. Instead of single scientist who may be very smart, working alone and getting stuck trying to solve a problem, unleash the power of millions of people all bouncing crazy ideas around until one of them falls into place. It seems like it could be the wave of the future, there's only 1 real question, who gets credit for the solutions created. Are solutions that are created patentable? What if a cure for aids was created in such a way, who gets the right to produce the drug, or does nobody get it, and the information is free for anyone to use? It seems like the creators of the game who figured out a way to involve a bunch of different people deserve the most credit. Ultimately money will decide the future of crowd surfing in this way. In the meantime, congrats on the work and score 1 for mob science.

Old people don't need companionship. They need to be isolated and studied so that it can be determined what nutrients they have that might be

It's about time young people got hip to the fact that they are getting a raw deal. Older generations continue to crow about their accomplishments and the aimlessness of the youth when in fact they leached off of society their whole lives and are now leaching off of future generations to secure their retirements.

Wednesday, September 21

These prices suck! 10,000 yen for coleslaw?

It will be interesting to see how the collapse of greece ends up affecting lithuania in the future. First off, it probably means LT will never be allowed to join the Euro. I would be surprised if the core members of the Euro will ever let another country join. That's assuming the Euro the survives, but what if it is disbanded. What will LT do, will they tie their currency back to the dollar? I would think they might try it to the mark (assuming germany brings the mark back when the euro is disbanded.) In either case if they tie to a different currency, will they do it at whatever the current exchange rate is? 2.345 litai per the dollar, or whatever it turn outs, or round to an easier figure. Or will they just let the currency float and let investors take it where they might?

How would I go about creating a half-man, half-monkey-type creature? I'm sorry, that would be playing God. God shmod! I want my monkey-man.

Moving ever closer to gattaca. The first step is getting enough DNA on file so that they can determine what genes will make for extra smart/athletic babies. Then they can start trying to fertilize eggs and test to keep the best ones. If parts of the code can be edited then who knows where we'll end up. There was some slight mention of that in gattaca, give him an extra music appreciation gene or something 5 grand.

Monday, September 19

I thought you said the law was powerless. Powerless to *help* you, not punish you.

Also could that simpsons line be more perfect? It's like it was written for this specific instance. I guess it's just such a perfect view in how policedom operates.

If government employees can't get out to do the job to help people, they can at least make damn sure that nobody else is out helping. The real secret is that they want things to go badly. It's the same reason fireman are refusing to accept volunteers to put out raging wildfires. Because the worse things are for ordinary people, the more they can argue that they are underfunded. Yeah we'd like to ahve a cop out there to help with traffic, but if you want that, we'll need more money. So if somebody else can just show up and alleviate traffic then less people will demand more funding to the cops. The worse the fires rage, the easier it is for fireman to argue they need more money for trucks/men/equipment. I'm not saying every individual person thinks that way, but the union itself thinks that way. The unions are like parasites leaching off the blood of their hosts. Maybe not exactly parasites because they are somewhat reciprocal, but there only concern is to increase the size of the host and thus the amount of blood they can get, regardless of what is best of anybody else, including the host.

That's a pretty lousy lesson. Hey, I'm a pretty lousy president.

This Solyndra thing strikes as just being stupid, not crooked. Obama has so convinced himself that green jobs must work that he believes they really will work, even when the numbers say it won't. He wanted a big green jobs project to show off, and that's why he forced the loan even when it wasn't wise. On the other hand the LightSquared thing seems inherently corrupt. There is no innocent justification for it that i can see. Clearly a donor went to talked to Obama/minions about his business, and then Obama/minions went about trying to make things easier for the donor. This isn't exactly the worst thing ever, i'm sure it happens in politics all the time. But mostly what i'm sure of is that bush had forced a big loan to a company experimenting with new ways to drill for oil that went bust, or went out of his way to try to help a military contractor that had given him a big donation, the news would be enormous. Obama hasn't been able to dodge all of the Solyndra fall out, but not nearly enough people are questioning why we should even listen to any of his suggestions on a new stimulus when everything coming out of the last one proves so disastrous.

Friday, September 16

I call him Gamblor.

Who says politicians can't ever get anything done. Apparently the trick is to elected the ones who used to run illicit massage parlours.

The school's on strike, maybe forever! Oh, overload, pleasure overload...

Why do adults think that lecturing kids on what makes gay people good will cause kids to be less resentful of gays? I would expect it to make them more resentful. Maybe it will make them more cautious about making their feelings known, but i don't think it will make them any friendlier. This reminds me of an episode of louie i just saw. Louie goes to a PTA meeting where they are discussing the schools big problem which is something along the lines of child apathy, but they had some other word for it. And after several of them bring up various stupid points louie just goes isn't the problem just that school sucks. I mean it's school, it's supposed to suck, you do the best you can, but it's school. Kids don't respect the things they have to learn in school, that stuff is stupid, and to be mocked. They may remember it to do well on an exam but they don't come home with a new found respect for the information. Hey i thought gays were stupid, but according to the teacher actually they are awesome, i learned so much today. Really? That's how you think this is going to work? On a related note, this seems like a good plan.

Thursday, September 15

Son, when you participate in sporting events, it's not whether you win or lose: it's how drunk you get.

So i didn't want to write this on my wall because it's going to end up being so long, and probably kind of ranting, but I just wanted to comment on how stupid the olympics qualifying is for basketball. Lietuva made it to the qualifying tournament, but that doesn't diminish the stupidity of the process. Only 12 teams get to play in the olympic's basketball tournament, so you'd think it would be really important to get 12 of the very best teams into the olympics. But you'd be wrong. The olympics doesn't actually want the the best teams in the world to compete because it's more important to have some sort of political correctness where we have to have countries from every continent in the world. It doesn't matter that Europe has by far the best teams in the world, as measured both by FIBA, and by world wide international competitions (which admittedly overlap.) If we look at international competitions going back to the 2006 world championships we see Europe consistently at the top of the charts. 2006 6 of the final 8 teams were european (with the US and argentina.) In the Olympics in 2008 4 of the top 6 teams were from Europe (plus the US and argentina.) Australia and China took spots 7 and 8, the only other non european teams with a top 8 finish in the past 5 years of international events (european teams took spots 9 and 10 giving them 6 of the top 10.) In the world championships in 2010 6 of the top 8 teams were european (plus the US and argentina.) So no country outside of Europe, Argentina, and the US has been in the top 6 of an international competition in the last 6 years. Likewise 6 of the top 8 teams in FIBA's world rankings are European (plus no surprise the US and Argentina.) 8 of the top 12 are European, and at least 6 of the top 10 finishers in each international competition were european countries. So why is that Europe only gets 2 Automatic spots in the olympics (i'm not counting great Britain's team which is not even one of the 12 best in europe, much less in the world and only got its place as the host country.) There's no doubt that 6 of the best teams in the world are from Europe, but they only get 2 spots. Even if they win all 3 of the final qualifying spots they will only get 5 teams. Meanwhile africa gets an automatic bid so Tunisia ranked 37 in the world gets to go to the olympics because we need to have a country from Africa, even though no country in Africa is ranked among the top 12 teams. We also need to have a country from Oceania. You know how many countries played in their tournament? 2. New Zealand and Australia. So because they aren't part of some other continent either New Zealand or Australia automatically qualifies for the olympics, and the other automatically gets into the olympic qualifying tournament (for the last 3 spots in the olympics.) That's no small prize either. Turkey, which won a silver medal at the world championships in 2010, won't get a spot in the qualifying tournament Either serbia or greece, both top 10 countries will also be left out. Australia is a top 10 team, and new zealand is a top 20 team, so it's not a terrible that they got their spots, it's just stupid that their spots are guaranteed just because they are not part of any other continent. Asia has only 1 team in the top 20, China. If they win they get asia's only automatic spot, which would be okay, but if china has 1 bad game and doesn't win the automatic spot we'll get another terrible team to go along with Tunisia. The Americas get 2 automatic bids, which would be fine because they have 2 good teams, but the US gets a bid for winning the 2010 world championship so they get 2 other teams. Meaning Brazil, not rated in the top 15 gets into the olympics.

Beyond this stupid "let's let the fat kid play in the olympics" attitude, even stupider is that the bids rely entirely on a single tournament which takes place a year before the olympics. So despite turkey winning the silver at the 2010 world championship and being ranked 6th in the world they don't even get into the qualifying tournament. Despite LT coming in 4rth in the 2008 olympics, and 3rd in the 2010 world championships and being ranked 5th in world if they had lost today they wouldn't have gotten into the qualifying tournament. That's like if we decided that only the top finishers of a single track and field event got to go to the olympics (or rather 6 different meets held on 6 different continents.) If one of the best runners in the world turns and ankle, or false starts then he doesn't get to go to the olympics because of 1 bad event. Who thinks that's a good idea? If it's not a good idea for track and field, why would it be a good idea for basketball? LT's team for example was playing without their team MVP from the world championships last year, Linas Kleiza. So if they hadn't played well in the tournament because their best player was hurt would it make sense to keep them out of the olympics a year from now when he is expected to be healthy. Or might it maybe make more sense to look at a general body of work to see what teams are the best in the world.

The most natural connection here is to the NCAA tournament. In the Tournament some teams get automatic bids for winning their conference tournaments. So even if they aren't one of the 64 best teams, they still get to play in the tournament pushing a better team out. And then after all the automatic bids are take some 30 or so of the strongest teams are picked by a committee to fill out the bracket. That's fine because there are 64 teams. So if you get the 50 best teams plus 14 bad teams to give the underdogs a shot, you still have the 50 best teams. So if you're team number 51 that's too bad but you were 51 you weren't one of the best teams in the country. The olympics only has 12 teams. And there are at least 2 teams that nobody would argue are among the 25 best in the world (Great Britain and Tunisia) and another team (Brazil) that is not one of the top 10 teams in the world. So that means you're no longer leaving out team number 51 you're leaving out a top ten team. At least 1, probably several of the top 10 teams in the world won't get to play in the olympics. What if instead of combining this let the fat kid play strategy with the make the bids completely dependent on 1 tournament a year before the olympics policy we just gave the top 8 teams in world rankings an automatic bid. Then the next 12 ranked countries could get bids to the qualifying tournament. That would give the top 20 teams entrance. Then 12 more bids to the qualifying tournament based off of automatic bids from these tournaments, and or wild cards where the olympic committee gets to pick teams. I don't have a problem with giving automatic bids to the qualifying tournament to teams from africa/asia/oceania especially if the best teams in the world have already been given at least an entry to the qualifying tournament. Then if they play their way in and get one of the olympic spots good for them, and if they don't they had a shot and they weren't one of the best teams. It's just so disappointing to find out that great teams like turkey, greece which won silver in 2006, and Serbia came in 4rth in 2010 and was a single shot from silver, are already out of the olympic running a full year before the tournament starts, while a team like Tunisia already has it's spot secured.

Wednesday, September 14

Outsiders have kidnapped some of our property. We must respond with our deadliest weapon... The lawyers.

Here's a plan, how about you stop eating at white castle. I don't want to get into any fat jokes, if this guy wants to be fat that's his choice. But if he then finds life to be less comfortable because of his obesity, it's not up to society to conform to his choice to be obese. If white castle wants to conform voluntarily in order to attract more fatties that would make sense, but if they don't then that's their choice. Stop eating there. Also when he brings up pregnant women? Really? Because that's what pregnant women really need better seating areas at white castle. If other fast foot restaurants are more comfortable, go eat there. Instead he decides to sue somebody to get all of society to conform to him.

Out of my way. I'm a motorist!

Funny little bit of trivia. The first car to hit and kill a pedestrian in the US was 1899, i would have thought for sure it was after the turn of the century. Also it was an electric car. No wonder we got rid of those.

Tuesday, September 13

I stand by my ethnic slur! Do your worst, you filthy, pretencious savages!

More good news from the war in Libya. There's no doubt that some of these weapons will end up in the hands of people fighting against american soldiers, and will be used to take down american airplanes. This raises a few questions 1. was it really worthwhile to invade libya in the first place. And 2. was it really worthwhile to completely avoid having american soldiers involved. Obama kept american soldiers out of Libya for political purposes. So he could claim there was no war, although i think gaddafi might disagree. In any case what if the involved of US soldiers had led to 100 deaths, but also the destruction/capture of a lot more of Gaddafi's weapons preventing the possible deaths of a 1000 soldiers in the future. In the short term politically a hundred deaths now is much worse than a possible 1000 deaths at some undetermined future date. Even if those deaths happen they are unlikely to be traced to these weapons and so there will be no political fallout. The end result being that political incentives it is politically prudent for the president to trade 100 american soldiers today for 1000 tomorrow. Of course these numbers are completely made up, and the entire question is hypothetical, but i do think it's worth considering.

Beer, is there anything it can't do?

I don't need a boast in wi-fi because i don't use the internet in different parts of the house, but for anyone who does, and also has empty beer cans, according to an instapundit reader this does in fact work.

Wednesday, September 7

They smell good, they look good, you'd step over your own mother just to get one! But you can't stop at one. You wanna drink another woman!

So early modern humans had sex with other humanoids all the time. No surprise there. I guess when i guy cheats on his wife he can claim it's evolutionary. If my ancestors were going around having sex with neanderthals and other human cousins how can you honestly expect me not to have sex with my secretary. On the other hand this doesn't really discuss how often it took place, was it customary, or was it more like a fetish. There are guys who have sex with animals today, so of course there would have been guys having sex with almost humans a million years ago. The important thing is that they were able to have children and that those children were able to ahve children. Of course by my understanding of biology that means they were the same species. If neanderthals and Cro-magnons were able to have children with each other then they were no different than whites and chinese or blacks and hispanics. Might look different and be of different size, have different skills, but still the same species.

Union rule 26. "Every employee must win 'Worker of the Week' at least once, regardless of gross incompetence, obesity, or rank odor." Heh heh heh heh.

What's wrong with unions. Of particular problem is number 3. A teacher is caught watching porn on his computer. The charges are indisputable, but the teacher/union doesn't think the teacher should be fired, only reprimanded for GETTING CAUGHT WATCHING PORN ON A SCHOOL COMPUTER. I mean beyond the moral implications, this guy should just be fired for plain stupidity. If you are that desperate to watch porn bring your laptop to school, or easier an Iphone. I don't have an iphone, but i assume you can download porn to it, and that would be pretty easy to carry into the bathroom with you where nobody would bother you. Anyway the union put up such a fight that it cost $400,000 to fire this guy. And that's with clear uncontested gross misconduct. Imagine how hard it would be to get rid of a teacher just for completely sucking. I don't have a problem with unions advocating for more money (maybe a little problem with public unions doing it, but even so.) The problem is that unions come up with all sorts of rules that A. make it impossible to ever get rid of a bad employee, and B. make it impossible to ever try to implement new methods of work. The result is to strangle an industry with incompetent employees who cannot be gotten rid of and cannot be required to learn new skills. Which is why private unions are all dying out/going bankrupt. Only public unions with unlimited tax dollars to leach off of can survive.