Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Cam Newton's 6 Excuses For Throwing a Tantrum

Cam Newton prematurely left the NFL press conference stage Sunday evening, when he overheard comments from Denver's Chris Harris over the Broncos defensive plan to load the box and force the Panthers to throw the ball. Today, he offered excuses for his tantrum on Sunday:
  1. "I'm human." -- Where he claims to be imperfect with a glint of humility.
  2. "Who are you to say that your way is right?" -- But then demands that his way is the right way for him, after all.
  3. "I'm a sore loser." -- The admission speaks for itself, right?
  4. "Who likes to lose?" -- But then he offers a non sequitur.
  5. "You show me a good loser and Imma show you a loser." -- So he insults good losers to defend his actions.
  6. "It's not a popularity contest." -- And finally relieves himself of responsibilities by explaining that his motives are pure.
He can dish it, but he sure as hell can't take it. Then, despite having a day to think about it all, he offered us a plethora of excuses for his actions. That's the league's MVP.

Monday, February 8, 2016

3D Print: Ceramics.

I just finished a longer, in-depth post at my design blog about my latest 3D print to come back from Shapeways: a porcelain shot and base. Here's a quick image:

5 Thoughts for February 8, 2016

  1. Super Bowl: Now that's what I call an excellent upset -- that Bronco defense was bad-ass! It's not that they stopped Carolina from moving the ball, but that they stopped them from scoring, created timely turnovers, and made Cam Newton feel uncomfortable so that his passing efficiency collapsed. I made no small secret of my tremendous dislike for Cam Newton, so to see the ball stripped from him and to see him sacked 7 times, the day after his being named MVP of the year, was delicious. That Von Miller was named MVP of Super Bowl 50, was the cherry on top. It was really awesome to see Peyton Manning potentially cap his long career with a SB win, even though the king of the game was the Bronco defense. Trivia: Denver's Malik Jackson went to USC in 2008, 2009 before transferring -- that was the period when the NCAA installed what amounted to Free Agency on USC, as part of the penalties handed out in the Reggie Bush case; Carolina's Ryan Kalil is also a former Trojan.
  2. Confronting Cognitive Dissonance: I somewhat enjoy confronting the cognitive dissonance of others, online. Last month I was badgering a white guy who then tried to use his Asian wife as proof of his color-blindness with African-Americans. Yesterday I was able to get this one chap to admit that he was no different than Hillary Clinton, upon which, he called the similarity an abstraction. Oh the things people do, to alleviate their cognitive dissonance. 
  3. Binge Watching: I just finished watching Unbranded, a Kickstarter-funded documentary about a group of young men from Texas who rode American wild horses from the Mexican border to the Canadian border. If you know about the issues and the fallacies surrounding Ammon Bundy and his ilk down in the Malheur Refuge, you'll definitely enjoy Unbranded. Also finished BBC's Sherlock Holmes, which was an interesting take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic. Currently, I'm watching Ripper Street -- another BBC series.
  4. USC Football: Last week, USC's football recruiting class started Letter of Intent signing day at the bottom or just outside of the top-25 list of various recruiting services. By the time the class was full and all signatures had been collected, they'd ended up in or just outside the top-10. They flipped three commitments, from Oregon, Florida State and Boise State.
  5. Bernie Sanders Has Already Lost: The media took to the weekend airwaves to proclaim that Bernie Sanders was a mere 2 percentage points below Hillary Clinton. What they hadn't explained was that this particular Quinnipiac poll was a clear outlier. We regularly use poll aggregating to remove the influence of outliers, and it turns out three other polls (PPP, Rasmussen, Morning Consult) taken during the same period show Sanders with an average of 17.7 point deficit. Now, let's look at Iowa's caucus. It's no secret that Bernie's greatest support comes from the youth vote, but according to Iowa's caucus numbers, Bernie's youthful supporters did not come out to caucus; in fact he massively underperformed Obama in 2008. This means that all the positive poll numbers for Bernie are worthless. But there's more. Out of 44 Democratic senators, Hillary has the endorsement of 39 with the remaining 5 undeclared; of the 188 Democratic Representatives, 151 have endorsed Hillary while two have backed Bernie. Vermont's other senator, Patrick Leahy, backs Hillary. Vermont's governor also backs Hillary. While Bernie's backers suggest that this supports Bernie as the anti-Establishment candidate, what it really is, is proof that Democrats think Hillary is the party's best chances to win the White House. So here's my first prediction of the season: Bernie will be running on fumes after Super Tuesday, March 1, and will concede before the end of April.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

5 Thoughts for February 7, 2016

  1. New Hampshire Democratic Primary: It is assumed that Bernie Sanders will win the New Hampshire primary, with some folks projecting north of a 20-point margin as a result of some polling data. But what if the margin ends up in single digits? I happened to look at RCP's data while considering 538's odds and noticed that in New Hampshire, there were two tracker polls. The benefit of any given tracker poll is that you can discern a usable direction in the data as they're using the same methodology; add two trackers and the direction is reinforced. You can do the same thing with any given poll, but your direction is generalized over a longer period of time. In New Hampshire, the two trackers -- ARG and UMass -- seem to show that Bernie Sanders peaked one week ago. The only thing that seems linked to this is the Iowa caucus. Bernie got a bounce, but it has since deflated. Don't be surprised if Bernie wins by just a single-digit margin.

  2. Binge Off: If you're like me, you don't stream a lot of video on your phone, so T-Mobile's Binge-On program is completely unnecessary. Here's how to turn it off: Using your phone's dialer, call #263#. I don't know if the program will survive a net-neutrality test before the FCC, but I do know that were I to binge watch on my phone, it would be dead after just a couple of hours.
  3. Besaws: Last weekend I walked the dog to New Seasons at NW 21st / Quimby to grab some coffee and a croissant (shared the croissant) at night and saw that the building in front of it now housed Besaws, which had been previously kicked out of its old digs at NW 23rd and Savier. They're in a brand new building, but the interior was designed to look like it's been there for decades. Definitely need to visit.
  4. 3D Prints: I just got back my latest batch of 3D prints, and it's mostly good. The bad part of the prints seems to me to be an issue of quality control. My ceramic pieces were overglazed, such that you can see the pooling of fired glaze at the bottom which made top part incompatible with the lower part (does not fit inside one another). Immediately, I modified the 3D model to accommodate for pooling of glaze, but were the sprayer of the glaze more careful, I would not have to accommodate for a very bad glaze job. In other words, I've glazed my own ceramics and have never had such an acute problem of over-glazing. I'll post a separate, in-depth entry on the prints, later.
  5. Portland's Homeless: KGW reported that the McCormick Condo Association closed access to the greenway -- a public right of way -- as a result of the homeless situation under the Steel Bridge. I happened to ride my bike right through the homeless settlement two weeks ago, and it was much worse than what KGW's news report showed. In their video, you might think there a handful of homeless people; when I rode my bike, it was easily 40+ people with well over a dozen large tents. Closing off the greenway was probably as much about security as it was about these homeless people using access to the Willamette River as a toilet. Yes, I have personally seen homeless people defecate under various bridge / freeway areas, pee on trees, and pee on building facades. The Mayor then demanded that the condo association open up the greenway. Last week the Mayor doubled down and placed a homeless storage locker at this exact spot. This does not end well. How do I know? Because between the Steel and Broadway bridges there are currently five encampments. This will only further incentivize the growth of homeless encampments in this geographical area.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Take advantage of Trump's exclusion.

Dear GOP candidates, you're in luck, now that Donald has decided to exclude himself from the next GOP Presidential Debate, hosted by FOX.

Don't mention his name, don't allude to him, don't acknowledge his policies or his existence. Make it as though he was never part of the group in the first place. Out of sight, out of mind, people.

Seeing as you keep screwing up the art of rhetorical attack, this is probably the easier route to follow.

Monday, January 25, 2016

5 Thoughts for January 25, 2016

  1. Google+: I hear the complaints from lots of people, about their Facebook feed; I don't use Facebook at all; I use Google+. In the early days of Google+, I was lucky to get an invite from someone on Lifehacker. I added friends and coworkers, but they don't use Google+. Instead, from that one guy's invite, I grew this one circle to a handful of folks, and these people post amazing things. While my friends talk about how Facebook is gossipy, silly and irreverent, my Google+ feed is absolutely fabulous.
  2. Metromile: My auto insurance is coming up for renewal, so they sent me an email. According to the new terms, it looks like my new 12-month base rate will be $3 lower than this past 12 month period. If that $3 savings seems small, it is, but I'm already saving a ridiculous amount of money with Metromile, I had to laugh when I saw that. They could have increased it a few hundred dollars and I would still be saving an obscene amount of money over my previous rate with State Farm.
  3. Interesting Coincidence: Two days after posting my design sketches for a vacant piece of property, the listing was removed. With its zoning, buyers were restricted to a single family detached house, so the price was 4x too high. If it had a different zoning, the price was in the ballpark of similar properties in the general area. Given the jurisdiction, I didn't think it would get a variance for higher density housing, so it didn't shock me that the listing sat there for 6 months or that it got pulled. 
  4. Seattle Seahawks: Draft day is three months away, but I have two names for you to pay attention to, given the Seahawks' current salary cap and contract positions: USC's Soma Vainuku and Su'a Cravens. Vainuku's a bowling ball rolling downhill, opening up holes for the tailback to run through, and is well known on the special teams, whether it's blocking kicks and field goals, or blowing up returners; sometimes an opposing player will do something stupid and try to run into Vainuku, only to wake up a few minutes later, huddled over by the team doctor. Grab him if he's available in the 7th round. Su'a Cravens is the safety who could replace Kam Chancellor and still retain the role of punisher, plus, he's a better ballhawk -- 9 INTs in three seasons. If Cravens is still around by the third round, take him; at the least, you have options with Cravens at either LB or SS. And yes, he's like Troy Polamalu.
  5. Super Bowl 50: Apologies to Denver fans -- you know who I'm talking to -- but despite my hatred for Carolina, I think the Broncos will be blown out by the end of the 1st quarter, and by halftime even Denver fans will be looking forward to the commercial breaks, just so that they can wipe the vision of the smirk on Cam Newton's face, out of their minds. The Panthers defense is opportunistic just as Seattle's was in SB 48, except in SB 48 Manning was in better health and the offense was humming along. If you hear Kuechly's name over and over again, it'll be a very rough night for Broncos.