Yeah, this is one of the worst ways possible to come back from a two-week hiatus--by putting so many random websites in an entry that you know nobody will ever read them--but I have some tabs to get rid of on Firefox, and it's not like anybody's chomping at the bit to read this right now anyway. But if it happens to be Christmas evening and you're too bloated to do anything but surf the Internet, or you're Canadian and you're waiting for Boxing Day, here's a few fun things for you:
Pointless Friend Info
You have Facebook, right? Everyone has Facebook. Go to this website, make a few clicks. It takes the data for all of your friends (hometowns, favorite books, etc.) and returns the most common responses for each category. Cool both in finding out just how much your friends love Boondock Saints and for finding out just how much random information the (still-privately-owned) Facebook has for every college student in America.
Ken Jennings: "You've got to know when to fold'em"
Poker, religion, and intelligence testing: not the most common trinity you'll find. I'm with Ken on this one, incidentally.
San Francisco Chronicle: "'Convert or die' game divides Christians"
I won't believe it until I see it. I don't care if it's out for sale now, I still won't believe it until I see it.
Wil Wheaton: "more stupid security theatre b*******"
I lost a half-empty mini-can of Axe and an energy drink to a 50-minute flight to Charlotte when I went down to SpaceVision. Apparently, I wouldn't have been able to do anything dangerous with those anyway. I doubt that'll keep them from taking my Burt's Bees toothpaste in the future, though.
David Sirota: "The People Party Versus The Money Party
A fun little read if you care about politics and have a few minutes. I would have liked to see more about the Republican Party, though, where a somewhat similar rift between the libertarian and evangelical sections has been growing pretty much since the passage of the USA PATRIOT ACT.
So I tossed Mr. Duke '86 into an argument I was making against ESPN the other day (which I would link to, were it not two posts down), and for a short time last week, I almost felt bad about it. Because apparently, in last week's Power Rankings, Jay became the first guy in recent memory to make his poll rankings in the order that they should be done: the best teams, not the undefeated teams who haven't played anyone worth playing, at the top. (Ironically, he didn't have Duke in his own top 16; no way in heck is, say, Oklahoma State playing better than the Blue Devils right now, but I digress.)
Then he turns around and goes on some
'wins by one team in a conference have no effect at all on other teams in the conference' rant and it all gets shot in the head.
Clearly, if Clemson loses their next fifteen games, that won't have an effect on North Carolina's win-loss record (save the games that we play them, natch). But take Air Force, a really good team in a pretty weak conference. Let's say that they go undefeated in the Mountain West Conference but lose in the conference tournament, meaning they don't have an automatic bid into the NCAA's. Let's also say that they play (and beat) San Diego St., another team in their conference, early on in the conference season. San Diego State then goes and plays a big nonconference game--through ESPN's Bracket Busters or something similar--against a big team like Butler or Wichita State.
If San Diego State pulls off the upset, in any reasonable rankings system their position moves up. Therefore, the strength of schedule of all the other teams in the Mountain West Conference goes up (because they all played SDSU), so their own rankings go up. Air Force, meanwhile, has played all of these teams, and because they're a strong team in a weak conference, their seeding in the NCAA tournament, or even if they get chosen for the tournament, depends very heavily on just how weak their conference, which they got half of their wins from, is. So, are you really going to tell me that San Diego State's win has no effect on the conference or other teams in it?
NASAWatch: "Mike Griffin Hits A Home Run"
You're currently spending 15 cents a day to support life-saving research, help prevent the extinction of humanity, and fulfill a destiny of exploration that has been our species' since we first evolved...
Ibid: "Spend Lunch Money on Earth To Destroy Satellites in Space"
...not to fight World War III there.
Ibid: "iPod on ISS"
Picture is worth a thousand words. 4th generation iPod owners unite!
Language Log: "Massachusetts hold'em"
Linguistics is a science.
And to the person from Nashville, Tennessee who visited my blog through Jeff's a few days ago, congratulations: you're my 2000th hit.
Merry Christmas, y'all.