Hard to blame the latest incident on Johnny Football

Via Washington Post:

Johnny Manziel’s season was ended prematurely last week when the Cleveland Browns placed him on the injured reserve list with a hamstring injury. But that doesn’t mean that his responsibilities to the team were over and, when Manziel was late to get treatment on his leg Saturday morning, he was fined by the Browns . . .

[T]he Browns had to send security staff to Manziel’s house to try to locate him. While it’s true that Manziel’s season is over, it’s a terrible misstep for a player whose partying ways were famous in college and during his first season in the NFL.

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A religious survey of Arabs in the Knesset

I was inspired by a recent MSNBC article on Israel’s Druze community to check up on the history of Druze members of Knesset. On the way, I found myself on the Wikipedia page titled List of Arab members of the Knesset. Here’s a partial screenshot — don’t bother squinting, I summarize immediately below:

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A new model of trophy wife? Not so fast

I’ll make this quick. An article appeared on Huffington Post Women today heralding the arrival of a new breed of trophy wife:

Men are finding the most attractive and sexually desirable women are not brainless beauties whose sole function is to look good and stay quiet, but women who are making good money and are in positions of power.

The woman who got ahead on her looks by marrying a “sugar daddy” is now being replaced by the woman who is equal to her man in earning power and career position.

I’m not going to dispute that sweeping generalization, because, well, I don’t want a potential future wife to throw this blog post in my face — but more importantly, because its claims are impossible to evaluate from where I’m sitting.

That’s not because it would be impossible to marshal empirical evidence in support of the article’s thesis (or vice versa). It’s because that’s not the game this article is trying to play. Behold,  the — precisely — two data points the author bothered to cite:

Continue reading A new model of trophy wife? Not so fast

How freaking stupid do headline writers think we are?

Check out these headlines about the $349 million wasted building a 300-foot-high, steel-frame tower that would have been used to test rockets had it not been shut down immediately upon completion:

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Nefarious motives behind the Million Mummy March?

A new discovery in Egypt sounds like it belongs in a major Hollywood production: a single cemetery is making headlines thanks to one recent estimate that it contains over a million mummies.

“We are fairly certain we have over a million burials within this cemetery. It’s large, and it’s dense,” Project Director Kerry Muhlestein, an associate professor in the Department of Ancient Scripture at Brigham Young University.

In case you didn’t catch it, that’s 1,000,000.

Researchers, in an effort to perhaps tone down the sensationalism, took pains to explain that the graveyard’s residents aren’t wrapped in (anything that resembles) toilet paper:

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Fact-checking New York Times’ coverage of The Interview

The Grey Lady published an article yesterday describing Sony’s decision over whether or not its upcoming film, The Interview, ought to depict the exploding head of a living national leader (Kim Jong-un):

“The gory killing of a sitting foreign leader is new territory for a big studio movie,” said Jeanine Basinger, a professor of film studies at Wesleyan University.

In the end, Sony decided to censor the scene for distribution outside the United States.


But the Times wasn’t done there. It also had to provide some context:

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This weekend’s demonstration you probably missed

Over the past week, demonstrations have been held across the United States in reaction to a spate of tragic police killings. Here’s the BBC’s roundup:

In New York City on Friday, protesters briefly laid down in Macy’s flagship store, at Grand Central Terminal and at an Apple store.

Hundreds streamed along Fifth Avenue and other parts of Manhattan, with banners and chants of “Black lives matter” and “I can’t breathe” – a reference to the words of Eric Garner as he was being restrained by a white police officer.

In other protests on Friday:

  • Activists marched through central Miami, Florida, and blocked a major causeway connecting Miami to Miami Beach
  • Hundreds of people in Providence, Rhode Island, blocked streets and police had to stop some from walking on to Interstate 95
  • Crowds of protesters in New Haven, Connecticut, marched to the courthouse
  • Dozens of students from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, brought rush-hour traffic to a crawl and forced the city to postpone a tree lighting ceremony scheduled at Monument Square
  • In Minneapolis, some protesters blocked traffic by marching or lying in the middle of a highway

Meanwhile, in Boston (and possibly elsewhere; I haven’t done the research):

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Hey Stephen: Do you even Swift, bro?

On last night’s Colbert Report, Stephen took issue with the idea that the Garner, Brown, et al., incidents are not part of a disheartening trend. “For this to be an official trend,” he declared, “Taylor Swift would have to kill somebody. And Tay-Tay don’t play that way.”

Seriously, Stephen? Do you even Swift, bro? If you want to consult Taylor’s “long list of ex-lovers”, maybe check the coroner’s office:

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How Russell Wilson escaped the curse of Justin Bieber

When Richard Sherman was named this past year’s Madden cover boy, I imagine a significant fraction of football fans felt schadenfreudic tinglings: Sherman — thug, villain, superstar — would surely fall victim to the vaunted Madden Curse. After all, he had only one direction to fall.

But this past week, Sherman was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week after nearly becoming the San Francisco 49ers’ leading receiver (Colin Kaepernick threw him two passes; the actual leader caught three). That recognition makes him the only player in the NFL to receive the honor in each of the past three seasons (and those 22nd and 23rd interceptions stretched his lead since entering the league to 8).

RS25 has been frustratingly (to his haters) just fine.

But there is another, far more serious, curse the Seahawks have had to contend with in 2014: the Curse of the Bieber. As has been established on this very blog, Russell Wilson does not always make the wisest of wise decisions, and so in early May he failed to extricate himself (or those poor, doomed children) from an obviously dangerous situation:

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