Tag Archives: Italy

Who should the GOP draft to take down Trump? This brave five year-old girl

There’s been a lot of finger-pointing about just who is most responsible for the rise of Trump, but there is at least one point of broad consensus: for too long, the GOP was afraid of attacking him, and his adversaries spent far too long tearing down one another instead.

On some level, their strategy was understandable: Trump was a punchline until he wasn’t, and so his rivals devoted most of their energy to jockeying for second place. Moreover, it’s unclear that any of their attacks would even stick. When Marco Rubio tried his hand at insult comedy, the results fell far short of spectacular.

But those considerations did not deter all his adversaries. Back in 2010, one five year-old girl issued a challenge to Donald Trump, nearly six years before any Republican candidate managed to accomplish the same feat:

Continue reading Who should the GOP draft to take down Trump? This brave five year-old girl


Jewish leader trapped in Auschwitz gets his line almost right

Last week, several leaders of the European Jewish community found themselves in an awkward situation that made for some unfortunate headlines. For example, here’s how Haaretz reported it:

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Vox article on the superiority of Canadians includes (at least) one unfortunate blunder

No doubt aboot it: Canada is better than America in at least 7 ways” crows Sarah Kliff — if that’s her real name — for Vox. The post itself is not all that exciting — except for the sorts of reasons I tend to find the internet exciting: Kliff done goofed, in a deliciously ironic way.

Number 5 of Sarah’s 7 ways has to do with educational  attainment:

Continue reading Vox article on the superiority of Canadians includes (at least) one unfortunate blunder

Is Football really so very different from Futbol?

Tickets for Seahawks training camp went on sale this morning at 10AM — right in the middle of Team USA’s potentially crucial match against Team Deutschland in the World Cup. I took this as a particularly clever strategy to winnow Seattle’s infamous football fans from its similarly notorious futbol fans — an effort to ensure only the purists would show up to watch the team practice in Renton.

But are the two sports really all that different?

Continue reading Is Football really so very different from Futbol?

Corrigendum for Ben Wyatt (of Parks and Rec)

[Warning: mild spoilers ahead for people who are mildly behind, like myself. (I haven’t sen the most recent episode.)]

In the second most-recent episode of Parks and Recreation, Ben Wyatt bemoans the state of his and Leslie’s finances.

We just spent our entire savings account on a trip to Paris. What were we thinking? We spent too much money on macaroons!

Wrong, Ben, you spent too much money on macarons — with one O.

Here’s the Wikipedia page for macaroons — two Os:

Continue reading Corrigendum for Ben Wyatt (of Parks and Rec)

An affront to beer culture

From the Italian restaurant/bar right around the corner:


Offering a deal on Bud Light for “Best of Belgium Happy Hour” is almost as insulting as that time* Consumer Reports rated Shock Top a craft beer “best buy”. Just because Americans are most familiar with Stella doesn’t make it “Best of” anything, and just because InBev bought Anheuser-Busch doesn’t make Budweiser “of Belgium.”

At the very least, this sign should read “Best of Belgium and Brazil.”

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The NRA: towards a better understanding

In its January/February issue, Mother Jones covered a report on the link between lead and human behavior. Rick Nevin, a consultant at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development ran some tests on the link between lead and violent crime:

In a 2000 paper (PDF) he concluded that if you add a lag time of 23 years, lead emissions from automobiles explain 90 percent of the variation in violent crime in America. Toddlers who ingested high levels of lead in the ’40s and ’50s really were more likely to become violent criminals in the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s.

As the graph linking pirates and global warming famously shows, it’s possible to commit a correlation/causation fallacy any which way you like, so Nevin repeated his research in other countries for confirmation:

Continue reading The NRA: towards a better understanding

What should become of the Ecce Homo restoration?

It was late August, and I was literally on my way out the door, when a friend forwarded me a New York Times article, along with the following message:

You should write a post about this. This is honestly one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.

And so I was introduced to Cecilia Giménez’s restoration of a fresco depicting Jesus somewhere in small-town Spain. I opened the article, fell in love – how could I not? – and immediately shared it with everyone in my family. In case you somehow have yet to see it, I share it with you now:

At the time, I didn’t have much to add – how do you enhance something that’s basically perfect? – so while I gleefully shared the article with people I thought might appreciate it, I did not seriously consider writing anything about it. You may have noticed that I write a lot, but even I have to draw the line somewhere.

But now, about a month after I first locked eyes with the restored “Ecce Homo”, I’m finally fulfilling my friend’s request-in-jest to weigh in. The impetus for this post was the publication of an article that linked the above fresco to my future profession, Spanish woman who disfigured painting of Christ lawyers up, wants money:

A Spanish woman who made headlines worldwide for her botched attempt to restore a 20th-century painting of Jesus Christ says she has hired lawyers and wants royalties from the fees church owners are charging visitors, according to the daily Spanish-language newspaper El Correo.

Of course, at the heart of Cecilia’s decision is the realization that her ‘work’ could be monetized:

Continue reading What should become of the Ecce Homo restoration?

‘Polish death camps’ is not a term entirely devoid of meaning

With all eyes on the financial bailout of Southern Europe, one Eastern European country recently took the opportunity to launch a surprise attack on the President of the United States:

Poland’s President Bronislaw Komorowski said Wednesday he had written a personal letter to President Barack Obama urging him to do more to correct the record after Obama referred to “a Polish death camp” in a White House ceremony on Tuesday [May 29].

“We in Poland know well that the phrase ‘Polish death camps’ is not only painful and unfair but simply untrue,” Komorowski said.

Obama’s press secretary Jay Carney tried to set the record straight, telling reporters:

[Obama] was referring to Nazi death camps in German-occupied Poland.

David Frum wasn’t impressed with the apology, writing that the ‘gaffe’ was:

the single most offensive thing he could possibly have said on this occasion.

Even Abe Foxman at the ADL got in on the Obama-bashing, writing:

The misnomer “Polish death camps” unjustly implies that the death camps in Poland were built in the name of the Polish people rather than by the Nazi regime.

Perhaps Obama [slash, his speechwriters] could have chosen better words to describe German-Polish death camps, but that doesn’t mean he owes anyone an apology.

Continue reading ‘Polish death camps’ is not a term entirely devoid of meaning