Archive for February 2017
This was in the NY Times last week, somehow I missed it.
Upshot column reports on MULTIPLE studies, children do worse on math and reading tests when they use a voucher to attend private school.
This is what I always predicted would happen. Math and reading tests are heavily g-based, and going to private school doesn’t change children’s genetically predetermined intelligence.
Since No Child Left Behind, the public schools have been doing an amazing job of training students to do well on these tests through endless drilling. It’s my opinion that such endless drilling is actually not beneficial because it sucks all joy out of education while it only temporarily boosts test scores and doesn’t actually make children smarter or even make them more educated in any practical manner.
Until the truth of HBD can become part of the conversation, it’s not only a waste of time, it’s extremely counterproductive for conservatives to try to improve education with conservative ideas like vouchers and charter schools and other nonsense. Give it up.
It’s not the best address to Congress ever, but going in Trump had the lowest expectations ever, which is why it’s a huge home run.
Trump the bozo was gone and tonight we saw Trump the President of the United States.
I describe the speech as Reaganesque. Yes, Reagan did it better, in some ways a lot better, and yes copying Reagan is not original, but Trump demonstrated gravitas and was better at the optimism stuff than he has ever been.
Trump spend a lot of time on immigration. Trump has not abandoned us.
Trump also made the case for nationalism and for putting Americans first.
I don’t understand what Trump really plans for Obamacare. There’s nothing here that wasn’t in his campaign speeches, but he said it in a more presidential manner.
Amazingly, even CNN is saying the speech was presidential, and not “dark” and “chaotic” and whatever other words they normally use to attack Trump.
Dictionary definition (as well as U.S. legal definition) of immigrant: “a person who comes to live permanently in a foreign country.”
The H-1B visa is for foreign workers in specialty occupations who will stay here for a maximum of 6 years and then go home.
Now in reality, because of lack immigration laws and loopholes, a lot of (nearly all of them?) H-1Bs come here assuming they will game the system and never leave, but they have no legal right to think that.
More great MILFy soap opera drama. Like Desperate Housewives with better acting and better cinematography. Best HBO series of the year.
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Celeste (Nicole Kidman) is physically abused by her husband, but it turns her on sexually.
Madeline (Reese Witherspoon) hardly ever has sex with her beta-male-provider sensitive husband Ed. But she complains to him a lot about her alpha-male ex-husband Nathan who left her.
Nathan meets up with Ed at a park. Ed is wearing dorky bicyclist clothing. Nathan (a West Coast version of a guido) subtly insults Ed, and in a passive aggressive manner, Ed threatens to beat up Nathan (you have to watch it to appreciate it).
At the end of the episode, when Madeline hears from Nathan that Ed threatened to beat him up, even though Ed denies that happened, we see Madeline is for the first time turned on by Ed, because suddenly she sees him as more alpha.
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The main storyline is about how bitchy Renata (Laura Dern) invites every kid in the class to her daughter Amabella’s birthday party except for Ziggy, single parent Jane’s son (Jane is played by Shailene Woodley).
Madeline, who is loyal to her friends, and Jane is now her friend whom she has taken under her wing, retaliates against Renata by throwing an event on the same day, and she believes that her daughter Chloe is more popular at school and will be able to get more kids to attend her event and thus ruin Renata’s party.
At the end, all the parents are in the principal’s office after Chloe tries to arrange a making up between Ziggy and Amabella, but the school officials say that there was a nonconsensual touching and Ziggy is in trouble again.
Once again they haven’t showed us exactly what happened, so it’s up to the viewer to decide which kid is guilty and which is innocent, but I think it’s Amabella making stuff up and intentionally trying to get Ziggy in trouble, because she’s a little bitch just like her mother. I could be wrong about that; the writers could be leading me into a trap.
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We still don’t know who is murdered.
New York Times article shows that Trump has a very high approval rating from Republican voters. Of all presidents since Kennedy, only George W. Bush had a higher approval rating from his own party this many days into his presidency. That’s right, among Republicans, Trump has higher approval than even Reagan had.
But Trump’s approval rating from “independents” and Democrats are historically dismal.
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In other Trump news, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) says there is no evidence that Trump’s associates had illegal contacts with Russia. But there’s a big problem with leaks. From the Washington Post:
The chairman said that there is no need at this time for a special prosecutor to investigate allegations of contact between Russian officials and President Trump’s campaign aides. Instead, the Republican said that the real problem was frequent leaks to the news media on the subject of Russia, as well as accounts of what should be confidential dealings with the Trump White House, including calls with foreign leaders such as the Australian prime minister.
“There’s been major crimes committed,” Nunes said, referring to the leaks. “What I’m concerned about is no one is focusing on major leaks that have occurred here … We can’t run a government like this. A government can’t function with massive leaks at the highest level.”
This episode was pretty unusual. The entire episode took place in the apartment of novelist Chuck Palmer (played by Matthew Rhys who you may know for his role as Philip Jennings in The Americans), except for the opening scene where we see Hannah walking into the apartment building on Central Park West, telling the doorman that she’s here to see Chuck Palmer, and then she enters a very ornately furnished elevator.
Also starring in this episode is the apartment. Throughout the episode we see different areas of the apartment shot from different angles. This is an expensive apartment. We are talking several million dollars for an apartment like this with a view of the park. Hannah is also awed by the apartment.
The premise is that Hannah has written some man-hating article about Chuck for some feminist website, and Chuck invited her to see him because Chuck is distraught about being accused of “nonconsensual” sex which he insists isn’t true (and I think you’re supposed to believe him, but it’s not always easy to figure out what Lena Dunham’s point is).
They have a conversation in which Hannah talks feminist stuff and he defends himself, it goes on for a good ten minutes, it doesn’t seem to get clearly resolved. His side of the story, basically, is that young girls throw themselves at him, and he enjoys it.
Eventually he lies down, he asks her to lie next to him, and then he unzips his pants, pulls out his penis and places it on Hannah’s leg. Yes, we see his penis. Then Hannah fondles his penis. And then there’s a knock on the door, it’s Chuck’s daughter played by a half black girl for which this is her first appearance ever in a TV show or movie. The girl tells dad about some flute composition, and she asks Hannah to listen also. The girl is a horrible flute player, and we see Hannah making faces during the flute recital.
That’s it. The end. What’s the point? I’m not sure.
Also, as part of the theme of the series to show Hannah doing disgusting things, when Chuck gets a phone call, Hannah wanders into his bathroom, grabs some toilet paper, and uses it to wipe sweat from her underarms, and then from her vaginal area. At least we don’t see Hannah’s naked fat this episode.
Reading up on the internet, I discovered that it was a prosthetic penis, not Rhys’ actual real penis.
There’s a Managing Partner from PwC on each side of the stage with a briefcase of envelopes. The purpose of this duplication is so that regardless of which side of the stage the presenter enters, there’s a Managing Partner there to give him or her an envelope.
If there had been only one Managing Partner with one set of envelopes, then the envelopes could be arranged in the order that the awards are presented, and the Managing Partner would just have to take the top envelope off the stack.
With two Managing Partners and two sets of envelopes, this requires each Managing Partner to pay attention to what’s happening and select the correct envelope for the situation. However, Managing Partner Brian Cullinan, instead of paying attention, was busy taking pictures with his cell phone and posting them on Twitter.
Cullinan then attempted to delete the evidence of his malfeasance before anyone found out. But stuff you post on social media has a permanency, in situations like this, that exceeds the power of the delete button.
Perhaps in the future, PwC will assign envelope holders who are more junior members of the firm but are more capable of keeping track of a stack of envelopes. As you know, people get promoted to Managing Partner because they are good at politicking, schmoozing, rainmaking and sucking up to their bosses, and not because they are good at doing real work like keeping track of a stack of envelopes.
On October 20, 2006, I wrote the following in a blog post:
World of Warcraft falls into a special category of time wasting activity, because it is like masturbation. Men who are unable to get sex from women often find masturbation and pornography to be better substitutes than nothing at all. World of Warcraft provides a similar fix for men who are unable to get status in the real world.
In the real world, men start out with the dream that they will advance and increase their status. But then they discover that it’s not so easy to increase one’s status in the real world. For example, one can devote three years of life to attending law school only to discover that law school was a a complete waste of time. In the real world, career tracks usually determine if your status will increase, and the fast track to success only holds a few people. Most people toil away at jobs where they never see any direct benefit from their hard work.
This is where World of Warcraft comes in and meets people’s unmet psychological needs. In WoW and similar games, your status increases slowly but surely every time you play. After so many hours in the game, you can see exactly how many more experience points you have, maybe your level has increased, maybe you have better armor or weapons than you had before. Unlike the real world, where you can work 40 hours of overtime and not even get paid for it, if you put an extra 40 hours into WoW you will definitely have something to show for it. Your status within the virtual world of WoW will have increased in ways you can clearly ascertain.
Have you ever woken up from a dream that was so much more pleasant than real life that you wish you could fall back to sleep and return to the dream? Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) this never works, and you start your day off with a touch of sadness that the wonders of the dream can’t be realized. For some, World of Warcraft is like a dream they don’t have to wake up from, a world better than the real world becaue their efforts are actually rewarded with increased status.
I have no doubt that Frank Guan stole my original ideas in his New York Magazine article Video Games Are Better than Real Life. Read the article and see if you agree.