Friday, September 25, 2009

Is cropping a photo lying?:
"This is hardly photo fakery. Crops aren't lies. Full-frame photos aren't the truth. Kennerley himself could have easily taken that exact picture in the moment."

But he didn't take the picture Newsweek wanted. And THAT is why it is wrong to crop the picture. Newsweek wanted to portray Cheney in a particular light and the photo submitted did not do that. Why didn't Newsweek just commission an artist to create a comic of Cheney butchering meat? Because they wanted to lie to people using a "real" photo of him doing just that.

Secondly, Jason, you can't say the original photo is a lie in order to defend the crop as NOT a lie. If the source is a lie, how can the crop be the truth?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

NFL - Indianapolis Colts/Miami Dolphins Box Score Monday September 21, 2009 - Yahoo! Sports:
This game completely demolishes all the old school adages about how to win a football game. Somewhere, Mike Martz has a big smile on his face when reading this box score. Miami had overwhelming advantages in number of plays, first downs, time of possession, rushing yards, only punted once, had no lost fumbles. They had a "balanced" offense in that they rushed 49 times and threw 33 times. They had over 400 yards in total offense.

And still lost.

The difference was the Colts scored and scored quickly when they had the ball. Why? They threw it and threw DEEP. 12.3 yards per pass ATTEMPT. Miami did everything "right". But so what? Final score is all that matters. Yes, against a mediocre offensive team, Miami's approach will usually succeed. But against a wide-open offense, forget it.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Behind the NFL’s Touchdown Binge -
"This drive to efficiency may also apply to the people who make the rules. If it's human nature to promote speed whenever the action appears to be slowing down, it's no surprise the NFL decided, in 2004, to tell officials to crack down on the amount of contact defensive backs can have with wide receivers. In scientific terms, the NFL wanted to make the system flow more efficiently. (The fact that touchdowns make for good television might have played a role here, too.)"

A pretty good example of trying to make the facts fit the theory. The league has been tweaking the rules for years in an effort to generate more offense. And why is an NFL offense the only part of the game that is supposedly "more efficient" or "faster"? It's a game of offense AND defense and both have been "evolving". Modern defenses are very fast and VERY big. QB's need to be 6' 5" just to see over the linemen! And this theory kind of distorts evolution. Things evolve to fit their circumstances, their environment, NOT to achieve some ideal. There is no "progress" in evolution, no design, no intelligence. To think otherwise is to miss the point entirely.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Insta-Cake | MetaFilter
"Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix dry ingredients in a nonstick 8 x 8 pan or a loaf pan:
* 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (no fancy cake flour needed)
* 3/4 cup sugar (sweet but not cloying)
* 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* Additional spices to taste: try 1/2 teaspoon each of ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg to start

Add wet ingredients: stir into dry ingredients in the following order with a fork until combined, but do not overmix
* 3 tablespoons oil (the original used 4 T, and I've seen as high as 6 T, but 3 works just fine)
* 1 tablespoon white vinegar
* 1 cup cold water with 1 teaspoon vanilla added (you might also add 1 teaspoon of peppermint or almond extract)

Put into oven for 30 minutes for an 8 x 8 pan, or 40 minutes for a loaf pan. Cake is done when it pulls slightly away from the sides and/or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean."

I've seen a few other "Wacky Cake" recipes, but this one has the least sugar and I can assure you it will produce one of the best tasting chocolate cakes you have ever tried. Icing is superfluous it is THAT good. And when I made it, I did not have a non-stick pan so I spread some oil in a glass pan and mixed the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, then poured the wet ingredients into the same bowl in the proscribed order, mixed together with a fork until combined, then poured into the glass pan. Baked for exactly 30 minutes. Great recipe.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Singletary set the tone, which was tough and disciplined:
"Other coaches will do the same thing, typically in a panic. When Singletary gathered the defense around him, TV cameras showed a calm, determined face, without a hint of anxiety. At one point, he pointed backward toward the sideline with his thumb, like a hitchhiker in reverse. 'I really don't remember what I was saying,' he said later. 'Maybe: 'Let's get out of here.' ' The 49ers' defense, as recommended, held Arizona to a field goal, and the moribund offense suddenly revived itself and scored what would turn out to be the winning touchdown in a 2o-16 season opener. That timeout wasn't wasted. The 49ers finished the game with one remaining."

I told myself I would stop linking to sports writers' idiocy, but this one struck me because it emphasizes how these writers skew their writing depending upon their personal opinions of the coach. When Mike Martz was OC, he was derided for "wasting" timeouts, ie using them in unconventional situations. He was also declared "egomaniacal" in nearly every piece written about him, primarily because he wanted things done his way. Now, Singletary is praised for using unconventional timeouts and there is no question at all that he not just wants things his way but DEMANDS things are done his way. The team even uses his egomaniacal pronouncements as advertising! I point this out to re-emphasize my point: sports writers today are among the least talented and certainly the least journalistic writers around. They get paid for having an opinion (usually wrong) and for cracking jokes (usually bad).