Thursday, March 03, 2005

If Rod Serling had a blog...

...he'd link to this.

Link via Medpundit.

It's about time the rest of you caught up...

Today Glenn Reynolds and many others wrote of what GR called "the coming crackdown on blogging".

Congratulations to all of you, but I was writing about that over 3 years ago. And follow the link to see what Rand Simberg had to say too.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Susan Polgar Foundation

I remember learning to play chess. A kid taught me how, and I beat him the first game. But you might say I've peaked early, and my skill level today would be something like "sucks out loud".

Today's WSJ had a writeup on Susan Polgar. Who? She's one of only 2 women who have ever been ranked in the top 100 active chessplayers (the other one is her sister).

She's 35 years old, married with kids, and runs a chess club in Forest Hills, NY. And she has started the Susan Polgar Foundation to promote chess.

Why? Well, by now you've probably heard anecdotes about chess in Harlem and its effects. But here is some more from her front page:
In approximately 30 nations across the globe, including Brazil, China, Venezuela, Italy, Israel, Russia and Greece, etc., chess
is incorporated into the country's scholastic curriculum.

Chess can help develop critical thinking that can be used in other areas of a child's life, academics and social situations.

"Test scores improved by 17.3% for students regularly engaged in chess classes, compared with only 4.6% for children
participating in other forms of enriched activities".

The following are just some of the benefits of chess:
  • Chess develops decision making, critical thinking, logical thinking,
    evaluating, planning, problem solving, and perseverance skills.

  • Chess improves concentration, memory, intuition and self-control

  • Chess promotes independence, imagination and creativity

  • Chess inspires self-motivation, self-esteem and self confidence

What can be wrong with that?

Some people can't even cheat right

I found this referenced on a Time magazine page that I'm not sure will come up the same way every time. Anyway, the following allegedly was published in their Feb 21, 2005 issue:
If you could walk past the teachers' lounge and listen in, what sorts of stories would you hear? An Iowa high school counselor gets a call from a parent protesting the C her child received on an assignment. 'The parent argued every point in the essay,' recalls the counselor, who soon realized why the mother was so upset about the grade. 'It became apparent that she'd written it.'
I hope that kid rags Mom forever about that.

Jef Raskin, RIP

You don't have to be one of those Mac lovers to appreciate Jef Raskin. If you haven't heard of him, or even if you have, check out the site dedicated to him to get an idea of what we've lost.

Thanks to my favorite Kevin Murphy for the heads up.

Attention Dancesport fans

So you've seen "Shall We Dance?" and you're all set to get into ballroom dance, eh? Here are a couple of chances to get a good look.

All this week the Heritage Classic Dancesport Championships are being held in Asheville, NC. I've never been there, but I hear that the venue is terrific (the Grove Park Inn Resort and Spa) and the prize money is good.

Then next week the action is at the St. Louis Star Ball, held in the Renaissance St. Louis Hotel near the airport. It's not as big as some events, but it's more intimate and the promoters are really nice people who run the Just Dancing studio in Manchester, MO. So check it out, you, you, you, you, you, you and anyone else close by.

Incidentally, the event depicted in "Shall We Dance?" is real. It is the Chicago Crystal Ball, and the next one will happen in mid June.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005


It was about 10 PM and I was headed for the exit at the bookstore. A high school aged girl was a few steps behind me. I hadn't changed clothes since leaving work, so I guess I looked like a harmless enough middle aged man to her. I heard her hiccup.

I held the door open and waited for her to come through. Then I couldn't resist telling her that I'd just had an evil impulse - I'd heard her hiccup, and thought of suddenly turning on her and saying "Boo!" just as she went out the door to cure them. She giggled.

About this time we were clear of the building and a chill wind hit. And I'm sure that that's why she started running for her car...

Saving Terri Schiavo

K Lo from NRO's Corner has a few things to say about Terri Schiavo.

For one, where are the feminists? You'd think that some man with an obvious conflict of interest and is fighting to give his wife a horrible slow death might attract their attention. Perhaps they're all still thanking Bill Clinton for "keeping abortion legal".

And now her parents are trying to get her divorced from her trigger-happy hubby, who has knocked up another woman repeatedly since his wife has been indisposed. Gosh, do you suppose she has grounds? I'm sure that some time in her life she said "If my husband ever has kids with another woman while married to me, I'd want a divorce"?

The parents are certainly trying hard, but they've missed an obvious solution. All they have to do is spread a rumor that she is the only witness to something that could lead to the impeachment of George W. Bush...

Dan Rather's Greatest Hits

From the MRC

Your must-read post today

Greyhawk at Mudville Gazette. There's much more, but here's what got me:
The Washington Post business section (rarely read in this one-industry town) had a piece yesterday on the extraordinary failure of the federal government to comply with a 1999 law requiring the government to award 3% of its contracts to firms owned by disabled veterans.
As you might expect, not a single department has even come close to complying – with two of the worst offenders (and biggest contract granters) being The Pentagon and The Veterans Administration! – languishing at .18 and .41 percent respectively.
Maybe someone needs to tell them that some of those disabled veterans are women or minorities.

Monday, February 28, 2005

Victor Kamber, jackass

Lacking a hairshirt, I watched CNN this morning. That exposed me once more to a jackass named Victor Kamber. He's an Democrat political consultant who apparently can't speak on any subject without some sort of partisan toxicity escaping. He has the delivery of a professional wrestler, if not the intelligence.

For example, at one point he acknowledged that he didn't fully trust the Russians, but then he didn't fully trust GWB either. IMO if he can't tell the difference he deserves deportation to live with Putin & co. until he learns something.

The general theme of the segment was foreign affairs, but did CNN bring on long-term foreign affairs hands to discuss it? Oh no, we have to have Kamber opposite some Republican political consultant (whose name escapes me), thus guaranteeing that what followed would be more like partisan bearbaiting than informed commentary. If I wanted "Crossfire" I'd watch it.

Oh yeah, Kamber was fond of referring to GWB as "your President". Yep, and he's Victor Kamber's president too.


Political quiz

It's from 1994, the week before the elections that swept the Dems out of leadership in Congress, but then some things never change. Anyway, it might be worth a look.

More animal rights idiocy

Right here.