Saturday, May 14, 2005

A Baseball Game

by Richard Brautigan

Baudelare went
to a baseball game
and bought a hot dog
and lit up a pipe
of opium.
the New York Yankees
were playing
the Detroit Tigers.
In the fourth inning
an angel committed
suicide by jumping
off a low cloud.
The angel landed
on second base,
causing the
whole infield
to crack like
a huge mirror.
The game was
called on
account of

Monday, April 25, 2005

Major League Baseball : Video : MLB.TV

I've been studying for exams, and therefore not blogging too much. In two weeks I'll be done. In four, I'll be packing up and heading home to DC for the summer, working at the FCC during the day and going to Nats games at night.

I've been putting in about 12 hours of work a day getting ready for exams. The only break I allow myself each day is 3 hours to watch the baseball game.

Over the winter, right before my Property exam, Linda Cropp's amendment looked like it would derail the Nats for good. Now, a semester later, the Phillies are about to play their first regular season game at RFK.

I never realized how much I missed baseball until this season started. I grew up going to O's games at Memorial Stadium, chanting "Eddie, Eddie," for Eddie Murray, and watching Cal Ripken's whole career. I managed to catch his last game in Anaheim while I was living in LA.

But sometime in the early 90's I lost the game, or the game lost me. The strike had something to do with it, as did Peter Angelos running the O's into the ground and showing a palpable hate for DC while he did it. I found in rock and roll what I lost in baseball.

The Nats are bringing me back home. I no longer have to hang on every Redskins off-season move to feel some connection to DC. Instead, the rhythm of baseball will rule my summer.

Bernard Levy has an article in the newest Atlantic retracing the steps of de Toqueville 200 years after his birth. I'm aboaut half a page from the section entitled "On religion in general, and baseball in particular." What a feeling, after over a decade in the wilderness, to know, again, what he means before reading a word.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Unofficial Election Results

I was one of 2,255 voters in this wack ass election. 8% of the registered voters came out. I think the 3 people I voted for won. Democracy is lame, even when it's on the march.

A wack morning for democracy

It's 5:30 AM in St. Louis. In half an hour, I'm going to the polls to vote in what I am willing to wager will be the wackest election of my life. I usually don't vote in the lame elections, but I woke up this morning at 1AM and haven't gone back to sleep. I slept all evening, because I was up most of the night sunday night finishing up a paper.

Also, as the kind of jerk that crosses the country for democracy, to not walk halfway down the block to vote would be embarassing.

But what is there to vote for? you might ask. I was curious as well. I checked the web page. Holy shi'ite, is this a wack election. Click on the link above to take a look at the ballot I'll be facing in 25 minutes. Freedom and democracy are truly on the march. I can't wait to see the look on the faces of the election workers when I'm there waiting as the polls open.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Same As It Ever Was

"Washington has now lost three straight, six of seven, and has not won since Sept. 28, 1971. We have not won since Joe Grzenda pitched three innings of one-hit relief as the Senators pounded out 10 hits to beat Stan Bahnsen and the Yankees, 4-2."

We'll end the streak soon. Until then, though, it's nice just to have another reason to hate the Vet in Philly.

Friday, April 01, 2005

TV deal partners Orioles, Nationals

The 90%/10% split might just be an april fools day prank, but I don't think so.

The upshot of the O's having all the risk on this is that TV networks like this have failed in the past. And if this deal, as it plays out, truly looks like a stinker, then DC's fans, as the larger market, can sink the network in an instant by refusing to watch. A boycott of the network called by any of the DC sportswriters could sink the zeppelin pretty quickly, and although Angelos might try to sue every resident of the city of DC individually, I doubt that he'd get too far with that. (I'm reminded of an old Mr. Show bit about Coupon: The Movie, where a movie studio successfully sued all of America for not watching their crappy movie.)

Notes on grokster oral arguments

One of the first bits of fallout from Grokster, says Timothy Armstrong, is that you will always be able to rip your CDs legally for use on other devices:

How, some of the Justices asked MGM, could the inventors of the iPod (or the VCR, or the photocopier, or even the printing press) know whether they could go ahead with developing their invention? It surely would not be difficult for them to imagine that somebody might hit upon the idea of marketing their device as a tool for infringement.

MGM’s answer to this was pretty unsatisfying. They said that at the time the iPod was invented, it was clear that there were many perfectly lawful uses for it, such as ripping one’s own CD and storing it in the iPod. This was a very interesting point for them to make, not least because I would wager that there are a substantial number of people on MGM’s side of the case who don’t think that example is one bit legal. But they’ve now conceded the contrary in open court, so if they actually win this case they’ll be barred from challenging “ripping” in the future under the doctrine of judicial estoppel.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

SCOTUSblog: MGM v. Grokster: Background and Analysis

Happy Grokster day.

Click the link above to get some background while watching an old episode of ALF on your Betamax VCR.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Who likes maths?

Go see my friend Ed give a math lecture:

In the unlikely event that you find yourself in western Massachusetts this Wednesday, come check out my talk about the concept of duality in projective geometry.

WHERE?: Lederle Graduate Research Tower, Room 1521D, UMass Amherst

WHEN?: Wednesday, March 30, 2005, 7:00 p.m.

WHAT?: Projective geometry is a non-Euclidean geometry where there is no such thing as parallel lines, and no concept of distance or angle measure. Duality is a valid concept of projective geometry where points and lines are mathematically indistinguishable from each other. This is cool because if you prove a theorem, it can be dualized to give you a new theorem that will be true (unless the theorem is self-dual to begin with)! It's like a 2-for-1 sale on mathematical concepts.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Win or Lose (

"Yet another franchise came along in 1901, now in the American League. This time, Washington did something we had never done before: signed a bona fide star still near the peak of his powers. Ed Delahanty was a strapping, square-jawed slugger, the best hitter of his day. An esteemed authority on baseball history, Bill James, has compared Delahanty to the seemingly incomparable Joe DiMaggio. The man batted .346 over 16 seasons. He once went 9 for 9 in a double-header.

But after just one full season in Washington, Big Ed started drinking even more heavily than usual. Suspended from the team during a trip to Detroit, he boarded a train for home. Blotto, he brandished a straight razor at other passengers. The conductor stopped the train near the Canadian border and dumped Delahanty trackside. Our star went reeling into the night, plunged from the International Bridge into the Niagara River, washed over Niagara Falls, and was pureed by the propeller of a sightseeing boat."

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Hunter S. Thompson v. Richard M. Nixon v. DJ Buck Wheaton

So here's the psychedelic disaster. It's in two parts.

Part One
Part Two

Enjoy it. Like I said, listen to it in a dark room, alone.