Tag Archives: super bowl

Football, parasites, Chait, etc.

They are about to play a big game on Sunday, apparently.

This was pretty funny.

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But don’t forget that
http://www.salon.com/2015/01/28/we_are_all_amoral_football_hypocrites_brain_injuries_billionaire_tax_breaks_and_our_indefensible_super_bowl_parties/

That there is a very descriptive link, and a good piece. Don’t enjoy the Super Bowl! I grew up a Vikings fan so was always pretty sour about the game.

Mike Ditka and the tragic Dave Duerson:

Ditka expressed concern about his former charges, whose bodies and minds have been ravaged by the game, including the late Dave Duerson, who took his own life in 2011, leaving behind a brain deformed by chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Ditka then went a step further. He admitted that he wouldn’t let his own sons play football. “That’s sad. I wouldn’t. And my whole life was football,” he told host Bryant Gumbel. “I think the risk is worse than the reward.”

Also this:

Lost amid all the scapegoating was a far more shocking story: the NFL’s admission in federal court documents that it expects up to 30 percent of its former players to suffer chronic brain injuries. To put this in the reductive language favored by tabloids: nearly a third of the employees in America’s most famous workplace will wind up brain damaged.

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I tried to hide from chatter about that Chait piece in New York, but today Alex Pareene has a funny and substantive response, and I feel better about it all.

I especially liked the conclusion:

In Chait’s narrative, left-wing political correctness threatened American democracy once before, in the 1980s. But it was vanquished by a brave man from a place called Hope:

Bill Clinton’s campaign frontally attacked left-wing racial politics, famously using inflammatory comments by Sister Souljah to distance him from Jesse Jackson.

That Chait, in 2015, is still praising Clinton’s “Sister Souljah moment” as a heroic victory in the war against political correctness is telling. What was that moment but the drawing of a party line against expression deemed offensive? Bill Clinton attacked Souljah for her speech. He performed outrage for the sake of identity politics. The attack on a rapper most Americans had no familiarity with was simply part of Clinton’s cynical scheme to signal to aggrieved whites that he was not beholden to the black community. The culmination of that scheme was the execution of mentally impaired black man named Rickey Ray Rector. If that’s the variety of American liberalism that political correctness threatens, please direct me to the local thought police recruitment center.

I have a feeling this is the first salvo in the 2016 election war between “leftists” and the “shut up and vote for whichever Clinton is running” liberals….

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I got a “promoted” tweet from someone named Josh Block warning about Iran and the bomb and terror. I am still happy Iran does not have a nuclear weapon and is not trying to make one. Israel having numerous nukes keeps me awake at night however. And there’s still only one country that has “deployed” nuclear weapons on a civilian population, twice. So there’s that.

In other, related news from the twitter:

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Would also like to recommend this piece by the BBC’s Lucy Jones, What would happen if all the parasites disappeared?

The changes could be particularly dramatic in the oceans, says Luis Zaman of the University of Washington in Seattle. The seas are filled with algae and other microorganisms that get their energy from sunlight. Directly or indirectly, they feed all the animals in the sea. But they are “constantly battling viruses,” says Zaman, and that keeps their numbers down.
“Without these viruses, it is hard to say what exactly would happen,” says Zaman. “One possibility is that the oceans would turn into thick green mats, like the ones you see on small ponds by the road.”
This would be bad news for everything else in the ocean. “Take out all of the parasites across the ecosystem, and it probably will collapse,” says Zaman. “It might take a while, and it might oscillate wildly between states of lush vegetation and barren desert, but it almost certainly wouldn’t end well.”

I also really enjoyed this from a scientist Jones quoted: “There is so much to be gained from being a parasite.”