Tuesday, May 16, 2017

50. 5/16/17

"President Trump boasted about highly classified intelligence in a meeting with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador last week, providing details that could expose the source of the information and the manner in which it was collected, a current and a former American government official said Monday."

I don't need no stinking briefings.



"[T]he buildings were covered in snow -- except for one, suggesting a significant internal heat source."

"Human rights groups said they were surprised by the Trump administration's assertions, in part because some of the satellite photographs have existed for years and are not conclusive."

Intelligence means being smart enough to decipher the raw intel. Have they got it right, or is Donald making up his own news again?

Either way, it sucks.


"A contingent of Ugandan and American military officials ... will board a plane on Tuesday to Obo, in the southeastern part of the Central African Republic, where they will take part in a ceremony organized by Uganda to mark the end of the mission to capture or kill Joseph Kony, the notorious leader of the Lord's Resistance Army, or L.R.A."

Is this really something to celebrate?


The article presents three math questions, giving the answers in the final paragraph. My brother is a scientist/mathematician, and I am always amazed at how easy stuff like this is for him.

I couldn't even begin to figure out how to solve any of these three problems. Readers, care to educate me? [In case you want to try to solve, I'll put the answers in the comments section later.]

  1. In a barn, 100 chicks sit peacefully in a circle. Suddenly, each chick randomly pecks the chick immediately to its left or right. What is the expected number of unpecked chicks?
  2. The smallest integer of a set of consecutive integers is -32. if the sum of these integers is 67, how many integers are in the set?
  3. A bag of coins contains only pennies, nickels and dimes with at least five of each. How many different combined values are possible if five coins are selected at random?
"The boy, Luke Robitaille, took less than a second to buzz in at the Raytheon Mathcounts National Competition with the correct answer."

Can we just make this kid President immediately?

Bye bye Kellyanne.

"Four of the men who had been charged with murder ... appeared in court here on Monday, where they pleaded guilty to reduced charges of voluntary manslaughter and hindering apprehension ..."

Disgusting. They should have been charged with Second-degree murder.

"When he asked, after more than an hour of waiting, whether it would take much longer, an officer threatened to incarcerate him ... 'If you can't sit patiently, I can gain compliance from you by putting you in a detainment cell'."

Also disgusting.

A27 WHY THE WORLD IS GETTING HACKED (by Zeynep Tufekci -- Penyez Ickefut, spelled backwards)

"This is perhaps the beginning of a global crisis that has been brewing for decades."

And we can't just go back to pencil and paper, I guess?

"[M]entally, Trump is still a 7-year-old boy who is bouncing around the classroom. His answers in interviews are not very long -- 200 words at the high end -- but he will typically flit through four or five topics before ending up with how unfair the press is to him."

One example:

"They had a quote from me that NATO's obsolete. But they didn't say why it was obsolete. I was on Wolf Blitzer, very fair interview, the first time I was ever asked about NATO, because I wasn't in government. People don't go around asking about NATO if I'm building a building in Manhattan, right? So they asked me, Wolf ... asked me about NATO, and I said two things. NATO's obsolete -- not knowing much about NATO, now I know a lot about NATO -- NATO is obsolete, and I said, 'And the reason it's obsolete is because of the fact they don't focus on terrorism.' You know, back when they did NATO there was no such thing as terrorism."

"Good performance, mediocre results or even downright ugly returns. When it comes to hedge funds, it scarcely matters. Even as some investors begin to sour on these high-priced stock pickers, the top fund managers still haul in enormous paychecks."

One-point-six bil

"This season, [Mark Reynolds] is on pace for 137 strikeouts."

Strikeouts have always been Reynolds' main problem. Since 2009, he's cut down on K's to the point that he finished last season (only 393 AB's) with a .282 BA! But do the stats deceive? In '09 he struck out 223 times in 578 ABs! That's almost a strikeout every other at bat!

But he also hit 44 homers, drove in 102 and hit .260.

In any case, it didn't help the D'Backs that season. They finished dead last in their division, at 70-92.

"Since the planets are so close to their star, they orbit quickly and almost exactly in what scientists call 'resonance' -- the orbits are completed in a sort of close synchronicity with one another."

May 16, 1924
93 years ago


"Much of the protest against the play was occasioned by the casting of Paul Robeson, a negro, to play the leading male role and the fact that a white woman was cast for the role of his wife."

"[The company director] had been told by the clerk of the Mayor's office that the reason for the refusal of the licenses would be explained to him if he would call at City Hall today."

Hylan needed a few hours to think up a good excuse.


Rabbi Stephen Samuel Wise deserves to be quoted in full and at length here. Powerful words spoken at a time of intense national debate on immigration.

" ... America has lapsed from the height of generosity and understanding compassion to the depths of unsympathetic indifference to the weal of the world. Granted that the Immigration bill be approved by the President of the United States, and for his sake and my country's sake I devoutly hope it may be vetoed, that bill will yet be repealed when America regains sobriety after the moral debauch of five post-war years! Our country is never permanently or even long in the wrong. Sometimes it makes an erring choice, but never fatally perseveres therein.

Differ we shall in the future as we have differed in the past. I shall continue to reserve the right to speak my mind on all great problems within and without Israel [meaning the Jewish people; obviously there was no State of Israel in 1924]. I shall no more consider that I am muzzled by the Presidency of the American Jewish Congress than I am muzzled within the pulpit of the synagogues to which I minister. Nor shall I be afraid to point out to Israel its transgressions, nor to Jacob his sins. Least of all shall I be silent when I behold my country in danger of forswearing the high prerogative of service and nobleness which it is my calling as Jew and as American alike to urge my fellow-Americans to maintain and to magnify."


"Modern American melodies and rhythms including jazz, came into their own tonight when 8,000 persons gathered in the Grand Court of the Wanamaker Store in honor of music week, heard a unique concert that ranged through all the wide variety of American-made music and had as its climax an earnest defense of Jazz as the holder of 'wonderful possibilities for the future' by Leopold Stokowski.

Officially known as 'Sousa Night' the experimental concert, whose aim was the demonstration of modern tendencies in music and their possibilities, was also a tribute to the band master. Lieut. Commander Sousa led the John Wanamaker Military Band of seventy-five pieces in numbers that included one of his own marches and his latest choral work, 'The Last Crusade,' in which a massed chorus of 154 voices participated, and Marie Sundelius of the Metropolitan Opera Company sang the soprano parts."

I wonder if the work features an archeologist with a fedora?


Let's take a look at how the great Grover Cleveland Alexander pitched his Chicago Cubs to a 6-4 win over the New York Giants.

It's still the same game, but yet -- oh so different. For example

"[Jigger] Statz rapped [Rosy] Ryan for a single in the first inning and [Charlie] Hollocher got a pass, a sacrifice by [George] Grantham following."

Hold it right there! The number three hitter is bunting [He hit .316 this season]!

"In the second inning [Denver] Grigsby singled to left and [Cliff] Heathcote duplicated the blow. Again a sacrifice was offered, this time by [Gabby] Hartnett."

Hartnett, batting eighth in the order, hit .299 that year.

Time of game: 1.38! Also, notice how strange the box score innings line looks with the visiting New York Giants on the bottom line.


"Babe Ruth will fire the starter's gun in the twenty-mile international motor-paced race which will be one of the featured events at the opening of the outdoor bicycle racing season at the New York Velodrome tonight."

I'm sure he got a nice of chunk of 1920's change for this gig. Big hot dog money.

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82. 6/17/17

Off to paradise.   See you in July! TIME MACHINE June 17, 1899 118 years ago Page 1 DREYFUS DUELS FOUGHT AT BREST "As...