Fantasy Fun

Well week 4 tightened everything up.
Larson finally started a full roster and got a win as a result.
Armes put up the most points to date and coupled with me benching too many points gave me a loss, and Trina scored close to 100points in the Monday Night game alone to overtake Christy.

I have made weekly trophies for the highest point totals for each week. They are hard to notice though. You have to either go to your teams trophy case or to the leagues trophy case.

I also want to float another idea out here. What do you guys thinking about turning this league into a dynasty league? That means that it would continue from year to year with the same players. The draft order would be like the NFL where the teams that did worse would draft first. There seems to be a fair amount of parity in our league so what do you think? Another option would be to play this year out and start a dynasty league next year.


Tuesday Morning Smack Board

Another week, another win.

Christy and I are now the lone undefeateds. Dave is now the lone winless.

Chaz mustered the highest total in beating Trina who put up the most points in a loss yet this season. He did so by riding Favre and Green nonetheless. Too bad the Packers only play the Lions one more time this year.

The autodraft haters are also coming out of their closets, though their voices could not be heard when the idea of a live draft was being floated around. Again, everyone is in the same boat, so there is no room for complaining. If you cannot figure out how to change your roster that is your own fault. The worst that can happen is that you get overloaded at one position (like me at WR). The easy solution is to seek a trade, so anyone who wants a quality WR for a quality RB give me a ring.


Tuesday Morning Smack-Board

Well another week on top for me.
I feel like the Bears with all my dominating performances.

I think that I am going to change the scoring for the Defensive Player to get an average game to yeild somewhere around 10-15 points. It just look rediculous when such a player earns a team 0.2 points. If you have any objections let me know.

Perhaps we can all send some encouragement the way of Josh, Chaz, and Dave. Just because they are all 0-2 doesn't mean the season is over. Christy probably still even has hope for the Packers.


Friday's Quotables (NFL edition)

“When we play the way we’re supposed to play, like our defense played the way they played Sunday … I don’t think there’s no team in this league that can beat us,”

-- Roy Williams, after guarenteeing that the Lions will beat the Bears. I agree, every team can beat the Lions.

Corey Dillon was asked about his running style. "I'm downhill," he said. "Like San Francisco."

Big Steps

Big things are happening:

1. This is already the 100th post on this blog.

2. I now have a little blurb next to my name on the Nazareth College website.

3. Most impressively, Karis took her first steps [4 to be exact].

As you can see, it was quite a frightening experience. She does not want to grow up.

Tuesday Morning Smack Board

The relevant facts:

Winners: Jon, Cliff, Brian, Lesley, Christy
Losers: Trina, Ben, Josh, Dave, Chaz

Battle of the week: Ben (69) vs. Cliff (76)

Team with most players who scored less than 1pt: Ben (4)

Most bench points: Cliff (115) -- [nearly double the points of his starters]

Random comment: I'm not sure why the scores sometime go to the 13th decimal point, but whatever.


Knowing How and Knowing That

There is a discussion here about whether knowing how is reducible to knowing that. Knowing when, knowing where, knowing whether, and perhaps a few other forms of knowing do appear to be reducible to knowing that. One might think that knowing how can be reduced to knowing that an action is performed in a certain sequence. The question is whether knowing how can mean merely an ability to perform some action.

Some potential examples:
1) A child who can ski, but at least cannot explain what it is that she is doing seems to know how to ski.
2) Instinctive behavior, such as birds building a nest seems to be knowledge how without any propositional knowledge of what is going on.

So, Questions:
- does it seem right that there is a sense of knowing how that only means having the ability to do such and such independent of knowing any facts about how it is done?
- are the above examples such cases?


Fantasy Football

This morning felt like Christmas morning. I woke up and ran to the computer to see who it picked for my fantasy football team. I'm pretty happy with my team (though I like Lesley's even more). My weakness will be at running back, so anyone who wants to shop around a good RB, give me a ring.

I also have an added investment in my favorite teams with two Colts and two Bears. That will make those games either really good or really bad.

The best draft obviously goes to Cliff who picked up a starting running back on IR (Domanick Davis) and a WR who has just been cut (Charles Rogers).

Thursday it all begins . . .
. . . watch out 'I heart Ranger Randy'!


Friday's Quotables

"You gotta serve somebody" -- Bob Dylan

"Men are not free when they are doing just what they like. The moment you can do just what you like, there is nothing you care about doing" -- D.H. Lawrence

"Safe?...Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe, but he's good. He's the King, I tell you." -- Mr. Beaver in 'The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe'.

And in honour of going back to school:
"Education is the best provision for old age." -- Aristotle

"Only the educated are free." -- Epictetus

"The very spring and root of honesty and virtue lie in good education." -- Plutarch

[additions welcome as always]


Go Buckeyes!

I'm excited about the upcoming college football season, particularly with the high expectations that have been placed on *the* Ohio State University. I was worried a little about the early match-up with Texas, but then I found out that the kid from Malcom in the Middle is Texas' quarterback. Compare as you dare.

On Wisconsin!

Forbes just released a special report on the drunkest city in the United States, and even with Lesley's departure, Milwaukee came out on top. Read it here.

As one individual interviewed puts it, "It's cold here, and we need our brandy."


Help the Dalit People

The Dalit Freedom Network is a worthy organization that works with arguably the most oppressed people in the world. They have programs of child sponsorship, social justice, economic development, and healthcare. These latter three ministries are in desperate need of more finances. Consider a donation, or at least get a clay cup for $1 to help keep the Dalit in your thoughts and prayers.


Friday's Quotables (late again)

"Love, to be real, must cost. It must hurt. It must empty us of self." -- Mother Teresa

"Should it (Pluto), for historical reasons, be considered a planet like the rest?" -- Owen Gingerich, professor of Astronomy and History of Science emeritus a the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics on the current debate regarding Pluto's status. More here. A tough question.

"How many people here think that bear hibernate?" -- Ranger Randy to his group on the Bear Cave Tour. They don't, but only if you are being uber-technical, which was Ranger Randy's specialty.

New Pictures

New pictures are up here. They include:





Now an Omnivore

Fresh off turning 10 months old Karis has taken to chicken, beef, cheese, and juice.
I also think she said 'Hezbollah' the other day, but I could have been mistaken.



Friday's Quotables

"I am very humbled to be in the presence of so many world-class wieners" - The Mexican Chorizo [the new contestant in the Milwaukee Brewers sausage race.]

"I asked for strength that I might achieve;
I was made weak that I might learn to humbly obey.

I asked for health that I might do greater things;
I was given infirmity that I might do better things.

I asked for riches that I might be happy;
I was given poverty that I might be wise.

I asked for power that I might have the praise of men;
I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God.

I asked for all things that I might enjoy life;
I was given life that I might enjoy all things.

I got nothing that I asked for,
But everything that I hoped for.

Almost despite myself my unspoken prayers were answered;
I am, among all men, most richly blessed." - Unknown Confederate Soldier

"What are all of them?" - Congressman Wesmoreland when asked on the Colbert Report to name the 10 Commandments. He co-sponsored a bill requiring the display of the 10 Commandments in the House and the Senate. Watch the *hilarious* interview here. He got three.

"I enjoy cocaine because it is a fun thing to do." - Congressman Wexler on the Colbert Report. See the interview here.


Artistic License vs. Heresy

Take the following excerpts from popular praise songs I have encountered recently [this list is by no means exhaustive]:

(1) "I'm coming back to the heart of worship, and it's all about you. It's all about you, Jesus."
- The Heart of Worship

(2) "You took the fall, and thought of me above all."
- Above All

First, what is wrong with such lyrics. With regard to (1), it completely ignores two members of the Trinity elevating Jesus above them, since as it claims it is all about Jesus. Jesus doesn't even believe that it is all about Jesus. That said, one can hope that this was not the intent of the author. This mistake seems to come from the mistaken thinking that 'Jesus' is simply a pseudonym for 'God'. [UPDATE: Dale Tuggy over at Trinities sees such indiscretion in using the term 'Jesus' as a sign of modalism.] With regard to (2) I think it is incorrect since I subscribe to the Piper/Edwards line of thought where God, at the risk of idolatry, must always be uppermost in God's mind. Therefore, if Jesus thought of me above all, he would be committing idolatry. I'm not even sure if one can provide a positive spin that can explain such a falsehood. The best I can think of is that his love for me was one of the reasons for his sacrifice, but this is much different than the lyric.

What ought we to make of such lyrics, and thus, such praise songs? There is no doubt that Christian contemporary praise songs are theologically anemic when compared to hymns, but this is a different issue. Are such songs simply theologically lazy and given that they are in the genre of poetry their mistakes can be excused when in the heart of worship (pun intended) or are they simply heresy, if not blasphemy, and to be avoided?

I go back and forth with this one. In favor of such songs, (i) many people seem to succeed in worshiping God in singing them, (ii) some 'artistic license' seems to be inevitable for the sake of rhyming if nothing else (though at least 'divinity' rhymes with 'trinity'), and (iii) perhaps we can say that though the lyrics are literally false they implicate something that is true (this would be what I was trying to get at in giving my spin above). On the other hand, (i) such songs can lead to confusion for those who don't know how to give them a proper interpretation [if that's what I was doing], (ii) if such lyrics really are heresy or blasphemy how could one really worship God by uttering them?, and (iii) it is doubtful that all such inaccuracies implicate truths. Implicatures ought to be easily discernible which the above examples do not seem to be (at least for the majority).
[note: it may be responded that this is the fault of the pastors and congregations for not being theologically sophisticated to discern the lyrics cannot be literally true and that something else must be meant.]

Thoughts? Additions?


Friday[ish]'s Quotables

I apparently do not hear as many gems over the summer, but I have stored up a few:

"Ha Ha! Burly man and a baby." -- some chubby VBS kid while pointing at me carrying Karis. It was a very Nelson-like moment.

"I am going to proceed now." -- brother Dan to the girl in the drive-through window after giving her his order.

"Shame on the family in my neighborhood who gave their ten year old boy a BB gun. He shot a squirrel that lives in my tree and now a family has no father. How are they to prepare for the winter months and stock their home with nuts? Aim your gun at targets, NOT AT SQUIRRELS. Squirrels are people too." -- This was written in the 'Gotta Vent' section of our neighborhood 'Penny Saver'. The 'Gotta Vent' section is always full of jewels, but this one was particularly good. Did she go and check to make sure it was a male squirrel so as to know it was the father? She obviously has no faith in single parent squirrel families, but 'squirrels are people too' is priceless.


Trying to Figure out the Trinity?

Me too. I have come across this great blog which is slowly working through the issues and possible responses with regard to this Christian doctrine. I would encourage others to follow along as well. It is fairly new, so it is not too late to go back and read the entries from the beginning.


Monkey vs. Panda

It has been a long while since I posted anything of any practical of philosophical significance. A recent family debate has brought this issue to the forefront: Monkey vs. Panda.
Who wins? No other information is allowed to influence the decision (ie. what kind of monkey, if the monkey is trained in martial arts, if the monkey has a knife).
I think it is clear that the monkey wins. Opposable thumbs and the ability to use tools seal the deal when at the speedy monkey's disposal.
Sure, the Panda is a bear, but really it is only a nominal bear.
Just check out this picture if you have any doubts.
That said I would appreciate further input.


Nine Months

Well it may seem like it has been nine months since my last post, but Karis is now nine months old. Karis now enjoys swimming, bike riding, feeding herself (somewhat sucessfully), crawling
(somewhat sucessfully), and pulling herself up whenever she can.


The Supremacy of Philosophy

The GRE, despite my feelings for it, speaks highly of Philosophy majors (despite my participation in it) in contrast with say. . . Social Work majors.
Check out how your major compares here.

The View From Ocean City


Friday's Quotables

"The historic fight for justice has become our own. It is now our turn to leave a legacy for generations to come . . . TO GENERATE HISTORY IN OUR TIME."
- The International Justice Mission's new campaign. Check it out and get involved here.

"Canadians are healthier than their U.S. neighbors and receive more consistent medical care"
- Harvard Medical School Study. Read the article here.

"She had said a couple of things that led them to believe this wasn't their daughter"
- Bruce Rossman with Spectrum Health Alliance, about the mix-up regarding the Taylor tragedy. Read more here.

"Where in the world did Robertson even find a machine that could hold 2,000 pounds at one time?"
- CBS SportsLine's Clay Travis on Pat Robertson's (76) claim that he leg-pressed 1 ton [twice what elite athletes can do]. CBN credits the feat of strength to Robertson's protein shakes. Read more here.


Short People Just Got Scarier

Here is the story of how a judge just sentenced a man who sexually assaulted a child to probation since she thought he was too short to handle prison. First off, that is ridiculous. Second, if you weren't uncomfortable around short people before, think about how much worse things just got now that they have a get out of jail free card.


NFL Predictions

Here is a sign that my sport allegiance has switched: though the Stanley Cup Playoffs are still underway, all I can think about is the upcoming NFL season. This last week I have been examining the upcoming year's schedule and making my early picks. Here is my projection for the regular season (playoffs are still under consideration):

AFC NORTH . . . . . . . . . . NFC NORTH
Pittsburgh (13-3) . . . . . .Chicago (11-5)
Cincinnati (12-4) . . . . . .Minnesota (8-8)
Baltimore (7-9) . . . . . . .Detroit (5-11)
Cleveland (2-14) . . . . . .Green Bay (1-15)

AFC SOUTH . . . . . . . . . .NFC SOUTH
Indianapolis (14-2) . . . Carolina (13-3)
Jacksonville (13-3) . . . New Orleans (7-9)
Houston (4-12) . . . . . . Tampa Bay (7-9)
Tennessee (1-15) . . . . .Atlanta (3-13)

AFC EAST . . . . . . . . . . .NFC EAST
New England (10-6) . . Dallas (11-5)
Miami (10-6) . . . . . . . .New York (11-5)
New York (4-12) . . . . .Philadelphia (9-7)
Buffalo (4-12) . . . . . . . Washington (5-10)

AFC WEST . . . . . . . . . .NFC WEST
Denver (13-3) . . . . . . .Seattle (14-2)
Kansas City (12-4) . . .Arizona (10-6)
San Diego (8-8) . . . . . Saint Louis (5-11)
Oakland (5-11) . . . . . .San Francisco (1-15)

[I think that my lows are too low and I have too many highs, but it's the best I can do with my first attempt]

Two Movies

I recently took at short break from adding to my book library to get a couple of older movies. I picked up The Mission and Brother Sun Sister Moon, both of which are good to have in your collection. Watching The Mission again was particularly interesting since the aspects of the movie that I identify with have changed considerably since the first time I saw the movie, and even since subsequent viewings. It is a powerful movie that deals in part with the Christian reaction to aggression. I used to identify strongly with De Niro's character in taking up arms to defend the mission. Now I see the better course of action as the one taken by the other priest. Pacifism is a tricky issue and it is something that I want to spend more time studying this summer. That said, I would encourage you to check out these movies and perhaps discussion can ensue.


The Crew

7 months and already in a gang. They look innocent enough, but it is all a facade.

Inspired by the Code

It is no da Vinci, nor does it have a hidden code (either) -- don't tell Lesley, she is still searching -- but I took my first attempt ever at painting a quasi-mural to give Karis' room a little more fun. Now her room is lamb-tastic!

Friday's Quotables

"I have that, and crime deterrent."
- My current favorite ad.

I don't have a cell phone, but if I did, it would certainly have crime deterrent.
See it here: Crime Deterrent


Things Bugging Me

1. Why is the country spelled 'Philippines' and people from that country referred to as 'Filipino'?

2. Why are the colours of the lights on the pedestrian cross-walks orange and white? Why is the hand not red and the little man green?

3. Why are grapes classified as red or green, yet grapes are a typical example of something that is purple?


New Pictures

New pictures (200+) are up here.
The password is 'Karis'.

Also, if you create an account you can order 15 pictures for free.

Friday's Quotables

"Good and evil both increase at compound interest: that is why the little decisions you and I make every day are of such infinite importance. The smallest good act today is the capture of a strategic point from which a few months later you may be able to go on to victories you never dreamed of. An apparently trivial indulgence in lust or anger today is the loss of a ridge or railway line or bridgehead from which the enemy may launch an attack otherwise impossible."
- C.S. Lewis

"[God] makes every snowflake different, we make ice cubes."
- D.A. Carson

"For the truth is that God in his wisdom, to make and keep us humble and to teach us to walk by faith, has hidden from us almost everything that we should like to know about the providential purposes which he is working out in the churches and in our own lives."
- J.I. Packer


More on Luck

I am really fascinated by the concept of luck and its applications in philosophy. However, I have realized that it is a difficult task to pin down exactly what luck is. Reading Duncan Pritchard's book Epistemic Luck has brought this out.

Here is Pritchard:
Using the notion of an 'accident' does not seem to work since some cases of luck are not accidents. It is a matter of luck that an individual wins the lottery, but it is not an accident in typical cases anyway.

Using the notion of 'chance' does not seem to work for similar reasons. A mudslide can occur by chance, yet if no one's life is affected by it we would not consider such an event lucky.

Using the notion of 'control' is problematic, since many things are out of our control (the sun's rising) yet such event are not considered lucky.

Pritchard offers the following 2 criteria:
(L1) If an event is lucky, then it is an event that occurs in the actual world but which does not occur in a wide class of the nearest possbile worlds where the relevant initial conditions for that event are the same as the actual world.
(L2) If an event is lucky, then it is an event that is significant to the agent concerned (or would be significant were the agent to be availed of the relevant facts).

Besides being very vague criteria (advantage?) Pritchard's criteria fail to account for the cases of epistemic luck that are his target (Gettier cases). Briefly, if the belief in question is a belief in a deep contingent fact which is true in all or most the nearest possible worlds, then that belief can still be Gettierized yet it will not be lucky on Pritchard's account. (Thanks to Rich and Trent for pointing this out)

Having said all that, I am looking for help in describing our concept of luck. Do any of the accounts seem right in certain ways? Here are some questions:
1) Is what we call lucky pragmatic? Could chance events really be lucky, it is just that we don't call them that?
2) Is there anything about foreseen consequences that ought to play into the concept?
3) Is the concept nothing but trouble and anything that appeals to luck would do better appealing to some other clearer concept?


When is praise deserved?

This question came up in conversation with a friend from school. It seems clear that praise is deserved when one goes above and beyond the call of duty (performs a superogatory act). The question is whether one deserves praise simply for fulfilling one's duty. In other words, if one does exactly what is required, do they deserve praise?

On the one hand it seems not. After all, they are just doing what they are supposed to do.
On the other hand, doing what you are supposed to do is no easy task or it is not a task that is accomplished by many, thus one does deserve praise for so doing.

I would appreciate feedback. I am pulled toward thinking that one deserves praise simply for fulfilling a duty but I am not super confident and I don't know what the common intuition is.


Here is a great online sudoku site. It even graphs your time to tell you how bad it is compared to others.


BBC Mixup

This is a pretty funny story/video of a BBC interview about the court case of Apple's itunes vs. the Beattles Apple Corps over the use of the apple symbol. The interview was supposed to be with a bearded white technology expert but was instead with a black cab driver with a French accent.


Working the Camera

Our Mother's Day

We had a great first Mother's Day with a trip to the Rochester Lilac Festival and planting flowers at home.

First Footnote

It's a small step, but I have made it into my first real footnote. It is in a Matt Weiner paper on knowledge. It is a pretty interesting paper where Matt claims that our concept of knowledge is actually incoherent, but the incoherence is pretty much harmless. Here is a link to the paper, check out footnote 65.


Friday's Quotables (student evaluation edition)

"he tried to make learning logic be fun."

"[logic] should not be a core course."

"how you grades . . . extremely fair."

"did not enjoy subject material, but Matheson made it tollerable."

"the book was bad, it was written in Brittish English not American English."

"I hate logic."

"the instructor was the man."


Good News About Injustice

I've started reading Gary Haugen's book and have really enjoyed and been challenged by what I have read thus far. Here are a couple appetizers:
- Just as children need to develop object permanence, Haugen writes that we Christian's must develop compassion permanence -- not just being moved by compassion when directly confronted with such a situation, but having genuine lasting compassion even apart from direct stimulus.

"the extent to which our compassion extends beyond our immediate circle is the extent to which we are loving more like God and less like our carnal selves."

- "unless seeking justice is a category of endeavor that is completely different from every other activity on earth that is important to God, the answer to the how question has something to do with what God's people do or don't do."

- "over time I have come to see questions about suffering in the world not so much as questions of God's character but as questions about the obedience and faith of God's people."

- "Jesus (the Creator of all things seen and unseen) no more needed those five loaves and two fish than my wife and I need our three-year-old's 'help' in baking cinnamon rolls for visitors. But what a wonderful life-changing day for that boy to be part of Jesus' miracle. How fun for the disciples to go among the grateful, joyful multitudes -- to be the hands dispensing Christ's supernatural power and love. How ridiculous, on the other hand, that they should imagine that the vast piles of bread and fish should be given to them for any reason other than to feed those who were in need."

Haugen imagines a take on the feeding of the 5000 where the disciples just kept the bread and fish for themselves saying 'Thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you for providing me food and for having my situation not be like those who are hungry and have nothing to eat' while all the while the disciples were complaining and wondering why God wasn't helping out the hungry multitude.

As such, we can say, "Thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you for all the power, protection, freedom and justice you have granted us in sparing us from such fates." OR we can add, "what have you given me Father, that I might help those who don't have power, protection, who don't have freedom or justice?"

The International Justice Mission website is also worth checking out. Here is the link.


It is finished

School and work both finished today. Now it is all summer from here on out. As of now the plan is to let Lesley get a job and me to have just a refreshing summer. Beach trips, camping trips, landscaping, and a Christmas party are all on the schedule. The blogging should be back to a vigorous pace now that my grading and final papers are all finished up. The summer should also include a good deal of reading. If some of you wanted to join along it would be a lot of fun. I am open to some suggestions, but three things I want to get to right away are this paper on original sin, this book by Gary Haugen (president of international Justice Mission), and this book by C.S. Lewis (thanks Katie). After that I'm looking at getting into the Oxford University Press series of the interdisciplinary symposium of various topics of Christian theology. It looks like a great series. I already have The Trinity, The Incarnation, and The Resurrection, and am waiting for my copy of The Redemption to come in the mail. Any are welcome to join me on these journeys. Let me know if you are interested. Otherwise I'm sure to post things about the readings on the blog, so stay tuned.

Also, two new grilling capabilities have emerged:

8. Grilled Swordfish (in Italian dressing marinade)

8. Corn on the Cob (extra butter/salt/pepper)

(I figured I should continue the tradition of numbering everything after 7, 8.)


Fridays Quotables (bumper sticker edition)

'Fat people are harder to kidnap.'

'Never believe generalizations.'

'Dyslexics are teople poo.'

'Squirrels, natures little speedbumps.'

'I have the body of a god. Buddha.'

Additions welcome as always.


Signs of Growth

Before: 10/13/05 After: 05/04/06

Snuffed Out

Just days before I am set to become unemployed the Flames go ahead and get knocked out of the playoffs by team Disney! It is bad enough that living in the EST the Western Conference games go until 1am or later and that the only games I can watch on T.V. are between Eastern Conference teams that I have no desire to see play, but now this. At least now I can use my time to catch up on things that I have been getting behind on, like flossing.
With regard to Lord Stanley's Cup, I am now officially moving my allegiance to the New Jersey Devils. I have always liked the Devils in the past, but with their new found offensive style they are a lot of fun to watch when the networks get it right and put one of their games on. Sorry Brian, I just can't go for the Sabres even though they are so close by. Too many Hasek memories.


Friday's Quotables (The Irresistible Revolution Edition)

'the best thing to do with the best things in life is to give them away.'

'we have got to unite ourselves as one body. Because Jesus is coming back, and he is coming back for a bride, not a harem.'

'most of the time when I see Christian superstars like Jerry Falwell or Al Sharpton, I feel like I'm watching professional wrestling. There's a lot of shouting and sweating, but the people seem to superhuman, and I'm not convinced all the moves are real.'

'God made us in his image, and we decided to return the favor.'

'live simply that others may simply live.'


Taylor Tragedy

You can read the story here from MSNBC or here from Taylor's site.


For the Kids

A challenge from Sports Illustrated??
"That $20 you just spent on lunch could help wipe out malaria. But it's your call . . ."

Check it out and be motivated here (from a man who is usually just annoying), and then go here.
I've already had a post entitled 'Cutting Down the Nets', so I'm in.

And thanks to several of you for passing along this site:
I would enjoy hearing from those of you who are able to get involved.


One Among Many

"Mr. Matheson,

I won't be able to come to class today. I currently have a migraine, and don't want to risk becoming physically sick by getting out of bed.

I apologize for missing class today."



The Life of Brian

Brian asked me if I knew of any good classic or definitive books on the history of Canada or the U.S.
My knowledge here is extremely lacking, but if any of you have anything to pass on please leave it in the comments.


Friday's Quotables (Simpsons Edition)

Homer: "Start inhalin' Waylon."

Ralph: "When I grow up I want to be a principle, or a catepillar."

Homer: "Silly rabbit, kicks are for ribs."

Homer: "Purple's a fruit."

Lenny: "So then I said to the cop, 'No, you're driving under the influence . . . of being a jerk.'"

Ralph: "Me fail English? That's unpossible."

Homer: "Vampires are make-believe, like elves, gremlins, and Eskimos."

Wiggum: "I hope this taught you kids a lesson: kids never learn."

As always, I anticipate additions, but I have learned not to hold my breath.

Easter Karis

Office Hours

The posts have been sparse lately since students keep coming in to my office hours. How am I supposed to get any blogging done? More soon.

Until then you can brush up on the rules of re-gifting. Especially you Danny!


Friday's Quotables

In honor of National Humor Month these supposed quotes from the courtroom:

Q: "What is your marital status?"
A: "Fair."

Q: "Do you drink when you are on duty?"
A: "I don't drink on duty unless I come to work drunk."

Q: "Are you sexually active?"
A: "No, I just lie there."

Q: "How many autopsies have you performed on dead people?"
A: "All of my autopsies have been on dead people."

Q: "How many times have you committed suicide?"

Q: "How was your first marriage terminated?"
A: "By death."
Q: "And by whose death was it terminated?"

Q: "All of your responses must be oral, O.K.? What school did you go to?"
A: "Oral."

Q: "What is your date of birth?"
A: "July 15."
Q: "What year?"
A: "Every year."


Complacent Slumbers

Kant said of Hume that he awoke him from his dogmatic slumbers.
Thanks to Katie I have recently been undergoing a similar awakening with regard to my Christian convictions. Earlier in the blog Katie recommended Shane Claiborne's book 'The Irresistible Revolution' which Lesley and I have been fighting over at every chance we get to read it.

It is provocative, challenging, and you cannot walk away the same after reading it. He writes on everything from his time with Mother Teresa and at Willow Creek to the war in Iraq, the death penalty, and poverty.

It is particularly challenging to me since Shane urges us not to leave Christianity at a set of beliefs (even though these beliefs are so fun to think about). The challenge can be presented this way: If you surveyed others as to what Christians believe, all in all you would get a fairly decent report. If you surveyed others as to what Christians do, the answers would not be anything like what Jesus would want to hear. This is not good. We have come a long way from 'they will know we are Christians by our love'. Shane's goal is to put a radical face back onto Christianity. If you think that Christianity has been getting too comfortable, this is for you.


Cohen's Paradox

Help me out by letting me know your intuitions regarding the following case.
When is the following sentence truthfully uttered and when is it not:

Joe is on the witness stand at a trial and utters the following:

U: "I state that I have never been a member of the communist party."

Now when is what he says true? Here are some options:
(i) U is true in virtue of Joe saying it.
EVIDENCE: Since U is about what is stated, and Joe is stating what he is reporting himself to be stating, U is true. Compare if Joe said, "Mary states that I have never been a member of the communist party." Joe would be speaking truthfully regarding Mary solely based upon the things that Mary states -- it would have nothing to do with Joe's actual membership of the communist party. Since the sentence about Mary has a similar structure to U, U should be treated in the same way, thus it is true if and only if Joe states it. Since Joe does state it, U is true.

(ii) U is true in virtue of whether or not Joe has ever been a member of the communist party. If he has, then U is false, if he has not, then U is true.
EVIDENCE: The judge would not be happy if he later found out that Joe was merely reporting what he states, not anything about his political memberships. Joe would likely be convicted of perjury if he had been a member of the communist party.

(iii) U is true if and only if Joe states it and he has never been a member of the communist party.
EVIDENCE: Conjoin the evidence for (i) and (ii), both are good, but neither is sufficient.

(iv) U is true if and only if some other reason.
EVIDENCE: You tell me.


Friday's Quotables

"The constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself." -- Benjamin Franklin

"There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers." -- William James

"Two kinds of people: the just, who consider themselves sinners, and the sinners, who consider themselves just." -- Blaise Pascal

"If ignorance is bliss, why aren't there more happy people?" -- anonymous

"Two things a man cannot hide: that he is drunk, and that he is in love." -- Antiphanes

"Only the shallow know themselves." -- Oscar Wilde

"Too often we . . . enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -- J.F.K.


Big Baby Beautiful

Karis is fresh off her 6 month doctors appointment.

Here are the specs:
Height: 27 inches [90th percentile]
Weight: 15 pounds 5.5 ounces [45th percentile]
Head Circumference: 44.25 centimeters [90th percentile]

Here are some pictures of her 6 month celebration (04/05/06)

Packer and Packers

Read about how Billy Packer stands by his claim that George Mason should not have made the NCAA tournamet and how Brett Favre won't come back unless Green Bay can be competitive at the quarterback position here.


The Problem of Evil Remixed

Thought to ponder:
The following is a recounting of a comic strip in The Irresistible Revolution:

'Two guys are talking to each other and one of them says he has a question for God. He wants to ask why God allows all of this poverty and war and suffering to exist in the world. And his friend says, "Well, why don't you ask?" The fellow shakes his head and says that he is scared. When his friend asks why, he mutters, "I'm scared God will aks me the same question."'

Cutting Down the Nets

Congratulations to Rob who takes home the March Madness crown this year narrowly holding off Lesley's late surge. She is attempting to take solace in the Gamecocks back-to-back NIT championships. Cliff gets the consolation prize of most games correctly picked. One does have to wonder what to make of doing well in this year that defied logic merits. I'll leave that to you.

One final basketball comment/question: Does anyone else find it extremely annoying when announcers/coaches use the term 'bigs' as in 'Florida's bigs can really get down the court.' I have never heard that expression as much as this year, and have never noticed it bothering me before, but now I can't imagine any more annoying slang term in sports.


More Rock Star Stuff

I just received my latest journal from Word Made Flesh. It was full of moving articles on brokenness. What a strange but essential Christian virtue.
The journal concluded with an excerpt of Bono's speech at the (US) National Prayer Breakfast this last February. An excerpt of the excerpt:

"'Stop asking God to bless what you're doing. Get involved with what God is doing -- because it's already blessed.' Well, God, as I said, is with the poor. That, I believe is what God is doing. And that is what He is calling us to do."

The whole speech is available here and is worth looking at.


Friday's Quotables (Saturday 'Apology' edition)

Sorry on the delay. I guess I'm using 'apology' equivocally. I recently taught on Plato's Apology, here are some gems from there:

"human wisdom is worth little or nothing."

"to fear death, gentlemen, is no other than to think oneself wise when one is not."

"wealth does not bring about excellence, but excellence makes wealth and everything else good for men, both individually and collectively."

"death is something I couldn't care less about, but that my whole concern is not to do anything unjust or impious."

"the unexamined life is not worth living for men."

"it is not difficult to avoid death, gentlemen; it is much more difficult to avoid wickedness, for it runs faster than death."


Grill On

As the weather gets nicer here in upstate New York, the grill has returned to the deck.
I got this bad boy last summer and just returned from Lowe's with two filled propane tanks. Anyone is welcome to come on by and have their choice of the following (hopefully the list will grow as summer and my experience grows):

1. The Mother Burger
2. Mrs. Dash-Center Burger (by request only)
3. Grilled Chicken
4. BBQ Grilled Chicken
5. Grilled Salmon
6. Steak (now offered cooked to order)
7. Hot Dogs, Franks, Brats, or Smoked Sausage
8. Grilled Shrimp
8. BRAND NEW ITEM: Mixed Grill [pick three: salmon, shrimp, sausage, steak, chicken]

Live (the band), Plantinga, and Properly Basic Beliefs

Listening to Live today it struck me again how similar one of their song's lyrics is to Alvin Plantinga's proper functioning epistemology. This is true particularly of how Plantinga sees belief in God. For Plantinga one's belief in God is properly basic which means that one does not need any evidence to justifiably hold that belief (or hold that belief with warrant as he would prefer). Since we have the sensus divinitatis in us, certain circumstances (ie. seeing a sunset) give us an input such that when we are properly functioning we rationally output theistic beliefs, like a belief in God's existence.

Compare with Live's lyrics in their song 'Heaven':

"I don't need no one to tell me about Heaven, I look at my daughter, and I believe. I don't need no proof when it comes to God and truth, I can see the sunset and I perceive."

Seems to me like a secular rock band has been reading some philosophy of religion!


Good or Lucky?

I find issues of luck in philosophy particularly interesting. There are cases of moral luck, epistemic luck, and even religious luck (see descriptions in comments). I feel strongly that luck eliminates the lucky person from deserving praise or blame, though many do not. As such, I think that this guy only deserves at most 3/4 credit for correctly picking the Final Four (his bracket).

Better to be good then lucky, though when it comes to March Madness I am sadly neither.


Perfect Love (and the Moulin Rouge)

God is love.
We are called to love.
Love is essential to the Christian life.
So what is love? I *love* the picture of love in I Jn. 4:16-21.
The end of this passage is fairly familiar, but I think that v. 18 gives a great picture of love.

"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear"

The context has to do with punishment, but I think it applies as a general account of love.
This perfect love then: (i) does not fear what others will think (ie. whether it is seen as appropriate or not/whether it falls in line with cultural or social conventions etc.), and (ii) does not fear not being loved in return or having one's love abused (it is not consequential in nature).

It is completely other-directed.

In sum, it is a love that continues or endures 'come what may'.

Fear, or worry, is a perennial problem. A new way to look at fear is seeing it as the result of an incomplete or imperfect love.


Friday's Quotables

This will be a new weekly post.
Here are a few from me that I saved up from college, but I would love to hear some from you:
(and save some through the week for next Friday)

'Faith is believing what you cannot see. The reward for faith is seeing what you believe.' - St. Augustine

'Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.' - Epicurus

'If something's not there you won't notice it.' - A.C. Robbins

'Your best servants are those who look not so much to hear from you what they want to hear, but rather to want what they hear from you.' - St. Augustine

'Every saint has a past and every sinner a future.' - Oscar Wilde

'It is part of the cure to want to be cured.' - Seneca

'Essentially, faith is believing through deliverance or sustaining that God is greater than all that life can give or that death can take away.' - John Piper

'Life is a process of becoming.' - John Feinberg

'To really destroy a thing you need to replace it.' - Napoleon III

'There is enough time every day to fully do God's will for your life.' - Todd Harbegger



What does it mean to tell a lie?
It was recently brought to my attention how mixed our intuitions are here.

Here are five possibilities:
1. To utter something that is false.
2. To utter something that the speaker believes is false (but it is true).
3. To utter something that conversationally implicates something that is false.
4. To utter something that conversationally implicates something that the speaker believes is false (but it is not).
5. To utter something that the speaker believes will conversationally implicate something that is false (but it does not).

The parenthetical remarks are to clarify and distinguish the five possibilities.

To explicate what I mean by 'conversationally implicates' I will give an example from my childhood. My parents would often ask me if I had washed my hands or brushed my teeth. Often, I would answer, 'Yes, I brushed my teeth.' knowing that this would implicate that I had done so on the day in question -- though I explicitly uttered no such thing.

So where are your intuitions? I have a strong intuition to accepting (1), but it is difficult to accuse some one who accidentally utters a falsehood as a liar. I think that this can be accounted for by appealing to something like secondary norms: that speaker is to be praised in a sense since she was trying to follow the relevant norm of not lying. Perhaps this secondary sense of following a norm is even more important than actually complying with the primary norm -- actually not telling a lie.


'March Madness'

Where did the term 'March Madness' originate? The origin of the phrase can be found here along with other tournament related phrases.

I think there are more important questions such as:
1. Who is scarrier Pittsnogle or Morrison?
2. Which is the better sports term 'spurtability' for basketball or 'trickeration' for football?
3. Are there more teams called 'Wildcats' or 'Huskies'?

My thoughts in the comments.



I have recently been forced to carefully evaluate my position on hell.
This analysis has left me with the continued belief in the thesis known as 'annihilationism' or 'conditional unorthodoxy' (that those in hell do not have an eternal conscious existence). This is not the traditional view (eternal conscious punishment), but it does appear to be a view gaining in strength within the evangelical community. I think this view is supported on several bases (both scriptural and philosophical).
1. Talk of the wicked dying [Rom. 6:23; Jn. 3:16; Rev. 20:14; . . .] or being destroyed [Mt. 7:13; Gal. 6:8; 2 Th. 1:9; . . .].
2. Talk of the righteous gaining eternal life [Jn. 3:15; Jn. 3:36; Jn. 5:24; Jn. 20:31; Rom. 6:23; . . ].
3. The justice of God: How can finite sins be justly punished with an infinite punishment?
4. 'Cosmological Dualism': God's justice is never fully satisfied on the traditional view since there is always those that are still paying their penalty -- there are always those that are rebelling against God. This doesn't seem to square with our picture of what things will be like then.

So why is the traditional view the traditional view? Some have suggested that it is due to the Hellenistic philosophical influence on the early church. With the idea that people are unconitionally immortal (Greek philosophy), the traditional view follows. Yet this is a philosophical thesis open to debate. Scripture does speak of the fires of hell being eternal, and if this is coupled with the thesis that people are immortal the traditional view follows. There is, however, good reason to doubt the thesis that people are unconditionally immortal. As such, the annihilationist thesis seems to me to be a scripturally tenable thesis. It certainly offers a less problematic outlook on hell with regard to the problem of evil. As of now anyway, this seems to me to be the best understanding of the matter.


New Pictures

New pictures are up here.

The password is 'Karis' and
it is case-sensitive.


Intelligent Design

Here is a commentary by Alvin Plantinga about the ruling that Intelligent Design is not science.


Counterexample Revisited

Here are my thoughts thus far on the example I posted a few days back.

Let's say that our intuitions are strong that we are to save the 2 year old child.
I think that a case can be made that there is a greater qualitative value to conscious life (defined appropriately to include sleeping individuals and such) over 'bare' human life.
The example could shift so as to have enough organisms at the early stages of life to outweigh the consciousness advantage of the 2 year old, but in such a scenario it is no longer clear that our intuitions are as clear cut.

Does this mean that one ought to save a 2 year old child instead of 5 coma patients? It depends on how we describe the coma patients and how we describe the early stage organisms. I think the issue hinges on how likely conscious life is to result from either set of organisms (perhaps this is part of our intuitions in the original case since few very early stage organisms actually make it to conscious life). If we stipulate that more than one of the organisms in either group is guaranteed to make it to consciousness, then we should save the group (once again the group could be inflated to make this guarentee, but then I think the intuition to save the child would dramatically weaken if not disappear).

Another alternative is to make the difference between the child and the early stage organisms a difference in kind not degree. This approach fits the idea that those organisms have (only) the potential for human life. This approach might be better, but it is at least more complicated.

An argument against this kind of view can be found here. I am not yet sure of its merits.

A good positive argument that I found is here.

Got Madness?

Let the madness begin. And the trash talking too of course.
As of now my bracket is no better than Karis', who picked her teams by laughs and cries.
It's a little disconcerting.
Grrrrr Seton Hall!
Yeah UWM!


State Maps

Here is a map of all the states that Lesley has been to.

Here is a map of all the states that Karis has been to (including airports) and including her upcoming trip to PA to cheer on Trina and her Lady Lions!

Here is a map of the states that I can remember visiting, but I am anxious to hear about the one's that I've forgotten.

You can complete your own state map or world map at this site.

A Counterexample to the Pro-life Position?

The other day I read this thought provoking intuition pump that was taken by the presenter to be a counterexample to any pro-life position (actually it was posed as a problem for the anti-choice position):

Whenever you say that human life begins or whenever you have a morally relevant being (where a morally relevant being is a being that ought to be protected and preserved -- perhaps for some potential that it has), imagine that you have 5 organisms that are at that stage. There is a fire in a building and you can save either the 5 organisms that are at that stage or a 2-year old child, but not both. (the target of this example was those who believe that human life begins at conception)

The idea is that the obvious answer is that you should save the 2-year old child. However, if the pro-life advocate says this, it is supposed to undermine her pro-life position. The earlier that one believes that human life or moral relevancy begins the more pull the story seems to have.

First, I think that the example can be made stronger. One seemingly good reason to choose the 2-year old in this situation is that she has perceptions and feelings which would make her death in the flames a tortuous event which would not be shared by the 5 organisms. Perhaps some case (perhaps a utilitarian one) can be made where this would give the pro-life advocate an advantage. So let us instead suppose that the death that awaits either of the groups is a quick and painless death.

I think that sets everything up in the broadest way that is most to the point.
This case is interesting and worth investigation. In the end I don't think that it succeeds.
I'll post some reasons later in the comments, but I would like to hear some input from others.


Grade Change Form

I know that a lot of you are teaching, TA-ing, or tutoring. Having just returned the midterm for my Logic class, I am already being hounded about the grades students received. It made me think of this universal grade change form, so I thought that I would pass it along.



In the second chapter of The Cement of the Universe, J.L. Mackie tries to unpack our concept of causation. His claim is that statements about causation are statements about necessity. The only kind of sufficiency that Mackie finds in causation is a weak sufficiency, ‘given the circumstances if x occurs, so will y.’ What he denies is that in calling something a cause we require anything about strong sufficiency, ‘given the circumstances, if y had not been going to occur, x would not have occurred.’ The idea is that strong sufficiency generally holds of causation, but it is not required for recognition of causation.

He uses the following intuition pump to try and persuade his readers. We are to imagine an indeterministic slot machine which may or may not give out a chocolate bar upon a coin being inserted. Whether or not the chocolate bar appears is entirely a matter of chance once the coin is inserted. In normal circumstances it is necessary to put a coin into the machine to get a chocolate, but it is not sufficient.

Imagine that you put in coin and receive a chocolate – lucky you. Mackie believes that in such a case we are inclined to say that inserting the coin caused the chocolate to appear. In this case, inserting the coin was weakly sufficient for receiving the chocolate, but it was not strongly sufficient: in the circumstances, if you did not receive a chocolate it would not mean that you had not inserted a coin.

I am totally not convinced that we would call the insertion of a coin a cause of receiving the chocolate in such a case. Does anyone else share my sentiments?


Cereal Time Part 2

Justice and Grace

This is a follow up to the Christian Service post a few days back.
I am trying to get a handle on what the relationship between justice and grace is supposed to be for the Christian. We are called to both love justice and be full of grace, yet grace overrides justice in some sense. We might think that we ought to always pursue grace, but this does not seem right. It seems at least that when we are looking out for others we ought to seek justice for them. We are to seek justice for the widow and orphan. Are we to seek grace instead for their oppressor? Perhaps this is the best approach -- the others-centered default approach:
To seek justice for others, but not for oneself; and to seek grace for one's oppressors but not for the oppressors of others. (perhaps there is some parallel with forgiveness here)
I don't know. This is tough. I would appreciate thoughts.



Here are some philosophy blogs that I enjoy:

Certain Doubts -- a blog about epistemology
The Prosblogion -- a blog about philosophy of religion
PEA Soup -- a blog about ethics
The Garden of Forking Paths -- a blog about agency

Dogs and Desires

In discussing the merits of moral expressivism the following example came up. I was maintaining that desires are inherently evaluative in that they represent something as something that should be the case. Put differently, what it means to desire/want something is to think that it should be the case -- If S desires that x, then S believes that it would be better if x were true than not. If this is so, then the expressivist cannot appeal to desires.
My claim is that the only thing that trumps our desire for x (belief that x being true would be better than not) is a higher-order desire for y (belief that y being true would be better than not and better than x being true and y and x cannot both be true).
A collegue presented the idea that his dog has desires (to go outside, for a treat) but that he (the dog) lacks the capacity to think that if the world realized those desires it would be better than if it did not.
I don't think so. I think that once we grant desires we've granted the capacity to think of something as better. I'm not sure whether the dog has both though or neither, but I'm leaning toward both.

Cereal Time


Shout Out

Thanks to him for showing me how to do that.
No more long links on this blog!


Bush, Leinhart, or Young?

With olympic hockey over its time to start thinking about the upcoming NFL season. If I were the Texans (and all things considered I'm glad I'm not) I don't know what I'd do with the first pick of the draft. Bush seems to be the most sure bet, but he's also a running back. This is detrimental since it means that his contributing years will likely be significantly less than a QB, and the position is also more vulnerable to injury. However, Leinhart and Young are both QB's which is scarry since a good transition to the pro's is less likely than with a RB (Ryan Leaf anyone?). Both positions require a good O-line, but I think that the QB position does less than the RB position (though David Carr will likely disagree). I think with everything on the line I would take the guarentee though it may bring with it a shorter term payoff.

Those Fat Cats in Washington

Well apparently all the fat cats are not in Washington.

Sydney is 3 and 1/2 years old and been on weight control food for 2+ years, but you could never tell.

Scarry factoid: our stairs squeak when she ascends or descends on them. We have squeaky
stairs, but she's a cat!


Bathtime Fun

Here is a recent picture of Karis. As you can see
she thoroughly enjoys her bathtime.

P.E. Bribery

So apparently a middle school gym teacher in Florida was accepting bribes from his students to skip class. The cost was a mere $1 a day, but they speculate the teacher brought in thousands of dollars.


Is Jesus a Christian?

This follows from a discussion a little while ago over at The Prosblogion (a philosophy of religion blog)
The short of it: I don't think so, and I don't think that is problematic. I'm not even sure it's that awkward to say.

Christian Service

Our church is focusing on service for the next 4 weeks, and it has already been challenging.
This last week we were studying the story of Jesus washing the disciples feet. Two key parts jump out of that story to me that characterize ultimate service:

1) The act was not deserved by the recipient of it/ it was an act of grace
2) The act was not petitioned for by the recipient/ the servant acted on his own prompting

These two features are extemely challenging to me, since I often ignore or refuse service opportunities for one of those reasons. It is easy to claim the cause of justice in such situations and view something either as deserved by me or not deserved as much by someone else [ie. I was closer to the open parking space]. It is also easy to sit back and wait for someone else to initiate [ie. no one asked me to help out], yet this is not our call.

Ethical Naturalism

Ethical naturalism is the metaethical theory that all moral properties (morally right, morally wrong, morally good/bad, etc) are identical to natural properties (physical properties). In other words, every moral property could be discovered by a scientific analysis of physical properties. It is obvious that moral properties could be realized in different ways in different possible worlds. For instance, what moral goodness looks like in some possible world W could be different than here, at least in the physical make-up. Imagine that the agents on
W are made of completely different stuff, perhaps they are silicone based beings instead. If they have moral properties, then those moral properties would be realized by different physical properties than they are here in the actual world. The ethical naturalist gets around this by positing a disjunctive natural property as that which is identical to a moral property. So, moral goodness for instance is [either N1 or, N2 or, N3 or, . . . . or, Nm] where the N's are natural properties. Moral properties are still identical with natural properties, the natural properties are just quite complex. However, the ethical naturalist must also say that there is no possible worlds where moral properties are realized by non-physical/non-natural properties. This means that there would be no possible world where God exists (where God has at least one morally good property), Descartes' evil demon genious exists (since it has some morally bad properties), or a world where substance dualism or idealism is true and there are moral properties had by such beings. Now these theses are not very philosophically popular, but it is quite another matter to claim to have utterly refuted them and show that there is no possible world where they are true, yet this seems to be the burden of the ethical naturalist.
This post is cross-posted at Moral Realism http://moralrealism.blogspot.com/ if you want to follow discussion there.


Non-Referring Names (and definite descriptions too)

My philosophy of language class has been a trip thus far.
We are just starting to get to discovering the meaning of the word 'the'.
I wanted to see what people thought of the following sentences (whether they are true, false, or neither)
1) The King of France is bald.
2) I had lunch with the King of France.
3) The King of France does not exist.
4) Santa has a beard.
5) Santa exists.

Too funny not to post

I was warming up my logic class with a trivia question before a quiz the following happened:
I asked them which two states had names which contained the entire state name of a different state.

The answer took a while, but eventually Arkansas and West Virginia came out.

At that point a girl in my class boldly proclaimed, "West Virginia is not a state!"
Immediately all eyes came upon her and she quickly started to lose her confidence that West Virginia was really a city. She didn't leave class convinced in the statehood of West Virginia, but hopefully she will figure it out someday soon.

D'oh Canada

I am so depressed over the early exit by team Canada from the men's hockey tournament. How does an all-star team get shut-out in three games, one of which was against the Swiss! The *only* consolation in that loss was that both Swiss goals were scored by a Canadian and they have a Canadian coach, but that is not much consolation. I guess the lack of the lucky loonie was a big factor.
A couple other Olympic notes:
1) Who decided it would be a good idea to put the USA snowboarders in pinstripes? I just don't see pinstripes making it in snowboarding culture.
2) What is with the need of NBC to use constant sport analogies in their olympic coverage? Snowboard cross is 'the nascar of the winter olympics', waiting at the top of the hill is like 'icing the kicker', skating warm-ups are like 'a basketball shoot-around'. Are these analogies really helpful? I certainly hope that they are not necessary.
3) Which feud was funnier: the Italian ice dancers or the American speed skaters? I say the Italian ice dancers. That girl had a glare like I haven't seen since . . . .


first post

I feel like my first post should say something profound.
Oh well.