Floyd Mayweather is going to give Conor McGregor the girlfriend experience

And by “girlfriend experience,” I don’t mean the prostitution/sugar daddy thing. I mean the kind of experience that Floyd Mayweather routinely lays on the women in his life.

My initial reaction to the talk of a Floyd Mayweather/Conor McGregor match was bafflement: what the fuck are McGregor and Dana White thinking? He’s going to get beaten senseless.

If it’s a pure boxing match, anyway. (I didn’t know the details yet, so I had to speculate.) But White and McGregor wouldn’t do that. These are savvy people interested in protecting their best interests, right?

So it couldn’t be a boxing match. No way Mayweather is dumb enough to agree to MMA rules. And I couldn’t really imagine how you’d craft a hybrid that would level the field. Continue reading

American dreaming

The weary king of a used garment nation…

An older gentleman dozing in his van while a summer breeze animates an American flag and the late morning sun illuminates the multitude of second-hand clothing he had for sale at the Alemany Flea Market in San Francisco…

(Alemany Flea Market, San Francisco, California 2017. See my other work here and here.)

Tokyo laundromatters

“I’m down at the laundromat trying to get my washing done.” –The Pretenders

Part of my S&R Tokyo Series

When I travel to Tokyo I stay in an apartment building in Nakano 5-chome. There’s a small laundromat a five minute walk away that’s not only convenient for quickly doing several loads of wash, but is also on occasion a great place to photograph people. Behold…

He seemed like a college student to me, but my Japanese is bad so I didn’t ask…

Continue reading

Gannett adopts the blue dot, emblematic of market-driven thinking, at its newspapers

Oh, my. Look at the dot. It’s blue. It’s representative of “one unified network,” says the chief marketing officer of Gannett, owner of the USA Today Network.

screen-shot-2017-07-13-at-4-36-08-pmThe blue dot — and accompanying typographic changes to logos — has begun to appear in the online identities of nine USA Today Network outlets. The remaining 110 news outlets will make the changes in the next several months, says Andy Yost, Gannett’s marketing chief. Even print edition front-page flags will receive typographic makeovers.

It’s just a damned blue dot. But it’s symbolic of ownership-driven “branding” that eliminates distinctive local audience and market identities among its member newspapers. All 110 USA Today Network newspaper logos will have that little blue dot and similar topography.

Inoffensive nationwide blandness has been Gannett’s modus operandi for decades. USA Today was created to be a national constant no matter where a reader consumed it. Hence its nickname — McPaper. A Big Mac tastes the same, no matter whether you eat it in Portland, Maine, or Portland, Oregon. USA Today, dropped before 6 a.m. at the door of your motel room, looks the same in Greenfield, California, as it does in Greenfield, Massachusetts. That kind of thinking pervades Gannett’s newspapers, because, as the logo says, they’re “part of the USA Today Network.”

Continue reading

Climate Science for Everyone: correlation and causation (updated)

Correlation does not prove causation, but lack of correlation doesn’t disprove causation either.

IPCC AR5 WG1 Decadal variation in global temperature (IPCC)

To read other articles in this series, click here.

UPDATE: After some feedback, I’ve added a bunch of graphs to the number lists below to help clarify.

What does it mean when someone says “correlation does not prove causation?” It’s a common phrase uttered by individuals who deny that climate change is happening, that it is dominated by the industrial emissions of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide (CO2), and that the changes will be disruptive to both ecosystems and human society (aka industrial climate disruption, global warming, or climate change). In order to understand why these deniers of industrial climate disruption are wrong, we first have to understand what they’re talking about when they’re talking about correlation, causation, and the relationships between the two.

What is correlation?

Correlation is a measurement of how related two different sets of numbers are to each other. Continue reading

I’m suffering from DTSD (Donald Trump Stress Disorder); you may be, too

I fear I’m caught in a vicious cycle. I have to find a way out.

It’s been tough of late.

Earlier, I posted this to some of those close to me.

I want to ask my friends, people who are around me and who maybe see me online, a question. First some backstory.

It has been hard, throughout my whole life, to make friends. If I don’t bother trying to be nice people think I’m an asshole. If I do try and be nice they sometimes think I’m an asshole anyway. In most cases I honestly don’t care what people think. But there are times when I feel like I hit these periods where it overcomes me and the negative responses just bleed into everything. Continue reading

Back in the USSR: because everything old becomes new again, right…?

“Back in the USSR,” once the target of self-righteous conservative anger, has come back to mock conservatives nearly 50 years later.

“It’s tongue in cheek…. I remember trying to sing it in my Jerry Lee Lewis voice, to get my mind set on a particular feeling. We added Beach Boys style harmonies.” – Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney White Album period (image courtesy The Beatles Bible)

The song that opens The Beatles, “Back in the USSR,” is a Paul McCartney tour de force. Written, as were many of the songs on what commonly known as “The White Album,” in Rishikesh, India, while the Beatles were learning transcendental meditation with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, “Back in the USSR” resonated when released in 1968 and is enjoying a deliciously ironic renaissance in 2017.

Recorded while Ringo was on his famous “holiday” (he’d quit the band briefly in frustration and gone on holiday to Sardinia where he got the song idea that became “Octopus’s Garden”), McCartney played drums, both anticipating his “played all the instruments” solo debut, McCartney, and reflecting his guilt in having caused the fight that made Ringo quit by criticizing his drumming.

McCartney wanted the song to be a takeoff on Chuck Berry’s “Back in the USA” and enjoyed the irony of a Russian, likely a KGB operative, on his way back to Mother Russia. Besides the Beach Boys section, McCartney also slips a reference to Hoagy Carmichael’s classic “Georgia on my Mind”into the song. Continue reading