The greatest scandal in NFL history—or at least the greatest involving the air pressure measurement of footballs—came to a head this week when the NFL upheld its four-game suspension of the New England Patriots' superstar quarterback, Tom Brady. It is alleged that Brady was involved or aware of efforts to deflate footballs in order to gain a competitive advantage in the AFC championship game in January.Brady's denial and refusal to cooperate with investigators have caused the sudden besmirching of his once picture-perfect image, and they have led many people to speculate that he, or the Patriots organization, have been deflating balls for a while.But Brady hasn't budged, and in the surreal landscape of a sports controversy, his various statements have resulted in some memorable moments. Here are, in Brady's own words, the myriad excuses for why he could not have been involved."Hahaha…I've Heard It All at This Point." The morning after the AFC championship game, … [Read more...] about The Dog Ate My Cellphone: A History of Tom Brady’s Deflategate Explanations
Such a bizarre history
There is continuing controversy about inter-ethnic differences in IQ and why these might exist. One of the most heated areas of debate is what role if any is played by genetic differences between ethnic groups. Richard Lynn (Kanazawa, 2013; Lynn, 1987) proposed that because European and Asian environments feature extremely cold winters the inhabitants of these regions historically faced greater challenges to survival than Africans. He claimed that these survival challenges would have created selection pressures for greater intelligence. Africans on the other hand live in tropical conditions all year round and hence did not need as much intelligence. Lynn (2006) has presented data correlating the intelligence of different ethnic groups with the severity of their winter climates. However, there are some anomalies in his data and the theory itself is based on questionable assumptions. In a recent paper on race differences in penis size, which I have critiqued elsewhere, Lynn (2013) … [Read more...] about Cold Winters and the Evolution of Intelligence
Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images Most weeks, New York Magazine writer-at-large Frank Rich speaks with contributor Alex Carp about the biggest stories in politics and culture. Today, the threat of government shutdown following Trump’s Oval Office meeting with Democratic leaders, the president’s search for a new chief of staff, and thoughts on who should host the Oscars. With funding for some federal agencies set to expire in less than two weeks, President Trump turned his Oval Office meeting with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer into a reality-TV standoff over his border wall. Did their exchange increase or decrease the chance of a shutdown? My profound hope is that Trump makes good on his threat and shuts down the government right before Christmas. He will set his party back even further than he already has, and do so at a time when congressional Republicans are going to be trapped with angry constituents back home during the holiday break. I still can’t get … [Read more...] about Will Trump Follow Through on His Incredibly Dumb Shutdown Threat?
Tim Heidecker and Gregg Turkington’s Adult Swim web series On Cinema At The Cinema falls somewhere on the lighter side of its hosts’ signature brands of comedic provocation. (That is, no Tim And Eric bathtubs full of shit, and Turkington is less intentionally off-putting than in his Neil Hamburger persona.) Instead, it’s a skewering of traditional movie shows, with two unqualified experts placidly giving every film “five bags of popcorn” as they sink deeper into despair and bizarre physical maladies. It’s also very funny, at least if you’re in the mood to cringe your way through eight seasons of Heidecker’s dying children and various horrific physical transformations. Make that nine seasons, actually: Adult Swim has announced that On Cinema is coming back, with the series set to return on its website on March 9. The network hasn’t hinted at what indignities the new season will bring for its hosts, instead promising “expert … [Read more...] about Tim Heidecker and Gregg Turkington’s movie review series returns next month
This piece was originally published by the Brookings Institution. See the interactive version on the Brookings Institution website.The Nuclear Science and Engineering Library at MIT is not a place where most people would go to unwind. It's filled with journals that have articles with titles like "Longitudinal double-spin asymmetry of electrons from heavy flavor decays in polarized p + p collisions at [square root symbol]s = 200 GeV."But nuclear engineering Ph.D. candidates relax in ways all their own. In the winter of 2009, two of those candidates, Leslie Dewan and Mark Massie, were studying for their qualifying exams—a brutal rite of passage—and had a serious need to decompress.To clear their heads after long days and nights of reviewing neutron transport, the mathematics behind thermohydraulics, and other such subjects, they browsed through the crinkled pages of journals from the first days of their industry—the glory days.Reading articles by scientists working in … [Read more...] about Back to the Future: Can Nuclear Energy Save the World?