Wednesday Night Open Thread

A while back, one of my sisters asked me why the quarterback was called the quarterback. I didn’t know what to tell her, but I never let that stop me. But I thought about it for a second — maybe not quite that long — and gave her an explanation. Now, I didn’t go into all the detail about it, but I did get the basics right. And, if you think about it, you can figure it out, too. Give it a shot before you play the video. Betcha get it right.

[The YouTube]

What’s been on your mind? Got something you’d like to share? A topic to discuss? It’s Sunday Night Open Thread.

Who wants to start?

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NPD Poster Child

Democratic socialist and Hispanic Overly Attached Girlfriend knockoff Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently compared her election to landing on the moon.

Makes sense, since, if she had her way, our world would be an airless wasteland devoid of human life and capitalism.

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Ironically, Has a Manlier Voice Than Any Current Straight Male Artist or Josh Groban

[Bohemian Rhapsody Pitch Meeting] (Viewer #235,422)

I infer that I’ll be better off just watching Queen songs on YouTube and skipping the movie. I will do that.

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Link of the Day: Too Kind

[High Praise! to The Babylon Bee]

Associated Press Pays Touching Tribute To George H.W. Bush: ‘He Wasn’t Hitler’

[Think you have a link that’s IMAO-worthy? Send it to If I use your link, you will receive High Praise! (assuming you remember to put your name in the email)]

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Trump Truths: Lying

For fun, President Trump suckers CNN reporters by challenging them to a lying contest, but letting them be the judge. They always declare Trump the winner because he opens with “your boss won’t fire you for implying that I’m an honest man”.

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My Feelings Exactly

[High Praise! to Freedom Is Just Another Word]

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Straight Line of the Day: According to Experts, the One Thing That Will Fix Global Warming Once and for All…

Works like this: I feed you Moon Nukers a straight line, and you hit me with a punch line in the comments.

According to experts, the one thing that will fix global warming once and for all

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The Illustrated Frank J: I Got Your Utopia Right Here


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Random Thoughts: Electronic Parenting and Captain Marvel

The genius of capitalism is it’s the only system that doesn’t rely on anyone’s benevolence—which if you’ve ever dealt with people, you realize we’re only capable of that in sporadic bursts.

“I’ll have a Coke.”
“Is Pepsi okay?”
“Um… sure.”
“Then what would like instead? …Wait what did you say?”
“I said yes on the Pepsi.”
“You asked if Pepsi was okay.”
“It was a rhetorical question.”
“Just bring the Pepsi.”
“We don’t have Pepsi.”

According to basic economics, there has to be a lot of people who prefer Pepsi to Coke. In my near 40 years on Earth, though, I’ve met one. We called him “Pepsi Dave.”

I’m reading this book on Einstein and there could theoretically be an alternate universe in which people are asked “Is Coke okay?” It’s hard to believe. I’ll have to do the math on that.

Scientists know the easiest way to fight climate change is to shoot it with guns but they won’t say that because they’re afraid that might embolden the right.

If I was one of the Sentinelese and you gave me cheeseburgers and an iPad, I would love you forever.

How far away do you have to be before you can get away with staring directly at the sun? Can look directly at it from Mars? What about Europa? Titania? Pluto? Further?
Found someone on Quora saying you’d have to be about ten times as distant as Pluto.

Your supposed to love your neighbor. And everyone you encounter on online is your neighbor.

Nothing like when you and your family come back from a long trip and see the look in your cat’s eyes of pure disappointment that you’re not all in fact dead.

It’s good to read about history to remind yourself we don’t have actual problems.

Every night that it’s not cloudy, my 3yo asks to go out at night to see Mars (it’s been visible for a few months now). I tell her we have robots there.
My son (5) asks how do we make sure the robots don’t turn evil. We can’t. They’re far away on Mars. It’s out of our hands now.

Parents need to teach their kids that if they see a Russia, don’t collude with it.

I keep imagining this Roadrunner type cartoon where an anti-Semite keeps trying to push Israel into the sea but then always ends up in the sea himself.

“I like individual liberty. Which party should I choose?”
“Well, it considers. Which part of individual liberty do you hate most?”
“No, I want more–”
“The two parties are very distinct in which liberties they’re going to destroy first.”
“But I don’t–”
“Make sure to vote!”

If I were running a speech platform, I probably wouldn’t just ban people arbitrarily and then be really opaque about the reasons. But what do I know?
The answer is “a lot.” I’m very very smart.

So here is the device I made to beep at my 5yo son if he’s talking too loudly to his sister at night while we’re trying to watch Supernatural. Why in this space age should I have to do parenting when we have electronics?

It’s a simple program running on an Arduino. The passive buzzer will beep if the SparkFun Sound Detector detects too high a level of sound. The level is determined by adjusting the potentiometer.

For a more advanced project, I’m thinking about using machine learning to detect when my kids are whining so a computer can get on them about that instead of me. Eventually I should write a parenting book with diagrams and code samples.

If I, a scientist or something similar, can make a device to beep at his noisy kid, the shouldn’t you believe scientists on climate change?

So the first night of using it, the volume warning device was a partial success. The problem was it went off too much, beeping at even small clatter. I think the problem is it triggers on one instance of the volume going over the acceptable level.
What I think I’ll do is change the logic so it needs a more sustained loud noise to trigger it. That way it should trigger on loud talking and not just one small noise.
Parenting: It takes ingenuity, iteration, and a small amount of soldering.

I don’t get people saying things like: “How can you like Rage Against the Machine? Aren’t they singing against your politics?”
I’ve never understood the lyrics to a single song in my entire life. It’s all just word noise.

A surprisingly large number of people on the left don’t care about anti-Semitism they can’t blame on the right — which is to say they don’t actually care about anti-Semitism.

To me, a song is just a catchy tune and I don’t care what politics or beliefs it espouses. For instance, I find the concept of a “banana phone” to be morally abhorrent, but I still enjoy Raffi.

I read Walter Isaacson’s biography of Einstein, and really really enjoyed it. Great combination of cool science and history. It was strangely exciting to go back to a world where atoms were still theoretical and people were unearthing how the universe worked.

Always find it bizarre when some political figure that no one had expressed strong opinions on in ages dies and all these people come out of the woodwork to express how they hate him—usually with some vague reference to something they think they read about him from decades ago.

“I can’t sit idly by while people celebrate this awful man. I have integrity!”
I assure you: You don’t have integrity. You don’t even hate the guy. You’re just a partisan idiot.

We’re all partisan idiots some times. Try and let humanity triumph.

Did the Buster Scruggs part of The Ballad of Buster Scruggs remind anyone else of The Three Amigos? My favorite scene from that was when they tried to get the catina to see along with them while everyone was terrified of them.

Watched The Christmas Chronicles with the kids. Seemed a pretty paint-by-numbers kids save Christmas story—except you have Kurt Russell as Santa. Kids enjoyed it.

George H. W. Bush had the most boring presidency during my lifetime—which right now looks pretty good.

So proud. My 5yo son burned me good.
SON: “Got all the trash.”
ME: “I see some trash right in front of me.”
SON: rolls eyes “You mean me. Know who Batman beats?”
ME: “Who?”
SON: points a finger at me “The Joker!”

I think the proudest my dad ever was of me was when I was a teenager and he let slip he went to a think tank once and without missing a beat I replied, “What were you doing there? Were you lost?”

Any time I see someone in my mentions disagree with me, I immediately block. You’re not tricking me this time, Russian bot.

The best revenge is to not be a bitter, angry person.
Okay, maybe it’s not the best revenge, but it’s still good advice. A lot of the best advice has nothing to do with revenge.

Is the supposition that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is even dumber than the average congressman? Because that is an assertion that requires hard evidence.
Just to be clear, the $21 trillion thing is pretty good evidence that Ocasio-Cortez is profoundly stupid.
Though I still don’t know if she’s exceptionally stupid for Congress… especially versus others in safe districts.

I keep accidentally calling Captain Marvel “Ms. Marvel,” but I feel like I should get feminist points for not calling her “Miss Marvel.”

Judging by the trailers, I’m expecting Captain Marvel to be on the Thor 2 tier of Marvel movies — the lowest tier — and nowhere near the Thor 3 tier — the highest tier.

Finally started the dead-man-walking season of Daredevil. Four episodes in, it’s really good. Too bad there’s like no where else for it to go to find a home.

The Captain Marvel trailer was just so “meh” compared to like a Thor: Ragnarok trailer. Alison Brie (who I only know — and like — from a couple appearances on Community) seems uninteresting in it. Overall, trailer makes it look like a blander Guardians of the Galaxy.
I meant Brie Larson — who was in two episodes of Community. I constantly mix up her name with Allison Brie — star of Community.
I’d be much more excited for Captain Marvel if it starred Allison Brie.

Pass us a tax, you’re the tariff man
Pass us a tax tonight
Well, we’re all in the mood for a trade war
And the Chinese are ready to fight

Every time a college student complains that something is offensive, spritz him in the face with a water bottle. Eventually they’ll learn to stop that and graduate with much more mental health.

So is there like an organization that fights for individual rights, but like all of them — even the scary ones or ones lots of people don’t like? And also fight for those rights all the time, not just when it fits certain partisan politics?

Can people on the right only get hired now if they’re rabidly pro-Trump? I’ll give it a shot if the money is good. Explaining how absolutely everything Trump does is smart and good sounds like a fun challenge.

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Needs to Upgrade Its Pandora Subscription

New on the International Space Station: CIMON (Crew Interactive MObile Companion), an interactive AI assistant that can float around the station and help answer astronauts’ questions.

Shockingly, not pre-programmed with “Daisy“.

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