Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Not-Quite-Time-To-Plant Links

This weather is pretty frustrating, but eventually we will be hitting the fields.  Until them, here are some things to read:

What Hurricane Maria Didn’t Wreck: Puerto Rican Baseball – New York Times

In North Carolina, Hog Waste Is Becoming A Streamlined Fuel Source – The Salt

Scientists Want to Replace Pesticides With Bacteria – Bloomberg 

The Megafire Burning in Oklahoma - The Atlantic 

Climate Boundary Shifting East Due to Global Warming – Drovers Magazine (h/t the old boss)

Climate change: A farmer’s call to action - Indiana Prairie Farmer

Why New York City Stopped Building Subways – City Lab

San Francisco’s Big Seismic Gamble – New York Times

The Quest for the Next Billion-Dollar Color – Bloomberg. A much more interesting article on pigments than you would expect. 

Decades-Old Graph Problem Yields to Amateur Mathematician - Quanta

Tensions grow between conservation, commerce in Ohio’s state forests – Columbus Dispatch

The Warrior at the Mall - New York Times (h/t Kaye)

Ryan Zinke’s Great American Fire SaleThe New Yorker.  The only guy in Trump's cabinet who can give Scott Pruitt a run for his money as chief asshole.              

Everyone Wants To Go Home During Extra Innings — Maybe Even The Umps - FiveThirtyEight 

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Traditional Tax Day Links

Here are the latest stories for you:

James Harden Isn't Playing AroundGQ 

As dairy crisis crushes farmers, Wisconsin's rural identity in jeopardy - Dairy farmers have been getting pummeled.  I feel awful for them.

Republican Farm Bill Calls On Many SNAP Recipients To Work Or Go To School - The Salt.  Subsidies for me, but not for thee. 

Texas is making billions from oil and gas drilling, but counties say rural roads are being destroyed - Texas Tribune

Be Good or Be Gone: The Legend of McSorley’s Old Ale House - Modern Drunkard.  I've never been to McSorley's.  I will need to go the next time I'm in New York.

How a Defense of Christianity Revolutionized Brain Science - Nautilus  

Does Tech Need Silicon Valley? - California Sunday Magazine  

Two Decades of War Have Eroded the Morale of America’s Troops – The Atlantic.  This is a must-read.  My position has always been that the best way to honor our troops is to not send them to be maimed or killed in pointless, unwinnable wars.

A Saudi Prince’s Quest to Remake the Middle East - The New Yorker.  The man's PR just isn't good enough to cover for what he's really up to.

Michael Cohen and the End Stage of the Trump Presidency - The New Yorker.  I don't know, almost 46% of the voters in 2016 voted for the obviously crooked businessman, I'm not sure why even more evidence that he's a crook is going to convince them they've been conned. 

Trump’s Company Is Suing Towns Across the Country to Get Breaks on Taxes — “Trump, Inc.” Podcast – ProPublica.  See above for why voters won't change their opinions on this asshole. 

Is It the Spending or the Taxes? Mostly the Spending, But ... – Justin Fox.  In honor of Paul Ryan's (aka Bizarro Robin Hood) retirement from robbing from the poor to give to the rich.

Amid Trade Feud, Recycling Is in Danger of Landing on Trash Pile – Wall Street Journal  

Where Blue-Collar America Is Strongest - FiveThirtyEight.  This map reflects the best farm economy in a generation.  We've seen the peak, and it is going to be worse going forward. 

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Mid-April Midweek Links

I managed to find a few decent stories in the midst of all the crap out there:

The one baseball's been waiting for – ESPN.  This dude is fascinating.

The Team With the Three-Man Rotation – Wall Street Journal

White Sox, Rays play in front of reported crowd of 974 – MSN News.  From one of the biggest baseball-haters I know.

The Wonder Protein That Makes Cheese So Stretchy - The Atlantic 

In the Battle for the American West, the Cowboys Are Losing – Wall Street Journal

Giant genitals were the downfall of some ancient crustaceansNature. Uh oh.

Ocean circulation is changing, and we need to know why - Nature 

Lovely Weather We’re Having … Now Who Will Save Us? - Belt Magazine.  I just came across Belt Magazine, but they have some terrific articles that are right in my wheel house.

More Mississippi bridges added to list; counties get 24 hours to begin closures – Mississippi Today.  The Republican Party wants to make the rest of the country just like Mississippi.

Why the U.S. Targeted This Russian Oligarch – Bloomberg.  I realy think Trump missed his calling as a mobster.

Due Process - Lapham’s Quarterly.  Very interesting.  I personally see the regulatory state as a necessary part of modern life, but find everything else to be dead-on.

Data Visualization and Cholera: An Unexpected Connection - Visual Capitalist

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Early April Weekend Links

Here are a few stories from the last few days:

Playing for Pop - San Antonio Express-News

The Broncos’ Futures program saved football in Denver Public Schools. But an even bigger impact of the feeder teams might still be seen- Denver Post

“The Clock Is Ticking”: Inside the Worst U.S. Maritime Disaster in Decades – Vanity Fair.  I highly recommend this article.

So 2 Goats Were Stuck On A Beam Under A Bridge ... - Goats and Soda

Iowa producers say ethanol limits would be 'war' on rural U.S. - Des Moines Register 

The Great Lakes Are Filling Up With Giant Green Blobs - Mother Jones  

AP sources: EPA chief spent millions on security and travel - Associated Press.  Scott Pruitt is an asshat.

Humankind’s Most Important Material - The Atlantic 

How Congress Used the Post Office to Unite the Nation – Bloomberg 

The Future of America's Economy Looks a Lot Like Elkhart, Indiana - Wall Street Journal.  People are crazy, and this boom will end in tears.

Have we reached peak English in the world? - The Guardian and Brits are in denial about their diminishing importance – Handelsblatt

A Betrayal - ProPublica.  This is an awful mess.

There's no good reason to stop felons from voting - George Will (?!)

How One Man Got Rich Selling Machine Guns – Bloomberg.  Another terrible investment idea.

Monday, April 2, 2018

NCAA Championship Mini-Links

Notre Dame won the women's championship in dramatic fashion last night.  Villanova and Michigan battle for the men's title tonight.  Here are a few more interesting stories for your enjoyment:

How Loyola Chicago's Last Final Four Appearance Changed College Basketball – All Things Considered.  Interesting detail on the 1963 championship team.

Why Catholic Colleges Excel at Basketball – New York Times 

How a Baseball Revolution Happens - Real Clear Life 

Goodbye, Kansas Wheat?Successful Farming.   Farmers may not think humans are to blame for climate change, but it still is going to wreak havoc on agriculture:
He owns land in southwestern Iowa near Glenwood, Red Oak, and Shenandoah where he grows corn and soybeans. The land is considerably more expensive, but he’s confident he can be profitable in Iowa vs. southwestern Kansas.
It’s not just an economics issue, he says. The area has become so arid and water is so scarce that it’s become a battle just to secure enough to grow even irrigated crops. 
A Dangerous Antibiotic-Resistant Gene Has Spread The World. We Now Know Where It Started - Science Alert

How this tiny Iowa town banded together save rural homes - Des Moines Register

 Robert Mercer’s Secret Adventure as a New Mexico Cop – Bloomberg  

“They Could Have Made a Different Decision”: Inside the Strange Odyssey of Hedge-Fund King Eddie Lampert - Vanity Fair  

Mobbed Up - Harper's.  On the US misadventures in Afghanistan.

How Overbuilt Levees Along the Upper Mississippi River Push Floods Onto Others - ProPublica (h/t my sister) 

Sunday, April 1, 2018

The Annual George Will Baseball Trivia Quiz

It's time for the annual re-post of a George Will column.  Don't worry, it is only baseball trivia:

"There'll be two buses leaving the hotel for the park tomorrow. The 2 o'clock bus will be for those of you who need a little extra work. The empty bus will leave at 5 o'clock." -- Dave Bristol, Milwaukee Brewers manager, 1972
WASHINGTON -- Everyone needs extra work to prepare for the season. So, name the player or players who:
1) Is the fourth (the others are Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron and Willie Mays) with a career .300 average, 500 home runs and 100 stolen bases.
2) Played in the most wins.
3) Was the last to get 3,000 hits without winning a batting title.
4) Got 30 homers and 100 RBIs in a season for five different teams.
5) Struck out three times in a game just once in 13 seasons.
6) Hit .461 at home but .286 on the road.
7) Was the last person to enter September batting over .400.
8) Led his league in hits for three different teams.
9) Hit .408 in a season but lost the batting title.
10) Hit at least 40 doubles in 10 seasons.
11) Was the first 40-year-old with a 100-RBI season.
12) Is the most recent to win consecutive MVP awards.
13) Had the most career homers (399) without a 30-homer season.
14) Has the highest career batting average among players with at least 300 homers.
15) Is the only non-Yankee with 500 home runs and three championships.
16) Are the four right-handed hitters to lead the major leagues in hitting at least three times.
17) Are the two pitchers to have 300 more strikeouts than walks (not counting intentional walks) in a season.
18) Was the only batter to average 200 hits per season in his first 14 seasons.
19) Holds the career record for doubles.
20) Were the three pairs of rookies of the year who were later enshrined in Cooperstown.
21) Holds the record for most four-strikeout games.
22) Struck out in a record 37 consecutive games in a single season.
23) Was the first to win three MVP awards.
24) Are the two third basemen with 500 home runs.
25) Was the first to get 3,000 hits in the 20th century.
26) Had 999 walks with three starts to go in his career and did not reach 1,000.
27) Were the only two to bat cleanup in a World Series at age 20.
28) Led his league in RBIs in 2014 while batting second.
29) Although not in the Hall of Fame until 2017, reached base more than Jeff Bagwell, Roberto Clemente and Tony Gwynn and had five seasons with at least 30 doubles and 70 stolen bases (Ty Cobb had only three).
30) Was the only player with at least 100 triples, 150 homers and 600 stolen bases.
31) Was the only 300-game winner between the world wars.
32) Threw a no-hitter with no walks and 17 strikeouts.
33) Scored the most World Series runs.
34) Was the first White Sox player to be MVP.
35) Won 25 or more games three times in the 1960s but never won a Cy Young award.
36) Won the most ERA titles.
37) Is the only catcher to win three batting titles.
38) Led his league in batting average his first two seasons.
39) Had three seasons with 40 or more homers and fewer strikeouts than homers.
40) Was the Hall of Famer who hit into a record four triple plays.
Bonus question: What manager said, "Our phenoms aren't phenomenating."
Answers (after the jump):