Around the Intertubes: December 5, 2010

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on December 5, 2010

1. An appreciation of Pope John Paul II, and the work he did to liberate millions from communist tyranny. Well worth a read.

2. Using high-tech crystals to diagnose battlefield brain injuries. I bet that this technology can be adapted to treat brain injuries incurred during the course of playing a sport.

3. Ron Santo, RIP. Maybe the induction into the Hall of Fame that should have occurred while Santo was alive can take place sometime before the Cubs win a World Series, assuming that some of the ballot-casters grow a brain.

4. Speaking of growing a brain, it would be nice to think that the IT folks in the United States military will start acting a little smarter.

5. On defusing a house. Yes, you read that right. A house.

6. Nate Silver pronounces the decision to give Qatar the 2022 World Cup “hard to understand.” David Goldblatt, by contrast, is more sanguine. I am with Silver; just to cite one issue with the selection of Qatar, it makes no sense for Goldblatt to write, as he has, that FIFA cannot object to Qatar’s ban on homosexual conduct merely because FIFA’s record may not be all that good on the issue. FIFA can object, and can improve its own record. That’s what ought to be called for.

7. I really need to learn to relax. But when I do, I grow guilty over the fact that I am not reading anything.

8. On Mencken. Previous comments on Mencken continue to apply. My favorite passage from the article:

Henry Louis Mencken regarded the monkeyshines and idiocies of Americans with both wonder and gratitude:

“Here, more than anywhere else that I know of or have heard of, the daily panorama of human existence, of private and communal folly – the unending procession of governmental extortions and chicaneries, of commercial brigandages and throat-slittings, of theological buffooneries, or aesthetic ribaldries, of legal swindles and harlotries, of miscellaneous rogueries, villainies, imbecilities, grotesqueries, and extravagances – is so inordinately gross and preposterous, so perfectly brought up to the highest conceivable amperage, so steadily enriched with an almost fabulous daring and originality, that only the man who was born with a petrified diaphragm can fail to laugh himself to sleep every night, and to awake every morning with all the eager, unflagging expectation of a Sunday-school superintendent touring the Paris peep-shows.”

9. Via Russ Roberts, and per Cafe Hayek co-blogger Don Boudreaux’s fandom regarding the Beatles, I have to admit it’s getting better. Getting better all the time:

Note the massive continuing disparity between the United States and China, a disparity that ought to give those who believe that China will overtake the United States in economic power any moment now, second thoughts.

10. Via Eugene Volokh, more evidence that brevity is the soul of wit. And that even goes for brevity brought about by writer’s block.

11. Wow.

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