Monday, February 28, 2005

Separated At Birth #1

In this nifty new feature, I choose two people (Yale or celebrity) who look so similar that one might say they were "separated at birth." I prefer to do ones that go across racial lines, for more of a challenge. The first one is: Miguel Lopez (TC '06) and Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL). Will get Miguel's picture to not be a link at some point, but right now just log in to before you see that picture.

Research at library

I'm looking at old newspapers on microfilm in the library. This would be tolerable, except that my iPod broke. Also, I am looking at this book's footnotes to find which issues of The Los Angeles Times are relevant to my topic, which saves me a lot of time because I don't have to read through all of them myself. But occasionally there will be an issue that is footnoted but in fact has no mention of my topic, wasting easily 8 minutes of my time per instance. For this, historian Scott L. Bottles, I hope you die (despite saving me all that other time). Wait, just checked and the book was written in 1954. So I guess you probably are dead anyway, Bottles.

Editor's Note: thanks to Tom Lehman for a key revision.

Squash Rankings revised

This is still bullshit, and it's hard to do this properly because people haven't played each other. Also, I am definitely the second or third best (only Dave, who is a real gentleman, might be better). And Rich, Molly, and Tom should be disqualified for winning almost all their points by using a cheap serve. Real class act guys. Also, Molly wouldn't play me again, adding to her great sportsmanship. Truly, you should all take a page out of the Dave Lieberman book by not using cheap serves and by agreeing to play however many matches your opponent wants instead of angle-shooting.

Let me explain what happened here: Noah stays as is at number 1, self-explanatory. Dave moved ahead of Rich even though he didn't play today because Rich lossed 3 times to Alex, which is considered a poor showing. Tom stayed put with a 2-1 record v. Dan and a 2-2 record v. Molly. Molly jumped ahead of Dan because she beat me in one match and refused to play a second one, so even though our lifetime record is 2-2, she moves ahead because I agreed on it with her because I'm a nice guy- last time I do that. Alex only moves up one spot, I wish I could do more but Al didn't play me and has never beaten me, he lost to Molly, and didn't play Tom. So his victories against Rich could only be reflected in his own moving up one spot and in Rich's moving down one spot. Any comments or questions, put in the comments section. And Rich, Tom and Molly you're all overrated and terrible.


Financial Aid

All my loyal readers have been waiting for me to take a stand on this controversial issue. Here is my take- this is an argument over something like $4,000 per student. Yale is so rich that it should pay for this pittance. That being said, if they want to make disadvantaged students work for their contribution, they have a right to. Financial Aid is not a right, but a privilege.

For the people who hissed at President Richard Levin when he said "this issue affects only about 200 students," fuck you. President Levin, like Harvard President Larry Summers, is being unfairly maligned because he is an economist who looks at situations rationally, unlike the rabid PC-gestapo who insists "you can't say look at any issue concerning women seriously because something negative might come up," and "200 students is 200 too many, you crass rich asshole." Both of these situations are tempests in a teapot, stirred up by the pliant liberal media. Summers made the perfectly valid point that there are many factors which account for the disparity between men and women in the sciences , one of which may be a narrower spectrum of scientific talent, with a higher average for women but more instances of extremely high and extremely low levels for men. Similarly, Levin was correct in downplaying the overall significance of this aid issue before he discussed what he would do about it.
The world isn't always fair. That's a fact of life and of economics. So yes I eat Gourmet Heaven sandwiches every day, go to the fine restaurant Pacifico twice in one week, and buy overpriced microbrews at BAR, while someone on heavy financial aid has to work 20 hrs a week at the library just to make ends meet. Because even though I've never really worked a day in my life, my dad is a successful Park Avenue lawyer. That's the American Way. Of course I am against the estate tax, it's insane. What do you want, communism? That being said, if I had to work in the dining hall and saw this lazy, arrogant, rich kid put his silverware in the trash can instead of down the chute, I'd probably buy a ski mask, sneak into his room at night and rob him, then kill him. In fact, I'm shocked that this doesn't happen more often.

So I guess my point is, thank god I'm lucky, and if I was on financial aid, I'd be complaining too instead of spouting pseudo-right wing ideological arguments.

NB: Also if I was on financial aid, i wouldn't work, I'd make my money playing poker or through sports betting. To those on aid who are reading this, is the easiest poker site, and Cleveland Cavaliers to score first is always a good bet. Also, don't pay attention to the part about killing me.

Breaking News

As you'll recall 5 minutes ago, I said, "There are about 30 cops standing outside even though there has not been any sign of a disturbance. I'd imagine Police Chief James Perotti might justify this by saying, 'It's not racial profiling, it's called playing the numbers.'"
WELL, it turns out there is a brawl happening outside of Toad's right now. So I guess Mr. Perotti is now saying "I told you so" to all those members of the PC-gestapo.

Toad's rap concert

There are about 30 cops standing outside Toad's for a rap concert even though there has not been any sign of a disturbance. I'd imagine Police Chief James Perotti might justify this by saying, "It's not racial profiling, it's called playing the numbers."

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Dream Job

Oscars- eh, all were predictable. The real drama was on Dream Job, where former NBA stars Gerald Wilkins, JR Reid, Dee Brown, Matt Bullard, Dennis Scott, and someone else were competing for a job as an NBA analyst. I thought Dee Brown and Dennis Scott were OK and the rest were pretty bad. I guess Gerald Wilkins in particular was really bad, as when Stu "I have a lazy eye and no connection to black people" Scott asked him whether something was 'fact or fiction' and he responded, "Fict- fact- Fiction." I think if Scott had asked him, "You are literate- fact or fiction?" Wilkins would have come up with a decisive "Fiction." After the mock analysis, in which Wilkins was equally inept, the panel of judges got a chance to give their verdict. Though the viewer at home merely saw Wilkins' lip quiver as he got criticized, I was privy to his inner monologue. It went down like this:

Stephen A. Smith: Dee, you were pretty good but not great. Gerald Wilkins, you were terrible. Unwatchably bad.

Wilkins' monologue: Why you got to say that? I thought we was brothas...

White guy in charge of ESPN Talent: Gerald, you in particular were not up to snuff. Too vague, not enough specifics.

Wilkins' monologue: How bout this for specifics- I'm a fucking kill yo white ass.

White woman (don't know her job): I have to agree, Gerald Wilkins, you were the worst of the group by a lot.

Wilkins' monologue: You, oooh I'm a kill yo white ass, but first I'm a rape ya
Shit I hope Gerald Wilkins isn't reading this. I know he's plugged in to the blogosphere and he checks Finnegan's Wake every day, so I'm crossing my fingers that he doesn't click the link.


In honor of the Oscars, I watched Ray just now. What a piece of shit movie. The plot was pretty much Ray loses sight, Ray makes gold record, Ray gets married, Ray gets addicted to heroin, Ray makes gold record, Ray has a mistress, Ray gets arrested, Ray gets clean and has a gold record. The story was told literally in that "this happened then that happened then this happened" kind of way, with no attachment to the characters or to any particular storyline.
I would have much preferred if it had turned out that Ray was never famous and successful, but in fact one of his friends was an asshole who put him in small rooms and played the sound of loud applause to trick him into thinking he was in a concert hall. Which brings me to my next point- how the fuck does the Braille number system work? You'd think they'd make it so 1 was one dot, 2 was two dots, etc. with each digit 0-9. But it's completely random and weird. That is really Ray Charles' greatest accomplishment, figuring out the Braille number system.

New Squash Rankings

These rankings are based on results, which is in my opinion a pretty inaccurate indicator of skill, but the players on The Circuit are clamoring for results-based rankings. Note that I have gotten rid of any peripheral players. I might add that this is bullshit and I'm the best except for Noah.

5. DAN BERGER - Absurd, I should be number 2 and will be after a few more victories over Tom
6. MOLLY SWARTZ- only a couple wins would push her to #4 or #3, this was a close decision

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Academic disciplines

Why is there this notion that anything that has ever happened or been made in the history of mankind is worthy of academic study? I'm sure at some point this blog will be studied in the Sociology Department. All things are not created equal, just study the important things in history and the exceptional works of art. For instance, The Cold War or Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.

Squash Awards

A few awards to give out:

Most Overrated Male Player: RICH BERGER- What is so great about his game? Is it the cheap serves? Or perhaps that he spazzes whenever you question a call? Maybe someone can clue me in.

Most Overrated Female Player: MOLLY SWARTZ- OK, she beat me once. That's no reason to get all uppity.

Most Underrated Male Player: DAN BERGER- Like the late, great Rodney Dangerfield, "I get no respect, no regard," despite being an excellent, well-rounded player.

Most Underrated Female Player: MOLLY SWARTZ- By default, since she's the only female player on The Circuit.

Most Improved Player Award: ALEX JACOB- Definitely better mobility and shot-making, almost beat me and Tom.

Rookie of the Year: ERIC LIEBERMAN- A promising youngster.

Sportsmanship Award: TOM LEHMAN- Always willing to play one more game.

Jackie Robinson Award: THE BLACK GUY WHO RUNS THE SQUASH CENTER- self-explanatory.

G Heav

I've had a revelation in the last 2 days. Get your Gourmet Heaven sandwiches pressed on the grill! The bread is so much crunchier and tastier. If only I had a time machine and could change all those sandwiches I had either microwaved or just with no heating at all.

Friday, February 25, 2005


I'd like to encourage comments. I changed the settings so that anyone, not just the blogging elite can make comments. This is a two-way street, people. This is like a sports talk-radio show. Speaking of which, my friend Dave and I met Mad Dog from WFAN's Mike and the Mad Dog, at the US Open last year. I also called into the show once, in 1997. The conversation went something like this:

Mad Dog: Daniel from Manhattan, you're on the air.

Me: Glenn Foley... (a series of electronic beeps)... Neil O'Donnell... (a series of electronic beeps)... Noooooo.

Thanks, Mom, for getting a portable phone that ran out of batteries after half an hour of waiting. I didn't even get to say, "First time, long time."

Cardplayer writers who don't write about strategy are terrible

Thanks, Vince Burgio, for this informative article about poker. I mean I never looked at it that way. You should really send this writing sample to the New Yorker. A quote:

"Maybe not as obnoxious, but just as silly (at least to me), is watching every week to see which guy or girl the handsome or beautiful most eligible bachelor or bachelorette will choose as his or her mate for life. Yeah, sure! I wouldn’t want to bet that any of these couples will see their golden wedding anniversary.

And who in his right mind could compare any silliness of poker to that show they call Big Brother, where the house is bugged with cameras and every move of the contestants is televised."

Zing!® and Double Zing!® Boy, Vince, you really stuck it to those reality TV shows. And the passive voice, the repetition of "or" 4 times in one sentence, the "Yeah, sure!" - move over Hemingway, it's Burgio time.

Blog readership statistics

OK, this is the moment you've all been waiting for. The counter is at 50 hits. BUT, there were only 33 unique hits. Friday is my heaviest day of traffic, with 25 page views and the day isn't even over yet. First-time visitors were 90% of my readers, but I have a loyal 10% returning. It seems my brilliant blog naming scheme worked like a charm.

Squash Results

Rankings stay as is. My results:
Dan v. Tom: Dan 1- Tom ???? (I don't remember)
Dan v. Rich: Dan ??? - Rich ???? (I don't remember)
Dan v. Noah: Dan ???- Noah ??? (I don't remember)
Dan v. Al: Dan 2 - Al 0

"You can never hit too many reverse corners."
-some woman


Well, I met Kumar from "Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle" at BAR tonight. Apparently his real name is Kal. Right, like I'd ever call him anything other than Kumar. Todd Schneider kissed his ass completely, laughing at evertyhing he was saying- I think he may have at one point said, "Oh you, Kumar." Me, I was on the periphery of the Kumar media circus. I plan on actually talking to him a little more tomorrow. BAR has quite a stable of minor celebrities, from Fran Kranz to Charlie Korsmo (Dick Tracy, What About Bob, Ten Things I Hate About You) to now Kumar. It's great how you can be in one idiotic movie and be a celebrity but if you're a very accomplished physicist you have no name recognition. What an amazing country we live in.

Hand tonight at Trumbull

I am convinced that when I had 6-7 and thought I had J-10, someone (possibly Meyvis's friend Doug- hey he seems like a nice guy but he's got motives up the wazoo) swtiched my cards during the hand. No evidence yet in this case but I'll update you as it progresses. Also, note that I won $170 at Foxwoods. But like Tom, I only went there to see the dealers clap and then show their palms.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

International Squash Rankings

Just in from International Squash Association Headquarters in Zurich, the International Squash rankings:

1. Julian Illingworth -- this was a tough decision
2. Noah Heymann -- a devastating two-wall shot near the front, goddamnit why does it work so well
3. Eric Lieberman -- despite only one day of matches, this little scamp shot up in the rankings
4. Dan Berger- a perfect blend of speed. strength, intelligence and agility - will soon be #1
5. Rich Berger -- some call him "Dan-lite" because he's just a little worse than Dan in every aspect
6. Dave Lieberman -- a finesse player, gets kudos for not having a cheap serve
7. Molly Swartz- pretty good... for a girl. The Annie Duke of squash.
8. Alex Jacob -- has the agility of an oak tree. But his 2-2 record vs. Joe clearly shows his superiority.
9. Joe Boonsiri -- a quick learner, good forehand. Needs to work on footwork.
10. Stephen Hawking -- what he lacks in a physical game, he makes up for in mental game.
11. Tom Lehman -- (no, not the golfer) wins too many points on serve, has dropped in ranking due to the computer formula - mostly due to his weak strength of schedule.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Orbitz pop up games

Like anyone else, I hate pop-ups. But I have to make an exception with the Orbitz pop-up games. In particular, the recent Hockey and Paper Football games have been gems. I beat both. Some other classics are the golf game and the baseball home run game (although that was a bit too easy).

An amazing site

This should be required reading for everyone in america:

More specifically, here is a great expose of Dick Cheney as a child rapist.
Here is the money quote:
Cheney was talking as he paced around me: “I could stuff you and mount you like a jackalope and call you a two-legged dear. Or I could stuff you with this (he unzipped his pants to reveal his oversized penis) right down to your throat and then mount you. Which do you prefer?”

And for a list of members of the Illuminati:
George Bush:
US President and Vice President, head of the CIA, and a stream of other leading roles in the Illuminati. Satanist, mind controller, torturer of children and adults, pedophile, shape-shifting reptilian, and major drug runner. Serial killer. Nice man.

AKS e-mail

This letter should be sent to an insane asylum as evidence of AKS's complete lack of touch with reality. A letter I would have cared about would have read, "Gourmet Heaven lowers the price of avocado add-on to 50 cents, and switches Charlie to a 24-7 shift."
It should also be noted that not only did Al Gore and Howard Dean agree on politics in the Democratic Primary last year, but it's clear that both men are equally terrified by AKS. Gore in particular seems about a millisecond away from calling in the Secret Service. AKS is a good guy though, despite the demonic look in his eyes.


My friends,

Summary of Major Changes:

· 4-week Moratorium on restrictions in all colleges except Berkeley, starting tomorrow.

· 2-week Moratorium on restrictions in Berkeley dining hall, starting after Spring Break.

· Sunday “family night” dinners in all colleges (Davenport students permitted access.

Having worked to abolish dining hall restrictions as a YCC representative since the first restrictions were implemented nearly 2 years ago, I would like to thank you for your continuing support—without your efforts, this latest victory would not have been possible.
I apologize for filling your inbox—this decision, however, is HUGE.

Sincerely yours,


Science Corner #1: Gay People's Speech

An age-old debate: do gay people speak in a high/raspy voice and with a lisp because of genetics or because of society? It would seem societal, but I knew some really gay sounding 10-year-olds who turned out to actually be gay, before they knew what gay was. My gut says DNA, and I'd like to open up the New York Times one day and see that scientists have isolated the gay speech gene. I'm sorry, homosexual speech gene.

Lindsay Lohan

What happened to you, Lindsay? How did you go from this statutory rape-able little princess into this anorexic, vaguely Latino-looking monstrosity. You do have some big-ass titties though, as the song goes.

Two person bathrooms

There is a bathroom at Ivy Noodle that has a urinal and a toilet, with no wall separating them. If you were in there with another person that you didn't know, it would be the most awkward situation imaginable. Scratch that even if you did know the other person, it would still be really awkward.

Now that you're here

I've fooled all you Delino DeShields fans. This is not actually a blog devoted to baseball legend Delino DeShields, but rather to my random musings. But just so your hopes aren't entirely dashed, here are DeShields' lifetime stats. I have his rookie card, if anyone's in the market.

 Year Ag Tm  Lg  G   AB    R    H   2B 3B  HR  RBI  SB CS  BB  SO   BA   OBP   SLG   TB   SH  SF IBB HBP GDP
1990 21 MON NL 129 499 69 144 28 6 4 45 42 22 66 96 .289 .375 .393 196 1 2 3 4 10
1991 22 MON NL 151 563 83 134 15 4 10 51 56 23 95 151 .238 .347 .332 187 8 5 2 2 6
1992 23 MON NL 135 530 82 155 19 8 7 56 46 15 54 108 .292 .359 .398 211 9 3 4 3 10
1993 24 MON NL 123 481 75 142 17 7 2 29 43 10 72 64 .295 .389 .372 179 4 2 3 3 6
1994 25 LAD NL 89 320 51 80 11 3 2 33 27 7 54 53 .250 .357 .322 103 1 1 0 0 9
1995 26 LAD NL 127 425 66 109 18 3 8 37 39 14 63 83 .256 .353 .369 157 3 1 4 1 6
1996 27 LAD NL 154 581 75 130 12 8 5 41 48 11 53 124 .224 .288 .298 173 2 5 7 1 12
1997 28 STL NL 150 572 92 169 26 14 11 58 55 14 55 72 .295 .357 .448 256 7 6 1 3 5
1998 29 STL NL 117 420 74 122 21 8 7 44 26 10 56 61 .290 .371 .429 180 4 4 2 0 6
1999 30 BAL AL 96 330 46 87 11 2 6 34 11 8 37 52 .264 .339 .364 120 5 1 0 1 5
2000 31 BAL AL 151 561 84 166 43 5 10 86 37 10 69 82 .296 .369 .444 249 3 9 2 1 16
2001 32 BAL AL 58 188 29 37 8 2 3 21 11 1 31 42 .197 .312 .309 58 1 1 0 1 3
CHC NL 68 163 26 45 9 3 2 16 12 1 28 35 .276 .380 .405 66 3 1 0 0 5
TOT 126 351 55 82 17 5 5 37 23 2 59 77 .234 .344 .353 124 4 2 0 1 8
2002 33 CHC NL 67 146 20 28 6 1 3 10 10 1 21 38 .192 .292 .308 45 6 1 2 0 0
13 Seasons 5779 1548 74 561 147 1061 .268 .352 .377 57 42 30 20 99
1615 872 244 80 463 754 2180
162 Game Avg 580 87 155 24 7 8 56 46 15 76 106 .268 .352 .377 219 6 4 3 2 10
Career High 154 581 92 169 43 14 11 86 56 23 95 151 .296 .389 .448 256 9 9 7 4 16