Friday, December 06, 2013

Grand Game: $15 edition

Just delightful.  Many unintentional self-parody moments.

Enjoy them all.

Nod to @rbcaples

Angels We Have Heard on High

This is why Mr. Overwater invented the internet.  So we can watch stuff like this.  (No, there are no cats in the video.  Sorry.)

Thursday, December 05, 2013

They came in like a wrecking ball?

Nice piece in the New Yorker about an incredibly active group of session musicians in the 1960s and 70s who called themselves "The Wrecking Crew":

If you’ve heard the Crystals (“He’s a Rebel”), Jan and Dean (“Surf City”), Paul Revere and the Raiders (“Kicks”), Simon and Garfunkel (“Bridge Over Troubled Water”), the Association (“Windy”), the Mamas and the Papas (“California Dreamin’ ”), Frank Sinatra (“Strangers in the Night”), the Monkees (“Last Train to Clarksville”), Herb Alpert (“A Taste of Honey”), Nancy Sinatra (“These Boots Are Made For Walkin’ ”), or Sonny and Cher (“Bang Bang”)—not to mention the “Batman” theme, the “Mission: Impossible” theme, the “Hawaii Five-O” theme, or the “Born Free” theme—then you’ve heard the Wrecking Crew. When producers called musicians, these were the musicians who got called first.

Among their members were such future luminaries as Glen Campbell, Leon Russell, and Jack Nitzsche.

One of the members' kids is running a kickstarter to fund release of a movie about the Crew. From that page I learned that:

For six years in a row, the Grammy Award for "Record of the Year" was recorded by Wrecking Crew members. Just look at this list!

Herb Alpert &the Tijuana Brass in 1966 for "A Taste of Honey"
Frank Sinatra in 1967 for "Strangers in the Night"
The 5th Dimension in 1968 for "Up, Up and Away"
Simon & Garfunkel in 1969 for "Mrs. Robinson"
The 5th Dimension in 1970 for "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In" and
Simon & Garfunkel in 1971 for "Bridge Over Troubled Water"

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

What are "we" for?

Anyone who aspires to speak for libertarians is frustrated.  Anyone who claims to speak for libertarians is vilified.

And perhaps rightly.  We don't think much of that whole "we" thing.

But, I had a piece at the Freeman, about "What Are We For?"

Adapted from my keynote address at the Libertarian National Convention in 2008.

Hunger Games and Learn Liberty

Loose Balls

People, meet the Silna brothers, Ozzie & Daniel. Last year they received $19 million from the NBA, and have in sum received a total of around $300 million from the Association.

They don't play on any team, or coach, or have a concession contract, or run a medical facility. No, they are the ex-owners of the Spirits of St. Louis, a long defunct ABA franchise.

When the ABA went under in 1976 and was partially absorbed by the NBA, the Spirits were left out in the cold. But the Silnas negotiated a settlement of a smallish lump sum payment plus 1/7th of the "visual media" revenues generated by the 4 ABA teams who made it into the NBA (Spurs, Nets, Nuggets, Pacers) IN PERPETUITY.

In 1982, the NBA had a chance to buy them out of the deal for $8 million paid out over 8 years but refused!

And, just this year, a judge ruled that the NBA has to pay them a share of the League's internet and NBA TV revenues as well.

Here is a great article about the situation. And here is a NYTimes article about it.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

It has a strange allure

Wow. Thomas Frank namechecks Mission of Burma AND totally goes off on American Higher Ed. I don't agree with it all, but I agree with a lot of it and it's an essential read.

Here's one slice to get you started:

Paying $250 for a textbook is more like it nowadays; according to one economist, textbook prices have increased 812 percent over the past thirty-five years, outstripping not only inflation (by a mile) but every other commodity—home prices, health care—that we usually consider to be spiraling out of control.

The explanation is simple. The textbook publishers use every trick known to the marketing mind to obsolete their products year after year, thus closing off the possibility of second-hand sales. What’s more, textbook publishing is a highly concentrated industry—an oligopoly—which means they can drive prices pretty much as high as they feel like driving them. Meanwhile, the professors who assign the textbooks and who might do something about the problem don’t have to pay for them.

The charmingly naive American student is in fact a cash cow, and everyone has got a scheme for slicing off a porterhouse or two.

BK: Thanks for Liking Us! Now Go Away

BK in Norway (what is it with Norway?  Remember this?) is trying to get rid of Facebook fans.

If you'll just un-like them, you'll get a free Big Mac.  Yes, from McDonalds.  Nod to @GabrielRossman

Monday, December 02, 2013

Monday's Child

1.  Phone call for Dr. Skarbek:  Academic labor practices similar to drug gangs.

2.  Satellite at LaGrange Point maps path of comet.  And what a LaGrange Point is.

3.  If we can't fix this, we can't anything.  But then, maybe we can't fix anything.

4.  The Munger diet:  Red wine and also lots of nuts. Okay, it's actually the Susan L. diet, but I'm going to borrow it.

5.  If you think everything is "about" race and gender, you will find this offensive.  If you think people who think everything is "about" race and gender, you will this even MORE offensive.