Monday, January 25, 2016

The Church of Munger

People, when you share an office for 3 or 4 years with a person who can burp out the pledge of allegiance or the alphabet almost on demand, you become well acquainted with the eructatory arts.

So without further ado, I give you the Church of Munger!

How so? Well it is a nominally Catholic church in Chiapas Mexico that uses burping almost as a sacrament! It is sometimes called the coca-cola church.

Here's one account:

Chamulans believe that burping cleanses the body of evil spirits. And since the carbonation in soda makes you burp, well you get the picture. So inside this white, blue, and green exterior are walls lined with bottles of this drink for cleansing purposes.

and here's another:

It is not just spitting that Chamulan’s believe rid one of evil spirits but also burping. What I didn’t mention is that every ritual that we saw at the church involved Coca-Cola. Every group involved in ritual practice had glass bottles of Coke with them. Generally we saw people drink it in shot glasses, almost as if they were taking a medicine.

They are just waiting for their high priest, Rev. Mungowitz, to arrive.

Hat tip to the never burpy Mrs. Angus.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Hasta El Papel Higienico Siempre?

So, the EYM just returned from two weeks in Cuba.  There were apparently some difficulties.

But there were some remarkable observations, also.  Here is the picture of the iconic image of Che Guevera.  Haven't exactly had the "victoria siempre" yet:

Here is the graph of membership in the CDR, the Castros' house brown-shirts: "en cada barrio," indeed:

And here is the ladies' room at the CDE headquarters/museum (the men's room was hors de combat).  I should note that the phone book with the pages torn out mean exactly what you think that means.

Now, think about that.  This is the museum and headquarters of the CDR.  And THEY don't have toilet paper in the ladies' room. (EDIT:  As commenter Joe Biby notes, "At least you can't leave the seat up."  Because there IS no seat.  Nice.)

Just like in Venezuela.  Socialism:  The cure for toilet paper...

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Obama's Revenge

Wow. President Obama must be really mad that Joe Biden didn't run for President and stop his rivals the Clintons from returning to power.

I mean really really mad.

Here's my proof:

“Last year, Vice President Biden said that with a new moonshot, America can cure cancer,” Obama said, before noting that Biden has worked with Congress to add resources for the National Institutes of Health. “Tonight, I’m announcing a new national effort to get it done. And because he’s gone to the mat for all of us, on so many issues over the past forty years, I’m putting Joe in charge of Mission Control. For the loved ones we’ve all lost, for the family we can still save, let’s make America the country that cures cancer once and for all.”

That graf appears below the headline, "President Obama Puts Joe Biden in Charge of Curing Cancer".

Poor Joe. Now he's responsible for every single person that dies of cancer from here on out? Hasn't this man suffered enough? Just because he wouldn't run you pin this albatross on him?

Thanks, Obama!

PS: regarding the moon-shot analogy. What if there were over 100 different moons? What if these moons could change and actively try to avoid you landing on them? Other than that the analogy is pretty good.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

What REALLY Happened.

A shame for so many policy analysts.  Because having living unicorns would be SO convenient...

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Angus' Revenant Review

Alls I can say is that this is pretty intense.

Ok, here's a bit more:

The French are from hell, Alejandro González Iñárritu really hates Leo, Family is very important.

The two stars of the movie are (a) nature, the film is brutally gorgeous and (b) Tom Hardy, he is amazing. If I had to pick a third star, I'd go with fire.

The Hateful 8 was more fun, but The Revenant is a better film.

Friday, January 08, 2016

Angus' belated 2015 music review

People I almost didn't do this at all. Work my butt off and get no page views. But then I read Pitchfork's top 50 and knew I couldn't remain silent. What a sack of crap that was.

Here are my top 10 releases from 2015

The first, by far, is Tom Carter, Long Time Underground. This is the dude from Charalambides come back from the dead with a stunning solo guitar album. This is mesmerizingly great.

My next favorite two are

Peacers self-titled album and Adult Mom's "Momentary Lapse of Happily"

Peacers is what Mike Donovan (Sic Alps) is calling himself nowadays and it's absolutely a slacker/psych/garage/retro monster of an album.

Adult Mom is Steph Knipe and her song "Survival" is my favorite pop song of the year. Little bit of Kimya Dawson, little bit of Liz Phair, and a lot of awesome.

There are actually 2 releases in Pitchfork's top 50 that are really good (type I error I guess)!

Courtney Barnett: Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit

This young woman is the real deal. This reminds of the Kinks! Great energy, tunes, just a great feel to this band.

Sufjan Stevens: Carrie and Lowell 

My prayers were finally answered and Suffy dropped the pretense and went back to his roots. The result is stunning. All is forgiven. I'm sorry I doubted you.

My next 3 releases are in no particular order:

Speedy Ortiz, Foil Deer

Reminds me or Deerhoof or Miu Miu, great time changes, love the singer.

Royal Headache, High

They are supposed to be punky, but the singer is so damn soulful!

Car Seat Headrest, Teens of style

Look for more from CRH, but this year they gave me my second favorite pop song "The Drum".

And to round out a top 10 list, If you stuck a gun to my head and made me buy two more off Pitchfork's list I'd buy......

Kurt Vile, B'lieve I'm goin down

Joanna Newsom, Divers

Both of these records are really really good, but both of these artists are just coasting (downhill).

Looking back over this list I notice that (a) 40% of my picks are women or bands fronted by women (I really wanted Waxahatchee in here but their new record is just not so good), and (b) every single one is available as an LP (or double LP).

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Angus' Hateful 8 review

I really enjoyed the film.  Never got bored, looked at my watch, checked my phone, nothing.

To me this was at heart a comedy. I found it quite funny. Laugh out loud funny. The violence is cartoonish.

To be a bit more specific, it is kind of two different buddy comedies mashed into one. The first part is Bob Hope and Bing Crosby in "The Road to Red Rock". The second part is "I love you man" as directed by Herschel Gordon Lewis.

Damien Bichir and Jennifer Jason Leigh are hilarious and excellent.  Walton Goggins turns Boyd Crowder up a notch and to me is the star of the film.

If you squint real hard, the film also speaks about the possibility of better race relations, especially in the South.

I enjoyed it more than Django Unchained.

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Cream Puffs

Cream Puffs: Why Do Elite College Football Programs Schedule Games Against Vastly Inferior Opponents? 

Daniel Simundza
Journal of Sports Economics, forthcoming

Abstract: This article provides a novel answer to the question of why elite college football programs schedule so-called “cream puff” games against vastly inferior out-of-conference opponents. Using data on college football games from 2002 to 2010, I find that a team’s chances of winning are 5.3–15.6% greater in the game following their victory over a cream puff. In my preferred estimation, this “cream puff effect” is roughly half as large as the estimated home field advantage. I also show that the U.S. Today/Sagarin rating system, which I use to control for team abilities, penalizes teams for playing vastly inferior opponents. I devise two empirical strategies that deal with this potential problem and show that the cream puff effect is not simply an artifact of the rating system. These results contribute to the literature on dynamic contests by showing that not only does the timing of one’s efforts within a contest matter but so does the schedule of one’s opponents.