Category Archives: Get off my lawn!

Guess the dads!

These young men both had famous fathers, and their fathers played in the same band. Guess who they are. The answer is here, and it isn’t hard. If you guessed correctly, it shows, as I used to demonstrate to my class, that the variation among people in their facial features has substantial heritability: that is, […]

Oscars create “blockbuster film” category

The  New York Times reports that, because of waning interest in the televised Academy Awards, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is creating a new category for Oscars: an award for “outstanding achievement in popular films.” As the paper reports below, part of this decision also reflects the public’s lack of interest in the […]

More evidence that modern pop/rock sucks

This is why modern pop music sucks so bad: a song this execrable can nevertheless get a lot of press and become a hit. You can send me all the songs you want to tell me that music as good as that of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Band, Motown, and so on still […]

The power of the web for targeted marketing

by Greg Mayer One of the creepiest things about using the internet is how many businesses seem to know where you’ve been on the web and what you did there, and on that basis insert ads on other web pages you view. This ability to precisely target particular subsets of people for advertising is, indeed, […]

An insulting misuse of quotation marks

I spotted this sign in one of the fancy-schmancy stores that sell arts and crafts around the perimeter of the old Plaza of Santa Fe: Why the scare quotes around “artisans”? Are they not real artisans but faux artisans or artisans manqué? And wouldn’t they be insulted to find the denigrating quotation marks around their status? There’s […]

Airport water fountains

I needed a drink of water in the Houston (Hobby) airport, and one good thing about America compared to, say, Europe, is that water fountains are nearly always handy in public facilities. Seeking my drink, I found this: Now usually there are two levels: low to the ground for kids and higher up for adults. […]

I was right: the NYT is going SJW

Reader Eli Vilker sent me the link to Joe Pompeo’s new article in Vanity Fair, which you can get by clicking on the screenshot below.  And Eli added these words with his email: This is an excellent riposte to people who always argue about regressive Leftists on campus as “just kids who’ll grow out of […]

Misfortune in the grocery store

This has happened to me twice in the last week. When it first occurred, I wrote about it on Facebook, with mixed comments, and then it happened again this morning. I had to pick up some produce, which included just a small amount: a wee bag of radishes (try them the French way: sliced on […]

The Olympics are over at last

I usually watch at least some of the Olympics, both winter and summer games, but this year my interest flagged. I’m not sure whether it was me, the jingoism that pervaded the coverage, with endless charts showing who had the most medals; the overuse of the verb “medaled”, which is a real verb according to […]

A bar worth frequenting

It’s the dive bar Continental in the East Village of New York, and it has a new policy, stated in the window. The owner says it’s not that serious: he won’t literally throw people out if they use the l-word. But he’s a language maven: The notice has been hanging there for five or six […]