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It’s Nerdageddon on Dancing With the Stars

March 6, 2014

Dancing With the Stars announced their new lineup the other day, and it’s gonna maybe be a little tough for the nerd set to pick a favorite.

In this corner:

danica mckellar hot x algebra

America’s second-favorite Danica, Danica McKellar, actress, author, and math nerd.

And in this corner:

Lando. Calrissian.

I’m just not sure if Danica’s Danica-ness can outmatch Billy Dee’s Lando Calrissian-ness.

Want conservatives to support legal marijuana? Here’s how you do it:

March 5, 2014

Have the U.N. tell us we can’t:

Raymond Yans is president of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), the U.N. agency charged with monitoring the implementation of anti-drug treaties…

…In an INCB report issued on Tuesday, Yans scolds the U.S. government for letting Colorado and Washington repeal criminal penalties for production, possession, and distribution of cannabis. “INCB reiterates that these developments contravene the provisions of the drug control conventions, which limit the use of cannabis to medical and scientific use only,” he writes. “INCB urges the Government of the United States to ensure that the treaties are fully implemented on the entirety of its territory.”

International law requires us to keep dope illegal!

Keep this up, United Nations, and pretty soon we’ll have vending machines selling loose joints right across the street from school. Unless our liberals change their minds, that is. Liberals love international law.

Note: Jacob Sullum casts some doubt on Mr. Yans’ claims at the link, because Jacob Sullum is a total buzz kill, man.

Regulating money spent on politics eventually has to mean regulating time and effort spent on politics.

February 28, 2014

We’ve already seen some of that, haven’t we? Bloggers or other private citizens whose support of a candidate or issue might “run afoul” of campaign finance laws, because of the perceived value of their support?

I’m sure I read something about that. I’ll do some research later.

Anyway, that is the end result of campaign finance laws. Not just dollars spent, but value spent.

The big hair that needs splitting: the difference between issue advocacy – which normal people call “voicing an opinion” – and electioneering.

According to the law, there’s a big difference between supporting an issue, and supporting a candidate who is supporting that issue.

And since we are going to split that hair – supporting an issue is okay, but supporting a candidate means you’re breaking the rules – somebody has to wield the knife.

Which leads us to:

Don’t Install the IRS as the Nation’s Political Speech Regulator

Well, duh. It’s kind of amazing that we even have to say that.

Of course, the next question is: who should we install as the nation’s “political speech regulator?” If we’re going to regulate speech, which we’ve apparently decided to do, then somebody has to enforce it.

Who shall it be?

And, just let me warn you: no matter who it is, they’ll be in the control of the reigning political party, whichever party that is.

UPDATE – maybe I should just quickly note two possible “solutions” that I like.

  • “Solution” #1: liberalize campaign finance laws, making money easier for candidates to get and spend, thus reducing the value of campaign contributions.
  • “Solution” #2: reduce the power of government to screw around with our businesses and lives, thus reducing the incentive to spend vast amounts of money on political candidates.

I use the quote marks because, since government will always have power, it will always attract both money and corruption. There is no “solution” to that. If your “solution” is to limit my freedom to engage in politics, then you are giving more power to the government, which will attract even more money and corruption.

So don’t.

It’s not that I disagree with the math, it’s just that I don’t understand the question.

February 27, 2014

This question:

Why You Should Always Order the Large Pizza

The large? When every pizza place clearly offers an extra-large option?

What is happening to this country?

But…oh, never mind. They just mean because it’s a better value than the smaller one.

Journalist Quoctrung Bui went out for a pie with an engineer friend who, he writes, ordered a “12-inch medium instead of the 8-inch small—because the medium was more than twice as big as the small, and it only cost a little bit more.” Bui, a mathematically inclined fellow, admits: “This sort of blew my mind.”

And, wow, it really does. I never figured the math before. An 8-inch pizza is about 50 square inches; a 12-inch pizza is about 113 square inches.

So unless they’re charging you over twice as much – which they never do – you’re getting a better bargain buying the bigger pizza.

Do we really want to know what our dogs are thinking when they’re sticking their noses into other dogs’ butts?

February 27, 2014

This sounds like something that sounds like a good idea, but:

What if your dog could greet you with more than a growl, or announce the reason he’s scratching at the door?

It sounds absurd and much like the storyline from the Pixar film, “Up,” but Scandinavian scientists are working to develop a headset that could soon allow your furry best friend to speak his mind.

The Nordic Society for Invention and Discovery is the brains behind “No More Woof” — technology that aims to distinguish canine thought patterns and then issue them as short sentences via a microphone.

Right. See, what you think this is going to be like is:

But what this is actually going to be like is:

See, your dog’s not really thinking “I love you so much pet me some more.” What it’s really thinking is: “kill, pee, food now!” And that’s going to disappoint a few dog owners, I bet.

So invest early, and sell early. That’s my advice.

Is Glenn Reynolds aware of this?

February 25, 2014

If not, somebody ought to tell him. He should really start blogging about this kind of thing.

For the record, I figured out the question that led to the answer before the people in the video did.

February 25, 2014

And I was very, very frustrated with the time I had to wait to find out that…yes, I was right!

I’m also disappointed that nobody tried any negative integers.

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