Saturday, October 24, 2015

Playing For A Spitter

Michigan State and Indiana are battling for The Old Brass Spittoon:
In 1950 MSU football had just come off a 36-33 emotional victory over Notre Dame and were looking to avoid a letdown against Indiana the following week. Knowing this, junior class president Gene McDermott wanted to play his part in keeping the Spartans from falling trap to Indiana.
McDermott and class secretary Virginia O’Brien hit the town to find something that would rile up not only the football team but the student body heading into the Indiana matchup. Inspired by the Little Brown Jug, which University of Michigan and Minnesota play for, the two wandered into an antique shop in Lansing.
McDermott spotted the spittoon and thought it would be perfect for the rivalry. Inside the spittoon was a note that said the spittoon was in use during the 1800s at a trading post around what is now East Lansing. As the story goes, residents of both Michigan and Indiana would pass by the trading post and use the spittoon while hunting and fishing in Michigan, therefore becoming the basis for the reasoning behind the Old Brass Spittoon. The spittoon was cleaned up, and bought for $25 by McDermott.
However, for it to become a rivalry trophy, Indiana had to first accept the challenge of playing for it. McDermott sent a telegram to the Indiana Student Senate telling them about the new found trophy. Their reply?
“We the students of Indiana University hereby accept your challenge.”
The challenge had begun and the Old Brass Spittoon was born. Engraved on the outside of the spittoon are the words:
“ ‘The Old Brass Spittoon’ ”
Inaugurated by the students of
Michigan State College and Indiana University
November - 4 - 1950
Since then, Michigan State has kicked Indiana's ass to the tune of a 44-15-2 record.

End of Harvest Weekend Links

Well, it was a very dry and record-breaking quick harvest.  Here are some interesting stories to check out this weekend:

A Better Game? - Sprint Football at Princeton - SBNation

Cutting Competitions: A Century Long Texas Tradition - VICE Sports

The Big Comeback of Benjamin Hochman - St. Louis Magazine

Meet Baseball's Least Exciting Announcer - Wall Street Journal

State Fairs Give New Repertoire a Whirl - Wall Street Journal

A Global Chill in Commodity Demand Hits America's Heartland - New York Times.  I was predicting this for a while.  It looks like it is here.

Cattle rustling U.S.A., where 'Rawhide' meets 'Breaking Bad' - Reuters

To Feed Humankind, We Need the Farms of the Future Today - Newsweek

Tasting The Balvenie's $50,000 Compendium of Ultra-Rare Whiskies - Bloomberg.  $50,000?

Last Word with Farmer-Author Wendell Berry - Modern Farmer

Cows - The Atlantic

Who Becomes a Nun in 2015? - Pacific Standard

Y'all, Norwegians Use The Word "Texas" As Slang To Mean "Crazy" - Texas Monthly.  Makes sense to me.

What Became of the Boy Who Shot His Sister Dead - The Trace

An Engineering Theory of the Volkswagen Scandal - The New Yorker.  I definitely see pride as a motivating factor.  My experience is that engineers hate executives who are dumber than them criticizing them for not coming up with a solution for some insoluble problem, and are then more likely to go corner-cutting to get around the bullshit demands.  If an exec tells them they can't use the urea solution to meet the emission standards, I can see them coming up with the defeat device to bullshit the dumbass boss.

How an F Student Became America's Most Prolific Inventor - Bloomberg.  I would love to sit in on those brainstorming sessions.

John Locke's Road to Serfdom - Jacobin

The Navy's Sitting Ducks - Bloomberg

New Northeast snowfall map shows Tug Hill is a bulls-eye each winter -  240 inches of snow a year?  Wow.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Maybe For The Last Time....

Considering the cornucopia of young talent in the Cubs stable, I better play these while I can:

Make that 107 years. Also:

Yes, they still play the Blues in Chicago.  At least this season.  Not so sure about next year. Anyway, thank you to the Mets for postponing my baseball nightmare.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Representing Gun Owners?


I'd like to know what percentage of Republican politicians are members of the NRA?  I'm guessing 98%

Sunday, October 18, 2015

NASA Photo of the Day


Mammatus Clouds Over Saskatchewan
Image Credit & Licence: Craig Lindsay, Wikipedia
Explanation: Why is this cloud so bubbly? Normally, cloud bottoms are flat. The flatness is caused by moist warm air that rises and cools and so condenses into water droplets at a specific temperature, which usually corresponds to a very specific height. As water droplets grow, an opaque cloud forms. Under some conditions, however, cloud pockets can develop that contain large droplets of water or ice that fall into clear air as they evaporate. Such pockets may occur in turbulent air near a thunderstorm. Resulting mammatus clouds can appear especially dramatic if sunlit from the side. These mammatus clouds were photographed over Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada during the summer of 2012.

Mid-October Weekend Links

Links were once again delayed by harvest.  We're looking to finish up in three or four days, which would be a modern record for our earliest harvest completion.  Here are a few stories for your reading pleasure:

Born That Way: The Legend of Coach Marvin Jarman - SBNation
The Grass Gambit: Remember When Notre Dame Tried to Slow Reggie Bush 10 Years Ago by Not Mowing the Lawn - Grantland, and Relive the famed 'Bush Push' game with the USC and Notre Dame players on the field - LA Times  The best part of the Grantland story:
Less than a week after the loss, Notre Dame inked Weis to a massive (and retrospectively hilarious) contract extension. And although Weis was relieved of his duties in 2009, he’s still receiving laughably exorbitant sums of money from the university.
Daily Fantasy: You're Screwed, Because You're Supposed to Be - Rolling Stone.  Umm...yeah.  Keno for sports fans.

US land prices fall, again. Ag machinery sales hit new low - Agrimoney.  It will get worse before it gets better.

U.S. Readies for a Return of Bird Flu - Wall Street Journal

Showdown at Waggoner Ranch - Texas Monthly
I Would Rather Be Herod's Pig: The History of a Taboo - Longreads

Devastating Chart Shows Why El Nino Won't Fix the Drought - Wired 
3CDC in Over-the-Rhine: Between Two Worlds - Cincinnati Magazine.  On the balancing act amongst poverty, crime, gentrification and respecting both long-time residents and newcomers. And Big Money.  Rule of Thumb: Bet on Big Money.

Bill Gates: 'We Need an Energy Miracle' - The Atlantic

The Very Great Alexander Von Humboldt - The New York Review of Books

How on Earth Could Trucks Move this 1,000 Ton Load? - Wired 

Spotlight shines, stage right, on U.S. House Freedom Caucus - Reuters.  Jim Jordan may be one of the main cogs in the freedumb caucus, but I don't think he's rich (his main assets are his government pensions).  He's just happy to do everything he can to help out the rich at the expense of the poor and the middle class.

The Pentagon's 'Concurrency Myth' Is Now Available In Supercarrier Size - Foxtrot Alpha

The Drone Papers - The Intercept.  A massive series on the very worst of the Obama presidency, and the American murder/assassination complex.