gamepolitics: Youth Violence Waaaay Down – Games to Blame?

Check out that graph.

gr-graph.jpg

There is no epidemic of youth violence in America.

The whole concept is a lie… Kids are not killing each other more frequently than they used to. In fact, it turns out the opposite is true. (link)

Where’s the Senate panel to look into the fleecing we’ve been taking for the last year.  Why aren’t things like this on the evening news? Oh, right, bribes.
gamepolitics: Youth Violence Waaaay Down – Games to Blame?

digg – FIFA to investigate Zidane incident; Could disqualify Italy

Well, that’s an interesting turn. Comments are running pretty heavily that FIFA will not, in fact, take away the Cup. I’m pretty sure a war would break out if they did. However, it is interesting that an amendment to the rules was made that allows FIFA to take away 6 points (essentially causing the team to forfeit the match) if a player users a racial, religious, or ethnic slur. Considering Zidane is an Algerian Muslim, his forthcoming comments could be very interesting. Sepp Blatter, head of FIFA, apparently found his dignity and said they are also considering taking away Zidane’s best player award.

Link

Update: Zidane has said at a press conference that the comment was “very personal”, but would not elaborate. Materazzi immediately again denied saying anything about terrosists, Zidane’s mother, or any racial comments. I think Materazzi is lying; he even went so far as to issue this gem of a quote: “Zidane is my hero and I have always admired him a lot.” So, now Zidane is his hero?

To his credit, Zidane did apologize to the children who watched, but not to Materazzi, saying: “I can’t regret what I did because it would mean that he (Materazzi) was right to say what he said.” Zidane also implied that his attack wasn’t in response to just one insult, but many, although he did not single out Materazzi.

Link to the Beeb

Your Idiot of the Week

Some anti-abortion zealot (Pete) decided to saddle up his high-horse and take down an evil, vile, pro-abortion advocate (Caroline) on his blog (and I use those terms purposefully; you’re not pro-life or pro-choice).

Sorry ma’am, if you hadn’t had sex you wouldn’t have gotten pregnant, it’s not the HMO’s fault for not supporting your promiscuity while not married.

One small problem though; Pete is an idiot. The article in question was on, say it with me, The Onion. Missing moutains of satire and deftly proving the point of the original article, Pete goes on to call Caroline a “murderer” and graciously offers to pray “for the suffering which you will endure when you realize what you have done.” That’s right, he’s going to pray for her suffering, not to lessen that suffering, but just to ask God to make sure she gets what she deserves, apparently.

He then leaves his readers with a call to action.

Speak out against abortion. Don’t just complain about it.

Consider that done, Pete. I’m not complaining, I am speaking out. Against you. You’re an idiot. You represent all that is wrong with your side of the debate; you’re a man, you’re too emotional to process basic forms of communication, and you use religion as a weapon, not a a tool. Abortion is not a black and white issue. Abortion is something that requires deep philosphical debate. Abortion is something that is deeply, deeply personnal.

It’s also something you need to let go because you obvisouly don’t have the mental faculties to participate in the discussion.

You can read the entire, mind-numbingly idiotic post at March Together For Life: Murder without conscience. I highly recommend reading the comments.

The Zidane headbutt

Warning, NSFW comments ahead

Via Kottke, two British newspapers hired lip-reading translators (I’d like to see that invoice) to see what Marco Materazzi said to Zinedine Zidane. If they’re correct, Materazzi’s lucky Zidane didn’t bicycle kick his head into the stands.

The alleged comment:

Hold on, wait, that one’s not for a nigger like you.

We all know you are the son of a terrorist whore.

So just fuck off.

And, to FIFA, if Rooney’s case is receiving high levels of scrutiny over his behavior, we, the fans, expect this incident to receive as much, if not more. And if Materazzi did, in fact, say these things on the pitch, he deserves to be punished as well.

I'm not a professor, I'm a Researcher

Mark this one down as questionable. With a lead off paragraph like this one, it’s got to be hard science, right?

People who have been drinking may miss objects that appear unexpectedly in their field of sight, even when their blood alcohol levels are just half the legal driving limit.

Pretty bold statement. There must have been some serious research behind this.

To investigate, the researchers had 47 volunteers watch a video of two teams passing basketballs back and forth and asked them to count how many times the team wearing white T-shirts passed the ball. During the video, a woman dressed in a gorilla suit appeared among the players, stood in the middle of the screen and beat her chest, and then walked away.

The subjects were given a beverage and instructed to drink it over a 10-minute period five minutes before watching the video. After viewing it, the researchers interviewed them to determine if they’d seen the gorilla.

Ok. Interesting technique. What were the conclusions?

Overall, one third of the study participants didn’t notice the gorilla. Among those who were sober, 46 percent spotted the gorilla, compared to 18 percent of the intoxicated group.

Notice there are no hard counts here, only statistical numbers (percents, not numbers of people). Any other observations from the study?

This phenomenon, known as inattentional blindness, occurs commonly among people who are sober, Clifasefi and her team note

Wait, wait just one cotten-pickin’ minute. Sober people exhibit this behavior, as well?
Let’s review the methodology here. People are shown a video of basketball players passing the ball and asked to count the passes. No indication is given of how intensely one would have to watch that video in order to fulfill that directive. People in studies are paid to do what researchers tell them to do; if I’m a paid subject told to count passes in a basketball video, you can be damn sure I’m going to be concentrating pretty hard on the ball moving around.

Here’s some interesting questions not addressed; how accurate were the counts of the “drunk” people? Did they perform as well on the task given to them as the sober people? Was the level of cognitive involvement (watching the basketball passes) equal to or less than the cognitive involvement of a seasoned automobile driver? Because, let’s face it, what else would a study on perception and drinking be aimed at besides drivers?

Repeat after me everyone; language matters. And when researchers–sorry, I can’t call them that–when grant seekers spew out crap like this “research”, it makes you wonder just what their agenda is. Leading off with laughable conclusions that don’t even pass the Smell Test doesn’t exactly give your work much credance either.

One strong drink can make you ‘blind drunk’ | Reuters.com

Put Marc Miller on TV

Face for radio? Hell no, that boy needs to be on TV. Marc Miller, CASCAR #8 Carhartt

Marc Miller, who pilots the #8 Carhartt CASCAR car, needs your help. Marc is trying to get on a new reality television show called “Racin’ for a Livin'” and you can help put him there. Go to www.voteformarcmiller.com and cast as many votes as you can; seriously, the rules allow that. Just don’t script anything to automate the voting process; I’m pretty sure they strap Marc to the hood of the Bad Driver’s car during the taping of the show if you get caught doing that.

Marc is an old friend of mine and a great guy. All the other people in that contest are Dixie Chick-lovin’, Jeff Gordon-supporting, latte-sippin’ posers. Ok, maybe not, but Marc is the best person on that list and deserves your vote. If you’re from New Orleans, Ann Arbor, or even San Diego, head over to www.voteformarcmiller.com and give some love to Marc.

Right-wingers miss it again

For full disclosue, I’m what used to be called Conservative. With the political landscape what it is, I think I’m now more Centric or possibly even Liberal. It’s so hard to tell with “peacenik/hawk” and “treehugger/redneck” thrown around so casually these days.

That said, I’m nowhere near as bat-shiat insane as either side of the aisle when it comes to the blogosphere (yeah, I used that term; suck it). From Kos to Reynolds, Totten to Huffington, the vitrol and, dare I go for the trifecta, idiocy at either end of the pole is staggering.

Enter today’s example. Power Line, a decidedly right-wing blog, posted a photoshop image of what the New York Times would have looked like in 1776 in light of the present-day New York Times story on the governments plan to troll financial records looking for “terrorists”. (Link to editorial at IHT because the Times still doesn’t get the Internet.)

Go see the image here, but please come back for important information.

See it? Ok, it’s funny, satirical… good political cartoon. The fictional Times of ’76 is subverting the heroic rulers by exposing their super-secret plan. Good corollary to today’s situation, good tie in for Independence Day and the Founding Fathers, etc, etc, etc.

Except the whole thing is wrong. In 1776, the Colonies were still under the rule of King George. The Times wouldn’t have been subverting the government, they would have been helping the government by outing terrorists in the Colonies.

Just as the Times is doing today. They aren’t helping terrorists, they’re exposing (at best) questionable programs that take away your rights. The program in question is not warranted or sanctioned. It’s borderline illegal and a whole foot into immoral. When you see commentary like this picture, you start to understand why one side doesn’t get why programs like this, while potential effective, aren’t good for the country in the long run.