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Showing posts from November, 2010

Bears 31, Eagles 19

Hey, I'm as surprised as anybody. But my Bears didn't just beat the heavily favored Philadelphia Eagles yesterday at Soldier Field. They owned them.

Granted, the Eagles had injury problems in their secondary. Asante Samuels might have made a difference. But the Bears team I saw yesterday has a shot to beat anybody in the league. Don't look now, but I think we're actually good.

Note that I'm not predicting a Super Bowl or anything. But also note that the Bears are now in first place all alone in the NFC North. That other team- the one whose colors are typically found in a newborn baby's diapers- lost to Atlanta yesterday.

Oh, and by the way... all those Jay Cutler detractors are rather quiet today, for some reason.

Bear down!

Before there were Gale Sayers and Walter Payton...

...there was Willie Galimore (28), who was killed on the way to Bears' 1964 training camp at the age of 29. Also killed in the accident was Galimore's teammate, wide receiver John (Bo) Farrington.

Willie was a great one. Injury prone, his dazzling runs and unbelievable moves were a comparatively rare treat for Bear fans. If he'd stayed healthy and lived longer, it's hard to say how great he could have been.

Also featured are quarterback Ed Brown (15), fullback Rick Casares (35), and place kicker George Blanda (in a hoodie). Blanda, who is best known as a quarterback with the Oakland Raiders, was pretty much limited to kicking during his career with the Bears.

These guys, along with defenders like Joe Fortunato and Bill George and Doug Atkins, were my gridiron heroes when I was growing up. BTW, the games depicted below were played at Wrigley Field. Notice that the lack of space between the end zone and the wall, which caused the Big Ten to decree that all offensive play…

The Bears are harder on Dolphins than tuna fishermen are

I guess it must have been on cable, since I couldn't find it on free TV.But the Bears won their second game in five days last night, beating Miami 16-0.

I'll be rooting for the Norse Force to beat the Mold 'n' Gold Sunday. But even if Green Bay wins, the Bears will retain not one but two tie-breakers in the NFC Central race: they beat the Pack in their only meeting so far, and they have a better record in the division.

Bear down!

A bizarre Northwestern-Illinois game at Wrigley tomorrow

The Bears played at Wrigley Field for years. In fact, most of the Bears games I've attended have been at Wrigley.

But for some bizarre reason supposedly having to do with safety, tomorrow's Northwestern-Illinois game at Wrigley will use only one end zone. It seems that the east end zone is too close to the wall for safety.


This is going to be the weirdest big-time football game since that bizarre NFL championship game back in the 'Thirties in which the Bears and the New York Giants played on a field that was only eighty yards long.

It is also lamer than most people on injured reserve.

Bears beat the Men in Braids

The Bears beat Minnesota 27-13 yesterday, moving into a tie with the idle Snot 'n' Pus for first in the NFC Central.

While I neglected to mention it, they also beat Buffalo last week. But then, so does everybody else- except Detroit.

The Ursine Warriors are not 6-3. Had Lovie but thrown the challenge flag when Jay Cutler fumbled after scoring what should have been the winning touchdown in the Washington game, they'd be 7-2. On the other hand, they probably would have lost the Detroit game if it weren't for that weird rule about receivers releasing the ball, so I guess 6-3 is probably about right.

I have no illusions about our winning the Super Bowl. Or going to the Super Bowl. Or getting very far into the playoffs. I will only say that any year in which we beat Green Bay twice and Minnesota at least once is a success- and beating both of them twice is very nearly as satisfying as taking home the Lombardi Trophy.

And we're half-way there!

Dubyah vindicated?

We asked the G20 to back our efforts to get China to revalue the artificially cheap renminbi upward in order to improve the relative position of American exports and save American jobs.

They said no.

Once again, we are in the position we were in the days leading up to the Iraq war of wondering why in the world we keep bailing the Europeans and other ingrates out whenever a Kaiser Bill or a Hitler is on the march. Maybe Rep. Ron Paul (R-Utopia Planitia), his son, Senator-elect Rand Paul (R-Cydonia), and the other neo-isolationists are right after all.

--HT: Drudge

Even if Obama rebounds, the future looks bleak for Democrats on the Hill

When the Democrats swept into control of both houses of Congress four years ago, commentators pointed out that the relative numbers of Republican and Democratic seats up for graps in 2008 would make it unlikely that Republicans could retake the Senate that year.

As things fall out, the arithmetic works the other way around where 2012 is concerned. The Democrats are going to have to fight like mad to avoid losing control of the Senate even if President Obama is decisively re-elected.

And now Republicans will be in charge of re-drawing congressional districts in the wake of this year's census. For the foreseeable future, it's going to be much harder for the Democrats to get a majority in the House than it was a week ago Tuesday.

HT: Real Clear Politics

When your head is in the sand, you can't see what's happening in the sky

Ever since President Obama unilaterally took America out of manned space exploration (leaving it to a private sector ill-equipped to compete with the government-sponsored programs of other nations), many of us have been waiting with a sense of foreboding for the moment a few years from now when the Chinese flag will be raised on the moon, and we will be years away from being able to return there ourselves. The blow to both our prestige and our national self-image will be devastating- and it will be left to China to exploit the rich deposits of helium-3 and other resources on our nearest celestial neighbor.

And already China is developing the capacity to wage war against us in space. One hopes that the Obama administration notices.

HT: Drudge

Well, it's certainly innovative...

The NHL has experimented with several different formats for its ALl Star Game. For a long time, the Stanley Cup champions played the all stars from the rest of the league. They've also had the all stars from North America play the all stars from therest of the world, and the all stars from each conference play each other.

But starting with this year's game, the teams will be picked the same way we all picked sides in informal baseball and softball games as kids. A pool of all stars will be selected, and two captains will alternately choose from it to form the two teams.

Presumably who goes first will not be determined by throwing a bat and seeing whose hand can come cloest to the knob.

Putting Pluto in its place

The other night while watching PBS, I heard astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson give the most cogent explanation yet of why Pluto is no longer considered a planet.

"If Pluto were in the orbit around the sun Earth has," Tyson explained, "it would grow a tail. And that's no way for a planet to behave!"

If Pluto were in the orbit around the sun Earth has, it- like any other Kuiper Belt Object Kuiper Belt Object (KBO)- look like the picture at the left. It would be a very large comet.

Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars are rocky worlds. Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are huge balls of gas (if you had a big enough bathtub, Saturn would actually float in it!), usually with metalic and perhaps liquid cores. But Pluto, Charon, Eris and the other KBO's are essentially "dirty snowballs-" just economy-sized comets in more or less stable orbits.

KBOs become comets when their orbits are perturbed and they are sent inward toward the sun. The gasses which form the i…

Wise old Barack explains things to the poor, dumb voters

We've been hearing it ever since it became clear that the Democrats were going to get plastered in this week's elections: it's not that the Democrats' policies were wrong. It's the voters who are wrong. The Democrats just didn't do a good enough job of explaining to the poor, dumb voters why the Democrats' policies were right.

And now, the President of the United States has joined the patronizing chorus.

Now, aren't you ashamed of yourselves, voters? You should have listened to Papa! Better let him do your thinking for you next time.

HT: Drudge

ET, Sarah P., lots of tea, Terry B., Chuck Grassley- and new MC's from the GOP

The first thing an astronomy buff such as myself must remark upon when it comes to the outcome of yesterday's election is that it was a good night for the extraterrestrial crowd. After all, a Moonbeam was elected governor of California, and a Martian was elected to the United States Senate from Kentucky.

By the way, only last night did I realize for the first time that the inhabitant of the West Virginia Governor's Mansion was Governor Manchin. After January, he'll be Senator Manchin.

About the only real surprise here in Iowa was the defeat of Secretary of State Michael Mauro, a fixture of what is naively referred to hereabouts as "the Des Moines Democratic machine." He will be replaced in January by Republican Matt Schultz. Nobody saw that coming- especially since (with one notable exception) all the other incumbents in statewide races were handily re-elected.

That exception was Democratic Governor Chet Culver, who went down to defeat at the hands of former gov…

Election day, 2010

There won't be much drama here in Iowa tonight. Some, but not much.

I voted early last Saturday, since I was downtown and don't relish that two mile walk past another polling place to get to mine. In any event, Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley is going to absolutely obliterate challenger Roxanne Conlin- a smart, if rather radical lady who deserves better of electoral politics than her career has dealt her (she lost to Terry Branstad in his first race for governor back in the 'Eighties because she had run on a platform of tax reform and didn't have to pay any taxes herself the year before a contradiction I still fail to comprehend myself, but one which my fellow Iowans felt somehow made her a hypocrite).

Branstad himself, having tired of civilian life, will crush incumbent Democratic Gov. Chet Culver (who hasn't actually been all that bad a guv, though Branstad was a better one).

The GOP will end up with control of at least one house of the legislature, and at least …