44 thoughts on “July 19, 2018: Life Ain’t Fair And The World Is Mean”

    1. Wild parsnip/giant hogweed/whatever else people call it isn't anything to mess around with. I remember my dad telling me about a guy in Minnesota getting blistered and burned after weedwhacking through a patch of it. That was at least 15 years ago, so it's been around, but it's definitely getting some more attention the last few months. I usually see it in ditches, especially next to railroad tracks.

      1. Wild parsnip is EVERYWHERE around here. It makes going for bike rides a little more exciting, hoping I don't wipe out and land in a ditch full of the stuff.

        1. We'd play ball out in a field at my cousins' place in Becker...the dirt there was sandy - flood plain, I assume. Always on the lookout for sandburs. Watch out when sliding!

    2. Missing from the article: It's not like poison ivy in directly causing the reaction, but induces photosensitive dermatitis. So you won't have any problems if you run into at night and shower before daybreak.

      1. Also, Pushki ("Cow Parsnip") is native to Michigan (and MN and most of the rest of the continent) and causes the same reaction, so the alarmism is really exaggerated.

  1. an argument that both teams were "winners" in the Leonard/DeRozan trade.

    I'm not entirely buying it, but.

    Mostly, I am concerned for San Antonio that they are moving into a "Milwaukee in the Don Nelson era" phase of the franchise -- a consistent middle-tier winner with basically no chance to compete for a title and never bad enough to get better through the draft.

    The franchise is moving on from the Duncan era in earnest. This year, the team will be centered on LaMarcus Aldridge, DeRozan, and Rudy Gay. DeJounte Murray will likely get the keys to the team and have a chance to emerge as a star. If he does, then San Antonio probably finishes in the middle of the playoff pack again. If he doesn't, then San Antonio struggles to make the playoffs.

    1. Considering the market size, a Texas version of the Pacers also comes to mind, just in a much tougher conference.

    2. Sometimes I wonder if that’s really such a bad thing. Even in the long run, not that many teams actually win it all. Better to have an entertaining, winning team for a long period than being a perennial lottery team.

      1. I'm a "just have a shot at the playoffs year in and year out" kind of guy. Championships are just too rare. Of course, the Wolves managed to make even "just make the playoffs" supremely unlike-able last year.

        1. While I agree that being in the playoffs year after year is better than just missing the playoffs year after year, I think there is a big qualitative difference between NBA playoffs and non-NBA playoffs.

          MLB playoffs seem like much more of a crapshoot, for example. And with two hot starting pitchers, you can conceivably go all the way.

          NBA playoffs are a grind. Lower-seeded teams rarely take a series to the limit, let alone win. Or so it seems.

          1. I don’t know if it is the nature of the game or the league, but I generally agree that the NBA playoffs are more deterministic. But that goes for the regular season, too. No MLB team will ever win 140 games in the regular season.

            People are often talking about the length of the NBA season, with the tension being between more games is more entertainment versus out of contention teams playing out the string. If you are just interested in finding the best teams, they could use a shorter season. It would never happen, but you could have two seasons per year and teams would spend less time out of contention, and non-playoff teams would get more of a mid-season break to heal up.

  2. seen on an Econ podcast lecture, of all places:

    My son, the hipster. Always burning his mouth on soup.

    Think about it.

  3. Looks like I'm heading to KC for the game on Saturday night. Don't suppose anyone else in the Nation will be there?

    'Current List of Active Visited Stadiums' SelectShow

    I've got a long way to go, and clearly need to head out West.

    1. Looks like Nick Nelson will be down there too ... if you happen to run in any of the same circles (I don’t know, you guys often surprise me).

    1. I think it’s becoming pretty clear that what happened in Wisconsin was a preview of what’s happening on a national level now. I’m pleased to see Kaufman mention Kathy Cramer’s The Politics of Resentment, which is as clear-eyed a look at what Walker, Ryan, Preibus, and others have been up to as any out there. I’m proud to work at an institution with someone like her on the faculty.

      'FZ' SelectShow
      1. I definitely need to read Prof. Cramer’s book. I was privileged to hear her discussion in person when she visited the Humphrey School in April of last year. I was sorry that we only got to hear an hour of her observations.

        RE the FZ: gross.

        1. I put a request in for both those books from my local library, so thanks for bringing this up.

    1. Considering the Twins seem unlikely to get their act together with this roster, I’m fine with Cleveland doubling down on win-now mode. I don’t know that Falvey & Levine are likely to get a big return on any of the players they could move, but the more unlikely Cleveland makes winning the division this year, the more they’ll focus on figuring out what they’re doing in 2019.

  4. I spent the day a the emergency room with my wife. She apparently starting feeling pressure in her chest and across her back last night with some shortness of breath and didn't say anything until this morning. We called the nurse line and they said get to the ER. Enzyme tests show no ischemia, but because of her family history(her dad died of a heart attack at 52) and some anomalies in her ECG they've admitted her for overnight observation and will do an echo-cardiogram tomorrow morning. I'm feeling a little bit down and I have to get back to the hospital now. Hopefully tomorrow will be a brighter day.

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