Monday’s Forum

Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. CSK says:
  2. CSK says:

    From the desk of Donald J. Trump:

    ” So now even our Kentucky Derby winner, Medina Spirit, is a junky (sic). This is emblematic of what is happening to our Country. The whole world is laughing at us as we go to hell on our Borders, our fake Presidential Election, and everywhere else!”

    As Jim Acosta pointed out, if you heard this guy in a bar, you’d move away from him.

  3. Kathy says:


    How do you steer the borders in the direction of Hell?

  4. CSK says:

    The same way you go to hell on our fake Presidential Election, I suppose.

  5. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: That’s the one… made from… …dead babies!!! [Oh, how could you…]

    Now that that’s out of the way, I do see the connections that Wu talks about with lower income, homeless, incarcerated, and what not and such populations eliding over the “convenient” feature and jumping right to the “Brand X” thing. Especially with clotting the rare side effect. As my doctor put it when he prescribed Warfarin to treat my A-fib, “a generation ago, we didn’t even worry about treating it; the problem now is that people survive strokes.”

  6. Kathy says:

    On lighter topics.

    Superhero complaint #1 X-ray vision.

    I can buy the notion of an eye that evolved to see x-rays. But on Earth, there is no ready source of X-rays as there is of visible, infrared, and ultraviolet light. So when Superman wants to see into a building, he’d need to have someone with an X-ray machine stand on the opposite side of the building. to illuminate it.

    Maybe Kal El generates x-rays through his eyes? Well, bioluminescence is a thing, but it tends to be faint and in less energetic parts of the spectrum. X-rays are very energetic, just a tad less so than gamma rays. Also, no eye known so far generates any kind of electromagnetic radiation at all.

    Yes, I know it’s all fantasy, and there are far more preposterous things about Superman alone.

  7. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Naw, the dead baby vaccines are the Moderna and the Pfizer vaccines. The J&J is a viral vector vaccine.

    An aunt of mine phoned me to make sure I wasn’t dead.

  8. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy: How about Spiderman being able to scale walls? Even large spiders can’t do that. Nothing over a certain size can.

  9. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: I actually read an article at Patheos that claimed differently about the J and J vaccine–that it was the one most corrupted by the stem cell strain in question. On the other hand, I’ve also known motivated evangelicals who played fast and loose with the truth and were uninclined to let ignorance interfere with a good outrage rant.

  10. Kathy says:


    Oh, the whole genre is pure fantasy. Even Batman, who relies on gadgets rather than powers, is completely unbelievable.

    a Great Courses lecture series on Greek Mythology by Prof. Elizabeth Vandiver, held that myth-making had migrated to modern science fiction. This is not wrong, but I’d say the real exponent of modern mythology is the superhero genre.

  11. Jen says:

    @CSK: The J&J is the one the Catholic Church decided to take issue with, saying it was “morally compromised.”

    All three available vaccines were tested on cells derived from aborted fetuses. The problem, Catholic bishops say, is that Johnson & Johnson is still using the cells in production to grow the actual vaccines.

    Yet another reason to ignore what the bishops say, IMHO. I mean really, this is truly ridiculous hair-splitting.

  12. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I’d like to sneak a peek at the parallel universe where the J&J vaccine was the first to conclude phase 3 trials and get emergency use authorization by the FDA.

  13. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: @Jen:

    BUT…but, but, but…the bishops do add that if the J&J is the only vaccine available, it’s permissible to take it. Just not preferable.

  14. CSK says:

    So which of the vaccines sterilize you and which have the Bill Gates microchip tracking device?

  15. Michael Cain says:


    How about Spiderman being able to scale walls? Even large spiders can’t do that. Nothing over a certain size can.

    The DARPA Z-Man project is intended to develop self-contained climbing aids to let soldiers scale vertical walls. A number of prototype “climbing pads” based on the Van der Waals force used by geckos have been demonstrated, scaled up to sizes that support human weight. The necessary gait would be difficult for humans, but could easily be programmed into robots.

  16. Mu Yixiao says:


    The Physics of Superheroes

    And… I’ve been going down the rabbit hole on YouTube lately, and watched two different videos trying to explain X-ray vision. One of them speculated that it’s not actually X-rays, but some other form of cosmic radiation that is able to penetrate the atmosphere. I think it was the same one that pointed out that Superman has heat-vision, so his eyes do emit energy. So he may be emitting X-rays (or something else) and viewing reflections rather than blocked/scattered rays.

    And for those interested in the law: “Law and the Multiverse“. They don’t post much anymore, but the back catalog is fun.

  17. Mister Bluster says:
  18. Kathy says:

    @Michael Cain:

    I’d say unless spiders make use of the same principle, then Mr. Parker ought to have been Geckoman.

    How’d he talk with that long tongue?

  19. Northerner says:


    Doesn’t Superman also have heat ray vision? He used to in any case, so arguably his x-ray vision is simply a change in the frequency of the emitted light.

    I’m more curious about the ability to fly — it seems to be a type of anti-gravity rather than a propulsive force (he doesn’t seem to be able to push objects away from himself using it). That’s completely new physics (as opposed to infra-red and x-ray lasers).

  20. Kathy says:


    He shoots heat rays out of his eyes (ridiculous). I don’t think he sees heat.

    Flight we can hand-wave by saying “it’s characteristic of the superhero lifeform.” 🙂

  21. Northerner says:


    My thought was that he simply saw the reflection of a small percentage of his emitted x-rays (Bragg reflection). Of course he’d probably have to fry most targets with his x-rays to get enough reflected back at 180 degrees to him, but that’s a minor practical detail.

    I like the handwaving for flying though — something completely different is easier to accept than a modification of what we already partially understand.

  22. Mister Bluster says:

    @Kathy:..How’d he talk with that long tongue?

    He took lessons from Gene Simmons.

  23. Kathy says:

    Currently I’m reading “Comet” by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan.

    It’s far, far more information on comets than I ever wanted to know. For the most parts I run across things I already knew, but with a deeper explanation. And some interesting tidbits. Like the size of the Oort cloud around a star is limited by the gravitational influence of the galactic core, thought to contain a massive black hole.

    I knew meteor showers are what happens when the Earth passes through the trail of particles left behind when a comet crossed our orbit. I had not thought that this trail orbits the Sun. Of course, it0s obvious. Everything in the Solar system either orbits the Sun or is escaping its gravity.

  24. sam says:


    I am sometimes shocked by the blasphemies of those who think themselves pious-for instance, the nuns who never take a bath without wearing a bathrobe all the time. When asked why, since no man can see them, they reply: “Oh, but you forget the good God.” Apparently they conceive of the Deity as a Peeping Tom, whose omnipotence enables Him to see through bathroom walls, but who is foiled by bathrobes.

    Bertrand Russell, An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish

  25. Kylopod says:


    Oh, the whole genre is pure fantasy.

    Maybe, but it’s fantasy that doesn’t know it’s fantasy. It’s in a category of stories that are very attached to the idea of science, but which rely heavily on ignorance and folklore in practice. Spiderman wasn’t created by sorcery but by being bitten by a radioactive spider, transferring its “powers” to Peter–which is ridiculous to anyone with even passing scientific literacy, yet it’s the sort of thing a 10-year-old boy reading those comics might believe is scientifically plausible.

    One of my favorite examples is from the first Superman movie–I don’t know if this is from the comics–where he speeds around earth at faster than the speed of light to travel backwards in time. The entire notion is based on some level of awareness of Einsteinian physics, but with a profound lack of understanding of the limitations it imposes on what’s physically possible.

  26. Kathy says:


    In history and archaeology, artifacts of unknown purpose are often classified as “having ritual or religious significance.” In biology, many things that lack an explanation are classified as “characteristic of this or that species or genus.”

    the difference is that biology can keep doing research, largely without awaiting a lucky find in the field.

  27. Kathy says:


    Well, given the small amount of venom a spider typically injects, Peter’s main concern would be the effect of the venom and not the small mass of radioactive isotopes present in it. 🙂

    On the serious part, that’s why I compare it to mythology. Mythology doesn’t know its myth. On the other hand, the big difference is we know superheroes aren’t real, while the ancients probably thought the gods and heroes were, even if they are no longer among us for some reason.

  28. Kurtz says:

    I’m still digesting this.

    The purpose of our study is to introduce a new way of looking at inequality that allows us to classify empirically different forms of capitalism. In addition to the usual inter-personal income inequality, we look at inequality in the factoral (capital or labour) composition of people’s incomes. The class analysis (where class is defined narrowly depending on the type of income one receives) is thus separated from the analysis of income inequality proper.

    Worth some thought.

  29. Kylopod says:


    On the serious part, that’s why I compare it to mythology. Mythology doesn’t know its myth.

    Well, yes–but the key point is that it says something about the cultural beliefs of the time. Today, the idea of science holds great sway in our culture, even among those who don’t understand it. Even genre fantasy like Harry Potter or Game of Thrones is influenced by it to a degree.

  30. CSK says:

    They’re no longer among us because we stopped believing in them.

  31. Beth says:


    Flight we can hand-wave by saying “it’s characteristic of the superhero lifeform

    I remember reading in a comic book or something comic book adjacent that flying was just, basically, aggressive jumping. This was in the context of Captain Britain. Like he was so strong, he could just jump and then either fly around or just hold himself still in the air. Back then I thought it was the most amazing bullshit and it’s stuck with me ever since then.

  32. Kurtz says:

    DK Metcalf, who reached a top speed 22.64 mph on this play, just ran the 100m in an attempt to qualify for the Olympics.

    There was much commentary from sprinters about this prior to the trials. Most said he had zero chance. One world-class sprinter was pointed:

    Rodgers will be impressed should Metcalf break 10.2sec. If he doesn’t run faster than 10.5 then, well, “football players should have no business having a conversation with us,” Rodgers cracked.

    [. . .]

    “DK’s a big guy. If he gets a good start and gets rolling, he might break 10.3,” the 36-year-old Rodgers said. “But he’s not going to be in his environment for sure this weekend.

    Metcalf ran 10.36s. 10.05s earns an automatic bid to the Olympics.

    The weight issue matters quite a bit. There is also a much different focus in training between the two sports. My dad likes T&F. But it’s just too abstract for me. So Metcalf running down another elite athlete will remain more impressive to me.

  33. Kylopod says:

    @Beth: There is of course the tradition in Asian martial-arts stories of characters that fly–seen perhaps most prominently in the film Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. I believe it definitely influenced Star Wars and The Matrix–though the flying in superhero comics is probably coincidental.

  34. MarkedMan says:

    @Beth: If I remember correctly, the original superman couldn’t fly, but instead could “Leap tall buildings in a single bound!”

  35. CSK says:

    The most memorable stunt I saw Superman perform was when he squeezed a piece of coal in his hand and produced a huge, perfectly faceted round diamond.

    I tried it with a charcoal briquette. Didn’t work.

  36. Northerner says:


    Physics handles this by putting “dark” in front of the term — like dark matter or dark energy. Or sometimes by making a theory which explain things and would be testable if only we had bigger particle accelerators (only need one the size of the Milky Way to prove String Theory is indeed correct).

  37. Gustopher says:


    One of my favorite examples is from the first Superman movie–I don’t know if this is from the comics–where he speeds around earth at faster than the speed of light to travel backwards in time. The entire notion is based on some level of awareness of Einsteinian physics, but with a profound lack of understanding of the limitations it imposes on what’s physically possible.

    That was actually planned to be the ending of Superman II, which was being filmed at the same time, but the director was told to take what he had shot and create a film from it, so it moved to the first movie.

    The director was then replaced.

    Decades later, the director was given a chance to recut the second film to match his vision — like the Snyder cut before the Snyder cut, and with no reshoots. If you watch Superman II: The Donner Cut it really is a better movie. But, it also sets up Superman as the guy who solves all his problems by just turning back time… which he probably would if he did it once.

  38. Kylopod says:

    @Gustopher: I hate the Donner Cut with a passion. Don’t get me started.

    “Darker and grittier” may work with Batman, but it does not work with Superman one bit.

  39. Sleeping Dog says:


    At about 4 yo, I tried that trick as well with a real lump of coal, my grandmother’s house still having a coal furnace, didn’t work either.

  40. just nutha says:

    @CSK: My understanding is that sterilization is a byproduct of vaccination in general and that all of the majors agreed to add the microchip (actually, I think it would need to be a nanochip) to their vaccines.

  41. just nutha says:

    @Northerner: In the earliest stories, I don’t think he flew, per se. It seems to me that they were leaps of incredible distance. But Seigel and Schuster did adopt flying as a superpower early.

  42. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    @just nutha:
    Ah, I see. Funny how all those folks who got the polio vaccine and the MMR vaccine managed to reproduce.

  43. CSK says:

    @just nutha:
    “…leap long distances in a single bound…”

    But I always remember him being able to fly.

  44. Mu Yixiao says:

    @just nutha:

    In the original comics, Superman’s powers were based on insects. His strength was like an ant “which can lift 100 times its body weight”; and he didn’t fly, he leapt great heights–like a grasshopper.

    So even then, they based it on a type of science (badly applied, but still… )

  45. Mimai says:


    I’ve trained around a few world class athletes, including T&F, and a few more sub world class. I personally know Justin Gatlin. Let me tell you, the speed, explosiveness, and body control of these folks is something to behold.

    What Metcalf did is impressive, and he is a freak of an athlete. But the competition is also informative. Yes, technique matters, as does body composition. But the raw speed is different.

    Eg, I’ve seen sprinters and top-class football and soccer players compete in springs with running starts, which effectively removes the most important technical aspects. And the sprinters are still a class above. So I can understand a Mike Rogers feeling a bit prickly about the hubris and media coverage.

    The most impressive athlete I ever saw was Stacy Dragila, the pole vaulter. I trained in the same facilities as her one summer during her prime. Dear god she was impressive. In the gym and on the track. It was funny to watch some really (!) fit and macho dudes in the gym stop what they were doing and stare in awe, jaws on the floor, at her workouts. Good times.

  46. Mu Yixiao says:


    On the serious part, that’s why I compare it to mythology. Mythology doesn’t know its myth. On the other hand, the big difference is we know superheroes aren’t real, while the ancients probably thought the gods and heroes were, even if they are no longer among us for some reason


    Superheroes are absolutely the modern version of myths and legends. You can see the classic themes and archetypes in them.

    There’s also the classic difference in approach between Marvel and DC (this has been discusses quite a bit). DC is “Gods that walk among us”, while Marvel is “The best that mortals can be”. Most of DC’s classic characters are born with their powers. Marvel’s classic characters start out normal (even weak) and have to learn to use the incredible gifts they are given.

  47. just nutha says:

    @CSK: Yeah. I’m the guy who did the absolute minimum necessary to leave biology behind with a passing grade, so I don’t know. I only repeat the conventional wisdom (or manufacture it from whole cloth, as necessary 😉 ).

    I had Jules Feiffer’s book about Superman once upon a time. As I recall, flying became a power about 5 or 1o issues in, so really early. Before the early Fleischer brothers cartoons and the serialized movie in the 40s.

  48. Kathy says:


    I remember a very old Superman cartoon, perhaps from the 40s or 50s, which said just that. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound! If memory serves. I don’t think Kal El ever flew in those cartoons.

  49. Kathy says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Well, Batman was born rich.

    Greek myths often make reference to other myths (Roman myths, too), or repeat characters from other myths. More so if we include tragedies like The Trojan Women or the Oresteia.

    So the Greeks invented the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and probably for the same reason.

  50. CSK says:

    @just nutha:
    I’m waiting for QAnon to tie the Covid vaccines to Comet Pizza.

    I’m a little surprised no one’s yet suggested that the shots turn us into Satanic pedophile cannibals.

  51. Mu Yixiao says:


    When he first débuted in Action Comics #1 way back in 1938, Superman couldn’t fly at all — instead, he could jump the wonderfully specific height of 1/8th of a mile.

    His ability to fly would first appear in Superman cartoons and Radio plays, before he picked it up in the comics for the first time in 1941.

  52. sam says:


    Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound! Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s plane! No, it’s Superman!!!

    I listened to the serial on the radio. Of course, it was only later that I learned to pronounce the punctuation.

  53. Kylopod says:

    @sam: Or there’s the variation we learned as a kid:

    It’s a bird! It’s a plane!


    It’s a bird.

  54. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: @Jen:

    My deepest apologies to you both. I just learned from a very sane and well-informed commenter at that the J&J vax is made from “real (formerly alive) child body parts.”

    I truly had no idea.

  55. inhumans99 says:


    I have no interest in the Donner cut, as it would spoil how I feel about Superman II. I feel that SIIs scene where Superman confronts Zod and his crew in Times Square (wait, Wiki says it was a battle in Metropolis, but it has been a while since I watched the film) is one of the greatest action set pieces to exist on film, it is just wonderful and tense and exciting to watch.

    Put it this way, this year I turn 50 and I feel that I have seen my fair share of films with action set-pieces, and the SII battle in my opinion is on par with some of the shoot-out set pieces found in films like John Woo’s The Killer and Hard Boiled. It is that good. Superman up against 3 bad ass villains makes you want to root so hard for him it is not even funny.

    Also, Kathy, it may have been mentioned already but I seem to remember reading a book that I could have sworn came out around the time when the first or 2nd Bryan Singer X-Men films came out that tried to explain how some of the superhero stuff/powers in comics could be explained as something that might be possible using science. I am not sure I finished the book but I love that someone tried to put an explanation to the powers found in comics using science/physics that might have you pausing for a moment and going hmmm, I guess I could see this being a possibility in real life and not simply having you dismiss everything you learn about in comics as simply made up fantasy stuff.

  56. just nutha says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I would characterize the difference more along the lines that DC heroes come on the scene fully formed whereas Marvel heroes have a larger portion of the story as backstory/morality play/bildungsroman. The other feature of Marvel comics is how often in the 60s-70s the DoD/military-industrial complex gets called upon to play the role of villain while also portraying the last bulwark against totalitarianism in the next title over. (Compare The Incredible Hulk with Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., for example.)

  57. just nutha says:

    @CSK: I was happy to give you the benefit of the doubt. I read lots of stuff which I pay only passing attention to, so it’s easy for me to be wrong.

  58. Kurtz says:


    Yeah, it’s just totally different. One set can’t do what the other can. I understand the prickliness too–I didn’t mean to come across as dismissive. As I said, I suspect my dad has a better understanding of that kind of thing than I do because he competed back in the 60s in the Bay Area.

    But I doubt Rodgers would be able to match the explosion of NFL players on a football field. I think, and I could be wrong, that’s my takeaway from it.

    Straight-line speed just doesn’t do all that much in the NFL. Tyreek Hill, who is probably the fastest NFL player, ran a 20.14s 200m at one point. Bob Hayes won the gold in the 100m in 1964 with 10.16s (WR), before playing for the Cowboys. But guys get drafted every year trying to play like one of them and it just doesn’t happen.

    Gatlin tried out for several teams, did you ever ask him about that?

  59. dazedandconfused says:


    For perspective, imagine someone running nearly 5 mph faster than the guy we saw catching Budda Baker from behind. Usain Bolt’s 27.33 mph top speed was well documented.

  60. Kathy says:


    I feel that SIIs scene where Superman confronts Zod and his crew in Times Square (wait, Wiki says it was a battle in Metropolis, but it has been a while since I watched the film)

    Isn’t Time’s Square in Gotham? 😉

  61. Kurtz says:


    I had forgotten the 27 mph top speed. Per my response to Mimai, I think Bolt claims he had offers from teams, but wasn’t thrilled about getting hit. Though I also saw a quote that indicated he would answer a call from the Brady-era Patriots or Aaron Rodgers.

    I did find a study that showed a pretty significant effect on sprinting speed starting at a 2% increase in body weight. But the study used weighted vests, and I’m guessing that may make a difference vs. more proportionally added weight. Though it would come closer to the added weight from pads and helmet on a football player.

    Either way, world class sprinters are just insane.

  62. Mu Yixiao says:


    Metropolis is NYC
    Gotham is Chicago
    Coast City is LA
    Star City is SF (I may have these last two mixed up)

    And… based on distances, my best guess is that Bludhaven is South Milwaukee. 😛

  63. Biden to meet one-on-one with Joe Manchin.

    Further evidence that Manchin is the most powerful Democrat in Congress.

  64. just nutha says:

    @Mu Yixiao: “Gotham is Chicago.”
    The folks at DC Fanbase disagree with you.

    Blüdhaven, often simplified as Bludhaven, is a city in New Jersey between Gotham City and Atlantic City.

    I always thought of Gotham and Metropolis as the same place, simply with 2 different names (for copyright purposes) until Superman/Batman team ups started. Then Gotham became simply, “somewhere else” for my purposes. (But I grew up not knowing why the Second City comedy troupe was headquartered in Chicago, too, and why the name was significant. [I led a sheltered life until I started working produce warehousing.])

  65. Mimai says:


    I didn’t get any dismissiveness from your post. You are right that Mike Rogers wouldn’t compete well on the NFL field. At that level, the specialization is just too important (a few unicorns notwithstanding). And the muscle hypertrophy of top sprinters is really freakish…and limiting.

    Re Gatlin, it came down to a few things, which are not uncommon:

    risk/reward (ie, injury)
    agility (lack thereof)
    going from top dog to not top dog
    getting hit

    That last one is not a minor thing. One has to witness in person (though not necessarily experience) the violence of these collisions to really appreciate them. 260lbs of muscle at 4.6 40 speed is not something many people want moving toward them, much less connecting. Makes me shiver.

  66. Kathy says:


    It was once X. That’s where the term X-rays came from, though Roentgen rather quickly dispelled the unknown factor there.

    It could be worse. remember “junk DNA”? Those were DNA segments which scientists couldn’t figure out. I think that has fallen out of favor.

  67. Michael Cain says:


    260lbs of muscle at 4.6 40 speed is not something many people want moving toward them, much less connecting.

    The speed of some of the NFL linemen, given the mass involved, is incredible to me. I recall that one of the attempts at a US pro track-and-field tour included a time-filler where one of the shot putters or discus throwers ran a 40-meter dash against one of the female sprinters. He could get up to his full speed sooner. Her full speed was faster. 40 meters was chosen intentionally because it was the distance where they were competitive.

  68. Kurtz says:


    I wasn’t sure if I seemed dismissive, nor am I aware of why I thought that when typing my response.

    I figured as much wrt Gatlin. I know Belichick, perhaps at the behest of Ernie Adams, is big on 3-cone-drill results. Then again, his drafting style seems to be -ev on wide receivers.

    On the hits: Yeah. I haven’t been on the sidelines, but I’ve been to plenty of games. If you’re anywhere close to the field, the force of those hits are plainly obvious in a way they aren’t on TV. And I’m sure nothing can prepare a player for what it feels like, even if he played since he was six. They take those hits over and over again.

    You can even see it by watching some of the slimmer guys–Marvin Harrison played as long as he did at ~180 lbs. because he was really good at avoiding hits. You see it in Brady over the last few years. He is less willing to stand in the pocket and deliver a pass than he was even five or six years ago, much less when he was in his 20s. It’s hard to believe that he’s played that long. That first SB win feels like two years ago and like ancient history simultaneously. I guess because it was almost three generations of players ago.

  69. Kurtz says:

    @Michael Cain:

    The speed of some of the NFL linemen, given the mass involved, is incredible to me.

    Those Offensive Tackles that run 5.1 at 305+ pounds get me too. But the ones that make me shake my head in disbelief: the Defensive Tackles that have insane short area burst and push. I think because some of the best ones have such strange physical proportions. Watching Aaron Donald play is a treat, and same with Grady Jackson.

    Donald especially. I swear that guy can occupy three linemen at once. I saw a reddit thread debating JJ Watt vs. Donald. And I get why one would take Watt, but even excepting injury concerns, I think I would take Donald.

  70. MarkedMan says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Gotham is Chicago

    Not in the most reliable canon source: The 1960’s era TV show. It was mentioned more than once that across the river from Gothan City lay the state of New Guernsey.

  71. Mu Yixiao says:


    I’m not an expert on DC, but I had always thought Gotham was Chicago. I know that it was called out in the designs for the Nolan movies (and a bit for the earlier ones).

  72. dazedandconfused says:

    Football players such as receivers and dbacks have to have bursts spanning an afternoon, sprinters, not so much. The more you train for endurance the slower your top end gets.

    I think it was Ken Stabler who quipped, when asked about some sprinter maybe being drafted by the Raiders with world-class speed was mentioned: “Can he shed the bump, get open, and catch the ball with someone whacking him upside the head?”

  73. This article from 2015 proposing we divide the country into two time zones is worth reading.

  74. CSK says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    Gotham has meant NY since the 19th century. Christopher Nolan made it represent Chicago.

  75. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    All those folks seeking to reduce the number of time zones have never lived northeast of NYC or Boston for that matter. In the winter, around here it is dusk around 4 PM and in the summer the first light is around 4:30 AM. I’d be very happy to move the state to the Atlantic time zone (Nova Scotia).

  76. Mimai says:

    @Michael Cain:

    Shot-putters don’t get nearly enough credit for their athleticism and grace. I’ve seen these guys do vertical and broad jumps that made me question the laws of physics. Their flexibility came as a surprise too.

    Donald and Watt are good examples of how very unusual these NFL athletes are. The combination of attributes is wild. Jevon Kearse is the one that always comes to mind for me. I’ve seen him in person but never during a workout. But the stories I’ve heard from guys who have worked out with him are legend. Eg, overhead pistol squats…I don’t recall how much but it was stupid weight…..and at 6ft 5in!

  77. Kurtz says:


    Yeah, poor Stabler having to deal with AL Davis drafting on speed.

    I heard a BS podcast with Michael Lombardi talking about working for Davis. No matter what you said to Al about a player, you were screwed. If he liked him, but you didn’t it’s a long discussion that wouldn’t end until you agreed that you liked him. Then, of course, saying you like a player at any point gets blame later if they aren’t good; and if they are good, it’s Al’s credit to take.

    Lombardi did a decent impression of Davis as well. I laughed.

  78. Teve says:


    McCarthy’s top aide, Brian Jack, was Trump’s WH political director and all in on the attempt to overturn the election–and now on the Cheney purge. It’s not about 2022. It’s about 2024–having a House GOP leadership ready to join state Rs in doing what they failed to do in 2020.

  79. Teve says:

    J.J. Watt is 6’5, 285 lbs. I once saw a video where he box-jumped onto an object that was five feet high. The idea of him trying to rip a football out of my possession is dreadful.

  80. Mimai says:


    my possession

    Hahahaha! Bless your heart.

  81. Teve says:

    GOP Rep Adam Kitzinger

    “I mean, right now it’s basically like we’re the Titanic. We’re in the middle of this slow sink, there’s a band on deck telling everyone it’s fine, meanwhile Donald Trump is looking for women’s clothing trying to get on the first lifeboat,”

  82. Jax says:

    @Teve: HA!!! Trump is totally Alfrid Lickspittle on the Hobbit, running away with his corset full of stolen gold.

  83. Kurtz says:


    There is a YouTube video of Warren Moon throwing passes to regular-ass people. They were struggling to catch the passes at first simply because of the rotation of the football. And this was when Moon was ~60 years old.

    I know one of the things some scouts and coaches do during evaluation is listen to the ball as it leaves a QB’s hand. It’s that distinctive.

  84. Kurtz says:

    Ha, finally got a rare NBA Topshot pack and man was it a terrible pull.

    Being a few weeks too late during the gold rush is nahsogood

  85. dazedandconfused says:

    If he was after me there would be no need for any ripping…

  86. dazedandconfused says:


    Two guys whom a lot of QBs are lucky decided to play basketball: Charles Barkley and Zion Williamson. Frightening to think of what kind of DEs they might’ve been.

  87. Teve says:

    @dazedandconfused: yeah, like your drunk Christmas uncle saying “they paid so and so 5 million dollars to get into the ring with Mike Tyson? I’d get into the ring with Mike Tyson for $5 million.” Well, yeah, but nobody would pay you $5 million to get dropped the first time Tyson threw a left jab.

  88. Mikey says:

    Lots of interesting conversation today on the athleticism of sprinters, big football players, etc. And some of those guys are indeed incredible humans.

    My sport is distance running and I’d like to put in a plug for world-record marathoner Eliud Kipchoge’s ability to run a 4:35 mile, not just once, but 26 times back-to-back.

  89. MarkedMan says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I was just snarking on the Batman TV series. In the Nolan movies there was an El, which shouts Chicago.

  90. Mimai says:


    Fellow idiot, er, distance runner here. Soccer was my primary sport through college. I very much echo your shout-out to Kipchoge. Unbelievable. Makes it look so easy. I love the look on people’s faces when I convert the pace to a single each lap around the track. “Try to run that even once…”

  91. DrDaveT says:


    But on Earth, there is no ready source of X-rays as there is of visible, infrared, and ultraviolet light.

    Cosmic radiation is mostly gamma rays and x-rays, and is approximately isotropic. I don’t know the photon density, though.