From the category archives:


Australian cricket, cremated

by Chris Bertram on January 7, 2011

I’ll be catching up on my sleep over the next few weeks, having spent many an evening up late in front of the telly followed by rising at six to see the last few overs. “A tremendous achievement”: , almost without blemish, with records broken and many wonderful individual moments. One Australian I was drinking with last night claimed that the Ashes never meant much to them, because they could never take the urn home. Well, the fox who tried so hard reach the grapes claimed they were sour anyway. Open thead.


by John Quiggin on August 29, 2010

Everybody hates drug cheats. But that doesn’t seem to stop it happening, and it’s easy enough to see why.

I just finished the Bridge to Brisbane 10km fun run. I was doing really well on my training, and seemed certain to beat my personal best when I started getting knee pains – nothing really bad, but enough that I stopped before it got any worse. I got some help from the physio and did lots of stretches, but it was still a problem. So, on the day, I just took a couple of ibuprofen, and did my best to ignore it[1]. And, if I could have taken a pill that would fix my knees for me, I would have done so.

Am I, then, a budding drug cheat?

fn1. updated My friend (who beat me by 3 minutes) advises me that my time was 53:20, which is (just) a PB. My knees advise me that they will forgive me just this once. And, I should mention that, thanks to a series of miscalculations, i did the run with no assistance from caffeine, the wonder drug on which I rely for all things. So, with good knees and strong coffee, I can still hope to break 50 (in the right direction – I’ve already broken it chronologically, and of course the wrong way).
[click to continue…]

Little Apache!

by John Holbo on August 8, 2010

You probably think I have a thing for boxers from the early 20th Century? I have a thing for the Library of Congress’ photo sets. Here’s another boxer, Charles “Little Apache” Ledoux:

I like the way the angle on the corner and extra high wainscoting makes it look like “Little” might indeed be only 24″ tall. He is awesome. I want Charles “Little Apache” Ledoux, ‘the two-foot terror on two feet!’ fanfic. I want serialized boys weekly tales to amaze and uplift!

Other photos of boxers in the same room. (You can click around.)

So, the World Cup’s most famous precognitive German cephalopod, Paul, has predicted from his tank in Oberhausen that Spain will beat Holland on Sunday, leading to various death threats, offers of state protection from the Spanish government, and a proliferation of calamari recipes circulating amongst my Dutch friends on FaceBook. All of which means, surely, that it really is true that some people are hoping that the fascist octopus has sung its swan song.

I’ll get my coat.

Tour de France Open Thread

by Ingrid Robeyns on July 3, 2010

I have almost nothing with the Tour de France, or with any other big sport event for that matter. The only relation between the Tour and me is that it started in Rotterdam this year, the city where I work. I have no interest, no expertise, no patience. But since Bill Gardner “asked for a Tour de France open thread”:, here it is. Enjoy.

World Cup open thread 2

by Chris Bertram on June 28, 2010

Now England, France and the USA have been given their marching orders, perhaps we can get on with enjoying the football. On the first of those, I’d just like to say (i) that of course we need technology to check whether the ball has crossed the line, (ii) that Jamie Carragher would never have been caught out (as Terry and Upson were) for that first German goal and (iii) that the Germans, unlike the English (and the French), grasp that football is _a team game_ – so well done to them. Personally, I’m backing Ghana until they go out (and having warm feelings about Japan too). Realistically though, Argentina.

Hitler threatens World Cup!

by Chris Bertram on June 15, 2010

Those who have followed CT from before its inception will know about the important role of Ladybird Books in our intellectual formation. Here, via Jacob C and via the Guardian’s NZ-Slovakia commentary, is “Naranjito: World Cup Final in Danger”: from 1982, featuring an Adolf Hitler lookalike.

More at “The Pointless Weblog”: .

Open World Cup thread

by Chris Bertram on June 11, 2010

Can’t believe we’ve not started this already. RSA 1 Mexico 1 … not a bad start for the competition. Now looking forward to England-USA where I may be the sole Timberite cheering on Stevie G and co. Now listening to Macka B’s “Pam Pam Cameroun” ( sexist, arguably racist, but the best WC song ever, even for an England supporter). Predictions? Observations? Fire away.

No Particular Reason

by John Holbo on May 14, 2010

I just found this one on Flickr. It’s pretty great.

Aerodynamics Exhibits Left-Wing Bias?

by John Holbo on May 3, 2010

I don’t want to take this Mario Kart socialism complaint too seriously, but it does seem worth mentioning that the feature of the kart peloton the author objects to as socialistic is also a feature of any peleton in the actually existing physical universe: namely, it can be smart to let some other sucker take the lead.

But it is gross injustice for the universe to burden natural leaders with higher rates of physical taxation, as it were. Abolish the draft! (No wonder the damn Europeans love cycling so much.)

Six Nations open thread

by Chris Bertram on February 7, 2010

We usually have a Six Nations thread at this time of the year, to give our North American commenters the opportunity to make the same old joke about the Iroquois they made the previous year. I didn’t see Ireland-Italy but I did enjoy England’s largely undeserved victory over the Welsh, whose second-row forward Alun Wyn Jones managed to gift England 17 points by getting himself sin-binned. Something tells me that if England can be this crap and still get a victory, they might manage to win the whole thing.

European Politics Update

by Henry on November 20, 2009

So as “Ingrid notes”:, EU member states have chosen Von Rompuy as the new President of the European Council. To use the terms that Euro-politicians have themselves been using (which were nicked, presumably by Brian Cowen, from the title of a political science text on Irish Taoisigh), they have decided to go for a chairman – someone with a low international profile who is good at conciliating warring factions – rather than a chief. I have no doubt that Von Rompuy will do very good work, but he surely will not be a colossus bestriding the world stage, banging the heads of Sarkozy, Merkel and Brown together to force them to agree common European policy and so on. This means, I think, that the interesting stuff will be happening at the level of the foreign policy representative, Baroness Ashton. This too is unlikely to be a high profile post in the short term – but unlike Von Rompuy, Ashton will have a very substantial set of bureaucratic resources to draw upon, with links both to the Council and Commission, as well as her own European External Action Service, which will have an independent budget line. This could add up to something pretty interesting in a few years time. (Update: via Matt Y. “Annie Lowrey”: makes more or less the same point).

Turning to _real_ European politics, “the”: “crisis”: “continues”: but looks set to come to no good outcome. FIFA shows no interest in scheduling a rematch, despite Thierry Henry’s statement that a rematch would be the fairest option. Those involved seem determined to do a _reductio ad absurdum_ on Richard Posner’s “arguments about responsibility”: French footballers (and – judging from Trappatoni’s discreet circumlocutions – perhaps Irish footballers too) clearly feel that it is their obligation to push the rules as far as they can go and further – and if the referee doesn’t spot the odd match-and-qualifying-round-determining handball here or there; well, the culprit has no obligation to seek anything but his own advantage, and anyway, it all balances out in the end, doesn’t it? “Incompetent”: “regulators”: shrug their shoulders and refuse to take any responsibility for the mess. And Irish and French politicians deplore the outcome – but declare themselves powerless to do anything about it. Whether this spells out a possible case for world government to prevent such atrocities occurring in the future, I leave to the theorists. However, I don’t think anyone can deny that the end result is manifestly contrary to even the most minimal principles of justice, fairness and efficiency, completely exploding Posner’s arguments in the eyes of all fairminded individuals.

Goddamn Italy

by Kieran Healy on October 10, 2009

That is all.

Ashes open thread: 5th test

by Chris Bertram on August 21, 2009

Well with Australia 133 for 8 and 199 behind at tea on the second day, I’m a bit late starting this. If I’d posted last night it would have been to berate a mediocre England – what a difference a day makes. Is Broad the new Flintoff? Can Australia yet pull it back? Comment away.

4th test open thread

by Chris Bertram on August 8, 2009

Sorry, I forgot to get this started. But in truth, it was pretty much over by lunchtime on day one. Should Harmison ever play for England again? I’m certain that Bopara shouldn’t. Comment away!