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Old Man

A Thread for Random Musings

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Apparently the Steve Jobs movie is a flop.


Despite all the praise it is getting from Hollywood critics and the like. It's weird, how offended some in the Hollywood set seem to be that folks aren't rushing to see it.

I suppose to the tech gurus out there, he's either a patron saint or the second coming of Edison (As in ripped off folks and knew how to market), but to most folks, he made a big splash, made his millions, and died. Movies about Silicon Valley and so on have been done, so this movie really just sounded...



Add to this that you couldn't escape the marketing if you watched TV at all. It was so darn pervasive that I know I felt something of a growing contrariness about it. The more times they showed those commercials on TV, Hulu, Youtube etc, the more and more I wished the movie would just go away. Maybe I wasn't alone in having a kind of hype resentment.


Is it a good movie? Very likely. Does that in any way engender an obligation on the average movie goer to see something that doesn't interest them in the slightest? No.

But Hollywood (At least many in it) seems to have a hard time realizing that. They bitch and whine about superhero movies and/or action films getting all the love (And they take that money as they whine all the way to the bank). Look, people can love dramas and agree with the critics. To this day, the I am very glad I saw the King's Speech. But sometimes I think Hollywood's movie people aren't just disconnected from the populace, they're actively disdainful of that public unless the public claps and cheers to their every offering they claim is worthy.


Why am I posting about this? I'm not sure. Maybe I'm ironically emulating Hollywood by expecting folks to gasp in wonder at the "pearls of enlightenment" I drop here ;) Maybe I'm imagining that disdain and am totally wrong and would like someone to tell me "Dude, it ain't so." Maybe I'm bored.


Eh. Still rather be posting than watch a Steve Jobs movie.:D

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Television I've had enough of:

  • Star Trek
  • X-Files
  • Anything Law & Order
  • Anything CSI
  • Anything NCIS
  • In fact, just about any ensemble cop, doctor, foreman, or lawyer show.

Ugh. I've had my fill of reboots, retreads, spinoffs and shows that don't know when to die.


And, for the record, Dr. Who. A single episode of that proved more than enough.

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Did you ever:


A. Suddenly remember different things you haven't thought about in years, perhaps decades, or


B. Meet all your friends & family (alternatively people you haven't seen in years) unexpectedly


then wonder if all this is a sign that you're going to pass away soon?

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Blockbuster Movie starring:


Matt Damon as the guy who needs rescuing

Samuel L. Jackson as the angry but eloquent man with a gun

Sean Bean as the guy who dies

Scarlett Johansson as the other woman

Will Smith as the guy who saves the world

Ben Stiller as the guy who gets humiliated in the opening scene

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Back from London after five days away. The Spirit of Christmas Fair was a little disappointing but I got gifts for friends for their birthdays (one two months late and one a month early).

Saw both of my cousins on Saturday (one of whom it has been a couple of years since I last saw her) and got my Christmas present (unopened).

Watched the Remembrance service on Sunday and as usual it was moving. The Cenotaph is a simple piece but the closest Sunday to 11th November there is the service there at 11:00 am which follows the 2 minute silence. And it is nearly 100 years old. The first one was temporary in 1919 but the permanent one was finished in 1920. It was not dedicated as not all the dead it commemorates were Christian.

The trip up and back was first class travel. And you know what that means ! Big comfy chair and 4 free cups of coffee each way.

it was a little odd going back to London for the first time in over 2 months.

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N.C.A.A. Graduation Rate Hocus-Pocus. 


Chow and Edsall both made bona fide improvements to the educational quality of their college football programs, and both were fired as thanks. Edsall raised Maryland’s football graduation rate from 56 percent five years ago to 70 percent. Chow raised Hawaii’s football graduation rate from 29 percent five years ago to 50 percent.


At least that’s what the Department of Education says. According to the N.C.A.A., Hawaii graduates not 50 percent of its players but 70 percent, while Maryland graduates not 70 percent but 75 percent.

At work is the distinction between the Federal Graduation Rate, calculated by the Department of Education, and the Graduation Success Rate, calculated by the N.C.A.A. No other aspect of higher education has a graduation “success rate” — just a graduation rate. The N.C.A.A. cooks up this number to make the situation seem better than it is.


The world of the Graduation Success Rate is wine and roses: According to figures the N.C.A.A. released last week, 86 percent of N.C.A.A. athletes achieved “graduation success” in the 2014-2015 academic year. But “graduation success” is different from graduating; the Department of Education finds that 67 percent of scholarship athletes graduated in 2014-2015. (These dueling figures are for all scholarship athletes: Football and men’s basketball players generally are below the average, those in other sports generally above.)

Both the federal and N.C.A.A. calculations have defects. The federal figure scores only those who graduate from the college of their initial enrollment. The athlete who transfers and graduates elsewhere does not count in the federal metric.

The G.S.R., by contrast, scores as a “graduate” anyone who leaves a college in good standing, via transfer or simply giving up on school: There’s no attempt to follow-up to determine whether athletes who leave graduate somewhere else. Not only is the N.C.A.A.’s graduation metric anchored in the absurd assumption that leaving a college is the same as graduating, but it can also reflect a double-counting fallacy. Suppose a football player starts at College A, transfers to College B and earns his diploma there. Both schools count him as a graduate under the G.S.R.


Big-college defending champion Ohio State boasts an N.C.A.A.-calculated hocus-pocus Graduation Success Rate of 81 percent for football players. The Department of Education says the Buckeyes’ football graduation rate is 46 percent.

Since the federal figure understates while the N.C.A.A. figure overstates, probably splitting the difference gets closer to the real rate. The real rate comes out to 64 percent graduation in the case of Ohio State football, versus 84 percent graduation for Ohio State students as a whole in the same enrolling year. (Players leaving college early for the N.F.L. draft do not explain Ohio State’s poor football academic performance: In recent years an average of one Buckeye per year left early to declare.)

Football players ought to graduate at a higher rate than students as a whole. Football scholarships generally pay for five years on campus plus summer school, and football scholarship holders never run out of tuition money, which is the most common reason students fail to complete college. Instead at Ohio State and other money-focused collegiate programs, players graduate at a lower rate than students as a whole. To divert attention from this, the N.C.A.A. publishes its annual hocus-pocus numbers.


From Greg Easterbrook's new column. 


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