Traditional Boxing in Nigeria

From BBC News:

Traditional boxing from northern Nigeria is fast, brutal, and has few rules.

The men who dedicate their lives to it are wanderers, itinerant labourers in search of fame, or the sons of boxers – born into the ring.

“Dembe”, as it is called in Hausa, is exceedingly dangerous. Serious injury, and even death, are a real risk.

On Having a Black Name

From Daisy’s Dead Air:

I am a white woman, a blond, blue-eyed white woman, and I have a first name strongly associated with black women. My mother, a southerner by birth, never stopped telling me she made the name up. The fact that she truly could not remember ever hearing the name before, is a testament to the strength of southern segregation. It is likely she heard it once or twice, and simply forgot it until later. Just like those legendary blues riffs that got lifted from black musicians. (Is it plagiarism if you just FORGOT where you heard it?) And so, even at 50 years old, I have a name that makes people do a double-take. “You’re _____?” is something I have heard all my life. “Yes, that would be me,” is what I say, as they look confused. I have upset the social order. Names, I have learned, are a big, big part of it.

I always knew, for example, without really articulating why, that I should go in person to fill out a job application. Make sure they see you, I would think, unconsciously. I always called after sending in a resume, made sure they heard me. But even so, it’s always been a problem; I have always had trouble securing interviews if I didn’t already know someone in the company. And I have always known why. I was happy when the experts vindicated me.

And I only got my silly record and book reviews published when I started using a pseudonym. Were they suddenly more readable?

In the south, a few white women have my name–some have made sure to tell me about their aunts or cousins who have the “unusual” name, and how they spelled it (since nobody spells it exactly the same way). But it remains a “black” name–to the extent that several racist parodies have used my name, for instance, in places like The National Lampoon. Googling my first name, I find: an African-American Olympic medal winner, an African-American recipe website, a still-unknown jazz singer, a model, a teacher. All black women.

In addition, I’ve received black-oriented catalogs, mass-mailings, spam, coupons, radio station advertisements and invitations to church.

Saturday Night Live even assigned my name to a black crackhead-character in a comedy skit. I was at a small social gathering of mostly-white people when I saw it, and a roar of laughter went up at the mention of the character’s name. Just like when I was in the third grade.

For some reason, it’s always considered funny. Mistaken identity, ha ha ha. People of all races confide to me, laughing, that I’m the only white ____ they have ever met!

Why, exactly, is that funny? Because I’ve never understood why.

(via Metafilter)

Tell Me How This Ends?

Time on the Democrats’ Primary:

So how will it end? No one really knows. Ever since a small group of Democratic operatives enshrined the proportional allocation of primary delegates in its party rules 20 years ago, the possibility of a months-long death march to the convention has both reflected the Democrats’ proudest egalitarian instinct — and hidden the germ of their worst nightmare. That latter possibility has now arrived. There is no road map for where the Democrats are going; there aren’t even many roads. The candidates and their aides have only a dim grasp of how the endgame will unfold, though some maintain a healthy sense of humor about their predicament. David Axelrod, Barack Obama’s top strategist, donned a shirt on the plane out of Pennsylvania that read STOP THE DRAMA, VOTE OBAMA.

But the drama is a long way from over. Sources at both campaigns and anxious Democrats elsewhere say they see three possible scenarios that could bring the contest to a close:

Question of the Day

Where’s your favorite place to eat lunch?

I work in Harvard Square where there are no shortage of restaurants, lunch counters, and sandwich shops so this is a bit tricky for me to decide upon one. Bartley’s Burgers is a legend in the square but it’s a bit of a walk for me and to call it crowded would be an understatement so I rarely stop in anymore. Leo’s Place Diner on JFK St. is the epitome of a lunch counter. In fact, even the wall facing away from the lunch counter is a lunch counter. The food is the usual greasy spoon fare but relatively inexpensive and good. Leo’s is a throwback to when lunch counters like The Tasty ruled the square before the chains started moving in and destroying all that is good and original. Bastards.

Ok Cynics, let’s hear about your favorite place to lunch.

101 Scientific Facts From the Bible

Sweet Flying Spaghetti Monster! All this time we’ve been wasting in universities and laboratories when all we needed to do to unlock science is to read the goddamn bible! For example:

12. Chicken or egg dilemma solved (Genesis 1:20-22). Which came first, the chicken or the egg? This question has plagued philosophers for centuries. The Bible states that God created birds with the ability to reproduce after their kind. Therefore the chicken was created first with the ability to make eggs! Yet, evolution has no solution for this dilemma.

And it’s not just biological facts that the bible is chock full of but it delves into anthropology:

Cavemen described in the Bible (Job 30:1-8). Four thousand years ago, Job describes certain “vile men” who were driven from society to forage “among the bushes” for survival and who “live in the clefts of the valleys, (and) in caves of the earth and the rocks.” Therefore “cavemen” were simply outcasts and vagabounds – not our primitive ancestors as evolutionists speculate.

And nuclear physics

Atomic fission anticipated (2 Peter 3:10-12). Scripture states that “the elements will melt with fervent heat” when the earth and the heavens are “dissolved” by fire. Today we understand that if the elements of the atom are loosed, there would be an enormous release of heat and energy (radiation).

I can has logical fallacy?

This reminds me of this clip of Penn Jillette saying that in order to predict the future, you have to make the prediction BEFORE the events actually take place. Not try to fit everything together after the fact.