The value of reading, and of writing things down that we read, or hear, cannot be overstated. Two expert guests (who specialize in speech and memory) on the Huberman Lab podcast explained that when we read text or listen to something and then write key aspects/takeaways down by hand- not typing, it engages our motor control centers in ways that deeply embed that information to our memory. Taking notes, however cursory, turns out to be the best way to remember and implement information later.
NCAA Picks, Big 5 and Dawn Staley
In full disclosure, I did not follow college basketball like I have years ago. For example, I used to be able to tell you the top 10 or 15 players in NCAA basketball. Today, the only All Americans or top draft picks I know about are the Purdue center, Edey and the Alabama forward, Miller, who just got in trouble. My NCAA picks (below) are basically wild hunches based on only a cursory study or familiarity of the teams. I am picking Purdue to win at all even though I have only seen a few of their games. Two of the games were against Rutgers. Rutgers beat Purdue in the regular season and barely lost to them in the Big 10 tournament.
Speaking of Rutgers, I was one of those people who were a bit disappointed that they did not make the NCAA tournament. However, I can’t feel too bad for Rutgers today. Last night, as the number 1 seed, and playing in their gym, they lost to Hofstra in the first round of the NIT. Rutgers did not exactly bolster their objection into not getting into the field of 64 or 68.
No Big Five team (Villanova, Saint Joe’s, Temple, Penn and La Salle) made it into the NCAA tournament. This was the first time since 1977 that a Philadelphia-based school failed to play in the tournament. Penn actually came the closest to playing in the tournament with their semifinal game in the Ivy League tournament against Princeton, which they lost. Not sure that any team will play in next year’s tournament either…
I have not seen a lot of Big Five teams play. However the two best players in the Big Five for this year are Jordan Dingle for Penn and Erik Reynolds for St Joe’s. I’m not sure that either of those players or NBA caliber or will be drafted. However they impressed me more than Cam Whitmore of Villanova who probably will be picked early this year in the year’s NBA draft.
One of the best ideas that I have read on Twitter of all places is that Dawn Staley should replace Aaron McKee as head coach of Temple’s men’s basketball team. If any woman could succeed in coaching men’s basketball at a major college level, it is Dawn Staley. It would be nice to see her back coaching in Philadelphia!
The Hot Seat: A Year of Outrage, Pride, and Occasional Games of College Football by Ben Mathis-Lilley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
If this book had just been about Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan football program, I would have enjoyed it. However the author also extended this book to commentary about politics, religion and our national culture. Unlike some others, I enjoyed and appreciated the author’s forays into those topics. I have to admit a certain sympathy for Jim Harbaugh. Despite all the money that he is being paid, he can never satisfy the rabid desires of a typical Michigan football fan. And by the critiques and scorn that I read and see on various sports venues, Harbaugh cannot satisfy many critical commentators as to his worth.
Lord knows that many football coaches at major universities are way over paid. And one bad season can have them looking for new work quickly. Just note the unrealistic expectations at Nebraska from the Athletic Director and its football fans.
This is an excellent read if you are a college football fan or even if you are not. You don’t have to be a football fan to see how crazy college football is. For the past few years, Michigan has been Ground Zero for much of this craziness. I highly recommend this book… Excellent narrative… Cogent commentary on college sports in general.
View all my reviews
My 2024 Political Crystal Ball
- While I think that Joe Biden has done a very good job under very difficult circumstances, I don’t think that he should seek re-election. His greatest contribution has been to bring back dignity and decorum to the oval office.
- My suspicion is that Donald Trump will withdraw from seeking the Republican presidential nomination primarily as he will be in significant legal jeopardy.
- I don’t view Mike Pence as a serious presidential contender. Pence did show some integrity and even some courage on January 6, 2021. But he was basically a toady during the Trump administration and he was very inept during the coronavirus crisis.
- I am not sure why Kamala Harris is being buried as a potential presidential candidate. It does not appear that she is being taken seriously by members of her party. Her only chance would come if she needed to assume the presidency in the event that Joe Biden is unable to complete his term.
- There has to be a more capable woman than Nikki Haley in the Republican Party to run for president!
- My concern is that no moderate or at least rational candidate will come from the Republican Party. I would even view Chris Christie as a welcome candidate for 2024.
- I think that there is a good chance that the handling of the coronavirus crisis will be an issue for 2024. I’m not just talking about the various lockdowns but the necessity for vaccine mandates given some of the medical information that is now filtering out.
- I view with growing concern the decline in support of Ukraine in their war against Russia. I also see that being a critical issue in 2024 if the war is not over.
- It is so easy to manipulate and fool not only the American public but also the American press. The 2024 election may all be about which propaganda campaign will win.
- Please, no celebrity candidates! No Rock. No Matthew McConaughey. No Oprah. However, I might like to see some successful business CEOs choose to run. I am not talking about Elon Musk!
What H.L. Mencken might say about our current politicians and celebrities based on his past writings…
|Current Politician or News Celebrity||Menckenians|
|Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lisa Bobert||“The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.”|
|George Santos||“It is [a politician’s] business to get and hold his job at all costs. If he can hold it by lying, he will hold it by lying; if lying peters out, he will try to hold it by embracing new truths. His ear is ever close to the ground.‘|
|Kevin McCarthy||‘The only way to success in American public life lies in flattering and kowtowing to the mob. A candidate for office, even the highest, must either adapt its current manias en bloc, or convince it hypothetically that he is done so.“|
|Donald Trump||“It is a sin to believe evil of others, but it is seldom a mistake.“|
|Fox News viewers||‘The most costly of all follies is to believe passionately in the palpably not true. It is the chief occupation of mankind.“|
|“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.”|
|Alex Murdaugh||“It is hard to believe that a man is telling the truth when you know that you would lie if you were in his place.“|
State of the Union
Though having the fewest amount of days, February feels like the longest month.EAB
Power Failure: The Rise and Fall of an American Icon (Book Review)
Summary: Written by William D. Cohan, this book chronicles the birth and demise of General Electric. The author focuses specifically on the CEO administrations of Jack Welch and his successor, Jeff Immelt. GE was the premier American business model in the 20th century. With operations worldwide and a diverse line of operations and businesses, GE was a business powerhouse and the CEO title there was competitively sought.
This book read like a novel. Greed, hubris, deception, scandal, paybacks and crime were found at the highest ranks of the company. Did Jack Welch “cook the books” to satisfy his promise of reaching quarterly earning projections? It appears he did utilize assets from GE Capital when there were operation shortfalls. Welch laid off tens if not hundreds of thousands of employees. He closed business lines that had operated successfully for decades. Business operations, employees and products were chess pieces for GE CEOs.
Welch more than Immelt had the respect of GE employees and certainly senior management of the corporation. Welch personally managed the careers of many of the men who moved up in the organization. Welch also listened to objections to his thinking, something that Immelt refused to do.
Both Welch and Immelt made poor business decisions. There were businesses and companies that each man should not have merged with or purchased. Immelt generally did not solicit comments or potential objections from his senior officers before a major business decision. This was a major cause in his downfall and GE’s fortunes.
Welch was a complex figure. His loyalty to men who worked for him did not extend to women he married. He appeared to find solace with his third wife, Susie.
Cohan spent time within the book describing the personalities and lifestyles of not only Welch and Immelt but other men of ambition and power in the GE organization. How GE did or did not develop a succession plan for their next CEO is a topic worthy of study by MBA classes.
One of the best business books that I have read.
Secrets of the Chinese Balloon Exposed: Satire
Senescence Round 8
100% Eric Burleigh; 0% ChatGPT
With all due respect to Tom Brady, Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali and others, the GOATS (Greatest of all Times) in their sports have probably not been born yet.
Wish we can transplant the spirit, unity and enthusiasm of a professional sports team fanbase to unite this fractured country.
Memories of a deceased loved, like a candle, may flicker or dim but the love continues to beat strong.
The concentration and focus of the average American lasts midway between the time spent reading a Tweet or viewing an average TikTok reel.
How soon before we eliminate teachers, classrooms and books for a child’s education and upload knowledge and information by injection of data to their brain?
1776 Continental Congress: Washington, Jefferson, Hamilton, Henry, Franklin and Adams.
2023 Congress: McCarthy, Gaetz, Boebert, Greene and now George Santos.
Perspicacity of sports and political insights by friends > collective wisdoms of “talking heads and commentators” on TV.
Pickleball acts as viagra for some men of mature age. Both get the blood flowing, creates raised expectations and allows for pleasant times with the ladies.