Archive for August 17, 2011
Because of his passionate adoration of Sarah Palin, our pet political platypus is fascinated by anything to do with Alaska (even though he is better suited biologically to somewhat warmer climes.) So Pauly was intrigued to hear this bit of news about a genuine Alaskan mystery. As you can see from the link, it appears that a remote Inuit village (that’s “Eskimo” to you) has been inundated with acres of a strange orange goo. Nobody knows where it came from or what it’s made of, though samples have now been taken and submitted for analysis.
Pauly is anxious to know what you think the weird stuff might be. It’s neon orange and seems quite oily, but turns out when gathered to be light and powdery. Pauly’s owners, having taken a peek at Going Rogue, conjecture that perhaps Alaskan bookstore owners have dumped their thousands of remaindered copies into the ocean, where they have dissolved into this oily, powdery, brightly-colored goo.
But your theories may differ. We’re eager to hear them.
- Mystery Orange Goo in Remote Alaskan Village Identified (foxnews.com)
- Mystery orange goo invades Alaska village (holykaw.alltop.com)
- Tide of neon orange goo baffles Alaskan town (telegraph.co.uk)
- By sea and rain: Alaskan village inundated by mysterious orange goo (theextinctionprotocol.wordpress.com)
- Mysterious Orange Goo Baffles Remote Alaska Village (uwtreasures.wordpress.com)
I was pointed to a recent Salon article about the “freshness” of candidates for President. It made for an interesting read, indeed. Here’s the basic gist: since 1900, if you got elected to your first major office over 14 years ago, you won’t be elected President unless you’re already President. Years as Vice President don’t count toward the 14 years.
The one exception, Lyndon Johnson, became President without being elected President, which perhaps had something to do with him being an exception. Every other general election candidate with more than 14 years lost. We haven’t had an election since 1844 in which both candidates would count as “stale”.
The idea behind the theorem makes sense if you think about it. Fresh means exciting, and excitement is a valuable tool to get people into the polling booths. It’s hard to see what’s magical about 14 years, though, so I figured I’d do a little statistical analysis on the theorem to see if, in fact, there’s a correlation between length of time in major office and vote margins.