Inferior Good: Diminishing Marginal Stupidity in Action

Thursday, August 31, 2006

The best college football programs

Check out the Dow Jones College Football Success Index. The index ranks each college football program’s contribution to the professional football by measuring its alumni’s performance in the NFL, popularity in the NFL draft, and NFL draft value (the quotient of performance and draft popularity).

The results are pretty interesting, if a bit rough (the creators didn’t control for a number of factors, like player injuries for example).

Florida State, Florida and Georgia take the top three spots in terms of performance, while Miami, Georgia and Ohio State are the highest in terms of draft popularity. North Carolina, Auburn and Virginia were the top three from a draft value perspective. Southern schools dominated the top ten in all three categories.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Are you in rigor mortis, or are you just happy to see me?

Reuters reports that Chinese police are cracking down on funeral striptease acts:

Striptease used to be a common practice at funerals in Donghai's rural areas to allure viewers. Local villagers believe that the more people who attend the funeral, the more the dead person is honored.

Personally, I like strippers. But the villager’s conception of honor seems off to me. I don’t believe one can buy honor, though perhaps one can buy the appearance of honor. [Ed. That's just it Whit, appearances are very important to these folks.]

That being said, I like funerals that have a bit of levity. I’d like my own funeral to be a big party. A funeral should of course help provide closure for those left behind (after all, funerals are really about the living, not the deceased), but a funeral can also be a chance for family and friends to unite under happy memories. It seems there are professional funeral planners out there ready to help guys like me.

UPDATE: Tyler Cowen and Scott Adams chime in.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Kanji get anything right?

Kanji and Hanzi tattoos are very popular these days. You may have seen them on famous artists, big-time athletes, or even the guy at your local grocery store's checkout counter.

Properly appropriating foreign symbols can be tricky, though. These NY Times, Maclean's and NPR reports provide some embarrassing examples of malformed tattoos. If schadenfreude and tattoos are your thing, don't miss Hanzi Smatter, a blog dedicated to cataloging misused Chinese characters (especially botched body art).

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Flying without your wine

As you drive to the airport, you reflect on the wonderful times you had in the Napa Valley wine country (or Walla Walla, Okanagan, The Finger Lakes, etc.). Though your trip is almost over, you won't soon forget the fine dining, beautiful vistas, and many, many delicious glasses of wine you enjoyed. Even better, you know the bottles of wine in your bag promise to transport you back there at your leisure.

Unfortunately, you don't know you'll be forced to surrender those bottles of wine to airport security. That's right, your money and memories we'll be left in the terminal due to new requirements for air travel.

Undoubtedly, many folks experienced this scenario today. Of course, the goal of tighter airport security is more important than a few bottles of wine. But giving up said bottles is nevertheless a big bummer.

UPDATE: Alder says, "now they're fucking with my wine."

Monday, August 07, 2006

WBW#24 is up

Wine Blogging Wednesday #24 is up at Vinography. Nearly 30 participants from across the globe blogged on white wines from the Loire Valley. My entry is below, but do peruse the many other interesting blog entries.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

My apologies for the RSS feed problem

I've been using for this blog's RSS feeds. Unfortunately, the company's entire website and feed database (and backup versions) were deleted during a server upgrade. Of course, this is bad news for the 10,000 or so users of this service. hopes to be up and running again in a few days. I'll create new feeds at that time. In the meantime, thanks for your patience.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Wine Blogging Wednesday #24: 2002 Domaine des Baumard Savennieres

I enjoy putting experts in control. If a restaurant has a sommelier, I will almost always ask them to select a wine for me. Doing so usually works out pretty well.

I’ll often do the same at a fine wine shop. And so I did for Wine Blogging Wednesday #24. Unfortunately, the shop’s remodeling had cast the Loire Valley section in disarray. Initially, I expressed interest in Muscadet. But alas, my guide couldn’t find his favorites, so we looked for Savennieres. He wanted to sell me Domaine des Baumard Savennieres Clos du Papillon, but it was nowhere to be found. Thus, we settled on the same producer’s basic Savennieres.

Not that basic was bad. Rather, I found the Domaine Des Baumard 2002 Savennieres to be a very enjoyable wine. It’s a medium to full bodied Chenin Blanc that is very dry with strong, tangy acidity and plenty of minerality. My wife detected white peach and wet newspaper. After a few seconds in the mouth, the wine’s white fruit balances nicely with its acidity. You get a nice, long finish.

To accompany the wine, I fried up some sole (w/ butter, onion, dill, thyme, lemon juice, salt and pepper) and served it on a bed of Basmati rice cooked in chicken bouillon with a side of steamed zucchini. The Baumard Savennieres’ cleansed my palate with every gulp, making each bite of fish almost as good as the first. That’s the great thing about pairing rich food with a dry, acidic wine; the pairing nearly overcomes the law of diminishing marginal utility.

Next, I tried some goat cheese with the Baumard. Delicious. As with the sole, the wine made each bite of cheese almost as good as the first. I suspect Savennieres and goat cheese is a pairing I’ll soon revisit.

Domaine des Baumard is situated in Rochefort sur Loire, near the city of Angers. The vines for this wine grow on south-facing slopes featuring slate and limestone soils. This wine is not aged in oak.

Though the Baumard family has grown vines in the Loire Valley for about 370 years, Jean Baumard established the modern vineyards in the mid 20th century. He expanded the family’s holdings in Anjou, making them the first to establish vineyards on both sides of the Loire River. In addition to being a Professor of Oenology, Jean served as President of the Wine Federation of Anjou and participated in the Loire Valley AOC’s Federation of European and International Public Service Unions. Florent Baumard, also a trained oenologist, took over from his father about 15 years ago. For more information on Domaine des Baumard, visit their thorough website or check out this summary.

Thanks to Alder at Vinography for selecting such a delicious, food friendly theme for WBW#24. [Ed. Whit, I think you’ve got something on your nose.] Come on now, nothing wrong with a little apple for the teacher, eh?

$18.99 at Esquin Wine Merchants, imported by ExCellars Wine Agencies Inc.