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29 Jun 14:10

Remember When 39-Year-Old Jerry Seinfeld Dated a 17-Year-Old?

by Jordan Sargent on Defamer, shared by Kate Dries to Jezebel
Alisongrinter

I do remember that. But being just shy of 17 at the time, I just saw it as poor judgment on her part, not utter nastiness. Which oh lord. Utter nastiness.

1993 was a good year for Jerry Seinfeld. His sitcom, which was on its way to becoming one of the most celebrated shows in television history, won an Emmy in the category of “Outstanding Comedy Series” for the first and only time. And, just a hair shy of 40, he met a woman who would capture his heart: a high school student he picked up one day in Central Park.

Read more...










29 Jun 13:00

Monday Cute: Raccoon Parent Teaches Its Baby to Climb a Tree - They grow up so fast.

by Charline Jao
Alisongrinter

See? See what I'm doing?

Watch a mother raccoon teach her baby to climb by picking it up and pushing it towards a tree until it finally can go up on its own into the big, big world.

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29 Jun 14:00

Toys R Us Announces SDCC Exclusives, Including 1960s Batgirl, Harley Quinn, MLP, and Princess Leia! - All the toys R belong to me!

by Teresa Jusino
Alisongrinter

We need this stuff.
Not the Leia.

toys

It’s that time of year when everyone and their mom is revealing their SDCC exclusive merch…and we wouldn’t have it any other way, would we? This time, it’s Toys R Us, who’ve unveiled some pretty sweet toys of interest to multiple fandoms designed for “mature collectors” (aka Grown Ups Who Love Playing With Toys). Even better, you don’t even have to be going to SDCC to have access!

First, lets check out the pretties. We’re especially excited about this one, because we love us some Batgirl around here. Check out this awesome 1966 Batgirl figure from Mattel! She’s got 16 points of articulation, stands 6 inches tall, and is sculpted in the likeness of Yvonne Craig, who played Batgirl in the Batman 66 TV series. She also comes with a base for display, as well as two retro city backdrops:

Photographer Dennis Stylist Lin

 

 

From Schleich, comes this Batman/Harley Quinn Justice League two-pack:

batman harley

 

Star Wars fans can snag this new Black Series “Jabba’s Rancor Pit” set from Hasbro, which comes with four 6-inch figures. This set will be available at Toys R Us stores later in the year.

star wars jabba

 

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fans can get their hands on this exclusive figure of Pinkie Pie’s awesomely snide sister, Maude Rock Pie:

 

maudRockPie

These, and other toys from properties like Power Rangers, Transformers, and Mortal Kombat will be available at the Entertainment Earth booth (#2343) at SDCC. But, as I said up top, you don’t have to be going to SDCC to check out the goods! If you visit their special SDCC website between July 9 and July 12, you’ll be able to buy any of these exclusives while supplies last. Only some of the toys will be available in Toys R Us stores later this year, so if you want ’em, get on it!

(via Comic Vine)

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29 Jun 15:00

Wu-Tang Clan Affiliate Christ Bearer Finally Reveals Why He Cut Off His Penis

by rmjoseph23
Alisongrinter

Don't do drugs.

Christ Bearer is a Long Beach, Calif., rapper who was reportedly affiliated with the Wu-Tang Clan. However, you’re probably more familiar with him as the guy who allegedly tried to commit suicide after he’d chopped off his d*ck.

Christ Bearer, whose real name is Andre Johnson, spoke with Vlad TV recently to explain his side of the story for nearly everything: his Wu-Tang affiliation, why he attempted suicide, and why, exactly, he severed his penis from his body. What did we learn from the 30-minute interview? We’re not entirely sure, but here’s what he claimed.

He says he’s a Wu-Tang affiliate.

Johnson claims that he formed part of the West Coast Killah Beez crew that was the Wu’s west coast affiliate group in the late-1990s. He said that the RZA signed him, which the production mind behind Shaolin corroborated last year. To what extent beyond his work with RZA did Johnson contribute? Who knows. He says the list of people he’s worked with “would stagger you,” and he even makes the claim that Wu members wouldn’t work with him because he was too crazy.

He was f*cked up on drugs the night he cut off his penis.

Johnson claims that a history of PCP abuse runs in his family, and he was a regular user of the drug by the time he was 21. While he says sleep deprivation contributed to his state the night he cut off his penis, he admitted, “I was just high as a kite. It was more than a mistake.” He counts meth, molly, and alcohol as drugs that were in his system. As for what he says his mind-state was like, he compared it to being in a cartoon: “I was watching Family Guy and American Dad, so when you smoke you’re in a cartoon world… You in an electron, neutron world. That shit is just not—what happens there is different than what happens in this reality.”

He cut off his penis because he wanted to give himself a vasectomy.

According to Johnson, he was having child-support problems at the time. He’d had three babies by three different women, and encountered several restraining orders. Coupled with the cocktail of drugs in his system, he figured he’d castrate himself. He took a steak knife and chopped. How did he know he’d messed up? “My shit just started leaking a water hose, man!,” he says.

Don’t consider it a suicide attempt.

He claims he just made a mistake; he was never intending to kill himself.

Watch the whole interview above.

(Via VladTV)

29 Jun 15:05

The Giants PUNTER Has Some Trash Talk For Tim Tebow And The Eagles’ QBs

by christmasape
Alisongrinter

It begins.

tebow punter

Getty Image


Being that LeSean McCoy is no longer a member of the Philadelphia Eagles, someone else needed to step up their trash talk to keep the rivalry between the Eagles and the New York Giants at a fever pitch. But who would it be?

Surprisingly enough, it’s Giants punter Steve Weatherford who, when he’s not busy bench pressing Rick Reilly, has decided to go on sports talk radio to say bad things about the Eagles. For example, on Friday, the punter went on WFAN’s Boomer & Carton show and said the following:

“I’m the biggest Tim Tebow fan in the world,” he said. “I mean, who wouldn’t want their daughter to date a guy like that? I’ll tell you want, I don’t want him taking snaps for my team.”

Then, he broke out the car metaphors for the rest of the Eagles quarterbacks.

“I’m gonna give you a Ferrari that maybe won’t be running all the time, or I’m giving you a nice Cadillac sedan,” he said. “It’s not the fastest but you know what you’re going to get out of it.”

Who’s the Cadillac? You guessed it, Mark Sanchez.

“[Sam] Bradford can go zero to 60 in three seconds,” he added. “But you don’t know if he’s going to start up some days.”

Weatherford added he’s heard a rumor Bradford is getting an extension and scoffed, “Good luck with that… Chip Kelly will get himself in serious trouble if they get an extension for that guy and he gets hurt? He’s done.”

BOOM ROASTED, Eagles quarterbacks. That punter owned you so hard.

If nothing else, the novelty of a punter talking trash makes this worthwhile. Perhaps Chip Kelly will put Tim Tebow on punt return duty and have him run into Weatherford for retribution. That seems as good a use for Teebs as any.

BTW, here’s video of Weatherford’s comments in case you want to see strong takes in live action.

29 Jun 17:52

Police arrest three suspected in series armed robberies in Uptown, the Village

by Tristan Hallman
Alisongrinter

Picture is unrelated.
Or is it...

21 Jun 22:30

Things We Saw Today: Miles Morales Is the New Official Marvel Comics Universe Spider-Man

by Sam Maggs
Alisongrinter

Forgot to mention this. Catherine was sitting with me when I was looking through FB, and the Frozen sports girls picture came accross, and she was ENRAPTURED. WOW! Warrior Elsas!!! We took a long hard look. Picked which ones were our favorites.

Miles Morales

We don’t know much about what’s happening after Marvel’s big universe-amalgamating Secret Wars event, but we do know that their main Spider-Man will no longer be Peter Parker – it’s going to be the excellent Ultimate Universe Miles Morales. The comic will be drawn by artist (and Morales’ creator) Sara Pichelli, and written by Brian Michael Bendis, who told The New York Daily News, “Our message has to be it’s not Spider-Man with an asterisk, it’s the real Spider-Man for kids of color, for adults of color and everybody else.” Now, if only the Cinematic Universe could keep up. (via The Verge)

  • David Tennant has joined Felicia Day and Steven Yeun as a voice actor in the animated adaptation of Image Comics’ Chew. We’re so in. (via CBR)
  • It’s the summer solstice today! Check out what that means in terms of the Earth and the sun over on Space.com.

Frozen-Softball

“The Freeze” is a t-ball team who are giving me so much life right now. (via Fashionably Geek)

  • So… do humans really share 99% of their DNA with chimps or nah? (via Laughing Squid)
  • Also, Tilda Swinton just founded a high school in Scotland, so that’s probably way cooler than Hogwarts. (via The Frisky)

chris-pratt-raptor-training-pose-childrens-hospital

Chris Pratt puts his wrangling skills to good use while visiting Our Lady of the Lake hospital in Baton Rogue. He gets it. (via Neatorama)

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22 Jun 12:45

The CW Might Add A Hawkgirl TV Series To Its Programming

by brendauproxx
ciara-renee_Getty-DC-Comics-hawkgirl

DC Comics / Getty


Spoiler TV is claiming that The CW is considering spinning off its Legends of Tomorrow show, which hasn’t even started airing yet, and is itself a spinoff of Arrow and The Flash. Set to debut in 2016, Legends of Tomorrow co-stars Ciara Renée (who replaced Patina Miller in the Broadway revival of Pippin) as Hawkgirl, alongside Brandon Routh as The Atom and Arthur Darvill as Rip Hunter. She briefly played Kendra Saunders during the first season finale of The Flash.

The CW wants to give Renée her own show, which makes her role in Legends of Tomorrow unclear. No other details are known except that they’re developing a solo series.

(Via Spoiler TV)

19 Jun 00:00

Jeb Bush Just Not Sure Charleston Shooting Was Racially Motivated

by Robyn Pennacchia
jeb-bush-logo-hed-2015
19 Jun 17:30

Here’s A New Drink For You To Try This Weekend

by Steve Bramucci
Copasetic Twist

Lock & Key

Assuming you aren’t already meeting your alcohol needs in powdered form, you might be in the market for a cocktail this weekend (we know Harrison Barnes is). With that thought in mind, we’ve decided to post one craft cocktail recipe each Friday.

Being that this weekend leads directly into the first official day of summer, we asked Ronald Patric of Lock & Key, a speakeasy in Los Angeles, to share something bright and crisp. He calls the drink the “Copacetic Twist” and makes it with gin, grapefruit juice, lime juice, grapefruit liqueur, and muddled basil leaves.

Here’s Patric’s recipe:

COPACETIC TWIST

2oz Gin

1oz Grapefruit juice

3/4oz Lime juice

1/4oz Pamplemousse grapefruit liquer

1/4oz Simple Syrup

3 Basil leaves, muddled

Shake and double strain

Garnish with grapefruit twist

lock_and_key_interior-2

Lock & Key

If you’re in LA, check out Lock & Key, where you’ll find a prohibition-era vibe, friendly bartenders, and some smooth ’90s hip-hop. Before you go, drop in on the Lock & Key website for live music and events.

19 Jun 13:00

It only took a decade, but the Mockingbird Pedestrian Bridge is actually going to happen

by Joe Simnacher
Alisongrinter

This is the first I'm hearing of this, but it looks lovely.

An artist's rendering shows how the Katy Trail pedestrian bridge will cross Mockingbird Lane near Central Expressway. An artist’s rendering shows how the Katy Trail pedestrian bridge will cross … [visit site to read more]

19 Jun 15:15

TNA Wrestling Reportedly Made A Recent Strong Play To Sign Rey Mysterio

by Nathan Birch
Alisongrinter

Shared for rad pic.


TNA Wrestling may not be on the most solid of ground lately, but that’s not stopping them from making plays for major ex-WWE stars, including Rey Mysterio.

According to the Wrestling Observer Dixie Carter and TNA Vice President John Gaburick met with Mysterio late last week. They offered him an open contract that would allow him to work wherever he wanted on his off days, while still building around him as one of their top stars. They also pushed that they could get his merchandise in stores and could help him get acting gigs, which seems like an odd tactic to take with the guy who just quit WWE. If Mysterio was thinking about merch and movies above all else, he probably would have stuck with the billion dollar multimedia company. Besides, Mysterio’s a Terminator now, and robots have no desire for t-shirts and direct-to-DVD acting gigs.

Again, this isn’t the first ex-WWE star TNA has tried to snag recently. They’ve reportedly gone after Edge, CM Punk and Alberto Del Rio, with none of them biting. Word from the Observer is that Mysterio isn’t feeling hungry, either, and will likely sign an official contract with Lucha Underground soon.

Man, I guess you have to make these offers if you still want to be seen as a player, but maybe it’s time for TNA to accept the era of guys chilling their heels in their company while on the outs with WWE. Perhaps focus on the quality of your product, so guys like Mysterio won’t treat going to TNA as the equivalent of being sent to the wrestling leper colony.

via Wrestling Observer

19 Jun 15:30

Matt Smith Will Play a Young Prince Phillip Alongside Claire Foy’s Queen in Netflix’s The Crown - Helen Mirren will be there in spirit.

by Charline Jao
Alisongrinter

Sounds good! Or at least promising.

Matt-Smith-in-Lost-River

Matt Smith is all set to join the new royal drama! Netflix’s new series, The Crown, will span decades of post-war Great Britain and the “delicate balance between the Queen’s private world and public life.” Smith will portray the Duke of Edinburgh alongside Claire Foy, who will play Queen Elizabeth II. John Lithgow will play Prime Minister Winston Churchill. The Hollywood Reporter describes the plot:

Season one begins with a 25-year-old princess faced with the daunting prospect of leading the most famous monarchy in the world while forging a relationship with the domineering, war-hardened prime minister, Churchill.

Remember that the “25-year-old princess” was also a driver and mechanic in the Women’s Auxillary Territorial Service (just saying). Peter Morgan will serve as writer alongside director Stephen Daldry and producer Andy Harries so you know the series is in good hands. Morgan and Harries’ previous work on The Queen with Helen Mirren was amazing and it’s said that there will be scenes inspired by Helen Mirren’s from The Audience as well.

(via The Hollywood Reporter)

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19 Jun 16:35

One Of The Daft Punk Guys Showed Up In A Movie Without His Helmet

by Ryan Harkness
Alisongrinter

Lamest Mystery Ever! Solved! At least halfway!


Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo from Daft Punk aren’t engaged in some sort of Banksy-style life of secret identities, but they have been very good at keeping their faces out of the limelight by wearing their ubiquitous robot helmets for every gig and public appearance they make. It’s only made people more eager to try to catch them in a “gotcha” moment, but Bangalter has made it pretty easy on everyone, appearing for a few seconds without his mask in a new movie from Quentin Dupieux (better known to music fans as Mr. Oizo) called Reality.

Reality stars Napoleon Dynamite‘s Jon Heder and Bangalter’s wife Elodie Bouchez. Here’s the clip from the movie that reveals Thomas’ mug:

(Via Consequence of Sound)

18 Jun 18:22

The Deadly History of “They’re Raping Our Women”

by Jamelle Bouie

Amid his Wednesday night rampage at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina—killing nine people—21-year-old Dylann Storm Roof reportedly told churchgoers, “You rape our women, and you’re taking over our country, and you have to go.”

18 Jun 18:25

Today In Press Releases: A Company That Makes Sex Machines Is Sponsoring A Vaginal Beauty Contest

by Vince Mancini
Alisongrinter

Because.

Cute Kitten Pink Background

Shutterstock

Look, man, YOU trying finding an SFW banner image for this post. The image in the press release was a cartoon vagina wearing a crown, I swear.


When you’ve attended the AVN awards two years in a row like I have, and cover the adult film industry from time to time, you get some interesting press releases. I skip past the vast majority of them, but every once in a while a subject is so compelling that it demands my attention. Today’s:

“Autoblow Launches World’s First Crowdsourced Vaginal Beauty Pageant”

Compelling and rich. I’ll play your game, you rogues.

Chicago, June 18th, 2015:  The Autoblow 2 began its life in 2014 as a crowdfunded blowjob machine, but it will soon be repurposed into a robotic vagina.

Sweet mother of Jesus that is a strong lede. Comm majors should study this in schools. And don’t worry, Charlene, Autoblow could never replace you.

On June 15th, 2015, the company behind the Autoblow, Very Intelligent Ecommerce Inc. (VIECI), opened its Vaginal Beauty Pageant website for photo submissions and voting.

(*puts on reading glasses and rubber thimbles, begins leafing through voter guide*)

Women may submit photos of their vaginas to the contest website and the public will vote on the vaginas they consider to be the most attractive. The women attached to the vaginas…

Whoa whoa whoa, I don’t think “the women attached to the vaginas” is the preferred nomenclature, dude. Please. It’s “womyn attached the vaginas.”

…earning the top 3 places will win respectively $5,000, $2,500, and $1,250 in addition to trips to Los Angeles to undergo vaginal 3d scanning.

Congratulations! Collect your oversized novelty check and invasive cavity search.

The 3d scans will be used to replicate the winners vaginas onto a new series of Autoblow sleeves at micron level accuracy

The Autoblow Vaginal Beauty Contest will pioneer a new use for high-end 3d scanning technology previously used only in video games, films, the medical industry, and manufacturing processes. The winners vaginas will be scanned by a 3d scanner capable of accuracy in the range of 100 microns or the width of a human hair.

…And I thiiiiink to myself, what a wooooonderfuuul wooooooooorld…

I’d like to think there’s a guy in a sharp suit sitting in boardroom somewhere, whose company has developed the capability to scan vaginas in the range of 1000 microns, reading this pounding the table going “Son of a bitch! Those bastards at VEICI just ate our lunch! The board’s going to have my ass for this.”

18 Jun 21:15

The sneaky designers at Beats by Dre employ a clever trick to make you think that the company’s plas

by Whitson Gordon

The sneaky designers at Beats by Dre employ a clever trick to make you think that the company’s plastic headphones are durable products worth the premium price. [Gizmodo ]

Read more...









18 Jun 21:07

Has Clarence Thomas Forgotten What His Job Is?

by Mark Joseph Stern
Alisongrinter

Upsetting at best.

Many people who come before the Supreme Court ask the justices to do something huge: devastate the Affordable Care Act, for instance, or declare a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. Kevan Brumfield just wanted a hearing. When Brumfield was convicted for the murder of Louisiana police officer Betty Smothers, the court still permitted states to execute mentally disabled people. In 2002’s Atkins v. Virginia, the court ruled that subjecting such people to capital punishment qualified as unconstitutional “cruel and unusual punishment.” Brumfield, who was sentenced to death, simply argued that he deserved an opportunity to prove in court that he is mentally challenged.

18 Jun 21:30

Get the Perfect Burger Texture by Salting Patties Right Before Cooking

by Patrick Allan

Regardless of what general seasoning you use in your burger patty recipe, salt is probably involved. If you want to cook a tender, juicy burger, wait to add salt to your patty until right before you start cooking.

Read more...









18 Jun 14:00

‘Screen Time’ For Kids Is Probably Fine

by Emily Oster

When I was a kid, my parents had strict television rules: no more than an hour a day, and the content must be educational. This meant a lot of PBS. I did briefly convince my mother that the secret-agent show “MacGyver” was about science, but that boondoggle ended when she watched an episode with me. These restrictions seemed severe at the time, but my parents were just following the orders of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP): Children and teens should have no more than one to two hours of screen time per day, with children under 2 having no screen time at all. Those orders remain the same today.

Relative to my childhood, limits on screen time have become increasingly restrictive and confusing. The iPad (and Kindle, and various other tablets) has opened up a world of “educational” screen time. If my 4-year-old is doing a workbook on the iPad, does that mean she learns less than if we used a physical workbook? The AAP advocates for newspapers and physical books over iPads, computers and other screen options.

The AAP statement on media seems opposed to screens per se (quote: “young children learn best when they interact with people, not screens”) without really differentiating among various uses and types of screens. But, not surprisingly, when you look at the research, the screen matters less than what you do with it.

Of all the possibilities for screen time, television watching clearly gets the most negative attention. It’s not hard to see why. Unlike educational games on a tablet, which at least can be argued to have some interactive value, television and movie watching are largely passive. Those who oppose TV for children worry about many downsides, but chief among them are declines in test scores (or other cognitive ability) and increases in obesity.

Let’s consider a few examples. This paper relates television viewing among preschoolers to measures of “executive function” — basically, whether a kid can focus and accomplish a goal — and finds that more television exposure is associated with lower executive function. This one looks at a large sample of children and associates television viewing at younger than 3 years with lower test scores at ages 6 and 7. And this one relates television watching to obesity among children.

These are a small number of the many, many studies that show associations between time spent watching television and health and development outcomes. But all these studies have an obvious problem: the amount of TV children watch is not randomly assigned. In the general population, kids who watch a lot of TV — especially at young ages — tend to be poorer, are more likely to be members of minority groups and are more likely to have parents with less education. All these factors independently correlate with outcomes such as executive function, test scores and obesity, making it difficult to draw strong conclusions about the effects of television from this research.

There are a few studies with better designs, and these have mixed results. There does seem to be some evidence to suggest that lowering media consumption, including television, can help combat obesity in children (see here and here for examples).

The impacts of TV on IQ and test scores have not been subjected to large randomized trial evaluation. Perhaps the best causal evidence on this question comes from a 2008 paper by two media economists.48 The researchers take advantage of the fact that television was introduced to different areas of the United States at different times. This variation meant that, when television was first introduced in the 1940s and 1950s, some kids had access to TV when they were children and some did not. The researchers could then see how having TV access as a young child — what the AAP is most worried about — related to test scores when kids were in school at slightly older ages.

The researchers find no evidence that more exposure to television at an early age negatively affected later test scores. The contemporary applicability of this research is subject to various concerns — television in the 1940s and ’50s differs from the TV of today, for example — but it does suggest that such concerns about test scores may be overblown.

A second set of concerns with television — and these extend to all other screen time — is that there is something inherently bad about exposure to a screen per se. There really isn’t anything in the research to make us think this is a concern. Even the AAP, the ultimate screen time naysayer, focuses in its warnings on attention and learning difficulties, obesity and risky behaviors resulting from screen time.

Some parents worry about eye strain from looking at screens, but, again, there is simply no evidence for this. Looking for “iPad and vision” (or “tablet and vision”) in the medical literature results primarily in papers about using iPads to help people with poor vision read better. If you’d rather read your kid a book on the Kindle than on paper, there should be nothing to give you pause.

Based on my read of the evidence, I’d say there’s absolutely no reason to think there’s anything worse about using a screen to do activities you would otherwise do on paper. When it comes to passive screen time — TV and movies — it seems that, on average, watching more TV has limited (if any) impacts on test scores, but maybe has some small impacts on obesity among children. However, the key phrase here is “on average,” and fleshing this out makes clear why the effect of television is such a difficult issue to study.

To judge what impact TV has on children, we have to think about tradeoffs — what would kids be doing with their time if they weren’t watching television? There are 24 hours in a day. If your kid watches one less hour of TV, she does one hour more of something else. The AAP guidelines imply that this alternative activity is something more enriching: reading books with dad, running on the track, discussing current events with grandma, etc.

But a lot of kids and families may not use an additional hour in these ways. An hour of TV may be replaced by an hour of sitting around doing nothing, whining about being bored. Or, worse, being yelled at by an overtired parent who is trying to get dinner ready on a tight time frame. If letting your kids watch an hour of TV means you are better able to have a relaxed conversation at the dinner table, this could mean TV isn’t that bad for cognitive development.

With this insight, it’s easy to see why less television is likely to decrease obesity. The process of weight gain and loss is pretty simple: if you burn more calories than you take in, you’ll lose weight. Watching television is mostly done sitting. And most other activities involve at least some moving around. So pretty much no matter what else they do, watching less TV is likely to be associated with kids burning more calories and losing weight.

Similarly, it is easy to see why TV might not affect test scores. If the alternative use of an hour for most families is not in highly enriching parent engagement, television may be just fine.

08 Jun 22:14

‘Live By The Three, Die By The Three’ Is Mostly A Myth

by Nate Silver

You’ll shoot your eye out,” I kept thinking while watching Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday. The Warriors hoisted 35 3-point attempts and made only eight of them en route to scoring just 93 points. It was a maddening, sloppy game full of what-ifs. So … what if the Warriors had sunk threes at their normal accuracy rate?59 They would have won 111-95.

Were the Warriors just unlucky? Their opponents, the Cleveland Cavaliers, were not a particularly good defensive team during the regular season, either overall or against perimeter shooters, although they may be better with Iman Shumpert and Matthew Dellavedova and Tristan Thompson getting more minutes because of injuries. The Cavs forced the Warriors into some bad possessions, but the Dubs also missed on some good looks, shooting just 2-for-11 on corner threes.

But there’s also the old adage: Live by the three, die by the three. If your shooters are going to get crazy hot on some nights, isn’t it inevitable that they’ll shoot a bunch of bricks on another, rendering a team’s offense more inconsistent and making it more upset-prone?

Let’s look at some data from the 2014-15 regular season. In the chart below, I’ve sorted teams by the percentage of their field goals that were taken from 3-point range. Then I’ve looked at their game-by-game scoring, calculating their scoring range (as I’ll describe it throughout this article) as the span including the middle 80 percent of their games (that is, throwing out their top 10 percent and bottom 10 percent of performances).

silver-datalab-warriors3s-1

The Warriors, for instance, averaged 110 points per game in the regular season, while their scoring range ran from 98 points (at the 10th percentile) to 126 points (at the 90th percentile), a 28-point difference. That seems like a wide range … but it’s perfectly normal. The average NBA team this season had a 27-point scoring range. The average range since 1979-80 (when the 3-point shot was introduced) is 28 points.

The Warriors weren’t the league’s most three-happy team, however. They were just seventh — behind the Houston Rockets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Clippers, Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers and Portland Trail Blazers. So maybe the Dubs were pretty steady, but were those other teams inconsistent?

The Cavaliers were inconsistent: Their scoring range spanned 33 points, tied for the second-highest total in the league after Oklahoma City.60 But Houston, which took 39 percent of its attempts from long range (easily an NBA record), had a scoring range of just 25 points, below the NBA average. The three-happy Atlanta Hawks had a scoring range of just 24 points.

What’s going on here? Are teams that shoot a lot of threes actually more consistent than others? (Maybe they’re more resilient when facing different types of defenses or benefit from having better floor spacing?)

Actually, it’s mostly just because this data is pretty noisy. I ran a regression on all NBA teams since 1979-80 to predict their scoring range based on (i) the percentage of their field goal attempts that came from behind the arc and (ii) their per-game scoring average. Both variables have a positive and highly statistically significant relationship with a team’s scoring range. Teams that score more points have a wider scoring range, and, once you control for that, teams that shoot more threes do also.

Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 3.41.52 PM

But statistical significance is not the same thing as practical significance. In the context of an actual basketball team, this result will make very little difference.

Suppose, for instance, that a team scores 100 points per game and that 40 percent of its field-goal attempts are 3-pointers — higher, even, than this year’s record-setting Rockets. Its scoring range, according to the regression analysis, projects to be 29.7 points.

What about a team that scores 100 points but does so with only 10 percent of its shots being threes? No team has shot such a low percentage of 3-pointers since the 1999-2000 Philadelphia 76ers, but we’ll run the numbers just for fun. That team, according to the regression, would have a scoring range of 28.0 points. So it’s more consistent, but only barely so; its scoring range is only 6 percent narrower. This just really doesn’t matter much.

silver-datalab-warriors3s-2

What matters a lot more, of course, is how effective a team is at scoring overall. The Oklahoma City Thunder, as I mentioned, had the most inconsistent offense in the regular season. But their 10th percentile score, 88 points, was still better than two-thirds of the league because they had a high per game scoring average.

And Golden State’s 10th percentile score, 98 points, was better than what almost a third of NBA teams scored on average per game. The Warriors will have better shooting nights than they did Sunday, but their bad nights aren’t indicative of a fundamental problem — they’re just bad nights.

CORRECTION (June 9, 11:45 a.m.): An earlier version of this article incorrectly said that if the Golden State Warriors had made 3-pointers at their regular-season accuracy rate, they would have won Sunday’s NBA Finals game 117-95. They would have won 111-95.

14 Jun 16:49

Man killed friend, 18, playing Russian roulette, Dallas police say

by Naomi Martin
Alisongrinter

WHO! DOES! THIS!

An 18-year-old man died after being shot in the head by his friend during a Russian roulette game, Dallas police said Sunday.

Vikram Singh Virk, 27 Vikram Singh Virk, … [visit site to read more]

11 Jun 10:01

Putting A Price Tag On The Stress Of Having A Child

by Andrew Flowers
Alisongrinter

When you ask for a raise, shoot for an extra $55,000.

My wife and I are expecting a baby girl in September, and Daniel Hamermesh has a scary message for soon-to-be parents like us: The impact that a new baby has on your pocketbook is trumped by the impact on your stress levels. In a new study, Hamermesh, an economist at the University of Texas at Austin, translates that stress into dollar figures and finds it is “so huge as to be almost unbelievable,” he told me. (Gulp.)

In fact, the stress costs are so large, Hamermesh argues, that our family would need a lot more income to compensate. “If we thought about it more, we’d have fewer kids,” he said. (Gasp.)

Hamermesh and his co-authors quantify these stress effects in their recent working paper, “The Stress Cost of Children.” Although the paper has not yet been peer-reviewed, the results are startling. Parents’ self-reported feelings of financial stress increase little after having a child. But time stress — or how overwhelmed and rushed parents feel — jumps enormously, especially for mothers, and it lasts several years. Translating that time stress into dollar figures shows that having a child produces a significant burden — on top of the $245,340 in food, housing, education and other costs that the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that it takes to raise a kid.

To make these calculations, Hamermesh and his co-authors used two massive longitudinal studies from Australia and Germany, each spanning more than a decade: the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey and the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP). (The researchers would have liked to study the United States, but similar longitudinal data doesn’t exist here.) Both the Australian and German surveys followed more than 7,000 heterosexual married couples for roughly a decade through 2012 and routinely asked participants questions like “How often do you feel rushed or pressed for time?” The participants were also asked to rank their satisfaction with their financial situation. The researchers looked at how stress levels changed for couples who had a child during the study period compared with those who didn’t. Despite differences in culture and child-care services between Australia and Germany, the qualitative conclusions from both studies were similar. That suggests the results “supersede any cultural or legislative differences,” Hamermesh said.

Those conclusions show — perhaps unsurprisingly — that the stress burden of a new kid falls heaviest on the mother. Specifically, a mother’s self-reported time stress increases about 20 percent to 22 percent55 in the first year or two after a child’s birth. Time stress rises far less for fathers, between 5 percent and 8 percent. The time stress on the mother, furthermore, doesn’t fade during the first few years of the child’s life, while it does for the father. “If I were a feminist, I would love this,” Hamermesh said.

Comparable research is hard to find. Troves of studies have examined how happiness changes for parents upon having a child. And those are similarly based on self-reported responses to surveys asking questions like “How happy are you?” and “How satisfied are you with your life?” But Hamermesh is skeptical of happiness statistics. “I don’t know what it means,” he said, “and it’s not clear what the heck it measures.” He argued that self-reported happiness is more squishy than self-reported stress.

Those happiness researchers, however, might see Hamermesh’s approach as incomplete. Peder Pedersen, who is an economist at Aarhus University in Denmark and has studied the effect of a new child on parental happiness, said in an email that “it’s absolutely valid to study stress and financial costs” but that doing so is not a “substitute for a well-being measure.” Another economist in this field, Kevin Staub of the University of Melbourne in Australia, said in an email that he sees the Hamermesh paper as an “exciting addition” to the literature, but he added that studying stress does not imply that happiness measures are invalid.

Regardless of whether happiness is a more complete indicator of how parents feel after they have children, the real innovation of Hamermesh’s paper is how he and his co-authors put a price on the time stress. Since they knew mothers experienced more time stress than fathers, they tried to answer the same basic question: How much money would it take to reduce a mother’s financial stress enough to offset the increase in her time stress?

Specifically, the researchers normalized time stress and financial stress into a common unit of analysis56 and considered both types of stress as reciprocal components of parents’ overall stress. From the survey data, they already knew how much time stress went up after a kid entered the picture; they then calculated by how much financial stress would have to fall to offset that rise.

Using the Australian survey data, the researchers found that to offset a new mother’s time stress, her annual earnings would have to increase by about $66,000 (or her husband’s earnings would have to increase by $163,000). Using the German survey produces more modest estimates: A mother would need a $48,000 annual raise to offset her time stress (or she’d need to see her husband get a $55,000 raise instead). As you can see, a mother responds differently to changes in her income than to changes in her husband’s — that’s because a $1 increase in her earnings goes further in reducing her stress than a $1 increase in her husband’s.

There are a number of confounding factors in studying how parents respond to a new child. (This study didn’t follow couples for more than three or four years; the effects beyond that period are unclear.) For one, couples who plan to have a child may do so when their stress is low.57 Sure enough, this paper documents a dip in self-reported time stress for women and in financial stress for men in the year before a child’s birth. Hamermesh and his co-authors readily admit that they couldn’t completely control for these factors, but “if anything, we underestimate the [stress] effect following the birth,” Hamermesh said. (Another gulp.)

So what can we do to help stressed-out parents? Hamermesh and his co-authors believe extra help with child care can alleviate the stress of having a kid — but only so much. Their estimates show that even if women were able to eliminate their child-care and child-related housework responsibilities following the birth of a child, they would still experience higher time stress. Hamermesh said that it’s “just having the buggers around,” to say nothing of the work they require, that stresses parents out. (Sigh.)

But if having a kid is so stressful, and that has real, quantifiable costs, why do people do it? “The long-term gain must exceed the short-term cost,” Hamermesh said, before adding earnestly: “Not having a third kid is a great regret of my life.” (Whew.)

12 Jun 14:51

The Abortion Rate Is Falling Because Fewer Women Are Getting Pregnant

by Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux
Alisongrinter

I think this article should also consider the OTC availibility of Plan B, which I think is more influential than IUDs. I don't know anyone with an IUD.

You might not know it from the political debate, but abortion is becoming increasingly rare in the United States — and activists on both sides are rushing to take credit. A survey released earlier this week by the Associated Press shows that the number of abortions performed each year declined by about 12 percent nationwide between 2010 and 2014, continuing a steady downward trajectory since the early 1990s.65

Anti-abortion activists point to the hundreds of inventive restrictions on abortion passed in Republican-controlled states across the South and Midwest since 2010, which have closed dozens of clinics, especially in rural areas. These restrictions include mandatory pre-abortion counseling, waiting periods and policies that require women to look at an image of the fetus before undergoing the procedure. Charmaine Yoest, the president of Americans United for Life, one of the groups behind the measures, argues that the laws are forcing women to consider the full implications of the decision to abort. She told the AP that the decrease in abortions is a sign that women’s perspectives are changing. “There’s an entire generation of women who saw a sonogram as their first baby picture,” she said. “There’s an increased awareness of the humanity of the baby before it is born.”

Abortion-rights advocates, meanwhile, argue that the abortion rate is declining because contraception is cheaper and more widely available than ever before, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, which requires insurers to cover most types of birth control with no copay.

Although it’s impossible to attribute the decline to a single factor, the data shows that better contraception — combined with a bad economy and a falling teen pregnancy rate — is largely responsible. Abortion rates did fall in many of the states with new restrictions, but they also dropped in others, such as New York and Connecticut, where access to abortion is relatively unobstructed. In fact, some of the states with the biggest declines — Hawaii, Nevada and New Mexico — have enacted no new abortion laws in recent years, suggesting that something other than reduced access is spurring the trend.

Elizabeth Ananat, an associate professor of economics at Duke University who studies the economics of fertility, said the data also contradicts the notion that more women are rejecting abortion and choosing to stay pregnant. “If women’s attitudes were really shifting, we should see the birth rate go up,” she says. “Instead, birth rates are falling, too.” (The birth rate reached a record low in 2013, according to the CDC. It fell by 2 percent between 2010 and 2013, and by 9 percent between 2007 and 2013.) According to Ananat and other experts, the decline in abortions is a symptom of another trend: Fewer women are getting pregnant in the first place.

What’s behind the declining pregnancy rate is more difficult to pinpoint. One clear factor, said Joerg Dreweke, a spokesman for the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization that supports abortion rights, is the teenage pregnancy rate, which has been falling steadily since the early 1990s. According to Dreweke, this is partially due to better contraceptive use among teenagers. Other research on teen fertility rates supports this: In a paper published earlier this year, economists Phillip Levine and Melissa Kearney found that other policy changes — such as sex education, whether it was comprehensive or abstinence-only — couldn’t explain the decline. Because the vast majority (82 percent in 2010) of teen pregnancies are unplanned, a reduction in teen pregnancy overall will have an effect on the abortion rate. Since teenagers account for only about 18 percent of abortions, though, their effect is limited.

Another likely explanation of the declining pregnancy rate — and by extension the declining abortion rate — Ananat said, is that the lingering effects of the economic recession are prompting more women to consider whether now is the best time to have a child, especially women in their 20s, who account for 57 percent of all abortions. After climbing in the earlier part of the decade, the U.S. birth rate took a nosedive around 2008 along with the abortion rate, suggesting that hard times were prompting more reproductive caution. “People think of pregnancies as being either planned or unplanned, but there’s sometimes some middle ground there, some ‘let’s see what happens,’” she said. “People’s ambivalence tends to evaporate during a recession, and they’re more careful about birth control use because they’re more certain they don’t want to get pregnant.” This economic uncertainty even trickles down to teenagers. Kearney and Levine found that the jump in unemployment during the Great Recession was associated with a modest reduction in teen pregnancy.

But there’s a final explanation: So many women are able to successfully avoid pregnancy at least partly because of the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate, which took effect in 2012 and minimizes the up-front costs for highly effective, long-lasting forms of birth control such as the intrauterine device (IUD) or hormonal implant. The number of women using the most effective forms of birth control jumped to a high of 12 percent by the end of last year. New research shows that women who live in states with less abortion access are more likely than women who don’t to use a contraceptive like the IUD. “There’s been a push to expand the IUD and implant to women who were using contraception ineffectively in the past because long-acting birth control had big up-front costs, and they couldn’t afford it,” Ananat said. Because women who use contraception incorrectly or inconsistently account for 41 percent of unintended pregnancies, even a small shift to highly effective methods of contraception could have a disproportionate effect on the abortion rate.

What the data shows, according to Ananat, is a kind of perfect storm. “The teen pregnancy rate has been declining for a while now, and we can’t say that’s the driving force, but it’s contributing,” she said. “And then you have the combination of the recession, which makes people less willing to have children, and the Affordable Care Act, which gives women better access to contraception at a time when they really want it. So you end up with a situation where there’s less of a need for abortion just because fewer women are getting pregnant.”

The question, for her, is whether new abortion laws are affecting when women are getting the procedure. Over the past decade, more and more women have opted for abortions early in their pregnancies, but as states place more barriers in their way, that trend could shift. If women have to jump through more hoops — travel to faraway clinics or encounter waiting periods that require overnight stays — they might delay the procedure until they can raise enough money or take time off work. “We know that restrictive policies don’t deter most women from getting abortions, but it can delay them,” Ananat says. “The idea that women’s attitudes toward abortion are changing, though — we just don’t have evidence for that.”

18 Jun 11:01

The “Trevor” Paradox by Jonathan Blake Fostar

1. Every person (x) must know exactly 1 person (y) named “Trevor.”1

2. Every person (x) must know exactly 1 person (y1) named “Trevor” at a time (t1). Person (x) may know an alternative person (y2) named “Trevor” at an alternative time (t2), but the original “Trevor” (y1) must no longer exist at time (t2) and likewise person (x) must never know the alternative “Trevor” (y2) at the original time (t1).2

3. If person (x) is himself named “Trevor,” he fulfills the functions of both persons (x) and (y). He must therefore never meet another person named “Trevor” (z) without violating rules 1 and 2 thereby resulting in a “Trevor Paradox.”3

4. Any person or persons claiming to be in violation of rules 1, 2 or 3 is either: (a) experiencing a serious nervous disorder accompanied by severe delusions; or (b) a dangerous pathological liar. In both cases, patients should be considered a threat to general society and must be isolated immediately. Perhaps someplace nice, like Hawaii.4

- -

1 I met my best friend Whitney in Middle School. We lived across the street from each other. We took violin lessons together. One day walking home after violin practice, we realized there was only one kid named “Trevor” in our whole school. We started asking other kids from other schools in other after-school activities and they all told us the same thing. There was only one kid named “Trevor” at everybody else’s Middle School, too.

2 Whitney and I started dating in High School. I didn’t like school that much but I got good grades because she wanted to go to college at MIT and she said you needed to get good grades to go to MIT and I wanted to go to MIT with her. “Trevor” went to our high school, too. After he killed himself, Whitney was pretty upset. They had become good friends, I guess. They hung out a lot more than I thought they did. When some kid who also happened to be named “Trevor” moved in down the street from us a couple weeks later, she got even more upset. I just thought we were getting a new “Trevor.” I don’t know. They named a skate park after him. The first “Trevor,” I mean.

3 Whitney and I dated for a little while longer before I got kicked out of MIT. She was getting concerned about my bad grades and how obsessed I’d become with the name “Trevor.” One night I was ranting for several hours about the paradox and how it was equally probable that someone named “Trevor” would meet someone named “Trevor” as it was that someone named “Josh” or “Amy” or “Steven” would meet someone named “Trevor” and that this was a serious problem with the theory. She only said that she missed Trevor. I did not know which “Trevor” she was referring to. We broke up.

4 I have many friends named “Trevor” now. I am borrowing some more money from my parents to complete my independent research and then will be moving to Hawaii.

16 Jun 12:15

Dinosaurs Are Jerks

by ludditeandroid

Jurassic World just broke box office records last weekend, but you know what else would get broken if dinosaurs were on the loose? Everything in your house that you care about and a few things you forgot you even had, that’s what. Because dinosaurs make terrible pets, according to this elucidating video from We Have A Dinosaur.

Their video posits dinosaurs have all the destructive impulses and bemused spitefulness of a house cat, plus the size and grip strength of a… really big house cat. It might just be better to have a dragon named Gary instead. And if you can’t watch the video for some reason (like a pet velociraptor chewed through your speaker wires, for example?), here’s a handy GIFset to summarize.

dinosaur-pet-velociraptor-spills-cereal-2a dinosaur-pet-velociraptor-spills-cereal-2b

dinosaur-pet-velociraptor-spills-cereal-2c dinosaur-pet-velociraptor-spills-cereal-2d

dinosaur-pet-velociraptor-spills-cereal-2e dinosaur-pet-velociraptor-spills-cereal-2f

dinosaur-pet-velociraptor-spills-cereal-2g dinosaur-pet-velociraptor-spills-cereal-2h

(Via Brain Confetti)

16 Jun 00:00

Here’s Why ‘Dick Tracy’ Is A Forgotten Classic

by Jason Tabrys
Alisongrinter

Rewatch?

dick tracy feature

Touchstone Pictures


When people talk about the iconic comic book movies that helped jumpstart this industry and culture devouring trend, they mention Tim Burton’s Batman, the first X-Men movie, Spider-Man, or Richard Donner’s Superman. They don’t usually mention Warren Beatty’s Dick Tracy, a film with a cornball story, a star-studded cast, and an impressively daring sense of visual style.

It’s been 25 years since Beatty brought his vision to the screen and despite the years, the film still holds up and it still effectively makes its case for “classic” status. Here are a few reasons why you should see it for the first time, give it a re-watch, and/or hold it in higher esteem.

Tone

If Batman ’66 and Burton’s Batman had a baby, and that baby was raised by Frank Miller’s The Spirit and occasionally visited by Sin City for ballgames and its first beer, the result might be Dick Tracy. Let me be clear, this wasn’t a toy commercial or a kid’s film even though it was thoroughly merchandised and colorful in a cartoonish way. It’s not dark and gritty either. Accessible to all ages without pandering, Beatty’s film is as much a love letter to the original Chester Gould comic strip as it is to 1930s pro-crime stopper films like the James Cagney-starring G Men and the Edward G. Robinson-starring I Am The Law. The dialogue is mob movie 101 with a few “dames” and “kids” mixed in with paperback noir-speak like the above exchange between Tracy and Madonna’s Breathless Mahoney.

Madonna, of course, had a hand in the film’s musical tone as well, but Stephen Sondheim deserves the bulk of the credit. At times, the score echoes that of Batman, and I’m sure that wasn’t accidental, but the use of the Sondheim-penned musical montages (including the Oscar-winning “Sooner Or Later”) to illustrate both Tracy’s run of informed good luck against the criminal underworld and the reverse of that later on is thoroughly unique and adds to the fun feel of the film.

The Cast

dick-tracy-madonna-pacino

Touchstone


Shampoo is the finest example of Warren Beatty’s magnetism, but while his charm ray is lowered a little when he plays the above reproach lawman who is desperately trying to deny the heat between he and Breathless Mahoney and hold onto his relationship with the constantly put-upon Glenne Headly, it’s still evident. As Mahoney, Madonna is all sex-pot while Headly alludes to a layer beyond her nice-girl exterior when she threatens to break the kid’s arm after he swipes a five and when she plays coy with Tracy as he’s trying to propose.

The villains are the real highlight of the cast, though. With the exception of Dick Van Dyke (who traded on his familiar face to throw a curve ball) and James Caan, the rest of the Rogues got to be all decked out in their silly suits and hidden with makeup. Beatty could have cast a bunch of no-names, but instead he hit his Rolodex hard and brought in a group of well-known character actors (William Forsythe, Seymour Cassel, and Paul Sorvino) and stars (Caan and Dustin Hoffman) to play the baddies and flunkees that surrounded Al Pacino as the main big bad, Big Boy.

The “top” looks like an ant from where Pacino stands in this film, that’s how “over” it he is as the power-mad gangster/dance choreographer and scenery chewer, but it works within the context of this film even though the performance — which got Pacino a Best Supporting Actor nomination — is quite possibly the most cartoonish comic book villain this side of John Leguizamo in Spawn.

The Look

dick-tracy-matte

Touchstone


Dick Tracy actually received seven Oscar nominations, winning three. Two of those three went to Richard Sylbert and Rick Simpson for Best Art/Set Direction and to John Caglione Jr. and Doug Drexler for Makeup, and they are well deserved.

Moving the world of Dick Tracy from comic strip to live-action required a careful but imaginative application of makeup effects to turn those monstrous and deformed Rogues into villains that stood out, but didn’t make the film feel like a creature feature. Sometimes, those transformations were slightly subtle, as with Forsythe’s Flattop and Sorvino’s Lips, but others were a bit more exaggerated, like Little Face.

As for the visual effects, it’s simply the most striking thing about the film 25 years later, and something that people maybe didn’t have the chance to fully appreciate at the time. But with Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez’s Sin City films and Miller’s The Spirit, it’s abundantly clear how ahead of his time Beatty was with the look of this film and its city, which feels as though it is half cartoon and half real life thanks to the use of matte paintings and bold colors.

This entire film could have taken Tracy off the page and shoehorned him into a world more like our own. Taken him out of his time too, but Beatty had a literal interpretation of the term “comic book movie” and that meant that Dick Tracy looked like a spectacle with an exaggerated skyline, cheesy dialogue, a loud visual sense, and meaty shots of our hero busting bad guys. No subtlety, no apologies for what it is, no grittiness, and certainly no neo-realism. And while audiences are far more interested in seeing comic heroes go on adventures within worlds that mirror our own, we should all tip our yellow fedoras to a film that was willing to challenge our imaginations and invite us into its bold world.

15 Jun 21:12

LeBron James May Go Down As The Greatest Loser Ever

by Neil Paine
Alisongrinter

Relevant to your interests

LeBron James’s Cleveland Cavaliers might be trailing the Golden State Warriors 3-2 in the NBA Finals. The Cavs might, as their Vegas odds suggest, have a mere 12 percent chance of winning the NBA championship. But according to just about every statistical measurement available, the self-proclaimed “best player in the world” is having a series for the ages.

Build a bare-bones performance metric that simply adds a player’s points, rebounds and assists and then divides by the number of games the team played,20 and James’s 2015 finals ranks as the best of the past 30 years.

paine-lebron-history-3rdtry.0615

Get more complex — using, say, a points above replacement (PAR) estimator based on the single-game version of Daniel Myers’s Box Plus/Minus21 — and James ranks sixth among all NBA Finals participants since 1985.22

So at either pole of the complexity spectrum, James has been the top player of these finals. (Neil Greenberg of the Washington Post and ESPN Insider’s Kevin Pelton came to similar conclusions using a few more metrics of varying intricacy.) And from a historical perspective, output of this level usually leads to winning the NBA Finals and the NBA Finals MVP: Every player near James’s combined total of points, rebounds and assists ended up garnering MVP honors.

In a vacuum, then, James’s performance has been so historically strong that it would be a shame for him not to win the award.

But on the other hand, if the Warriors win the series and the MVP goes to James, it will be the first time that a member of the losing team has received the honor since 1969, when Jerry West of the Los Angeles Lakers won in spite of the Boston Celtics’ championship. And, as Pelton notes, the culture of denying MVP honors to a nonchampion has grown in the intervening years, across all sports.

In the NBA alone, nine players since 1985 have been the best player in their series by PAR through five games yet failed to win the MVP after their teams lost. (To a certain extent, this also speaks to what can happen between Games 5 and 7 of a series between closely matched teams.) In 2011, Dwyane Wade — then James’s teammate on the Miami Heat — outplayed Dirk Nowitzki to a greater extent than James has outplayed presumptive Warriors MVP candidate Stephen Curry23 thus far yet still lost the award to the Dallas Mavericks star. So as great as James has been, it might not be enough to justify the award if Cleveland loses the series.

There’s one more angle to think about, though, when it comes to James’s 2015 finals performance. It may be that all our stats and metrics simply break down when forced to consider the unparalleled burden that James has been forced to carry on this undermanned, undertalented Cavaliers squad. James’s 41.1 percent usage rate in this series is the largest of any finalist since 1985, breaking Michael Jordan’s mark of 39.6 percent for the Chicago Bulls against the Phoenix Suns in 1993. James is also logging an incredible 45.6 minutes per game, the eighth-most of any qualified24 finalist since 1985.

paine-lebron-history-NEW2

As Tom Haberstroh wrote over the weekend, James’s physical workload during these finals has been termed “unfathomable” (among other things) by sports science experts. At the limits of human endurance and on-court influence — through his shooting and passing, James was involved in 70 of Cleveland’s 91 points in Game 5 — there may be no numbers that can do justice to how irreplaceable James has been for the Cavaliers in this series.

They don’t necessarily give out awards for being completely and utterly essential to your team, of course. And, as always, “value” is in the eye of the beholder. But whether the Cavs win or lose, it’s not hard to imagine this series going down as a testament to James’s singular talent, stamina and durability. And if that doesn’t constitute “value,” I’m not sure what does.

16 Jun 01:50

Killer Mike Is Running for Office in Atlanta! Vote Killer Mike! 

by Jia Tolentino


Killer Mike—rapper, national hero and increasingly prominent voice in the very narrow Venn overlap between pop culture figures and purveyors of political nuance—has announced, via this Instagram, his write-in candidacy for the Georgia House of Representatives, District 55.

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20 May 20:00

Save Leftover Pickle Juice for Brining Chicken

by Walter Glenn

If you’ve got leftover pickle juice and you haven’t already made cocktails from it, don’t toss it. Save it for the next time you want to brine some chicken.

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