I missed Pi Day 2020. I was staying in a hotel near my mother’s residence, providing support for her in what turned out to be the last 50 days of her life. She was elderly, had dimentia, lacked teeth, and lots more…and the scourge of CoVid-19 was rapidly coming to be recognized. In a few days, I would return home traveling through mostly empty airports, wiping handrails with treated cloths as I walked through public places, and anticipating having to quarantine for two weeks to protect my family from any germs to which I may have unwittingly provided transportation.
So I didn’t post for the 2.14.2020. Sigh. This year, as many times previoulsly, though, I’m reminded of the wonderful contributions to the commonweal by Vi Hart. The wondrous one has a a public post for this year.
It’s so nice she’s shared. I’m happy to reshare. Enjoy!
The team representing the USA in the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) championship for 2019 has lost two games in a row and will, even if it wins the next game, qualify as the lowest finishing team in international competition ever. People will search for scapegoats. We want our team to win it all every time!
It’s not going to happen, folks. Sure, if the USA could create a team of the top 15 players from our home neighborhoods, that team would be a prohibitive favorite. But it still might lose once in a while. The FIBA game is different. As David Thorpe noted,
The games in the FIBA events are not so similar to those in the NBA. It’s 40 minutes instead of 48. The 3-point line is closer. And the officials let things get physical. Every single one of those factors helps underdogs.
What is more, the physical toll on professional hoopsters has become so great that they must protect their earning power by getting some rest. It makes little sense to ding players because they decline to play in international competitions so that they can be prepared to perform at their professional best during the taxing NBA season. See Henry Abbott’s analysis:
It’s not an argument about whether NBA players should want to play for Team USA. It’s about whether the powers that be, running the NBA, FIBA, and Team USA, can create circumstances where it’s not crazy to play for Team USA.
And the cherry on this sundae, as Mr. Thorpe opines, is that those great players in the past and current NBA have inspired players around the world to aspire to greatness…and many have achieved it. They are now stars, themselves, in the NBA.
OK, here are links to Mr. Thorpe’s and Mr. Abbott’s columns. Truehoops provides so much thought-provoking analysis! See David Thorpe’s and Henry Abbott’s “Two Ways to Feel about Team USA” from TrueHoops.
Readers who enjoy their history presented in graphic format might enjoy The Long Road to Women’s Suffrage by Ellen T. Crenshaw and Eleri Harris. It’s a comic that appeared in The Nib. Does there seem to be a (cough-cough) parallel (cough) story unfolding in contemporary times?
In addition to being International Women’s Day, today is the anniversary of Susan B. Anthony’s testimony to the U.S. Congress supporting suffrage for women. According to the U.S. Library of Congress:
On March 8th, 1884 Susan B. Anthony appeared before the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives. Anthony began her statement thus:
“We appear before you this morning…to ask that you will, at your earliest convenience, report to the House in favor of the submission of a Sixteenth Amendment to the Legislatures of the several States, that shall prohibit the disfranchisement of citizens of the United States on account of sex.”
Anthony’s statement argued for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution granting women the right to vote, sixteen years after legislators had first introduced a federal woman’s suffrage amendment.
It’s wonderful to celebrate International Women’s Day today! Thanks at least in part to Theresa Serber Malakiel for her contribution in founding a predecessor, Women’s Day, International Women’s Day has a social vibe with which I resonate.
Ms. Malakiel’s views are echoed in this year’s theme, #BalanceforBetter, promoted by the folks at International Women’s Day. “A balanced world is a better world. How can you help forge a more gender-balanced world? Celebrate women’s achievement. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality.”
Among the many wonderful colleagues I have had at U.Va., Julian Bond was special. We didn’t know each other well, but when we would encounter each other on a walk across the grounds or at an eatery on the downtown mall, he would raise a hand and nod, tilting his chin just a bit toward his right shoulder, one time as we greeted each other in passing.
Professor Bond may not have had any idea who I was. We only spoke personally a couple-a-few times, and then we spoke only briefly. But he recognized me!
What an honor to be recognized by someone of his considerable stature. Julian Bond, a person who did so much for civil and human rights, took the time to nod to me.
I guess that he did so as a part of the essence of his contribution. It ensures me that he gave a damn about other people, even his colleagues whom he barely knew. He must’ve really cared about people.
It is terrifically important that people acknowledge others. Mr. Bond did so with me. I appreciate his humane consideration.
We the people could use a lot more Julian Bonds. On his birthday, I pledge to carry his mantle.
It’s Mole Day 2018. Today’s the day to commemorate that basic measure in chemistry, the mole, Avogadro’s Number (6.02 x 1023). Check the Web site for an explanation. One can follow @nationalmoleday on Twitter.
You know how important it is to be safe, right? With so many U. S. states enacting laws to permit guns on college campuses, folks might consider body armor…and why not body armor with a little school spirit? “Protect your student body!” Body armor emblazoned with the names of state universities of states promoting campus carry laws. What could be cooler? StudentBodyArmor.com.