World Basketball Association

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.

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Hoops, News, Peace, Sites I visit

Another Π Day!

So, it’s Π Day again! For my friend Michael, that would not be ampersand-pound-928-semicolon. It would be ampersand-pound-127829-semicolon, which is 🍕!

Meanwhile, please be sure to watch Vi Hart’s video for 2019-03-14.

Leave a comment

Filed under Amusements, News

Graphic History

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?

Leave a comment

Filed under News

Susan B. Anthony

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.

Read more from the LoC here. There’s some cool facts and fascinating pictures.

Leave a comment

Filed under News

Women’s Day!

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.

One can get a sense of Ms. Malakiel’s social views in her fictionalized diary of a seamstress out on strike in the early 1900s: Diary of a Shirtwaist Striker. Of course, one can find copies from on-line book sellers, but why pay the man? It’s available for free at http://xroads.virginia.edu/%7EMA04/kane/strikers/theirwords/diary.htm.

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.”

Leave a comment

Filed under News

HB, Julian Bond!

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under News

Avogadro’s Number

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under News