The problem with 15 minute games

When on FICS, my favored time control is somewhere 15/5. It doesn’t turn chess completely into an action game, but still provides a reasonably fast game I can fit into my schedule.

Of course, it’s still a short time control that can still devolve into a reflex game, which was a real injustice to this match. The entire second-half of the game was filled with thoughts about how awful both of us were surely playing. My strategy was to (try to) simplify and stay ahead on the clock, which rewarded me with an unfulfilling victory when Black’s flag fell.

Monday Fighter!

A common theme on Engrish sites (such as or is a food establishment with the sign “Fuck the vegetables”, or the like. I’ve seen it enough times so it’s not funny anymore, but finally had to research why “干” was so commonly mistranslated.


The Language Log page assauged my curiosity:

The problem here is that the word “gan” means both “to dry” and “to do,” and the latter meaning has come to mean “to fuck.” Unfortunately, the recent proliferation of Colloquial English dictionaries in China means people choose the vulgar translation way too often, on the grounds that it’s colloquial.

Another leg on the Tour of Stupid

OK, so. It’s June. The Yankees are 1 game behind the Red Sox. And ESPN is asking whether you think the Yankees must beat the Red Sox tonight.

How can this possibly be a “must win”? Are the Yankees going to be eliminated from playoff contention? All of a sudden, they’re going to lose confidence and become a .500 team? It’s not like there are more than 90 games left in the season.

The most frightening part is that 44% say it’s a “must win”. I really hope they’re joking.

Hope you enjoyed June 11th’s Tour of Stupid.

IQ Test Fail

Here’s a shot of an ad for one of those random “IQ Tests”. This question is reasonably compelling, so I took a few minutes to figure it out.

Clicking on the ad, I landed on a page where you could take this test, for I was hoping the rest of the exam would be fairly interesting. At the bottom was a list of four answers to choose from, although there was the minor issue of the correct answer not being listed. (Click to see the choices.)

Right, so there’s baseball going on

Last time we talked about baseball, the Marlins were 11-1, looking really good. And then over the next 32 games, they went 8-24, while the Mets cleaned up their game. We have a better sense of how good the teams are.

So it looks like The Mets are…b..b.

Let me try that again.

The Mets are bet-t-t. The Mets are bet..ter than the Marlins.

Fortunately, I can take comfort in the fact I’m not a Washington Natinals fan:

How to cover a golf tournament

1. Mention how Tiger Woods made some tough shot on a random hole (an eagle is even better).

2. Announce how many shots Tiger is off the pace.

3. Quietly slip in the leader’s name.

4. If there’s enough time, indicate how many shots Phil Mickelson is behind.

Boom shakalaka!

And he finishes the website edit 5 minutes before the deadline!

(Your comments on the USCF election deserve a deeper response than I have time for right now.)