Thursday, June 16, 2011

Bats and Axes

What's the cosmic significance of the coincidence of there being three major league baseball players called Andre Ethier, Carlos Santana, and Ryan Adams at the same time as there are three musicians also called Andre Ethier, Carlos Santana, and Ryan Adams (all of whom play the guitar)? As if Ryan Adams (the musician) didn't have enough annoyance from being confused with Bryan Adams (another musician with a guitar).

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Transparency, Open Data, and the Rule of Law

This blog post tells the little known story of how open data revealed a multi-billion dollar tax fraud in Canada.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Rings and diamonds

Two of my favourite sports for TV viewing are curling and baseball. I was contemplating their similarities recently and identified these common characteristics:

Both are games of anticipation. You must know the sport well to imagine what could come next.

Both are games with clearly defined roles for the different players, but every player must contribute.

Both are played on unconventionally shaped playing surfaces. Most team-versus-team games are played on rectangular playing fields with goals at opposite ends.

Both require every player to be able to throw well.

Both can require applying complex strategies to build toward scoring.

The biggest contrast between the two sports is in the type of participant at the highest levels of the sports. Major league baseball players usually develop a sense of entitlement that goes with their multi-million dollar annual salaries. Top curlers still need day jobs, and are people you could run into at your local hardware store, where they would fit right in.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Groundhog Day: The Movie

I've thought for some time that Groundhog Day is one of the most under-rated movies ever. Although it was a critical success and a box-office success, it won only a few awards from low-profile organizations - no Oscar nominations, no Golden Globes.

Yet it bears watching over and over again, revealing something new every time. And it's the most skewed approach to a testament to the redemptive power of true love I can imagine. Not to mention laugh-out-loud funny.

It's a minor irony that the latest Oscar nominations are released on Groundhog Day, 2010.