April 17, 2015 |
IT'S POPULAR to say that age is just a number. I never understood that statement. Aside from being self-evident, the implication that age is irrelevant makes absolutely no sense. Age is a number that means a lot of things, including how much you have accomplished, experienced and, perhaps most importantly, the mistakes you've avoided making during a lifetime. But when we say "age is just a number," it's as if we're trying to minimize the negative perception of being "older. " I put that word in quotation marks because its connotation has evolved over recent decades.
February 5, 2015 |
Experts and pundits tend to be terrible fortune tellers. Often wrong but rarely in doubt, they become invested in their own theories, rejecting new information that challenges their beliefs. The evidence is overwhelming, from Albert Einstein's prediction that "there is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will ever be obtainable," to George Will's that Mitt Romney would win the 2012 presidential election by a landslide. Just as solidly proven, but far less known, is that in most cases, a group of average citizens venturing good guesses is more likely to make accurate forecasts than a typical authority on a subject, especially a smugly confident one. This counterintuitive truth has fascinated social scientists, psychologists, and statisticians for more than a century.
January 13, 2014 |
When Gov. Christie won reelection by a landslide in November, some Republican leaders and many independent analysts deified him as they parsed the New Jersey exit polls. Savior of his party! Not only had Christie won overwhelmingly in a blue state, but he had earned a majority of votes of Hispanics and women, two groups that the national GOP recently has had trouble attracting, the poll found. That raised his stock even more as the very early front-runner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.
September 17, 2012
On Aug. 8, 1971, superstar quarterback Joe Namath threw a pass that was intercepted in a meaningless preseason game. Namath reacted by trying to tackle the opposing player. He promptly blew out his knee, and his team's season was ruined. Asked why, given the game's low stakes, he didn't simply refrain from hurling his body in front of the runaway linebacker, Namath responded: "I only know how to play football one way - at full speed. " Interestingly, Namath wasn't widely pilloried for exhibiting poor judgment; instead, he was admired for being a great competitor and leader.
August 29, 2012 |
HEADING INTO their Mayor's Cup showdown with Villanova on Friday night, Temple is the new team in a new-look conference. A quick glance at the nearest college football poll is all it takes to see that the Big East is not garnering much respect from the national media. Many pundits think that Temple, 8 years after being booted from the Big East, is the weakest squad in the weakest BCS conference. But preseason excitement within the Owls' program has drastically overshadowed any concern over a lack of respect, a notion that coach Steve Addazio reiterated on Monday.
June 13, 2012 |
Pulitzer-winning journalist, pundit, and noted Philadelphian Buzz Bissinger, best known for his football tome Friday Night Lights, has a new job: talk radio. Local CBS station Talk Radio 1210 WPHT (1210-AM) on Monday announced that Bissinger, 57, will take the wheel at the station's afternoon drive show (from 3 to 7 p.m. daily) with cohost Steve Martorano. Bissinger tells us he's excited about working in a new, fresh medium. "This will be my first regular full-time gig on radio," says Bissinger, who left The Inquirer in 1988.
March 1, 2012 |
Andrew Breitbart has died, according to the conservative blogger's website. He was 43. Few details were available. "With a terrible feeling of pain and loss we announce the passing of Andrew Breitbart," says a note on www.bigjournalism.com . "Andrew passed away unexpectedly from natural causes shortly after midnight this morning in Los Angeles. " Several Breitbart-affiliated websites made the announcement this morning that he died of natural causes in Los Angeles in the early morning hours.
February 21, 2012 |
Allegheny College has cursed the darkness, with its researchers documenting in a series of polls the decline of civility in American politics and the risk that rising nastiness poses to self-government. Tuesday, the college plans to light a candle. Pundits David Brooks and Mark Shields are to receive the inaugural Allegheny College Prize for Civility in Public Life in Washington, honoring them for the elevated tone of their regular debates on PBS's NewsHour . "People talk so much in America about those who are not civil.
February 10, 2012 |
So, Roland Martin's suspension has some black folks up in arms. Looks like CNN's indefinite canning of its ascot-wearing, progressive pundit has many of his supporters indignant. Some of them have even begun an online petition drive to get him back on the network sooner. While I'm not surprised, that's one petition I won't be signing. But first, a little context: Martin, a prolific user of social media, took to Twitter on Sunday to give his 90,000 followers a play-by-play of his Super Bowl musings, including a commercial critique.
October 16, 2011 |
LOS ANGELES TIMES BARTLETT, Tenn. - Herman Cain, the new Republican front-runner in at least one recent 2012 presidential poll, swatted away criticism of his tax plan Friday and accused critics of attacking him because he is suddenly at the head of the pack. "Can y'all see that big bull's-eye on my back?" asked Cain, turning to show the crowd an imaginary target. Cain spoke in a park outside Memphis, his birthplace, at the first stop of a bus tour through Tennessee. The state seldom draws candidates this early in a presidential campaign because its primary is not held until March.