TMQ Watch: October 3, 2017.

We’ve got nothing clever to start off with this week. This is the kind of week that sucks all the clever out of our strategic clever reserves. Let’s just get into it.

After the jump, about 5,000 words of this week’s TMQ…

…of which approximately the first 800 are devoted to revealing “the secret to NFL success”.

And that secret is? A good (or “franchise”, as TMQ puts it) quarterback. Maybe so. But: TMQ mentions Eli Manning as an example. The New York Football Giants are currently 0-4. How many quarterbacks have been drafted by the Browns? And how successful were those quarterbacks? Or were those not “franchise” quarterbacks? And what distinguishes a “franchise” quarterback from any other quarterback, other than a winning record? If that’s the case, doesn’t this boil down to “the secret to NFL success is winning”? Isn’t that a tautology?

(There’s also the usual discussion of how NFL rule changes have made the role of the quarterback more important. You can now skip the first 800 words.)

Stats. Sweet: Houston – Tennessee. Sour: New England. Mixed: Kansas City – Washington. Chicken-(salad) kicking: Miami.

“Wacky Food of the Week”: Gregg Easterbrook has a problem with “cave-aged cheddar”:

Mold from a cave—yum!

As opposed to fungus from the air. More generally, is TMQ not aware that cheese has been ripened in caves for hundreds, if not thousands, of years?

I’ve seen a listing of “Christian-raised chicken.” Is that chicken raised by Christians, or as Christians?

We were going to make fun of TMQ for not doing a Duck Duck Go search, like we did. But we ran across this interesting article when we did search:

I have not been very active as an animal rights advocate. But I did once write a short piece about how chickens are raised. I got going on that subject after attending a meeting several decades ago of some farmers in western Canada. They were all Christians and they met frequently to talk about how their faith commitments should influence their farming practices. None of them was educated beyond high school, but they had obviously listened carefully to what they had been taught in church. They wanted Christian teachings to make a difference in how they went about their farming tasks.

We’re not vegans or animal rights activists. We believe animals were put on earth for humanity to use. But we also believe that our covenant with God means that we should treat the animals we use, for food or other purposes, with as much kindness and empathy as we possibly can. If that makes us Christian chicken raisers, so be it.

Wacky passing (and not-so-wacky running).

The Martian chronicles.

If successful, the SpaceX mega-rocket would place about 150 tons into low-Earth orbit; four missions add up to about 600 tons. That’s the weight of 20 fully loaded Greyhound buses, which might sound like a lot until you imagine people living for more than a year within 20 Greyhound buses which must contain all their water, air, food, and medicine, plus enough fuel to land on Mars and blast off again.

Ummm, is Easterbrook assuming here that at least the air and water aren’t being recycled?

Some of his other criticisms seem to us to have some validity. But we’re generally skeptical of TMQ’s skepticism:

There has been no breakthrough in propulsion since the 1960s; Musk’s mega-launcher would employ engines and propellants only somewhat different from the Saturn V. Until a propulsion breakthrough, Mars will remain in the realm of science fiction.

What motivated “breakthroughs in propulsion” in the 1960s? And what would motivate “breakthroughs in propulsion” now?

But the Bengals versus Browns contest—combined record 0-6—played on endless loop.

Speak for yourself, Gregg. We’re kind of sorry we missed the Ineptitude Bowl.

London calling.

The new Tappan Zee bridge north of New York City has been named the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, for the former New York governor who died in 2015. Cuomo was a fine man—but does anyone really think he was one of the greatest New Yorkers? The name was chosen by current Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in order to promote himself and his brand. New York voters ought to be disgusted.

Yes, they should be, but not just for that reason.

Eagles versus drones. More football gods. (Seriously, what is this? Just a bunch of random events that amused TMQ? We suppose that’s fine, if that’s what Easterbrook wants to do, but we could do without the incessant “football gods” references.)


“Adventures in Officiating”: it’s beginning to look a lot like “Fuzzy Thurston” is a new TMQ trope. (Ding!) And speaking of the Packers…


But just as aerospace firms want a defense subcontract in every congressional district, the NFL now has a contractual relationship with almost every major communications conglomerate. ABC, Amazon, AT&T, CBS, ESPN, Facebook, Fox, Google, NBC, Verizon, Yahoo—all now have a financial interest in downplaying public subsidies to NFL owners.

We don’t see how having a “contractual relationship” means that these entities have “a financial interest in downplaying public subsidies”. They’re paying money for product: what makes Easterbrook think they care if NFL owners get public subsidies or not? Are we missing something here?

TMQ’s Bill Belichick obsession is starting to feel kind of creepy. 500 more words (that you can now skip) to make this point: Hollywood (and SF in general) overestimates the pace of technological change.

Carr went down on Sunday, and the Raiders wished they’d signed Kaepernick.

We’re thankful that TMQ has insight into the midset of the Raiders organization, which is located on the opposite coast from him.

While Oakland did not have a good backup quarterback, the Raiders did have Marquette King, the NFL’s first egomaniacal punter.

We’re also thankful for TMQ’s comprehensive knowledge of the history of NFL punters, with special regard to their assorted character disorders.

Viewer mail: soundproof booths.

Why does the Environmental Protection Agency need a brand-new SCIF? To make Pruitt seem more important.

Or there might be a good reason for this, such as discussions of environmental remediation for former (or present) classified military sites.

Stevenson 65, Misericordia 7.

You’re welcome.

That’s a wrap for this week. Thanks to TMQ for reminding us to look up the schedule for the Slippery Rock – IUP game. Turns out it is a week from this Saturday (October 14th). Good to know.

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