Quote of the day

It generally astounds me that for someone who actually is an intelligent person, Mitt Romney keeps saying the dumbest things.

And at one point, Mr. Finebaum asked Mr. Romney, as a New England Patriots fan, where he thought Peyton Manning should go as a free agent, and the candidate highlighted his friendship with football team owners — echoing comments in which he explained his affinity for Nascar by noting he knew the owners of Nascar teams.

“I’m surprised to hear that Denver’s thinking about him,” Mr. Romney said. “I don’t want him in our neck of the woods, let’s put it that way.”

“I’ve got a lot of good friends, the owner of the Miami Dolphins and the New York Jets, both owners are friends of mine,” [emphasis mine] he added. “But let’s keep him away from New England.”

Has there ever been a presidential candidate (okay, I’m sure there has, just not in my lifetime) more removed from the experience of the average American?

The pain of being a redhead

I saw this last week and was telling the eldest of my redhead boys about it, but then I could not actually remember any of the details.  I figure if I actually blogged about it, I’d remember enough to tell him about our shared pain.  Anyway, redheads experience pain differently:

A range of differences

An increasing number of studies show that redheads are differently constituted in terms of pain perception and body reactions. Research reveals that redheads:

  • are more sensitive to cold
  • are less responsive to subcutaneously administered anaesthetics [under the skin]
  • suffer more from toothaches and are more frightened of dentists…

In other respects, however, redheads turn out to be tougher than other people.

Research has produced evidence that redheads are less sensitive to stinging pain in the skin.

This was shown in tests where capsaicin, the active substance in chilli, was injected into the skin to produce pain.

“Our tests showed that redheads are less sensitive to this particular type of pain. They react less to pressure close to the injected area, or to a pinprick. They seem to be a bit better protected, and that is a really interesting finding,” says Professor Lars Arendt-Nielsen of the Center for Sensory-Motor Interaction at Aalborg University.

Pretty interest stuff.  Given that redhead #2 suffers from a neurocutaneous (i.e., brain and skin) disorder, I’m actually not all that surprised to think there may be a link between brain and hair color.  There’s clearly a lot of interesting genetic relationships we hardly understand.

Here’s all the Greene redheads:

Kim and I find it amusing that it almost seems like our red genes get diluted a bit with each child, as they go from most to least red.  Sarah does not even qualify as a redhead– brown with red highlights now– but she’s definitely getting more red in her hair as she ages.  I wonder if that means she’s becoming more sensitive to pain :-).

Do we actually need a West region?

Safe to say that the balance of power in college basketball is decidedly east of the Mississippi:

Chart of the day

I just finished grading a bunch of midterms where many of my students insisted that SuperPAC’s made this year the most expensive primary every.  Nope, not even close.  Given all the coverage of SuperPAC’s, it did seem easy enough to believe this however.  This nice WP chart really puts things in context:

And for the record, even if you add in SuperPAC money, the totals still fall well below 2008:

Even adding this year’s spending by super PACs — a new kind of independent group that can raise millions of dollars at a time — the Republican contenders spent more cash in 2008 all on their own.

The numbers, tallied through the end of January, complicate the widespread portrait of the 2012 campaign as an example of political spending run amok. While many voters may feel overrun with negative ads, every primary season since the 1990s has featured more spending than the current contest, records show.

The totals also underscore a persistententhusiasm problem that has dogged this year’s GOP presidential hopefuls, most of whom haven’t come close to raising as much money as the top candidates did in 2008. Romney, despite being the presumed front-runner, has actually brought in donations at a slightly slower pace than he did four years ago, when he was considered an underdog in a well-funded field that included a veteran U.S. senator and a former New York mayor.

Even Obama, who does not have to fight a primary opponent, has begun to lag behind the pace he set in 2008, when he became the most successful fundraiser in U.S. political history.

SuperPAC’s are a lot of things (most, not all, of them bad, I would argue) but what they are not doing is leading to record spending.

Yep, he’s a Muslim alright

One of my favorite things about PPP is that they on occasion have great fun embarrassing Republicans by, in the midst of serious and scientifically-conducted polls, asking questions no other polling outfit would ask.  It’s even better filtered through Chait’s trademark snark:

It has been a while since the question of President Obama’s religion — his truereligion, maybe the religion he or his “church” don’t want you to know about — has been on the national agenda. And the upcoming Alabama and Mississippi primaries are an opportune time to raise it, since Republicans from Alabama and Mississippi are a discerning bunch and especially apt to see through the president’s tissue of lies.

PPP asks Republicans in Alabama, “Do you think Barack Obama is a Christian or a Muslim, or are you not sure?” Guess how many say Christian? 14%! Among the remaining 86%, “Muslim” slightly leads “not sure,” 45%-41%. (“Not sure” may by the demographic Rick Santorum is reaching out to when he accuses Obama of peddling a “phony theology.”)


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