Sunday, March 3, 2013

Link roundup

1.  Two anecdotes from ESPN's lengthy profile of Michael Jordan:

In the late '80s, Jordan looked in Whitfield's closet and saw that half of it was filled with Nike and the other half filled with Puma. Jordan bundled the Puma gear in his arms, tossing it onto the living room floor. He took a knife from the kitchen and cut it to shreds. Call Howard White, his contact at Nike, he told Fred, and tell him to replace it all. Same thing happened with George. He bought a pair of New Balance shoes he loved, and Jordan saw them one day and insisted he hand them over. Call Howard White at Nike.
In case anyone in the inner circle forgets who's in charge, they only have to recall the code names given to them by the private security team assigned to overseas trips. Estee is Venom. George is Butler. Yvette is Harmony. Jordan is called Yahweh -- a Hebrew word for God. 
2.  From a discussion at Reddit about old testament rules:
Unusual category-mixing laws abound in Jewish law. You can't cook milk and meat together - not only can you not eat them in the same mix, you can't even mix them at all, whether you eat it or not. You can't boil a goat in its own mothers' milk - mixing the lifegiving associations of mother's milk with death trips the instinct against category mixing. Shellfish and lobsters are banned, and they, too, are category overlaps - sea creatures, but without fins or scales. You can't eat straight animal blood - animal essence entering a human. The Bible is very specific about the kinds of birds that are non-kosher, and look at the pattern: ostriches (category overlap: birds, but they run, not fly), bats (half-bird, half-rat!), Red Kites (they fly, but they don't flap their wings most of the time), herons (some of the only birds in that region that fly with their necks tucked in, not stretched - they're anomalies in the category), so on.  
The OCD quality of rules based on category continuity stems from a complicated story of evolutionary psychology that 1) is not appropriate for this subreddit and 2) shares a lot of qualities with just-so stories, but long story short, our instinct is that there is a place for everything and everything better be in its place.
3.  Template for a cat-shaped party invitation.