Freestyle Friday

The number of consecutive days with measurable rain at our house has reached five. Once again, this morning’s rain (it’s still raining as I write this although the sun is making an effort to be seen) was not really forecast by the National Weather Service. Giving them the benefit of the doubt, micro-climatic variations in this area must be such that accurate forecasts at a granular level must be difficult.

I had to attempt to take pictures of the area this morning. Without a frame of reference it will be difficult for you to ascertain the difference in the way this area looked earlier today compared to how it usually looks.




When I was younger I very much enjoyed watching the snow fall, in part–of course–because enough snow might close schools. I have always liked watching rain as well, but have to admit I enjoy it more here than anywhere else.


Once more, some links to posts from Why Evolution Is True:


Med students walk out on speaker because she’s “pro life,” but wasn’t talking about it

From the post:


“There are several issues here, including the students assertion that the University has an official position on abortion. While the University can and probably does perform abortions, that’s different from taking an official stand on it, for that chills the speech of people who are “pro life”. As readers here know, I’m [Jerry Coyne] a hard-line pro-choicer, and so disagree strongly with Dr. Collier’s views on that issue. But I would still go to her talk, and I wouldn’t walk out.

Further, there’s the idea that if someone expresses a view you don’t like, you should boycott that person. I don’t agree with that view, either…”

“Finally, there’s the issue of free speech—not in the First Amendment sense, as nobody violated the Constitution here. I’m talking about the value of allowing people to speak with whom you disagree, on the chance that you might either change your mind, hone your own opposition, or (especially in this case) learn something.”


Both sides practice “cancel culture” but I have to say I think the left is worse. The ACLU now advocates free-speech restrictions far beyond anything previously outlined in any court decisions.


Social engineering in Portland’s schools


“Portland Public Schools has launched a war against the “gender binary” and adopted a radical new curriculum teaching students to subvert the sexuality of “white colonizers” and begin exploring “the infinite gender spectrum.”

I [Christopher Rufo] have obtained a cache of documents from a source inside Portland Public Schools that exposes the nature of this curriculum. The lessons seek to turn the principles of academic queer theory into an identity-formation program for elementary school students; it has been adopted in many of the district’s K-5 classrooms.”


Too many people have fallen into an ideological vortex and away from reality.


Lactase persistence in populations that drink milk: a classic story of human evolution re-evaluated

If you’re a science “geek” you might enjoy this post.


I found this CNBC article interesting. JPMorgan has a hired a scientist, Charles Lim, to “help protect financial system from quantum-supremacy threat…New forms of cryptography and secure messaging are needed ahead of quantum supremacy, or the point when quantum computers will vastly outperform traditional computers.”

It’s great that a large firm like JPMorgan is trying to get ahead of the curve, but read this article carefully and it’s difficult not to be very concerned about the negative implications of the next generation of computers. utem itud psin


OK, some automotive content…this recent Hemmings article is titled, “We pick seven of the most criminally undervalued collector cars of today.” Two of these seven cars are, indeed, among my favorites. In fact, one was a potential member of my Ultimate Garage 3.0. Here are pictures of those two automobiles:



Post Image


The top photo is a Continental (technically, not Lincoln) Mark II and it was this car I considered for inclusion in Ultimate Garage 3.0. Of course, the Mark II was only produced in 1956-57 with only about 3,000 units being manufactured. The bottom photo represents the fourth generation Corvette, or C4, that was produced for model years 1984 through 1996.

Granted, these selections were subjective as they were made by Hemmings’ editorial staff. Of course, all of my Ultimate Garage selections were also subjective.







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Freestyle Friday

Some of you may know that, after a very successful stint as the head football coach at St. Cecilia High School in Englewood, New Jersey, Vince Lombardi was an assistant coach at Army under the legendary Earl “Red” Blaik. It was from there that Lombardi jumped to the NFL as an assistant coach with the New York Giants in 1954.

Whose departure created the vacancy that Lombardi filled at Army? It was Sid Gillman, who only coached there for one season (1948) in between successful tenures as head coach at Miami of Ohio and the University of Cincinnati. Of course, Gillman was a revolutionary coach in his own right, pioneering the use of the vertical passing game in pro football and is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame as well as the College Football Hall of Fame. Going back to Gillman’s one season at Army, I am puzzled by why he left Miami of Ohio, where his teams had a 31-6-1 record in his four seasons as head coach. At Cincinnati, Gillman’s teams were 50-13-1; he then became head coach of the Los Angeles Rams in 1955. The Rams played in the NFL Championship game that season.

I don’t know why Lombardi succeeding Gillman at Army is just now coming to the forefront of my consciousness, if I have any. It is ironic, of course, that the two coaches had diametrically opposite views about pro football offenses. Lombardi’s pet play was, of course, the power sweep, which was really just a play from the single-wing days of football. He believed in running the ball as the primary focus and using the run to set up the pass.

As stated earlier, Gillman believed in throwing the ball as the primary focus of an offense. Love him or hate him, Al Davis took that philosophy to the Raiders. Davis coached under Gillman with the Chargers from 1960 to 1962. Davis once said, “Sid Gillman brought class to the AFL. Bring part of Sid’s organization was like going to a laboratory for the highly developed science of professional football.” Davis also remarked, “Sid Gillman was the father of modern-day passing.”

Bill Walsh, who coached under Davis with the Raiders, said this about Gillman, “He was so far ahead of his time, people couldn’t totally understand what he was doing. He was one of the great offensive minds in football history. He was a mentor to me and had a lot to do with any success I had. There’s a lineage between Sid Gillman and what you see on the field today.”

Thanks, in part, to rules changes implemented in the NFL beginning in the late 1970s, modern pro football offenses much more closely resemble Gillman’s idiom than Lombardi’s. I don’t watch too much of the football talking head shows, but it seems as though Gillman is more or less forgotten today. Maybe if more people knew that one succeeded the other as offensive line coach at Army under Red Blaik, Gillman would be remembered more. Of course, maybe he wouldn’t.

I did not intend to write 500+ words on Sid Gillman this morning. I also did not mention that Gillman was Jewish and felt anti-Semitism played a role in his not getting the Ohio State head coaching job in the 1950s. At times, Lombardi believed anti-Italian prejudice hindered his advancement in the coaching profession. Again, I am struck by the parallels and differences between the two legendary coaches. I haven’t mentioned, until now, that Gillman was really the pioneer of the use of film study in football (his father owned a movie theater and the younger Gillman would take the football segments out of newsreels so he could study them) while Lombardi was also ahead of the curve in the use of film.


See the source image


This recent piece in Mac’s Motor City Garage begins, “While the Studebaker Avanti is celebrated as a masterpiece in American design today, it was the product of a rush job by an automaker that was almost out of business.” Also from the article:



The post is worth reading even if you’re not a big fan of the Avanti. I am, of course, and the car was listed among just seven in my first Ultimate Garage for my previous blog that was hosted by the Evil Empire, AKA Google. If the legislation permitting low-volume replicas of classic cars were really meaningful, maybe we would see the production of a modern Avanti.








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