Archives for October, 2006

Kramnik is the Champ!

Vladimir Kramnik won the four game, rapid chess, tie-break match this morning. It was a real nail-biter of an event! Game one was a blunder-filled draw. Kramnik won game two in his usual style, grinding Topalov down in a difficult, technical endgame. Topalov struck back with a win in game three, trapping Kramnik’s king in…

Game Twelve Drawn

Well, regulation play has run out in the big chess match. Game Twelve was another interesting affair, but it ultimately petered out to a draw. Officially the score is tied at six points each. In chess matches of this sort, the custom is that in the case of a tie the players split the prize…

A Mystery Solved

From the time George W. Bush first appeared on the national scene there has been one big question: Does he actually believe all the Evangelical Christian rhetoric he uses, or is he just playing religious voters for fools. As reported last night by Keith Olbermann, it’s the latter:

Evolution vs. Lit Crit (Part One)

The Autumn 2006 issue of The American Scholar features a lengthy article entitled, “Getting it All Wrong: Biolculture Critiques Cultural Critique. It’s author is Brian Boyd, a professor of English at The University of Auckland in New Zealand. The premise of the article is that English professors have rendered themselves irrelevant and even a bit…

Shermer in Virginia

Skeptic Magazine publisher Michael Shermer will be in Oakton, Virginia this Thursday, October 12, to discuss his new book Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design. The talk is being cohosted by The Alliance for Science and the National Capitol Area Skeptics. Regrettably, I will be unable to attend. Having heard Shermer speak several…

Game Eleven Drawn

Game Eleven of the big chess match ended in a draw after a long, difficult endgame. Kramnik, playing black, stuck to his beloved Slav Defense despite the catastrophe in game nine. Topalov again tried a new idea, but Kramnik defended well and entered an endgame where he had only a very slight disadvantage. After some…

Benjamin over at The World’s Fair and Chad over at Uncertain Principles have already blogged this, but neither acheves the proper level of indignation in my opinion. In this post from September 15, I discussed an astonishingly poor discussion of string theory, written by Gregg Easterbrook and published in Slate. Now, in an apparent effort…

Kramnik Strikes Back!

And to think that just a few days ago it seemed like this match would end abruptly because of an insane dispute over visits to the bathroom. Topalov scored back-to-back victories in games eight and nine to take a one point lead in the match. Kramnik was back on ihs heels, and some among the…

Topalov Wins Again!

A dramatic turn of events in the big chess match. Topalov won game nine in convincing fashion, his second win in a row. Topalov now has a one point lead in the match (including the point he got when Kramnik forfeited game five). Three games remain, and Kramnik will have white in two of them.…

Out of Body Experiences

From Tuesday’s New York Times: They are eerie sensations, more common than one might think: A man describes feeling a shadowy figure standing behind him, then turning around to find no one there. A woman feels herself leaving her body and floating in space, looking down on her corporeal self. Such experiences are often attributed…

Are Teenagers Leaving the Church?

Mixed messages from this article in today’s New York Times. From early in the article: Despite their packed megachurches, their political clout and their increasing visibility on the national stage, evangelical Christian leaders are warning one another that their teenagers are abandoning the faith in droves. At an unusual series of leadership meetings in 44…

Topalov Wins Game Eight!

The final position makes a pretty picture: Topalov, playing black, whipped out a novelty in the well-trodden Meran Variation of the Semi-Slav. He managed to produce an objectively equal but materially imbalanced endgame where he had two knights against Kramnik’s rook and pawn. This is just the sort of position Topalov loves, and he managed…

Game Seven Drawn

Only have time for a quick post today, so let me just mention that Game Seven of the big chess match ended in a draw in 60 moves. Topalov once again had white, and once again failed to get anywhere against Kramnik’s Slav Defense. In fact, towards the end it was Topalov who had to…

Senior on Lapham and Blumenthal

Jennifer Senior has this essay, reviewing new anti-Bush books by Lewis Lapham and Sidney Blumenthal, in a recent issue of The York Times Book Review. Her verdict? Now, just in time for the midterm elections, the collected columns of two passionate Bush critics, Lewis H. Lapham and Sidney Blumenthal, are landing in bookstores. Both, to…

I Grow Weary of ID

Check out the Dsicovery Institute’s Bruce Chapman explaining away the complete inability of ID to produce anything of scientific importance: I keep getting asked about the scientific research projects underway that relate to Darwinism and intelligent design. So why aren’t we talking more about them publicly? For several good reasons: The most important is that…