Body Language is Often More Important Than the Words Coming Out of Our Mouths


And ladies and gentlemen, who better to illustrate it than one of the people I’ve learned to not trust at all, Bill Gates!



This “Charisma on Command” channel is pretty interesting and talks a lot about charisma, body language, persuasion, etc. 

In the video the host has to give a big disclaimer towards the end about how we shouldn’t “otherize” people who are socially awkward because it’s not fair to people are are just socially awkward and not evil sociopaths.

And that’s true. Tons of well-meaning, normal people can be socially awkward, especially when nervous like on TV or in other public settings they’re not used to. 

But evil sociopaths can be socially awkward too, and there’s something weird about both Gates and Zuckerberg that goes far beyond social awkwardness, based on their beliefs, inventions, and public statements. In fact a lot of Technology and Silicon Valley types are weird people. And they advocate for weird, anti-social, anti-family, anti-freedom ideas.

It’s more than okay to otherize them, because their inventions otherize and isolate us, and actively divide us, and monetize all of that, every day.


On This Day in 1941

Ted Williams finishes the season hitting .406 

Nobody else has done it since, so it has now been 81 years since anyone has accomplished the feat. That’s an average human lifespan, more or less. 

Pearl Harbor was still in the future, FDR was president, Benny Goodman and swing music in general ruled the hit record charts, and Joe Louis was heavyweight boxing champion.

In all of sports there are very, very few single season records that survive that long. It tells you a lot.



Only 3 hitters have approached the .400 mark since, most notably Tony Gwynn with .394 in 1994, George Brett with .390 in 1980, Rod Carew with .388 in 1977.

These days nobody is remotely a threat to hit .400 because launch angle and exit velocity have taken over the game and nearly ruined it.

Ted Williams somehow managed to hit for both power and average despite using a slight upper cut in his swing — not because it caused the ball to “launch” off the bat at some desired angle to maximize home runs (and strikeouts), but because that better matched the slightly downward path of the pitch, maximizing your chance of hitting the ball hard and on a line. He wrote a famous book about his philosophy of hitting, “The Science of Hitting”.

He was clearly one of the best hitters of all time — if not for serving in two major wars and missing 5 years of his baseball prime, he definitely would have threatened Babe Ruth’s all time HR record of 714.

So it’s been 81 years since Williams did it, and prior to that there were 5 players who hit .400 a total of 10 times from 1900-1925 — Ty Cobb and Rogers Hornsby both did it three times, George Sisler twice, and Napoleon Lajoie and Shoeless Joe Jackson once. Here’s the full list of all-time season batting average records.

The first in the modern era was Lajoie in 1901 and the last was Hornsby in 1925. In between, Cobb (1911, 1912, 1922), Shoeless Joe (1911), Sisler (1920, 1922), and Hornsby (1922, 1924). Two .400 hitters in 1911 and three in 1922! 

I point all this out to highlight the clumping of these data points — eleven times total, five in the two years 1911 and 1922, nine in the years 1911-25. That’s the whole history of .400 hitting in a nutshell.

Of this group of .400 hitters, Hornsby, Cobb, and Williams all had, as one might expect, long runs of extreme dominance.

Hornsby’s run from 1920-1925 was one of the most amazing batting displays in history — he hit .400 three times and led the NL, all six years, in all of these categories: BA, OBP, SLG, OPS, plus five times in TB and four times in Hits, 2B, and RBI. His stat line over those years is incredible: BA .397 and 1.133 OPS with season averages of 118 Runs, 115 RBI, 216 Hits, and 363 TB. Over a twelve year run from 1920-1931 he averaged .378 with 185 hits and 105 RBI and led the NL in:

  • OPS ten times
  • OBP nine times
  • SLG eight times
  • BA seven times
  • TB six times
  • Runs five times
  • Hits, 2B and RBI four times
  • BB three times

Williams had a similar six-year run from 1941-1949 (excluding the war years 43-45) where he hit .359 with a .505 OBP and 1.161 OPS and averaged 35 HR, 130 RBI, 150 BB, and 339 TB, and led the AL, all six years, in all of these categories: BB, OBP,  SLG, OPS, plus four times in BA, HR, Runs and TB and three times in RBI. He is the all-time career leader in OBP at .482 — almost a .500 OBP for an entire career! Over a 13 year run 1939-1958 (excluding war years and injury-shortened years) he led the AL in: 

  • OBP twelve times
  • OPS ten times
  • SLG nine times
  • BB eight times
  • BA, Runs and TB six times

Cobb’s dominant run was thirteen years from 1907-1919 where he averaged .377 and 197 hits per season, and led the AL in : 

  • BA twelve times 
  • OPS nine times 
  • Hits and SLG eight times
  • OBP seven times 
  • SB and TB six times 

All three players were absolute machines on offense, obviously.

On This Day . . .

 

In 1896 gold is discovered in the Yukon Territory by George Carmack at Bonanza Creek (renamed for obvious reasons from Rabbit Creek) south of Dawson City in the western part of the Yukon, leading to the last gold rush in the Old West:

Hoping to cash in on reported gold strikes in Alaska, [George] Carmack had traveled there from California in 1881. After running into a dead end, he headed north into the isolated Yukon Territory, just across the Canadian border. In 1896, another prospector, Robert Henderson, told Carmack of finding gold in a tributary of the Klondike River. Carmack headed to the region with two Native American companions, known as Skookum Jim and Tagish Charlie. On August 16, while camping near Rabbit Creek, Carmack reportedly spotted a nugget of gold jutting out from the creek bank. His two companions later agreed that Skookum Jim–Carmack’s brother-in-law—actually made the discovery.

“Klondike Fever” reached its height in the United States in mid-July 1897 when two steamships arrived from the Yukon in San Francisco and Seattle, bringing a total of more than two tons of gold. Thousands of eager young men bought elaborate “Yukon outfits” (kits assembled by clever marketers containing food, clothing, tools and other necessary equipment) and set out on their way north. Few of these would find what they were looking for, as most of the land in the region had already been claimed. One of the unsuccessful gold-seekers was 21-year-old Jack London, whose short stories based on his Klondike experience became his first book, The Son of the Wolf (1900).


Two American icons passed away on this day . . . 

In 1948 Babe Ruth passes away just 53 years of age. Raised in an orphanage, he became the first “larger than life” sports hero and packed a lot of living into those 53 years. Even his name has a mystique attached to it, and he is known to millions as simply “The Babe”.



In a stunning coincidence this was also the day in 1977 that Elvis died. He was 42.


Blackbeard’s Reign of Terror in 1717-1718


In November 1717 after several months of terror up and down the coast of the American colonies and in the Caribbean he captured a large French ship near St Vincent carrying 500 slaves bound for sugar plantations. 

After outfitting it with 40 guns, he renamed it Queen Anne’s Revenge.

Now with one of the most powerful warships in the world under his command plus 3 more ships in his fleet, and a total of 250 men, he set out again.



His naming the ship Queen Anne’s Revenge is explained by his service in Queen Anne’s War in the early 1700’s (the video refers to the war of Spanish Succession from 1701-1714 which was also known as Queen Anne’s War in the American theatre). 

This war — between three major European powers plus multiple Native American tribes lasting well over a decade — started over the question of who should succeed King Charles II of Spain in 1701.

Blackbeard — an Englishman, given name Edward Teach — died in November 1718 during a raid ordered by Virginia Lt Gov Alexander Spotswood into North Carolina where Blackbeard had lived in semi-protected status.

On A Break

 

Finding the energy to post just twice this month and seven times last month means that I’m essentially taking the summer off, as it turns out. Wasn’t planned, it just happened.

When I return it will be in a somewhat different format and schedule (working through some ideas now).

See ya soon!





Undiscovered Gems: Gordon Lightfoot

 

It took me a few decades to wake up to the genius of Gordon Lightfoot — don’t let that happen to you.

Over the last two years I have discovered several album cuts that are absolute gems and a much clearer view into who he is as an artist when compared to his U.S. hit singles like “Sundown” and “Carefree Highway” — which I liked but not enough to care about digging deeper into his albums.

The passage of time and the wisdom of life experience has revealed to me that his music was far more mature than I was capable of appreciating as a young adult.

The lyrics, the band, the subtlety and power of the music, the impeccable taste of the arrangements, it’s all in there — but you have to be ready as a listener to absorb it.


The Circle is Small



Hangdog Hotel Room



Race Among the Ruins



I especially like the chorus:

When you wake up to the promise
Of your dream world comin' true
With one less friend to call on
Was it someone that I knew
Away you will go sailin'
In a race among the ruins
If you plan to face tomorrow
Do it soon


High and Dry