Sixers Lore: At 38 wins, No On Remembers if There Were Ugly Ones

The Sixers just beat the Nets. That is not big news. But it is interesting news for several reasons

  • after a tough loss the very hot Pacers, the Sixers were playing the second night of a back to back (after beating the Knicks). They had reason to be sluggish and they were śluggish
  • the Nets shot over 50% from 3. They were draining shots like crazy. And that kept them in the game
  • Joel Embiid was not shooting well. At one point, I think he was 2 for 11

So this was not a wipe out. It was a nail biter.

How did the Sixers do it? They raised the level of their defense in the critical moments of the 3rd and 4th quarters. In particular an Embiid sniff of a Dimwitty drive at a critical moment shifted the momentum. And Ben Simmons carried the team with his drives and his steals And the Sixers shot well from 3 when they had to.

And btw, Ben took at least 3 jump shots. He made 1.

A quick point — I was not thrilled when the Sixers traded Nerlens Noel and got back Justin Anderson. Anderson looked more like a football player than a basketball player. And he was not playing smart. Last night, Anderson drained some critical 3’s and played good defense. Who knew?

A final word – Jah got some playing time, and he showed some offensive flash. He can do that. He also showed some aggressiveness on defense, something that he never showed in Philly. So good for him!



Back in Tartu, and Yet Another Presentation

What fun! I zoomed up to Tallinn yesterday to give a presentation to a bunch of lawyers, tech folks, entrepreneurs and regulators on how the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is trying to clamp down on crypto token launches (ICO’s). We had a blast!

No time to rest. I am back in Tartu and today will toddle over to the law faculty to give a presentation on why “decentralization” in the internet is important.

Why talk about this? Consider whether Facebook — one of the most powerful web based platform — is actually enabling you to add value to your life. Is it innovative? Most folks would answer “not really”.  Why not? Can we do better?  I think so!

have a great weekend!

Quick Trip to Tallinn

I will be heading out shortly to Tallinn to give a presentation today. FYI, I will take the train – the best way to go! And I will head back to Tartu after I do my blah, blah, blah, with perhaps a bit of time to stop at the Gloria for some soup and a glass of wine before hand.

What is is all about? It is about the regulation of crypto markets in the US and what Estonia can learn from that. That might sound a bit dry, but I will be doing my best to keep everyone awake with fun stories.

Why is this a big deal? If Estonia is to prosper, we need to be learning how to identify and adapt new technologies to cutting edge business models. Blockchain is such a new technology. We get the capacity, but are not so clear on its best uses. So there is lots to learn!

I will report on this when I get back later today!


After Lamb …

Sorry if you arrived at this post thinking it was about the dessert course for dinner. It is instead about politics and it is a very big deal.

After the election of Donald Trump, many people sensed that something was not right. Trump had too many conflicts of interest, suspicious relationships, and too little understanding of how government worked. The Russia thing is also a big, weird negative. And as his presidency went forward, that sense became more a reality. Again and again, Trump has lowered America’s expectations of itself and its standing in the world. Moreover, he has gotten away with stuff that would have had Republicans howling at the moon if Obama had even thought about them.

But Republicans have protected Trump. They thought that they could get away with that by passing a big tax cut — even though that tax cut dramatically favors the rich. Calling it a tax cut would be enough.

Bottom line: This game stinks. If there were ever a party in a western democracy more deserving of getting booted out of power than the Republican Party now, I cannot think of it. So what about the midterm elections?

As of January,there were 238 Republicans in the House, compared to 193 Democrats. Roughly speaking, we need around a net 21 seats to change hands to flip control away from the Republicans to the Democrats.

Last night, there was a special election in a Congressional district that Trump won by 20 points – the 18th district in Pennsylvania. It has not sent a Democrat to the House for over 2 decades. It should have been a slam dunk for Republicans. The Democratic candidate, Conor Lamb apparently just won by a razor sharp margin.

And this is not the first surprise dem win in special elections.

Here is the kicker

There are roughly 120 House seats currently controlled by Republicans in districts that are not as solidly Republican as Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District.

If the dems take half of those races — and after last night that is a real possibility — they will have a roughly 40 vote margin in the House. That is very exciting for people who want to move beyond Trump and the party that is protecting him.

The Senate  also presents interesting prospects. As of January, 2018,  there are 51 Republicans and 47 Democrats. 2 Independents (Angus King and Bermie Sanders) caucus with the Democrats.  Democrats are defending 25 seats in 2018 while Republicans are defending just 8.

Looking at the map –

There are most likely dem pick ups in Arizona, Nevada, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin, – 5 of the 8 that Republicans are defending.

Republicans are looking for flips in Missouri, Indiana, West Virginia, North Dakota, Florida, Montana, Minnesota, Ohio,  and New Jersey — 9 of the 25.

In other words, the dems have a lot more “skin in the game”, defending 25 seats where 9 might be shaky. There is more to lose. But if the tide is rising in their favor, they are more likely to hold onto risky seats and win weak Republican seats. In other words, despite the Senate will flip as well if there is a net 3 for dems.

This is a very big deal. And it is a very big story. If you are not involved, get involved. If you are involved, ramp it up! Now is the time to push!

Where did Baudelaire Buy Shirts? And More!

Paris is loaded with fascinating public spaces that have historical interest. Few cities have more, and fewer still embrace their traditions the way Parisians do.

One of those historic establishments is the shirt maker Charvet.

Image result for Charvet

Wikipedia has this to say

The world’s first ever shirt shop, Charvet was founded in 1838. Since the 19th century, it has supplied bespoke shirts and haberdashery to kings, princes and heads of state. It has acquired an international reputation for the high quality of its products, the level of its service and the wide range of its designs and colors. Thanks to the renown of its ties, charvet has become a generic name for a certain type of silk fabric used for ties.

BTW, the founder’s father had been curator of the wardrobe of Napoleon. That gave Christofle Charvet a great head start. But there was something else going on

Christofle Charvet created the first shirtmaker store in Paris, for which the new term chemisier (shirtmaker) was coined. Previously, shirts were generally made by linen keepers with fabric provided by the customer,but in this store of a new kind, clients were measured, fabric selected and shirts made on site.[The development of this specialty trade was favored by a change in men’s fashion, with more importance given to the waistcoat and the shirt collar, which called for more propositions for the shirt front and a technical change. Previously, shirts were cut by linen keepers entirely of rectangles and squares. There were no shaping seams and no need for shirt patterns. The new interest for a closer fitting shirt led to curving the armhole and neckline or adding a shoulder yoke, by application to the shirt of tailoring techniques. The new kind of shirt was called chemise à pièce (yoked shirt).  Alan Flusser credits Christofle Charvet with the original design of a collar that could be turned down or folded, much in the manner of contemporary collars, and the concept of the detachable collar.

In those days, the most elegant men belonged to the “Jockey Club”. Charvet advertised himself as shirt maker to the club. Who could resist that?

Image result for Charvet history

And if stories like the above interest you, check out this list of other Parisian destination locations! Most important, enjoy!

The Saga of LeBron Gets Underway

I am not talking about this year’s playoff scene. I don’t think the Cavs have a chance to win it all — and that is the only thing LeBron wants at this stage in his career. I am talking about where LeBron will go when his contract is up. And that, my friend, is an interesting story.

It starts with a very simple premise. LeBron wants at least one more championship. He will go where he needs to in order to get that. And that means signing up with a team that can take on the Warriors.

So what are the teams? Who knows! The Sixers are one of them. And the Sixers could make a deal work. But LeBron could also consider the Rockets or the Lakers.

Liberty Ballers takes a close look at what Houston would have to do in order to bring LeBron over. Bottom line: it would be tough to do without gutting the team.

Who knows how this will play out! But it will be fun to watch!

Off With Tillerson’s Head!

So the Donald has — out of the blue — fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. What is going on? Trump said it was no big deal. Bull! It is always a big deal when you fire a secretary of state.

Trump said it was about the Iran nuke deal? Bull.

My bet is that it had to do with Tillerson’s negative reaction to the attempted assassination of a Russian double agent by Russian authorities.

Call me crazy, but Trump will not tolerate any negative comments about Russia.