During sixth grade we boys discovered cursing. A sentence could not be said without using a curse word. The cursing was so bad the young, very pretty teacher kept all the males after school. She broke down and cried like a baby when asking us to stop. That left an indelible impression on most of us. I took it to heart and, after talking with Mother, decided to stop cursing, not only in school. Some years later I was working at the Boys Club on scholarship when a younger fellow, Ronnie Bond, made me so mad I cursed at him. He just stood there with an incredulous look on his face until I asked, “What’s wrong.” He replied, “Gee Mike, we have never heard you cuss.” Another boy, Doug Edwards, said, “We didn’t even know you could cuss.”
Why swearing is a sign of intelligence, helps manage pain and more
Polite society considers swearing to be a vulgar sign of low intelligence and education, for why would one rely on rude language when blessed with a rich vocabulary?
That perception, as it turns out, is full of, uh … baloney. In fact, swearing may be a sign of verbal superiority, studies have shown, and may provide other possible rewards as well.
“The advantages of swearing are many,” said Timothy Jay, professor emeritus of psychology at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, who has studied swearing for more than 40 years.
“The benefits of swearing have just emerged in the last two decades as a result of a lot of research on brain and emotion, along with much better technology to study brain anatomy.”
Cursing may be a sign of intelligence
Swearing may be a sign of honesty
Profanity improves pain tolerance
Cussing is a sign of creativity
Throwing expletives instead of punches
It’s not just people who swear. Even primates curse when given the chance.
“Chimpanzees in the wild tend to use their excrement as a social signal, one that’s designed to keep people away,” Byrne said.
Hand-raised chimps who were potty-trained learned sign language for “poo” so they could tell their handlers when they needed the toilet.
“And as soon as they learned the poo sign they began using it like we do the word sh*t,” Byrne said. “Cursing is just a way of expressing your feelings that doesn’t involve throwing actual sht. You just throw the idea of sh*t around.”
Does that mean that we should curse whenever we feel like it, regardless of our environment or the feelings of others? Of course not. But at least you can cut yourself some slack the next time you inadvertently let an f-bomb slip.
For many years my day has started with a strong cuppa Joe while surfin’ the interwovenwebofallthings. One of the websites visited each and every day has been the Astronomy Picture of the Day (https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html). While watching todaze edition a thought surfaced. “What if we hippies had had the interwovenweb ‘back in the day’?” The short film you are about to see reminded me of the LSDaze when “flower power” blossomed when we hippies ingested lysergic acid.
Wonder if that will be known as “The Bigger Bang”?
10 Tripped-Out Songs About Hallucinogens and Psychedelics
Melissa Fossum July 5, 2016 3:41AM
Psychedelics and music go hand in hand. Between popular songs and TV shows, LSD had a huge cultural impact on the 1970s. Some people use LSD to find God, and for others, it’s responsible for creativity. Steve Jobs said, “Taking LSD was a profound experience, one of the most important things in my life.” Without acid, you may not be reading this on your iPhone right now.
Here are 10 trippy songs about LSD, MDMA, and magic mushrooms.
The Beatles — “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” Picture yourself in a boat on a river / With tangerine trees and marmalade skies / Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly A girl with kaleidoscope eyes
That was the day before discovering the article at the Unexplained Mysteries website. I wrote “see” because I cannot actually “see” anything when my eyes are closed; all I see is black.
The article at The Conversation begins: “When asked to close their eyes and imagine a sunset, most people can bring to mind an image of the sun setting on the horizon. Some people may experience more vivid details, such as vibrant colours, while others may produce a mental image that is blurry or lacks detail. But recent research has found that some people don’t experience mental imagery at all.”
“This lack of mental imagery is called aphantasia. People with aphantasia are often surprised when they learn others see mental images in their minds. Many people with aphantasia have said they assumed others were speaking metaphorically when they described seeing something in their “mind’s eye.”
After reading the article emails were sent to some of my friends in the Chess community asking the question, “When you are playing Chess can you visualize the board and pieces when you close your eyes? Can you move a piece and see the new position?”
Some did not understand the question but after replying to their reply they found understanding. Some elaborated, which I greatly appreciated. The answer that made me smile came from one of my all-time favorite people, The Discman (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2014/05/16/the-discman/), who replied with one word: “Yes.” Not one person contacted said they could not visualize anything. One wanted more information, asking why I had asked “such a ridiculous question.” Although I have yet to inform anyone of why the question was asked, I did reply to the person, who, after reading, sent a very nice apology, using the word “profusely” prior to “sorry.” He was completely unaware, like most people, I suppose, that there are people who “draw a blank” when they close their eyes. “How the hell can you play Chess?” he asked. How indeed…
My roommate, the Legendary Georgia Ironman, was incredulous upon learning I could not visualize a Chess position, or a picture of my Mother. “That’s scary,” Tim said. He, too, questioned me, asking, “How do you analyze a position?” That is a difficult question to answer. Tim also asked about my being able to “see” a picture of my Mother. The only way for me to describe it is that I have a memory of her smiling, and a picture of one particular photo of her smiling, which are contained in my memory, but I cannot exactly ‘see’ the picture. It is more like something vague in a kinda, sorta nebulous way, I suppose one could say. “That’s frightening,” he said. “How is it possible you could win tournaments and become an Expert without being able to analyze in your head?” He also said, “I would not let anyone know you cannot visualize, Mike.”
I did not start playing Chess seriously until the age of twenty, and because of that fact I have always known there was a ceiling for me that would never be broken. Another friend questioned asked, “How is it possible you could have become an Expert without being able to see the board in your head?” How indeed… Now I know it was not just beginning late that held me back. After winning the Atlanta Chess Championship with a score of 5-0 in 1976 I discovered Backgammon, becoming Atlanta and Georgia Backgammon Champion. In Backgammon one need not visualize future positions because there are simply too many possibilities because the roll of the dice determines the next move. Although I still played tournament Chess occasionally, and did play two fifteen minute games with former Texas State Junior champ Steve Moffitt at Gammons, the only time any other game was seen played there, I was a shadow of the former player. After the Backgammon bubble burst and the boom ended I returned to tournament Chess, but although my rating increased, putting that much sought after crooked number (2) at the front of my rating, I was never again as strong a player as I had been before leaving Chess for Backgammon.
I decided to write this post because this is all new to me, and at my age, there is not much all that new to me now. I want to know how many other players cannot visualize. Therefore, I ask you to contact me at the email found at the AW website. I give my word that nothing written will ever be seen by anyone other than me, unless permission is given by those who contact me. In addition, I ask any and all who read this to share it with others. If the USCF forum was still operational I would ask someone to post it on the forum. If and when (or should that be when and if?) the forum is up again maybe some reader will put this up for discussion. Inquiring minds wanna know…
Here is a partial list of the articles, by date published, read in the last week:
Truth be told, this blog has more readers during the week than on the weekend, and even fewer readers on a holiday weekend. Therefore, this post will be up until after the holiday in order to, hopefully, reach more people.
This morning while drinking my first cuppa Joe I read the following at the home page of the United States Chess Federation:
US Chess Final Statement About Alejandro Ramirez Investigation By US Chess May 24, 2023
US Chess launched an investigation in late 2022 when it received formal complaints from two individuals alleging sexual misconduct by GM Alejandro Ramirez.
The primary focus of this investigation was to determine when US Chess had knowledge of the various allegations and what responsive actions US Chess took. The third party, independent investigation is complete, and, based on the information received, the third party concluded that the US Chess response was timely and appropriate regarding the reports it received about Ramirez’s conduct. Our focus now is implementing specific action steps to build a safe, welcoming environment for the future. The investigation report will not be released due to the confidential nature of the witness statements.
This writer disagrees with the decision made by the USCF because the United States of America is a forgiving country in which it is said, “If you commit the crime you’ve got to do the time.” We Americans are given second chances for a reason. Please do not get me wrong because from what I have read the actions of GM Ramirez were reprehensible. If he had treated one of my sisters in such a fashion there would have been hell to pay. Actions speak louder than words and you can read in a recent post about the time I took action when one of my sisters suitors intentionally ran her car off of the road in, Say It Ain’t So, Alejandro (https://wordpress.com/post/xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/15193).
One of the members of the Atlanta Chess community ‘back in the day’ was an ex-con, Ulysses Martin. He was a very nice guy and we played many Chess games, including one rated game in which Mr. Martin lost on time after making only 24 moves! Ulysses was a quiet gentleman who had committed a crime, murder, for which he served his time, seven years, before being paroled. As far as I know Ulysses was never again in trouble, other than the trouble he got into over the Chessboard.
‘Back in the day’ a tournament director, Ted Abbott, got up in my face, spewing spittle. I slapped him, not hard, but hard enough to get him to stop spewing. Unfortunately for Ted he responded, slapping the you know what outta me, so I decked him with a straight right fist. For that I was banned from playing in any Georgia Chess Association tournament for one year. As an aside, many years later when involved with sports memorabilia, Mr. Abbott purchased a table at an event in which I was involved. The Legendary Georgia Ironman also had a table, right next to mine, at the event. Tim excitedly returned to the table informing me that “Ted Abbott is here, Mike. He has notebook after notebook filled with autograph cards. They all look like the same person signed them.” After walking over Ted was SHOCKED to see me. After a brief discussion I said, “Ted, all these cards look like they were signed by the same person.” Ted immediately began packing his binders and left the hotel. He was never seen again.
CNN has reached out to Ramirez for comment about the accusations through his lawyer Albert S. Watkins, who replied, “I have been directed to respect the confidentiality I was advised would purportedly attach to pending investigative undertakings.”
The Wall Street Journal, which first reported on the accusations, quoted Watkins as saying, “At some point we are all compelled to take pause and reflect on the reality that unsubstantiated, temporally aged, and concurrent use of social media to incite a ‘Me Too’ call-to-arms runs afoul of every constitutional safeguard we have always held so dear.
Unless there is more, much more, to the story, that the USCF, in its wisdom, is holding back, the decision to permanently ban GM Ramirez should be reconsidered.
Boys Will Be Boys is my attempt at making sense of society’s tendency to blame the victims of sexual assault and rape and make excuses for the perpetrators. It was also my way of dealing with certain events that were occurring in my life at the time. The video itself was intended to express the burden of victim blaming and sexual assault on the victims themselves as the mundane aspects of life go on. A song is just a song but at the very least I hope it will open up difficult yet important conversations between family members, friends, government bodies, organisations and most importantly, boys and men.
Studio Sessions Happy Birthday, Bob! May 24, 20235:00 AM ET
By Bruce Warren, Miguel Perez
Bob Dylan turns 82 today, so we’re taking this opportunity to celebrate some of the legendary songwriter’s music, as well as covers of his work over the years.
Born in 1941 in Duluth, Minn., Dylan has a discography that’s been covered by a wide range of musicians drawing from many genres: The Byrds, Nina Simone, Guns N’ Roses, Cat Power, Jerry Garcia, Eddie Vedder, and Rage Against The Machine.
Then, of course, there’s the unquestionable brilliance of Jimi Hendrix’s “All Along The Watchtower,” which has influenced the way Dylan himself performs the song live.
“My old songs, they’ve got something — I agree, they’ve got something,” Dylan once said in a 2016 Rolling Stone piece by novelist Jonathan Lethem. “I think my songs have been covered — maybe not as much as ‘White Christmas’ or ‘Stardust,’ but there’s a list of over 5,000 recordings. That’s a lot of people covering your songs, they must have something. If I was me, I’d cover my songs too.”
We hope you enjoy this playlist. Happy birthday, Bob. Here’s to many more.
Back in the day there was a Chess player from Alabama, Robert Pruitt, who was famous for drawing many games, many of which could have been on. When I mentioned the name to the Ironman, he said, “Oh yeah, the draw meister. He would find a way!” It was often heard, “Pruitt’s gotta won game.” The reply would be, “Don’t worry, Pruitt will find a way.” Or, “Pruitt’s busted bad.” Then would come, “Don’t worry, he will find a way.” What Robert would do was “find a way” to make a draw. Robert was a class A player who spent time in the Expert section. Word on the street was that Pruitt could have possibly become a National Master if’n he had turned some of those draws into wins. I checked out his MSA page at the USCF website and found that since 1991 Mr. Pruitt won 75 games while drawing 77 to go with his 29 losses.(https://www.uschess.org/datapage/gamestats.php?memid=10239184)
This is being mentioned because of something found at the website of recently completed 28th Space Coast Open in Florida:
Wasted and wounded, it ain’t what the moon did, I’ve got what I paid for now See you tomorrow, hey Frank, can I borrow a couple of bucks from you To go waltzing Mathilda, waltzing Mathilda, You’ll go waltzing Mathilda with me
I’m an innocent victim of a blinded alley And I’m tired of all these soldiers here No one speaks English, and everything’s broken, and my Stacys are soaking wet To go waltzing Mathilda, waltzing Mathilda, You’ll go waltzing Mathilda with me
Now the dogs are barking and the taxi cab’s parking A lot they can do for me I begged you to stab me, you tore my shirt open, And I’m down on my knees tonight Old Bushmill’s I staggered, you’d bury the dagger In your silhouette window light go To go waltzing Mathilda, waltzing Mathilda, You’ll go waltzing Mathilda with me
Now I lost my Saint Christopher now that I’ve kissed her And the one-armed bandit knows And the maverick Chinamen, and the cold-blooded signs, And the girls down by the strip-tease shows, go Waltzing Mathilda, waltzing Mathilda, You’ll go waltzing Mathilda with me
No, I don’t want your sympathy, the fugitives say That the streets aren’t for dreaming now And manslaughter dragnets and the ghosts that sell memories, They want a piece of the action anyhow Go waltzing Mathilda, waltzing Mathilda, You’ll go waltzing Mathilda with me
And you can ask any sailor, and the keys from the jailor, And the old men in wheelchairs know And Mathilda’s the defendant, she killed about a hundred, And she follows wherever you may go Waltzing Mathilda, waltzing Mathilda, You’ll go waltzing Mathilda with me
And it’s a battered old suitcase to a hotel someplace, And a wound that will never heal No prima donna, the perfume is on an Old shirt that is stained with blood and whiskey And goodnight to the street sweepers, the night watchmen flame keepers And goodnight to Mathilda, too https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/tomwaits/tomtraubertsblues.html
the current US Senior Champion, took a seat on the second board to face Cuban GM Elier Miranda Mesa,
born in 1993, in the seventh round of the XVI CAMPEONATO CONTINENTAL ABSOLUTO DE AJEDREZ DE LAS AMERICAS 2023. Next to him on first board sat the winner of the 2021 US Senior, Gregory Kaidanov, who squared off against GM Yago De Moura Santiago, of Brazil, born in 1992. Unfortunately for Kaidanov, the clock struck midnight and time ran out on the Senior when he lost.
Meanwhile, Shabba played the game of the tournament, maybe the year, decade, or possibly the century! GM Shabalov showed the young’uns, and even the old’uns, and everyone in between, how Chess should be played! If everyone played Chess like Shabba there would be no need to institute rules requiring a certain number of moves be made before a draw offer is allowed.
I was fortunate to be able watch the action and was riveted to the screen for many hours, most of which, after the Kaidanov game ended, was focused on the Shabba game. When it ended I felt drained. It was almost as if I had taken part in the game. This writer was fist pumpin’ while yelling, “YES!” or, “Take that, KID!” Then there were the “Oh no, Mr. Bill,” moments.
I will only give the game score, while STRONGLY URGING you to play over the game on a real board with pieces that can be held in your hand. Please replay the game with only your thoughts the first time, just to get a ‘feel’ for the game. Then replay it again while taking notes and writing down your thoughts. Only then should you input it into your particular Chess program, or replay it at lichess.org (https://lichess.org/broadcast/american-continental-chess-championship-2023/round-7/EGYlqWMt). You can thank me later…
The move 8…f6 was not to be found at 365Chess.com, but the Chessbase Database does contain five games in which the move was played.
KUDOS TO GRANDMASTER ALEXANDER SHABALOV! Obviously I have fallen into Shabalove…
GM Alexander Shabalov vs GM Elier Miranda Mesa American Continental Chess Championship 2023 Caro-Kann Defense: Advance Variation, Short Variation
In the fourth round of the ongoing American Continental Chess Championship 2023 FM Todd Andrews
faced fellow American GM Robert Hungaski.
After the latter made his eighth move this position was reached:
We will return to this position momentarily.
It seems like only yesterday this writer heard it said that, “The Nashville Strangler has found him one.” The Strangler was, and still is, FM Jerry Wheeler. To give you an example of what it means for a Chess coach to have “found him one,” can best be explained by the time the Legendary Georgia Ironman informed me that, “Mr. Vest has found him one.” That “one” turned out to be Georgian IM Arthur Guo. When teaching Chess grizzled ol’ veterans “know” when a child “has it,” whatever “it” is… These children are special. Although I have taught Chess to many children the special “one” “with it” was never found. Without that whatever it is, let us call it a “spark”, a young player can still become a Chess Master, or even a titled player, especially today when there are so many titled players because the title has been cheapened to the point of ridiculousness. Without that ‘spark’ it is almost impossible for a Chess player to earn the Grandmaster title, unless that player is a woman. Even then there are female Chess players who have earned a “male” Grandmaster title, which is GM. The WGM title is only for women. The WGM title is laughed and scoffed at by most in the Chess community, for obvious reasons.
This is being written because ‘back in the day’ g4 was the kind of move for which I was known, I am sad, but honest enough to report. The AW was famously known for “lashing out” prematurely while playing wild and crazy Chess. Hey, it worked at the Stein Club…
FM Todd Andrews vs GM Robert Hungaski American Continental Chess Championship 2023 Rd 4 English Opening: Agincourt Defense (lichess.org) A13 English opening (365Chess)
1…e6 is a rather tepid response to the English. If one is going to push the e-pawn why not push it all the way to e5? 3 e3 is a rather tepid response. If one is going to push the d-pawn why not push it all the way to d4? 4 Nf3 (?! SF) is so lame it gives the advantage to black. The Stockfish program at lichess.org shows, “Inaccuracy. d4 was best.” GM Hungaski replied with 4…Nf6, to which Stockfish responded with, “Inaccuracy. d4 was best.” After Todd played 5 d3, Stockfish responded with, “Inaccuracy. d4 was best.” I cannot make this up…
In yesterday’s round six game Todd faced GM David Arenas with the white pieces. After twenty moves this position was reached:
After only twenty moves Todd had fallen behind on time with a little less than twenty seven minutes remaining. His opponent had more than twice as much time. Todd used almost one third of his remaining time to produce his move. This writer knows how difficult it is when returning to the board after not having played serious OTB Chess in some time. When “not in form” even the pros will take more time than when “in form.” Scraping off the rust can be difficult. ‘Back in the day’ when Todd ruled at the House of Pain his moves came quickly and easily. These daze they are more difficult and are coming more slowly. Because Todd took so much time this writer, and Chess fan, had time to cogitate at length on the above position. Everything was considered. The first thought was not wanting the pawn coming to e4. Nevertheless I checked 21 cxd5 and did not like anything about the move, so I concentrated on 21 dxe5. I could “see” 21 Bxe5, followed by 21…Nxe5 22 dxe5 Rxe5 23 Nf3, attacking the Rook. That is about as far my Chess vision allows. I can “see” that because it is all forced. Then it hit me…”What if he plays 22…d4?” I certainly did not like the looks of 23 Nf5 followed by 23…Bxg2, but what else is there to play? I stopped looking and decided the move to make had to be 21 Bxe5.
As you will see, Todd made several questionable moves but the most questionable was not moving his Knight to f5. Then GM Arenas made a very questionable move with 24…f4?! and it was back to square one, as Todd was back in the game. Unfortunately, Todd refused to accept the gift when moving the Knight to the rim, where it was dim, and then followed up with the game losing 23 Qg4?
FM Todd Andrews vs GM David Arenas American Continental Chess Championship 2023 Round 6 A45 Queen’s pawn game
What has happened to the Todd with the Big Head? (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2023/04/17/big-head-todd-the-monster-in-iceland/) This is not the kind of Chess FM Todd Andrews played ‘back in the day’. It is almost as if another entity has taken over Todd’s big head, because his play recently has been unrecognizable. When discussing this with the Legendary one, Tim said, “Todd ain’t no spring chicken, Mike. He will be eligible for the Senior in less than a decade, and he’s got a house full of children… He runs the Nashville Chess Center and gives lessons all the time. How much time does he have to work on his game?”