It's like Prague, without the whimsy.
... would probably be the best way to describe the USA-Italy World Cup match today, which I managed to catch this afternoon in my well-cooled apartment rather than go anywhere near the 88-degree weather outside. The United States actually looked much sharper today than they did in the absolutely flat performance against the Czech Republic, dominating the midfield and attacking the Italian goal far more aggressively. Although a win would have been nice, the 1-1 final is something of a victory for the U.S., considering they've never even won a World Cup match on European soil, and Italians are simply an international powerhouse.
So I was going to post about my raucous little weekend down in the Outer Banks, but that story is being overshadowed today in order to bring you the following important announcement: it's my birthday! Yes, I'm finally on the wrong side of 25, but it's only a number, right? And yet, it's hard to believe that I'm 4 years out of college and 2 years away from my 10-year high school reunion. Yikes.
Over the past several years of playing kickball in DC, I think it's safe to say I've gathered enough experience to be in a position to make a few judgments about the quality of different teams and leagues I've played in (my closet full of old team shirts has enough color to look like one of those Ralph Lauren polo shirt displays in a department store). Some years have been good, others not so good, but this year stands out as the one that has finally caused me to say this the last time I play in the DC Independence Division.
Of all the social sciences, only economics knows how to cut to the core of a problem with rigorous methods and actually come up with real answers to some of society's most pressing questions. I really enjoyed Freakanomics , a fascinating look into how an upstart U. Chicago economist has been able to use economic tools to study everything from the organization of crack gangs to the kinds of names that people give to their babies. Why are black voting turnouts so low in some parts of the country? Why do women typically never marry down in terms of education? All of these questions are fair game for us.