A Few Answers To Questions You Always Wondered About

October 25, 2017 | 1 Comment » | Topics: Answers

Why are fights between players allowed in the NHL when it is very strongly prohibited in just about every other sport?

It helps to remember that fights in hockey are 99% consensual. If you don’t want to fight you turn your back and that’s it. There are players that fight and players that don’t, and it’s not really a machismo/honor thing that you MUST fight. No one thinks less of you for not being a fighter.

If you jump someone who is NOT looking for a fight you are usually going to get tossed from the game and probably suspended for a few games to boot. It’s not OK to blind-side someone who is not likewise spoiling for a fight and generally speaking that is frowned upon.

So the minor penalties and general lack of punishment is only in the case of two people who have collaboratively decided to go at it, which is true for almost every fight you see. They are pre-arranged (often at the face-off) and mutually agreed. At that point, two consenting adults doing what they want, basically, and the refs leave it alone until someone is at risk of getting seriously hurt — usually once someone goes down and it’s no longer a standing fight, or if other people are getting involved, or if one person is effectively incapacitated, etc.

To some degree hockey is a self-regulated game. Refs are there for line calls, not necessarily behavior control. 10 people flying around a small ice surface at 40km/h with wooden sticks can REALLY hurt each other while the ref is looking the other way if they want to.

To avoid this, fighting is used as a pressure relief… all the pent up aggression you feel for the wrongs and slights done to your team goes into cheering for your guy in the fight. Afterward everyone chills out. This is generally true even if the two guys fighting aren’t the actual guys you were mad at. But the thing is, everyone on your team is going to be mad at someone different for some random thing that happened, so it’s not practical to expect everyone will “pay” individually.

This mostly works because most players aren’t assholes. If they do something to earn your ire it was probably by accident or a “one time” thing. It’s unlikely you’ll remember it for more than 5 minutes and unlikely that guy is going to specifically tick you off again. So the fight serves to release the cumulative pressure of all those little things, not necessarily any specific incident.

Where this fails is if there is just that one total dick on a team that is constantly cheap-shotting people or otherwise behaving in a douchey way not consistent with the overall tone of the game. Especially if that person keeps doing it even after a fight or two. At some point the other team is going to remember his number and a “generic fight” won’t fix the issue. That guy now has a target painted on his back and at some point — maybe not even that game but in a future game — someone is going to risk getting tossed from the game/suspended to teach that specific player a lesson.

Though usually half of that guy’s own team are just as happy to watch him get creamed because, honestly, he IS a dick. We’d never say it out loud of course, team solidarity, rah rah rah… but at some point people get what they deserve and everyone on both sides knows it.




How did Helen Keller learn to read, write and speak?

Below are some excerpts from her autobiography The Story of My Life where she describes how she learned the abstract concepts.

I remember the morning that I first asked the meaning of the word, “love.” This was before I knew many words. I had found a few early violets in the garden and brought them to my teacher. She tried to kiss me: but at that time I did not like to have any one kiss me except my mother. Miss Sullivan put her arm gently round me and spelled into my hand, “I love Helen.”
“What is love?” I asked.
She drew me closer to her and said, “It is here,” pointing to my heart, whose beats I was conscious of for the first time. Her words puzzled me very much because I did not then understand anything unless I touched it.
I smelt the violets in her hand and asked, half in words, half in signs, a question which meant, “Is love the sweetness of flowers?”
“No,” said my teacher.
Again I thought. The warm sun was shining on us.
“Is this not love?” I asked, pointing in the direction from which the heat came. “Is this not love?”
It seemed to me that there could be nothing more beautiful than the sun, whose warmth makes all things grow. But Miss Sullivan shook her head, and I was greatly puzzled and disappointed. I thought it strange that my teacher could not show me love.
A day or two afterward I was stringing beads of different sizes in symmetrical groups—two large beads, three small ones, and so on. I had made many mistakes, and Miss Sullivan had pointed them out again and again with gentle patience. Finally I noticed a very obvious error in the sequence and for an 
instant I concentrated my attention on the lesson and tried to think how I should have arranged the beads. Miss Sullivan touched my forehead and spelled with decided emphasis, “Think.”
In a flash I knew that the word was the name of the process that was going on in my head. This was my first conscious perception of an abstract idea.
For a long time I was still—I was not thinking of the beads in my lap, but trying to find a meaning for “love” in the light of this new idea. The sun had been under a cloud all day, and there had been brief showers; but suddenly the sun broke forth in all its southern splendour.
Again I asked my teacher, “Is this not love?”
“Love is something like the clouds that were in the sky before the sun came out,” she replied. Then in simpler words than these, which at that time I could not have understood, she explained: “You cannot touch the clouds, you know; but you feel the rain and know how glad the flowers and the thirsty earth are to have it after a hot day. You cannot touch love either; but you feel the sweetness that it pours into everything. Without love you would not be happy or want to play.”
The beautiful truth burst upon my mind—I felt that there were invisible lines stretched between my spirit and the spirits of others.
From the beginning of my education Miss Sullivan made it a practice to speak to me as she would speak to any hearing child; the only difference was that she spelled the sentences into my hand instead of speaking them. If I did not know the words and idioms necessary to express my thoughts she supplied them, even suggesting conversation when I was unable to keep up my end of the dialogue.
This process was continued for several years; for the deaf child does not learn in a month, or even in two or three years, the numberless idioms and expressions used in the simplest daily intercourse. The little hearing child learns these from constant repetition and imitation. The conversation he hears in his home stimulates his mind and suggests topics and calls forth the spontaneous expression of his own thoughts. This natural exchange of ideas is denied to the deaf child. My teacher, realizing this, determined to supply the kinds of stimulus I lacked. This she did by repeating to me as far as possible, verbatim, what she heard, and by showing me how I could take part in the conversation. But it was a long time before I ventured to take the initiative, and still longer before I could find something appropriate to say at the right time.

Learning to read and write

After learning to spell a few words, the next challenge before Anne Sullivan was teaching Helen how to read.  For that she would give Helen slips of cardboard which had printed words with raised letters. Helen would touch the slip, learn the word and would understand that each word stood for a new object. 
She began writing using grooved board . She wrote on the groove under which a sheet of paper would be placed. She also learned Braille script which helped her a lot to read and write.

Learning to speak

When Helen was ten years old, she came to know about a girl in Norway, deaf and blind like her, but who had been taught to speak. This fired her passion to speak like any other ordinary human being.Anne took her to Sarah Fuller, then the principal of Horace Mann School for Deaf. Sarah would place Helen’s hand on her lips, tongue, face and throat while she was talking. Helen would feel the positions of Sarah’s lips and tongue and vibrations of her throat. She would place her other hand on her own lips and tongue and would try to imitate the positions of Sarah’s lips and tongue. This was exhausting but she uttered her first sentence “It’s too warm here” within a few days. Though she learned to speak, she was never able speak with clarity.




If Hitler was such a terrible strategist, how come he never passed on or got input by more seasoned generals?

He did get input. But his word was final. The military never actually likes Hitler as much as the general populace, if at all. They frequently voiced their disagreement, but were shot down. Paulus wanted to try a breakout at Stalingrad. Hitler said to hold ground and wait for a break-in that never came. On the morning of d-day, before the sun was up, Runstedt was awake and trying to take charge of the situation. He knew the airborne invasion was just a prelude to beach landings and wanted to mobilize armor to prevent them from establishing a beachhead, but high command refused to allow it without Hitler’s approval, which he first denied then finally came at 14:30 the next day, by which time the allies were fully established on the beaches. Even Rommel disagreed with Hitler’s never retreat mantra, it runs completely counter to modern maneuver warfare, and they made their discontent known. Hell, it was the seasoned, high ranking generals who attempted to assassinate Hitler….

The D-Day and Stalingrad mistakes are small potatoes compared to some of Hitler’s other big mistakes. Losing 6th Army at Stalingrad was obviously disastrous, but the war was already lost by then, in large part probably because of Hitler’s meddling.

The two worst mistakes came in the summer invasions of the USSR in 1941 and 42. In Operation Barbarossa, the 1941 invasion of the Soviet Union, the Wehrmacht was split into three army groups — North, Middle, and South, with only a few armies made up of Panzers and elite motorized infantry and support units. Army Group Middle was making a fairly successful push towards Moscow, but Hitler was frustrated that Army Group South had stagnated in the South in the Ukraine, so he directed Middle’s Panzer armies down South to cut off and encircle a mass of over half a million Russian soldiers in the Ukraine. It resulted in the largest and most populous enemy encirclement in military history, but it also denied Army Group Middle the tanks it needed to complete its advance on Moscow. Multiple generals disagreed with this decision and told Hitler as much, but it was no use. Ultimately the advance on Moscow became bogged down and quite literally frozen just a few miles from the USSR capitol. Heinz Guderian, the brilliant maneuver general, famous answered the question of “When did you know you’d lost the war?” with “Moscow,” referring to December 1941 when their advance stopped.

Hitler fucked it up again in 1942 with the Summer ’42 invasion called Operation Case Blau, which was the invasion into the Caucuses and towards Stalingrad. This entire operation fell mainly to Army Group South. Hitler should have allowed the planners to do what they wanted, which was to send both tank armies towards Stalingrad in order to cut off the entire Caucuses region and deny reinforcements to Russia’s Southern Front. Instead, Hitler sent an entire Panzer army into the Caucuses themselves. An entire army of tanks and mobile infantry, wasted on mountains. Meanwhile, Russian armor massed to the north of Stalingrad, waited for exhausted German infantry to take the city, and then very quickly blasted through the Romanian, Italian and Hungarian troops guarding Stalingrad’s flank. Their encirclement maneuver of the 6th Army at Stalingrad can be largely blamed on Hitler because the German generals wanted 100% more Panzers there than they were given. Hitler’s refusal to let 6th Army retreat in time was just salt in the wound.