And its the I-95 Superbowl…

GameCenter: Recap – – Official website of Super Bowl XXXIX
Yesterday, the Patriots routed the Steelers in convincing fashion, and the Eagles, on their 4th consecutive NFC Championship game, finally met a team they could beat…the Atlanta Falcons.
So we have the Eagles versus the Patriots for all the marbles, in two weeks. I predicted at the beginning of the playoffs that the Patriots would beat the Eagles.
Well, at least i have the teams right. We shall see if the Patriots can knock off their biggest foe yet. They’ve shut down Manning, dismantled the running attack and defense of Pittsburgh…but now they face McNabb and the Eagles own formidable team.
I hope for a good game. I will be in NYC that weekend and might see the game with friends.
Superbowls are best seen in company.

Two AH divergences I’ve never heard of

Mark A. R. Kleiman: Scenarios for alternative histories
Mark Kleiman, seen via Brad De Long, mentions a couple of Alternate History Divergences I’d never thought of before.
I was not aware that Columbus sent his brother to the court of Henry VII, and I was not aware that, but for pirates, Columbus might have accepted Henry’s offer rather than waiting for Isabella and Ferdinand to finish off the Moors.
An AH where England discovers the New World first, and gets rich off of Central American Gold would be a very different place.
Sounds like a perfect timeline for GURPS Time Travel/Infinite Worlds, doesn’t it?
The little bit about Cromwell nearly going to Massachusetts rather than staying in England is a neat one, too.
I don’t know of any author who has used these divergences, and Uchronia has nothing on these turning points either.

Sex Differences and Science

Perverse Access Memory: Open Mouth, Insert Foot
Ginger talks about Lawrence Summers’ controversial (at best) comments about sex differences in the ability and aptitude for the hard sciences.
An article today in the New York Times by biologist Olivia Judson (who has written books on sex differences in nature) is far more intelligently thought out.
To quote her:
And though we may not be jackdaws either – men and women tend to look different, though even here there’s overlap – it’s obvious that where there are intellectual differences, they are so slight they cannot be prejudged.
As Ginger has said, what Summers said is irrelevant to the question at hand. Sociological problems (the Old Boys Club of science) have a far greater influence on women’s success in the sciences than any biological differences.