Ted Cruz, North Carolina, & The Grayson Allen Effect

There are two major showdowns coming to North Carolina this month: the Duke-UNC game on March 5, and the GOP Primary on March 15.

Propelled by his Super Tuesday victories in three states, Ted Cruz has decided to press forward in his campaign for the Republican nomination for the presidency, presumably to include the North Carolina Primary as a barbecue-laden pit stop on the path toward a Brokered Convention Hellscape.

Much has been made of Ted Cruz’s face this primary season: its undeniable backpfeifengesicht, its counter intuitive emote, his inability to smile naturally. The most flattering of these notes concerns his resemblance to Duke University basketball player Grayson Allen (with visual aids helpfully compiled by the esteemed Washington Post). Grayson’s political allegiances are unknown, and my sources indicate that he is by all accounts lovely and undeserving of this regrettable craniofacial happenstance.

But Duke’s guard-in-chief has provoked similarly inflamed rhetoric, albeit for offenses less grandiose than those of the Texas senator. Two of my favorite descriptors are “annoyingly competent” and “seemingly designed to make you angry,” followed promptly by “very, very, good, of course.”

Now: North Carolinians have plenty of meaningful matters to be concerned about, including racial gerrymandering and a confusing voter ID law. But in advance of the Duke-UNC game, I’d like to explore a harebrained hypothesis: that Cruz’s resemblance to Grayson Allen will deter some hardened Carolina fans, ultimately costing him some votes – and a delegate. And in North Carolina, proportional representation means that Ted Cruz’s electoral fate could hang in the balance.

Continue reading “Ted Cruz, North Carolina, & The Grayson Allen Effect”

Ted Cruz, North Carolina, & The Grayson Allen Effect

Valar Morghulis

Introduction:
Game of Thrones, for those of you who are not familiar (I am really not; see disclaimer), is famous for high mortality rates that make viewers and readers very angry. As a global health graduate student (with a lot of free time at the moment…) I became interested in figuring out precisely how bloody this universe was, whether deaths varied by gender and status/occupation/affiliation, and how mortality in Westeros compares to mortality in low- and middle-income countries. The professor for a course I’m TAing in a few weeks also mentioned that he wanted an assignment on life tables, so, you know, I figured I should learn what they are.

No character names are used in this blog post, but I guess there might be spoilers if you can back-calculate in your head. Continue reading “Valar Morghulis”

Valar Morghulis