Wednesday Link-Off: America, F*ck Yeah

miranda-kerr-cannes15-02A little late but probably better for it, it’s time for the Wednesday links. Today, we’ve got a bit of a ‘Murica themed edition of the links. It includes such timeless links as how many Americans are married to their cousins and… Yes, that is an actual statistical analysis someone did. And, yes, it was an American site that did it.

Anyway, let’s get to the links. We’ve got a lot of pictures from the Cannes Film Festival and let’s start with Miranda Kerr.

How to do the Republican Presidential candidates want to assure you they aren’t all gung-ho about war? They’re now blaming faulty intelligence for the Iraq War. Faulty intelligence that most people saw through. (Mother Jones)

The question everyone wants the answer to: Just how many Americans are married to their cousins? (FiveThirtyEight)

Could Stephen Harper be considered one of the worst Prime Ministers of all-time? Of recent memory, yes. In 50 years, he could go down as one of the most forgettable. (National Observer)

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IndyCar Winter News Update: Gearing Up For 2015

It’s been since October that we’ve done a news update on the IndyCar front. Since Simon Pagenaud jumped to Penske and James Hinchcliffe signed with Schmidt Petersen, there hasn’t been a lot of news. However, over the last week, there’s been a flurry of signings and announcements that has made a big impact on the IndyCar scene for 2015.

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IndyCar October Update: The Silliness of Silly Season

It’s seems like forever since the last race of the 2014 IndyCar Series season but it’s only been about two months. With four months still to go before the start of the 2015 season, the picture is starting to clear but there are still plenty of pieces needing to fall during this edition of silly season. However, two of the biggest pieces are in place for 2015 onward.

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IndyCar – IndyCar World Championship 500: Always a Bridesmaid, Finally the Bride

indycar-2014-fontana-power-championWe’re used to a certain level of nearly unopposable domination from Will Power since he’s started in the IndyCar series. With only eight full-time seasons in American open-wheel, he’s already made it into the top twenty of all-time winners. Despite all the wins, he couldn’t quite put it all together for a championship.

The 2014 season wasn’t a typical Will Power season. While he started out the season strong, he had a massive slump through June and July that put teammate Helio Castroneves lead the title chase for the second half of the season. However, it wasn’t the typical late Will Power slump but an atypical resurgence that saw Will Power claim his first IndyCar championship.

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IndyCar – GP of Sonoma: One Little Mistake…

indycar-2014-sonoma-dixon-victory-laneIs unpredictability a bad thing? I’d imagine that this is a question that the higher-ups at IndyCar have to ask themselves every so often. After all, given his dominance at Sonoma heading into the weekend, a pole position on Saturday and a massive points lead heading into the race, Will Power winning the Grand Prix of Sonoma was a foregone conclusion.

However, all it took was one little mistake by Will Power to deny his chances at victory and almost turn the championship on its head. Then again, one little mistake ruined any chance Helio Castroneves had of capitalizing on Power’s issues.

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IndyCar – Wisconsin 250: Powering to a Championship

indycar-2014-milwaukee-power-checkered-flagWill Power is easily the best driver in IndyCar right now. He’s been the best driver in IndyCar since joining Team Penske in 2009. However, he hasn’t been able to seal the deal and win the IndyCar Series championship. His poor form on ovals and an occasional bout of bad luck has resulted in him finishing in the top five in each of the last four seasons and three-straight runner-up finishes from 2010 to 2012.

Unfortunately for the IndyCar series field, Power seems to have found his oval form. He finished 8th in the 500, 2nd in Texas and a blocking penalty away from a podium or even a win in Pocono. The final stretch of the 2014 IndyCar Series season seems to be the start of a coronation as Will Power won the Wisconsin 250 and stretched his championship lead.

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IndyCar – Mid-Ohio Indy 200: If You Ain’t Last, You’re First

indycar-2014-midohio-dixon-checkered-flagWhile fuel mileage runs don’t often have a reputation for being exciting, the winner coming from 22nd on the starting grid, being hounded by a couple of talented drivers and then only having enough fuel onboard to cross the finish line before coasting to a stop at the end of Turn One makes for a pretty cool race. Just ask Scott Dixon who pulled all that off en route to his first win of the season.

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IndyCar – Toronto Indy: Double the Trouble

indycar-2014-toronto-conway-victory-laneIt was a little bit wet but it was a lotta bit wild on the streets of Exhibition Place for the annual Toronto Indy. This year’s doubleheader was compressed to a one day show with two points races after a Saturday afternoon rainout. It was a long day for the drivers and teams but a hell of a show for the fans who saw a spectacular performance in the morning and a shootout to the end in the afternoon as Sebastian Bourdais and Mike Conway scored the wins in Canada.

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IndyCar – Iowa Indy 300: Not Over ‘Til the Checkered Flag

indycar-2014-iowa-rhr-victory-laneHeading into Saturday night’s IndyCar 300 lap race at Iowa Speedway, Andretti Autosport had won four straight and five of seven races at the track. The other two races were won by Chip Ganassi Racing. For most of the race, it looked like CGR’s Tony Kanaan would end Andretti dominance but a great strategy call and a hard charge at the end made it five in a row for AA with Ryan Hunter-Reay taking the checkered flag.

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IndyCar – Pocono 500: A Second Time For Firsts

indycar-2014-pocono-montoya-victory-laneWhen he was dropped from Formula One by McLaren, many people thought that Juan Pablo Montoya was done in motorsports. His prime was behind him and he was going from the pinnacle of motorsports to stock cars, a discipline that he never run before in his life. Naturally, that run wasn’t as successful as his time in CART or F1.

After his NASCAR contract expired at the end of last season, it looked as though Montoya was going to spend the rest of his careers in sportscars. Instead, Roger Penske snapped up the long-time Ganassi driver to run in IndyCar and what an inspired move it was. It started something of a career resurgence for Montoya capped off (thus far) with a win in the Pocono 500.

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