Re: Bacchanals smell different these days.

1

I love you, photo for December 7th.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 6:36 AM
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I remember ashtrays in the backs of the seats in some of the older lecture halls at my grad school.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 6:46 AM
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Oh, I love that blog.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 6:49 AM
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When we were kids we stayed in one of the hotels at Disney World, and they had ashtrays on every floor by the elevator with logos stamped in the sand. My brother and I would run around messing up the patterns in all of them.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 6:56 AM
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Getting a goat drunk is how you start a party.

Those few times I take my hoary old bones out on the tiles with the young un's I'm struck with their relationship to the camera. An entire evening can be filled with taking photos, and they all pose in a manner adapted from trashy magazines. Compare to the photos in that blog, where no-one is posing (not even the goat). You could have a party back then without having to act the entire time like you were parrrtying in case a random camera caught you in an off moment. Also compare to those "Last Night's Party" sites.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 6:57 AM
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What saddens me, as a non-smoker, is the loss of smoking elevators in Vegas. Ban it everywhere else, yes, but not there.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 6:57 AM
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I mean, entering an elevator only to discover you are sharing it with a man enjoying a cigar? That is a very pure and intense experience.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 6:57 AM
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I remember when I was a kid that our old station wagon had ashtrays in the wayback part next to the tiny little seats only kids could really fit into.

The University of Texas banned smoking in all campus buildings sometime in the late 80s, early 90s. I still remember the first time walking into the little coffee shop/bar in the student union building after the ban and being astounded at how clear the air was: "Wow, I can see clear across the whole room!"

Austin bars are now smokeless, and I have to say it's really nice to come home from a show not reeking of smoke.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 7:23 AM
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My elementary school principal smoked a pipe whilst walking the halls. The smell of pipe smoke still, without fail, reminds me of kindergarten.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 7:25 AM
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This first time I was on an airplane I was about 7 so it was probably 1970. The flight attendant offered my mother a 3 pack of cigarettes, which she accepted, and mom pulled out some candy cigarettes from her purse as a special treat for me so I could chew while she puffed. We weren't in a designated smoking area.

By the time I reached high school, there were designated smoking areas, including one specifically for students at my New Jersey public high school, which had its own cigarette vending machine. You did need parental permission, although it wasn't checked much because teachers didn't want to enter the smoke zone. They had their own smoking lounge.

At my first law firm summer job (1988, North Carolina) all Summer associates were warned that it would be inappropriate to remove the ashtrays from our desks, in case a cigarette company client happened to be in the building. It was also considered rude to ask a senior lawyer to refrain from smoking inside your own 5 by 10 cubicle.

(Speaking of flying in the good old days, how many things are wrong with these pictures?

(1) In 1980 I was flying on my own and we had a two hour delay at an airport. Because of the inconvenience all passengers were offered free alcoholic drinks, including 17 year old me.

(2) In 1984, I boarded a cross-country flight with no ticket. Two or three hours into the flight the flight attendants went around to collect payment or tickets, and I paid $200 cash. At some point after I landed, I noticed that I had left my drivers license back home, and had absolutely nothing with me that could serve as identification. Since I was staying with relatives and had cash, this was only a very minor inconvenience. I paid cash on board again for the return flight. Yay People Express!)


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 7:25 AM
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My mom and her friends all smoked continually. Since I was never not-around it, I didn't realize how strong the smell was until I went away to college.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 7:36 AM
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I have to say it's really nice to come home from a show not reeking of smoke

I can understand that. There was a big uproar when they tried to ban smoking on golf courses here, because apparently many people smoke cigars while golfing. That one really threw me for a loop. You're trying to ban smoking *outside*? That's moving from public health campaign to jihad.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 7:37 AM
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I remember taking a high school class trip. We were in two vans and one of the guys in my van asked the teacher if we could chew tobacco on the drive. He said yes. This was, of course, completely in violation of school rules (and state law). I think by that point the teachers' lounge was non-smoking and the teachers had to go to the boiler room to smoke.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 7:38 AM
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There was a fair amount of tobacco chewing that went on in class when I was in high school. Spit cups were common accessories. If there was a policy against it, nobody seemed to be aware of it.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 7:39 AM
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10.last: I never tried anything like that. I do remember being 10 or so and going through the metal detector repeatedly for a game. Each time I'd borrow some more metal objects from my parents. I never set-off the alarm with a watch, two sets of keys, and a ton of change.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 7:40 AM
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PA instituted a smoking ban in restaurants a year or two ago, which has been such a blessing* for our review gig. The law has loopholes, however, which mostly don't affect us (basically, tiny, no-food places were unaffected, and certain restaurants could apply for a waiver, but most didn't), but in the last couple weeks we happen to have run into it a couple times - once we went into a restaurant/bar that evidently had gotten a waiver, and was basically a smoky bar with food (we left), and then we ate at a place that apparently just flaunts the law - they have a separate, sealed smoking room, but they were letting people (possibly just one guy) smoke in the bar, which was pretty open to the rest of the place. Didn't ruin our meals or anything, but it was noticeable, all the more so after more than a year without.

Not to be rude or pick fights or anything, but I always thought that smokers who complain about no-smoking rules really don't get just how little smoke it takes to pervade a room and make it unpleasant. Took me half a season to get past that reaction to Mad Men. I mean, my mom was a pretty heavy smoker, and so I recall exactly what Don & Betty's world smelled like. Awful.

* I never use that word, but somehow it seems right here - I guess because it's something the leg did for us from above


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 7:40 AM
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14: There was policy against it in our HS, but it still happened, esp. in the cliched classes - shop, etc.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 7:42 AM
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Turns out all the...PSAs in the world can't compete with big-ass excise taxes for modifying my behavior.

And in this regard, if only this regard, you're an everyman.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 7:43 AM
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(Speaking of flying in the good old days, how many things are wrong with these pictures?
(1) In 1980 I was flying on my own and we had a two hour delay at an airport. Because of the inconvenience all passengers were offered free alcoholic drinks, including 17 year old me.
(2) In 1984, I boarded a cross-country flight with no ticket. Two or three hours into the flight the flight attendants went around to collect payment or tickets, and I paid $200 cash. At some point after I landed, I noticed that I had left my drivers license back home, and had absolutely nothing with me that could serve as identification. Since I was staying with relatives and had cash, this was only a very minor inconvenience. I paid cash on board again for the return flight. Yay People Express!)

Having flown recently, I'm going with answer (a) zero. Zero things wrong with those pictures.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 7:43 AM
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That said, Iron Eyes Cody made me stop littering. Though I still miss putting the six-pack connectors around the necks of birds. Sigh.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 7:44 AM
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14: The policy was against dip was enforced*. The penalty for being caught was $50 and a week of detention. At least a couple of people were caught while I was there and I could chew Copenhagen without needing to spit after the first minute it was in.

*Except by teachers who were also football coaches.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 7:45 AM
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I smoke about two or three cigarettes a day normally. When I visit my family in Vermont I have to plan ahead and figure out if I have enough cigarettes to last me until I come back, if I want to buy a fresh pack before I go and bring it up with me, or if I want to go without. Because a pack of cigarettes costs like $4 more in Vermont than it does in Virginia.

Yeah, customs on this are changing as we watch. And forget about smoking in airplanes in the 1980s, it's even noticeable to people my age. When I was in France as an exchange student in 2000-2001, you could smoke in bars. That rule had long since changed by the time I went back to visit in the summer of 2008, and at a bar I knew from my time as an exchange student I had to be reminded by a bouncer or something not to go inside with my lit cigarette.

My gaffe was a good conversation starter with someone I met there - no, I'm not used to smoking in bars back home in Vermont, I'm used to it right here, because it was allowed last time!


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 7:45 AM
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21: Moby went to my school!

Nah, on second thought, that comment could probably apply to any school from our neck of the woods.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 7:53 AM
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If I recall correctly, Ireland, surprisingly, was one of the first European countries to ban smoking in bars.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 7:53 AM
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You know what really hit me about the late-80s early-90s change in smoking attitudes? The fast flip between "everyone smokes anywhere and no one is openly bothered by it" to "many people openly express offense at being able to smell cigarette smoke at all, and even smokers agree that it's disgusting". I'm weird (in this as in so many other ways), I don't smoke but grew up around smokers so I really kind of like the smell, and even where it's stale or too thick I don't mind it much. The idea of smokers who won't smoke in their own apartments because they don't want them to smell like cigarette smoke, while it's totally conventional now, seems really odd to me.

But I don't know if most people in, say, 1982 were seething in disgust at the stink they were surrounded with, but just felt barred by politeness from actually complaining, or if perceptions of cigarette smoke as disgusting changed that broadly and that fast.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 7:54 AM
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Apostropher? Yeah, I remember that guy. Used to have a blog. Nice guy!

Great piece, dude. I have many of the same memories, especially the grocery store stuff. And my dad owns a bar! Big changes for his business -- now with brand new outdoor seating in the back! In the back alley, that is. I guess necessity really *is* the mother of invention.


Posted by: NCProsecutor | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 7:56 AM
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20: the tears of an Italian would move any man.

We were in Midway airport recently eating at some crap restaurant designed to look like what would presumably be a much more authentic crap restaurant in Chicago proper. Blume pointed out that the ceiling had been painted with artificial smoke stains.

Smoking airplanes smelled so astonishingly foul. Just so gross. Maybe there should be a repository for horrible smells that have been lost to time, along the lines of seedbanks. A series of little tiny rooms, one full of smokers, one full of horse shit, one full of rendering pig fat, etc.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 7:57 AM
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23: Probably not. The tobacco rule was kind of the like 'no drinking under 21' rule. A certain type of man was unwilling to enforce rules that he considered intolerable and baffling.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 7:57 AM
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Cigarette smoke used to give me pounding headaches. It doesn't anymore, but that might just be because there's less of it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 7:57 AM
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Has anyone aware of any reliable empirical research on whether smoking bans hurt the revenue of bars in the aggregate? Bar owners argued that it would put them out of business, and for many bars I can believe that's true, but there must also be some countervailing effect of being more appealing to non-smokers.

My guess is that smoking bans do, in fact, lower the revenues of traditional bars in the aggregate, because bars make their money off of heavy drinkers / alcoholics, and HD/A's are (I conjecture) more likely to be heavy smokers as well.

OTOH, I can also imagine that a certain subset of bars (gastro-pubs) do better after a smoking ban, because they can eliminate the inefficient distinction between smoking and non-smoking areas, and can strengthen their appeal to a more upscale non-smoking customer base.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 7:59 AM
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29: Poor use of idiomatic expressions prevents headaches.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 8:00 AM
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27: If you won't speak on behalf of rendering pig fat, then who will? I ask you, Sifu Tweety, who will?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 8:00 AM
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NCP! I never see you any more, online or in meatspace.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 8:01 AM
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That's largely why I don't smoke. I started picking it up in the Peace Corps, but only when I was drinking a lot, and the smoking seemed to produce extra special awful hangovers. After I did that two or three times, looking at a cigarette made me jumpy. But secondhand smoke never made me feel bad other than on long winter drives with my two chainsmoking parents in the front seats of a VW Bug and the windows rolled up.

Something else I've wondered about smoking -- when would we expect to see an epidemiological response from how much less smokers smoke these days? My parents were both 2+ pack a day smokers until they quit. My sister, OTOH, is a fairly heavy smoker for an American these days, but if she gets through a pack in a day that's a big day for her -- working in a hospital she just doesn't have enough hours to smoke like Mom and Dad did. Is that reduction in dose going to show up as healthier smokers?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 8:03 AM
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30: Don't know of any actual research, but from a common sense perspective, I would think that heavy drinkers are still going to go to bars even if they want to smoke and can't. I mean, what are the options, given that these bans are largely universal? Stay home? Sure, I guess, but if they were inclined to stay at home and drink, wouldn't they have done that before the smoking ban?

Bars worry about lost business due to competition and not much else. If the other bars in town also can't allow smoking, where's the harm?


Posted by: NCProsecutor | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 8:03 AM
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31: literally!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 8:04 AM
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33: Yeah, tell me about it. I could blame it on your drop-off in blogging, but really it's Little NCP-ette's fault.


Posted by: NCProsecutor | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 8:04 AM
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Moby, e-mail me. It's knecht_ruprecht and then you add the funny symbol followed by yahoo and a period and the conventional domain suffix.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 8:05 AM
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Some economics grad student is going to make me really regret my comment at 35.


Posted by: NCProsecutor | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 8:05 AM
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Come up to my loft, NCP, and let me show you some supply and demand curves...


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 8:08 AM
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38: Done. If it doesn't work, I put my e-mail on this.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 8:10 AM
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||

Speaking of things they are a-changin': I was looking at the crazy picture of frozen Britain and thinking "huh, I wonder if that has to do with the Gulf Stream and global warming?" Well, signs point to yes on one, maybe on two.

Anyhow, thought I, if the Gulf Stream's in Greenland it must be pretty warm there, right? Sure enough, southern Greenland is a balmy 41 degrees fahrenheit. In January. As Blume asks, when can we expect the Greenland ice sheet to finish melting, again?

|>


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 8:13 AM
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IME, LB is completely wrong in 25.2. There were lots and lots of people in the 60s and 70s who didn't smoke, and didn't like having smoke blown in their faces. The very minute they get the upper hand in any polity, the zeal with which they are willing to ban smoking, and the complete lack of remorse for whatever consequence this has on smokers and their vendors is, imo, in large part a consequence of this.

The blind and stupid assumption that no one minded, when a look at the body language (and conduct) of most any non-smoker around would show the contrary, is a big contributing factor. Oh yeah, well fuck you too might as well be one of the mottoes of the non-smoking movement.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 8:14 AM
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"completely wrong" is completely wrong.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 8:17 AM
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27: That wasn't "The Illini Grill" at Midway, was it? Or was it the fake Irish pub?


Posted by: Klug | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 8:17 AM
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45: It's called like Harry Caray's Goodtime Foodrinkery or some bullshit.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 8:18 AM
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Speaking of Iron Eyes Cody, I remember how utterly shocked I was at first at all the insouciant littering that went on in China. Buses emitted a constant stream of garbage out their windows as a matter of course, just like smoke out of their tailpipes. The train tracks were strewn with piles of garbage along their entire lengths. I would carry a gum wrapper for miles without finding a public trashcan to put it in. When I remarked on this to my parents they said that was what things were like in the US before anti-litter PSAs started appearing in the 60s.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 8:19 AM
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Back in my smoking days, I remember a friend describing her farmer father's experience quitting smoking. "I can smell dirt," the father exulted. I allowed as to how I didn't really see that as an incentive to quit.

Then I quit, and discovered that the world truly stinks. Took me awhile to get used to it - even clean public restrooms smelled awful.

But I still like the smell of cigarette smoke, and would take up the filthy habit again were it not for the short-term debilitating effects and the longer-term mortality effects.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 8:20 AM
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I remember how surpised I was when I got yelled at for littering. All I did was drop a cigarette butt on the sidewalk and crush it out.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 8:20 AM
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43: I was completely wrong to say I didn't know? I was a kid/teen and a non-smoker throughout that period, so I wasn't really picking up on the subtleties.

But that makes pre-1990s smoking manners really weird as well. If people were really perceiving it as that obnoxious, then what was going on that they overwhelmingly sat on their disgust rather than complaining? What I find odd was the instant flip from "Only an asshole would complain about smoking, short of having smoke literally blown into their face from close range" to "Only an asshole would smoke where someone else who wasn't smoking could plausibly smell it." It was such a radical flip, and to me it seemed to happen pretty completely in about a five year period.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 8:21 AM
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I still like the smell of cigarette smoke

Me too.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 8:21 AM
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And I just now saw 44. Moderately piqued reaction retracted.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 8:23 AM
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Whenever I walk past a person who is smoking, I'll invariably walk right through the cloud of smoke and inhale as deeply as I'm able. The smell is powerfully nostalgic.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 8:25 AM
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I also really miss the smell of cigarette smoke. And the squish of a freshly opened tin of Copenhagen. I can't even touch either of them or I'll be back to full-time. In fact, I'm still wearing a patch and it has been at least six years since I've been a regular tobacco user.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 8:26 AM
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47: You were in China?*

52: Too late. It's on. Lawyer fight!

* I know this is a running joke. Which is why I make it. (I just want to belong, you know, to find a place for myself in the community.) But I've never seen you say anything about your experiences there. Now that I hear that those people are filthy, and immune to the entreaties of a real Indian (Sifu!), I can see why you don't speak of your time there.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 8:27 AM
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Anyhow, thought I, if the Gulf Stream's in Greenland it must be pretty warm there, right? Sure enough, southern Greenland is a balmy 41 degrees fahrenheit. In January. As Blume asks, when can we expect the Greenland ice sheet to finish melting, again?

I wondered the same thing. Is 'the unprecedented negativity of the "Arctic Oscillation"' likely to happen often, now there's a precedent? Why is it unprecentedly negative, and is it a feature of climate change or just a statistical anomaly? When it goes into its positive phase, is there any guarantee that the Gulf Stream will return to its previous habits, or could it decide that it prefers the view in Newfoundland and will stay there?

I have to say that although it's bloody cold here right now, I'm much more worried about the Greenland ice cap collapsing on a five year time scale than my heating bills.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 8:27 AM
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Some friends of ours in Houston used to have this big sweet great dane, name of Ramses, who would seek out smokers at the dog park so as to inhale their secondhand smoke. He had been rescued from a pretty shitty situation (penned up in a tiny space, neglected), so maybe vicarious smoking had been one of the few comforts in his previous existence. It spooked a lot of people though to see this huge horse of a dog loping towards them with such intent.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 8:30 AM
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But that makes pre-1990s smoking manners really weird as well.

Not really. Smokers back then were every bit as aggressive about telling non-smokers to suck it up and non-smokers have become since. Plus the health issues are just a teeny weeny bit one sided. Part of the enthusiasm of governments for banning smoking can be attributed to the financial savings they make from not having to pay to look after all those people with emphysema for all those years.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 8:32 AM
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as


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 8:33 AM
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30: Anecdotally, I've heard from and read about a lot of restaurant and bar owners, in pretty much every category (except I guess total locals dive), that business jumped noticeably upon dropping smoking (whether voluntarily or not).

I think it's a blend of several factors: 1. more non-smokers coming in; 2. non-smokers lingering (there were plenty of reviews where we bailed after our entrees because it was just too unpleasant to stay another 20+ minutes for dessert); 3. as more smokers take on the new attitudes mentioned above by LB, they're fine with coming to a place and either not smoking for the duration or stepping outside a couple times.

Obviously a broad ban helps - the hardcore smokers can't really go elsewhere - but I just think that the population of truly hardcore smokers is smaller than anybody thought.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 8:33 AM
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50: I dunno, there are lots of behaviors I find galling but -- since they are nominally socially acceptable -- fail to call people out on. Talking loudly on cell phones in crowded spaces, for example.

People are generally vastly more likely to say something if they can point to an honest to goodness rule; "stop doing that because you're annoying me" is a much more aggressive statement than "stop doing that because it's not allowed." Likewise, "stop doing that because I don't like it" is much weaker than "stop doing that because you're verifiably damaging my health".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 8:33 AM
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1.) LB, your sister, the transplant surgeon, is a smoker?!

2.) I think that it was considered kind of radical in 93 that Cambridge had banned smoking in bars. You could do a lot more of it in Boston. Now, though, Boston has banned drug stores from selling cigarettes.

3.) They banned smoking on domestic flights sooner than on international one. A girl I knew in school had the misfortune of being seated next to a heavy smoker on a flight to Hungary for an exchange program.

4.) I am super sensitive to cigarette smoke and start to hack even when I'm near people on the street smoking, but when I've been drinking, and it's night time it doesn't bother me as much.

5.) I really like pipes and the smell of unsmoked tobacco. Real sandalwood oil smells a bit like it.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 8:34 AM
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53: When I left (a smoky) home for (a non-smoking co-op at) college, there was a boy in my co-op who did theatre, and would come home from meetings reeking of smoke. And even though I didn't like him much, it was hard not to sit down next to him and spend a couple of minutes surreptitiously sniffing his sweater.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 8:34 AM
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62.1: Yep. I can't report this first-hand myself, but my smoking family members all report tobacco as a serious cognitive enhancement, on top of the addictiveness; Dad occasionally says wistfully that he quit over a decade ago, and still just feels stupider than he was when he was a smoker. Dr. O picked it up in med school as a study aid.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 8:36 AM
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See, e.g., Oh wait, you mean I don't have to put up with being hit on by the boss? Cf. Really, I don't have to laugh along with offensively racist jokes?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 8:36 AM
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64: the cognitive-enhancement effect of tobacco smoking is well-attested in the literature, but like all drugs there's a tolerance effect, so that while it makes you sharper at first, eventually you're just smoking to get yourself back to baseline.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 8:41 AM
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55: It became a running joke because at the beginning of my Unfogged Commenting career, I spoke about my experiences in China a lot, largely due to having just recently returned from spending almost six years there.

Also, while I was living in Shanghai, they launched a "Seven Don't's" campaign to improve civic life, and one of the seven was "Don't Litter". I learned that phrase quickly and would often voice it in comic stentorian tones, although not as often as I used "Comrade, we are all standing in line".

The campaign made a big and noticeable difference in the amount of litter in Shanghai and attitudes towards it, to the extent that when travelling I would sometimes see Shanghainese expressing disgust at how much litter there was in whatever provincial backwater they were visiting.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 8:43 AM
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OK, lesson learned: can't read Unfogged comments while making pancakes. Two batches in a row too deeply browned (the first batch was getting towards black).

|>


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 8:44 AM
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I'm just glad that coffee really doesn't seem to be bad for you. I'd be even meaner and lazier than I am not without it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 8:44 AM
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Now. Now. Not 'not'.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 8:45 AM
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70: Well there's no need to get all snippy about it, LB.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 8:56 AM
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I'm just glad that coffee really doesn't seem to be bad for you.

It's always amazed me that coffee has never been convincingly implicated in mortality - bladder cancer, heart disease, etc. It just seems so obviously bad for you.

In fact my new theory is that Blackwater - which, of course, has long been known to cause fatalities - must have taken its name from coffee.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 8:59 AM
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Part of the enthusiasm of governments for banning smoking can be attributed to the financial savings they make from not having to pay to look after all those people with emphysema for all those years.

The tobacco industry funded a series of studies that purport to show that tobacco smoking is a net benefit for the treasury: the government collects all the excise taxes up front (time value of money), then incurs the medical costs after a long delay. Plus, the smokers die earlier, thus relieving the actuarial pressure on the old age pension funds.

Some countries (including the homeland of Mrs. OFE, IIRC) accepted the studies as a basis for government policy.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 9:03 AM
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73: Plus, the smokers die earlier, thus relieving the actuarial pressure on the old age pension funds.

For exactly that reason, Pittsburgh is going to start a "Seatbeltless Drunk Driving Night" for government employees over the age of 60.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 9:05 AM
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I've never seen Keggers of Yore or My Parents Were Awesome before, but I think I like them. If nothing else, I'll try to remember to go back to MPWA this weekend and watch the video clips about the site, one of which I think featured Yglesias.

They seem very hit-or-miss, though. One picture that in every detail looks like a real-life, glamorous-actors-not-included version of Mad Men or That Seventies Show - smoking and old-fashioned fashions and wood-paneling everywhere and washed-out picture quality - and the next picture could have been taken a week ago, as far as I can tell, or there's maybe one indication of age but not enough for it to strike me as odd in another context. It's weird.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 9:10 AM
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Okay, it's time:

"Bacchanal".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 9:11 AM
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74: "Crystal meth 'n' skeet shooting" is more efficient and presents less danger to the public, but I understand that Pittsburgh is a little more traditional than that.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 9:12 AM
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My Dad knew the guy at the FAA who made it his personal mission to get cigarette smoking banned on airplanes. Took that guy twenty years to get cigarettes off planes.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 9:13 AM
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78: Are you praising his dedication or using this as one more example of why you are becoming libertarian?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 9:16 AM
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Took that guy twenty years to get cigarettes off planes.

In retrospect that decision was a total no-brainer. In fact, a number of foreign airlines adopted the policy voluntarily without government prompting, once they observed the experience of American carriers.

Banning smoking reduces maintenance and cleaning costs on the aircraft; it makes seat allocation more efficient (no artificial specialization of assets); it improves safety; the unions like it because of employee health; and in many markets it's a positive point of competitive differentiation.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 9:19 AM
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I somehow managed to read the title of this post as B├ęchamels smell different these days which was kind of confusing because
a) it had little to do with the post
b) why would b├ęchamel smell different now?
Bacchanal makes much more sense.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 9:19 AM
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You can't spell "bacchanal" without "anal," after all.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 9:19 AM
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I take it as an example of my rule of thumb: all big changes take twenty years. The trend leaders were starting much earlier than most people notice.

One of my professor's grad students did his dissertation on how research spreads from universities. He's the source of the twenty year rule. His conclusion was not that information dispersed steadily for twenty years, changing people's minds. Instead, he thinks that it takes grad students twenty years to become managers and put their own research into effect.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 9:22 AM
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You're flirting with me again, aren't you?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 9:23 AM
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84: Am I that obvious?


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 9:24 AM
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It wasn't me who started urging you to be a libertarian. I can't remember who it was.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 9:24 AM
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I was talking to Bave.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 9:24 AM
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86: Ari ue in on?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 9:25 AM
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I suppose it's good to know that bring-up 'anal' is the best way to flirt with you.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 9:25 AM
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Somewhere on my block there lives a man (I assume) who smokes a pipe now and then. I like to think that one day he and the midnight drummer will clash with fatal consequences.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 9:26 AM
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89 to whatever.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 9:26 AM
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89: You wanna step outside and settle this like men?


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 9:26 AM
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89 to 92 to 89 to AIEEEEE ANALULARITY


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 9:27 AM
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92: on second thought, I'm not sure I would want to be demonstrating my fighting prowess in this situation (assuming I actually had any, which I assuredly do not).


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 9:29 AM
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92: Not in the least.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 9:29 AM
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Then I quit, and discovered that the world truly stinks
One surprising and unwelcome discovery when Ireland banned smoking in workplaces was just how often some unidentifiable person in the pub would let rip a really nasty one. (There is a known side-effect of previous-day Guinness consumption.)


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 9:55 AM
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Many of these aren't actually pictures of keggers.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 9:58 AM
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Baklava smells different these days.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 9:58 AM
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98: If you don't wash your ski-mask every now and then, it will get rank.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 10:13 AM
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One surprising and unwelcome discovery when Ireland banned smoking in workplaces was just how often some unidentifiable person in the pub would let rip a really nasty one. (There is a known side-effect of previous-day Guinness consumption.)

Is there anything that can be done to reduce this? Take enzymes or probiotics or something? Excessive flatulence is a bit of a problem for some and effectie treatments would be such a good thing--for them and for the rest of us.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 10:16 AM
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98: well, they've buried the remains of the Light Brigade by now, obviously.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 10:17 AM
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Is there anything that can be done to reduce this?

Based on the example of smoking, it might be easier to make it more common so nobody notices the smell so much. PETA's quest to get more people to go veg couldn't hurt in this regard.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 10:20 AM
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BG: '93 in Cambridge? Was that something short-lived, or are you thinking of the current ban that went into effect in 2003? Not that I was much of a bar patron before that, but the ban definitely made me more willing to go out drinking.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 10:21 AM
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100: There was a memorably stupid South Park episode that dealt with this issue.

As I recall attempts to curb flatulence led to even greater problems.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 10:23 AM
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100: Let the beer go flat before drinking it. That's my approach, with the dual benefits of reducing flatulence and offending beer snobs. OTOH, I could just drink it straight and then fart on the beer snobs, but I'm allergic to being punched in the face.

Also 101 reflects my initial reading of baklava when I see it in print. Into the valley of delicious crumbly pastry rode the six hundred.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 10:23 AM
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Maybe it was just being discussed and more individual restaurant places were giving up their smoking sections.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 10:27 AM
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105: It's not just beer. Some people just fart a lot andd experience some pain from it.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 10:28 AM
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100 & 107: We get it, BG. You're very concerned about that "friend" of yours who suffers from chronic flatulence. Uh-huh.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 10:31 AM
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Acute flatulence can be enjoyable, but I can see how chronic flatulence would get old.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 10:41 AM
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Umm, it's a ery close friend, but he wouldn't like the idea of eeryone knowing about it.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 10:41 AM
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107: Painful farts is just plain sad. Farting is kind of fun. It's a pity to miss out on such a simple visceral pleasure.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 10:41 AM
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If you really want to experience the difference between yesteryear and today, check out the DVD extras on Slacker. There's a mini-documentary about this punk rock festival that was held outside of Austin in the 80s. It is INSANE how skinny everyone is. I'm sure a lot of them were speed freaks or whatever, but the baseline weight for people in their early 20s was just massively lower than it is today.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 10:41 AM
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111:
Painful farts are just plain sad,
Farting should be fun!
When the Guinness in your gut goes bad,
The night has just begun!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 10:44 AM
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112: Visiting an Army base provokes the same reaction. "Why does it look like 1950? It's not just the haircuts.... huh. No one's fat." My offhand reaction was that the scene looked anachronistic; it took some thought to pick up that I was reacting to people's body types.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 10:47 AM
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||
Did the archiving fall off the old posts by accident? There's spammers commenting on stuff from last April.
||>


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 10:49 AM
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I'm so desperately uninvolved with the back end of the site that I don't know whether this was a policy decision or an accident, but comments are unarchived at least back to last NYE -- this New Years I accidentally commented on a year-old thread thinking it was current.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 10:52 AM
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112: BBC Parliament sometimes does replays of old general election coverage. I saw a bit of the '83 election; main conclusion: Labour party members are about double the size they were then (Tories were always fat). With the collapse in party membership, it's quite possible that the total weight of the Labour party has remained constant, though.


Posted by: Abelard | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 10:53 AM
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117: I'm in a convent and it's over between us. Stop prestering me to eat less.


Posted by: Opinionated Heloise | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 10:57 AM
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"Bacchanal".

Eesh. Fixed. Now back downstairs to the meeting.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 11:00 AM
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a simple visceral pleasure.

Ho ho ho.

The pleasures of the viscera are many and various.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 11:01 AM
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120 => 82.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 11:07 AM
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120: In college a friend found an old vinyl LP of bowel sounds intended for training physicians to identify diseases via stethoscope. It was about 45 minutes of some very serious sounding guy over-enunciating the names of the different sounds, followed by a bunch of short clips of various patients producing the sounds in question. It was hella funny to listen to while baked.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 11:08 AM
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It was hella funny to listen to while baked.

...which is, admittedly, a pretty low bar to clear.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 11:10 AM
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123: I'm telling you man, BC hydro+borborygmi = win!


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 11:14 AM
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I went to Armenia in 2002, and the plane between Paris and Yerevan was a terrifying time warp: no assigned seats, dogs running loose, lots of smoking during the flight.

Later my dad said that the Armenian airline only had one plane, and it was a hand-me-down used one from Russia that was periodically grounded for various inspection failures. The flight away from there was literally, legitimately nervewracking.


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 11:33 AM
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I've mentioned this before, but it's still strange, and I'm repetitive. Freshman year of college, 95-96, I was in a smoking room on a smoking hall. Such things were still designated. I wasn't even a smoker.

There was another hall, elsewhere in the same building, designated "substance-free" which meant they got in extra trouble if they got got with cigarettes, drugs and alcohol, compared with the non-marked halls. I thought it was really weird that they could get extra-punished for something we were allowed to do in our rooms.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 11:34 AM
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50

... What I find odd was the instant flip from "Only an asshole would complain about smoking, short of having smoke literally blown into their face from close range" to "Only an asshole would smoke where someone else who wasn't smoking could plausibly smell it." It was such a radical flip, and to me it seemed to happen pretty completely in about a five year period.

Doesn't seem odd to me. Most people don't like to be out of step so you get tipping points. It's hard to get a change started but once it starts it won't tend to stop halfway. You see the same thing when neighborhoods change.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 11:38 AM
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73

The tobacco industry funded a series of studies that purport to show that tobacco smoking is a net benefit for the treasury: the government collects all the excise taxes up front (time value of money), then incurs the medical costs after a long delay. Plus, the smokers die earlier, thus relieving the actuarial pressure on the old age pension funds.

Is there serious debate about this? It seems kind of obvious to me. As I understand it, smoking basically makes you about 7 years older from an actuarial point of view. Smoker's deaths aren't any more expensive than non-smokers they just occur sooner but normally still past retirement age. So smokers are good for pension funds.

Similarly health care savings from improved life styles are likely largely illusory as you still eventually get old and die possibly expensively.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 11:45 AM
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It's true. What are the cheapest deaths, and how can we promote them?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 11:47 AM
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129: I believe they had the answer to this problem in Logan's Run, but I guess they could have let people live quite a bit longer.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 11:50 AM
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125: my mom once flew a domestic Aeroflot flight (Moscow to Leningrad or something) and the two things she related that have stuck with me are that (1) the pilots got lost, and had to find their way using geographical landmarks and (2) the safety equipment (in a special compartment in the passenger cabin) consisted of a rope.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 11:51 AM
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129: I see that your own brush with death has made you more introspective. What is indeed the cheapest death? For if we have not lived, isn't our death all too expensive?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 11:52 AM
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What is indeed the cheapest death?

Lunch prepared by Brock? Pissing-off Megan?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 11:59 AM
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Similarly health care savings from improved life styles are likely largely illusory as you still eventually get old and die possibly expensively.

Not really true. One big advantage of a healthy life style is prevention of certain chronic conditions that kill you slowly and expensively, e.g. type II diabetes, and in a different way, HIV/AIDS.

Cardiovascular disease seems a more ambiguous case; a massive heart attack that kills you before you get to the ER at age 55 is relieves both the old age pensions and the health care system. Degenerative heart disease that requires two bypass surgeries, a balloon angioplasty, a lifelong Lipitor prescription, and a long stay at a chronic care facility, not so much.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 11:59 AM
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JBS is right. What really drives up health care costs is longevity. I can't back any of this up with actual data, but I'd bet that most people who live until 80 incur more medical costs from 60 to 80 than from 1 to 60.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 12:03 PM
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134: you could add to this list

1. cirhosis of the liver from alcohol abuse
2. smoking-related cancers
3. hepatitis
4. melanomas from excessive sun exposure

All of these kill you slowly and expensively -- not to mention painfully.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 12:03 PM
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smoking-related cancers

IIRC, the 5-year survival rate on lung cancer is less than 10%.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 12:06 PM
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It's a shame there's no class of medical care/lifestyle that reliably produces sudden death at the end of a long, vigorous life. My grandfather had a massive heart attack at the breakfast table in his late seventies, leaving him instantly dead face down in a bowl of oatmeal, at a time when he was still gardening, woodworking, and driving his car into immobile objects (not related to age, he was just always a terrible driver). I'd prefer ten years later myself, but that's the way to go.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 12:08 PM
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137: My friend who died of lung cancer at Thanksgiving a few years ago was under two weeks from diagnosis to death. He'd had an annoying cough for a couple of weeks before that. Anecdote, of course, but astonishingly fast.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 12:09 PM
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What really drives up health care costs is longevity.

Yeah, no. All other things being equal, a larger population of non-working elderly is going to drive up health care expenditures as a % of national income -- especially when the system has strong incentives to overtreat, as ours does.

But the question JBS addresses is whether unhealthy lifestyles are a net burden on health expenditures, and whether healthy life styles can relieve that burden. There is a world of difference between the health care requirements of the healthy elderly and the unhealthy elderly. And the through the miracle modern medicine we can keep unhealthy elderly people alive and in need of constant care for a long time. Given that we need to pay for care for a growing elderly population, we'd prefer that they be as healthy as possible right up to the point that frailty and old age take them. Not least because they'll enjoy life a lot more that way.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 12:10 PM
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137: Ditto for metastatic melanoma.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 12:11 PM
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I see that your own brush with death has made you more introspective.

Did I brush death? I can't remember what I did.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 12:13 PM
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137, 138: Excepting those cases where the cancer is very aggressive and caught very late, lung cancer kills you slowly enough to run up significant medical expenses, even though five-year survival rates are low. On a lifetime expenditure per patient basis, people who die of cancer are among the most expensive people in the insurance pool. From the perspective of the bill-payer, you'd much rather they die of something else, even if it happens 20 years of routine care later.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 12:13 PM
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I oppose the recent US-Russia nuclear disarmament talks on the grounds that they stand a chance of eliminating an easy solution to our looming pension crises.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 12:15 PM
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Excepting those cases where the cancer is very aggressive and caught very late

I was under the impression that lung cancer is usually detected late, which is a big part of the extremely low survival rate.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 12:18 PM
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I've gotten steadily less sympathetic to non-smoker concerns as the smoking bans and complaints seem to increasingly have less to do with health and more with just expressing dislike of smoking. There is no real reason why there shouldn't be places for people to smoke, in say airports as opposed to airplanes. Having train cars which are for smokers also isn't a major issue (the old Swiss system of using the aisle as a divide between the sections was crazy, however.)When the first smoking bans came in in NYC, Phillip Morris built double doored separately ventilated lounges, a couple years later they were banned. Or the 'but I'm allergic line' - yes, some people are. I'm allergic to cats and some dogs, and when I visit folks who have them I deal. Same goes for all sorts of unpleasant stuff when outside. Also, if you don't want to sit next to a lit cigarette on a park bench, don't sit down next to the guy smoking one.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 12:19 PM
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"the bowling class that filled one of my two PE requirements reserved two lanes at the end for the smoker"

Bowling class? Now that's a university I'd like to have gone to.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 12:20 PM
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Given that we need to pay for care for a growing elderly population, we'd prefer that they be as healthy as possible right up to the point that frailty and old age take them. Not least because they'll enjoy life a lot more that way.

True, but for very sound social reasons. JBS and Apo match with what I know as far as costs go. Especially since KR is leaving aside pensions and SS.

There is a world of difference between the health care requirements of the healthy elderly and the unhealthy elderly.

Yes, but unless you are using some definition of 'healthy elderly' that requires incredible genetic luck and a healthy lifestyle, that difference is much smaller than between the 40 year olds and the 75 year olds.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 12:21 PM
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140

But the question JBS addresses is whether unhealthy lifestyles are a net burden on health expenditures, and whether healthy life styles can relieve that burden. There is a world of difference between the health care requirements of the healthy elderly and the unhealthy elderly. And the through the miracle modern medicine we can keep unhealthy elderly people alive and in need of constant care for a long time. Given that we need to pay for care for a growing elderly population, we'd prefer that they be as healthy as possible right up to the point that frailty and old age take them. Not least because they'll enjoy life a lot more that way.

But people don't tend to go immediately from being healthy to being dead. So your healthy old person is still likely to spend a considerable period as an unhealthy old person before dying. Possibly of something quite nasty like Alzheimers.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 12:22 PM
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I actually do have a vague impression that 'healthy lifestyle' factors -- diet and exercise mostly -- have a much bigger impact on health in old age than they do on longevity in old age. Fit old people don't necessarily live much longer than unfit people, but they end up like my grandfather, rather than needing nursing care for their last five to ten years of life. But I don't recall my source for that, and it seems like the sort of thing where the causation could be totally backward -- healthy old people exercise because they're healthy, rather than the other way around.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 12:22 PM
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Countries in transition from the 'smoke everywhere' to strict bans get weird situations. Right now in Poland you cannot smoke anywhere on an open air train platform, with the exception of the closed in little drink stand/cafes because that's up to the proprietor. So they end up not just being horribly smoky, but also very crowded with non-customers getting their nic fix.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 12:25 PM
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145: I don't now the statistics on the proportion of lung cancer patients who attempt some treatment as opposed to going straight to palliative care, but whatever it is, it's high enough to make lung cancer one of the most expensive conditions to treat from an actuarial point of view. Health insurers charge more for smokers for a reason.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 12:27 PM
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142: Death's hair was a big rat's nest. You spent an hour with a comb and conditioner getting it all straightened out.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 12:27 PM
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143

... On a lifetime expenditure per patient basis, people who die of cancer are among the most expensive people in the insurance pool. From the perspective of the bill-payer, you'd much rather they die of something else, even if it happens 20 years of routine care later.

As a fraction of all deaths do cancer deaths go up or down as you get older? And what about other expensive ways to die?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 12:27 PM
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131 A friend of mine went touristing/mountaineering in Central Asia back in the early nineties, and during one flight through some very high mountains (and I do mean through), the pilot came out with a bottle of vodka in each hand and said: "It's my birthday, drinks for everyone". Another flight featured live chickens and a family cooking some food on their own propane stove.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 12:29 PM
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146: I feel the same way, but I'm not really a fair source because I like the smell. Still, I was stunned, in a "how fragile and controlling are you?" way, the first time I heard someone complain about a smoker on the sidewalk in NY. You're in NYC! I love this place, but even I'm not claiming it smells good! That cigarette is just not the worst smelling thing you're going to encounter in the next five minutes!

But I think my hostility may be unreasonable, because I really don't understand how bad it smells to the people who don't like it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 12:29 PM
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152

... Health insurers charge more for smokers for a reason.

But health insurance is sold on a term basis not a lifetime basis. As I said as I understand it roughly speaking smoking makes you 7 years older with a corresponding increase in current health costs.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 12:32 PM
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that difference is much smaller than between the 40 year olds and the 75 year olds.

You and Shearer are making the same mistake in assuming that it's relatively cheap for the health care system when someone dies at age 40. Again, unless the heart attack kills you on the spot, you are going to incur end-of-life treatment expense, and for a number of chronic and degenerative conditions associated with unhealthy lifestyles, that treatment is going to be expensive, and it's going to cut short your years of paying taxes and insurance / Medicare premiums.

Yes, Moby, I ignored pensions and SS, because I'm responding to a particular claim by JBS, in which he conflates the cost consequences of longevity (more lifetime health expenditures) with the consequences of public healthiness (which contributes to longevity, but the relation is not nearly as close as JBS implies).


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 12:34 PM
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156

But I think my hostility may be unreasonable, because I really don't understand how bad it smells to the people who don't like it.

I don't think that is the issue, smoking is becoming socially unacceptable in the same way that pissing in the gutter is.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 12:35 PM
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Gallaudet had a big to-do last year about making the campus smoke free (outside spaces too). But it seems to have failed. Or else everyone just ignores it, so far.


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 12:36 PM
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socially unacceptable in the same way that pissing in the gutter is.

Wait, what?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 12:38 PM
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Seriously. Where else would you piss?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 12:39 PM
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Does anyone remember what I'm talking about in 150? Or know that it's wrong?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 12:39 PM
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Went to see a band many years ago, in a decent-sized concert hall. One of the musicians smoked a cigarette on-stage; I was surprised to smell it in the back of the hall.

It isn't the end of the world or anything, but cigarette smoke is noticeable even in small, dilute exposures.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 12:39 PM
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158

Yes, Moby, I ignored pensions and SS, because I'm responding to a particular claim by JBS, in which he conflates the cost consequences of longevity (more lifetime health expenditures) with the consequences of public healthiness (which contributes to longevity, but the relation is not nearly as close as JBS implies).

To be clear, I am claiming smokers don't cost significantly more for health care on a life time basis but they collect significantly less in pensions and they pay significantly more in excise taxes. Thus smoking is beneficial financially for governments.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 12:40 PM
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But health insurance is sold on a term basis not a lifetime basis.

Not strictly true. Many people drop their individual policies at 65 because Medicare is a better deal, but individual health insurance policies are guaranteed renewable everywhere I know of. AFAIK even small group policies are in some jurisdictions.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 12:40 PM
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That is a surprising thing about cigarette smoke. When it's rare, like it is now, boy is it noticeable. That hits me when someone gets on an elevator and you can smell that they're a smoker -- there just aren't that many other things you smell on people.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 12:41 PM
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You and Shearer are making the same mistake in assuming that it's relatively cheap for the health care system when someone dies at age 40.

I'm making no such assumption. Most importantly, natural deaths at age 40 are rare (thank God) and have very little impact on health care costs or taxes collected in societal terms. The number of people who are cheaper to provide health care for at 60 than at 40 are trivial.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 12:43 PM
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166

Not strictly true. Many people drop their individual policies at 65 because Medicare is a better deal, but individual health insurance policies are guaranteed renewable everywhere I know of. AFAIK even small group policies are in some jurisdictions.

But the rate isn't guaranteed and the policies typically become unaffordable as all the healthy people leave the pool.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 12:44 PM
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To be clear, I am claiming smokers don't cost significantly more for health care on a life time basis but they collect significantly less in pensions and they pay significantly more in excise taxes. Thus smoking is beneficial financially for governments.

If everyone retired five years before they died, then you'd get more money from taxes from non-smokers.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 12:47 PM
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but individual health insurance policies are guaranteed renewable everywhere I know of.

Yes. As long as you are healthy enough to continue working or wealthy enough to pay the whole premium without working*. Which may be a problem. Does anybody know if someone is trying to reform the system?

* I know, you could be the spouse or child of the worker. Still.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 12:47 PM
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161

Wait, what?

To be clear I meant smoking in public. Shooting heroin in public is generally taboo and the trend is for smoking to elicit the same reaction.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 12:47 PM
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they collect significantly less in pensions and they pay significantly more in excise taxes. Thus smoking is beneficial financially for governments.

The first part is probably true, and the second sentence might be true, but you would need to account for a few more factors to know for sure. E.g. what is the cost to the economy of lower productivity and premature death of working age citizens (in whom the state and possibly an employer have already invested)? What proportion of health expenditures is paid for out of taxation? What is the net take from excise taxes after enforcement costs (including a portion of customs enforcement, in high-tax jurisdictions)?

And that's just from a strictly fiscal perspective. The moral emptiness of that perspective as a basis for govt policy should be obvious; hence the reluctance of government's to adopt JRoth's seatbeltless drunk driving for new retirees.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 12:47 PM
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150: I think that's basically right. Obviously, unhealthy elderly often cannot excercise and there are a bunch of other factors.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 12:49 PM
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the policies typically become unaffordable as all the healthy people leave the pool

Yes, true. I have heard an insurance bureaucrat explain the mechanics of how one puts an unwanted small group plan into a "death spiral" (his words, not mine) with a smile on his face.


Posted by: K**R | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 12:50 PM
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173: JRoth's seatbeltless drunk driving for new retirees.

Don't give him credit for my murderous ideas.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 12:50 PM
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All you Pittsburghers look the same.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 1:01 PM
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Based on earlier conversations, I'm certain JRoth dresses better than I do.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 1:02 PM
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Further to 173: if the government pension scheme provides a survivors benefit for surviving spouses and dependent children, that would also have to be factored in as well. You could add in the various other costs incurred by the state: cleaning up cigarette butts on streets and in parks, putting out fires started by carelessly discarded cigarettes, special education for low birthweight children of women who smoked during pregnancy, etc.

IOW the math is not as obvious as it seems at first glance.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 1:07 PM
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The JRoth that spends his pants money on booze?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 1:07 PM
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I know the conversation has moved on, but having grown up in* a place that passed the world's first ban on indoor public smoking (in 1990, when I was 9), I was always shocked to go to NC where my grandparents lived and have to be with smokers in restaurants. I always had a negative view of smoking, as my mother worked in cardiac and pulmonary rehab and showed me pictures of diseased lungs from smokers (parents, this is pretty effective, if you start at a young age. Also potentially scarring).

*Technically, I only lived in that particular municipality for a few years, but it is largely where we did our eating out, etc.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 1:11 PM
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See eg Logan's Run


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 1:12 PM
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180: I'm wearing pants that had stains on them when I put them on this morning. (Granted, I only did this because it is sloppy about and I figured on minimizing the pants I have to wash. I'm all about saving water.)


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 1:12 PM
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I also have a stain on my shirt. It won't come out and the shirt is too nice to toss. So I wear it when I want to look nice from a distance.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 1:15 PM
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184: You look good from here, Moby!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 1:17 PM
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I see my error: when he dresses, he dresses better.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 1:18 PM
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126: That was pretty much my dorm experience in 1993, except that the smoking/burning incense vs. no substances was on a wing-by-wing basis. So you could literally step over a line and be okay. Weird.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 1:22 PM
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Do people still burn incense these days? Seems like it was a lot more common in the 1990s. Of course, the crowd I ran with in the '90s had an interest in using it to mask other smells.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 1:41 PM
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188: Does everybody know people with chronic flatuence?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 1:42 PM
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182: See 130


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 1:49 PM
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189: Actually, the people I know with chronic flatulence tend to prefer to stew in it, rather than mask it.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 1:56 PM
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187 IIRC there were no non smoking rooms or areas in our dorms. You got to choose a smoking or non smoking roommate and that's it. No smoking in classrooms but all the dining areas had smoking sections and profs smoked in their offices. Then again so did my grad profs after the NYC ban, with one even doing so during seminars - at which point all the smoking students would light up. I attended college a few years before you, but not much, graduating right before you got your dorm experience. Pot and alcohol were allowed in the rooms only.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 2:23 PM
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179

IOW the math is not as obvious as it seems at first glance.

You can quibble about global warming too. Is there a serious dispute about this?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 2:32 PM
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The current aversion to cigarette smoke in small doses probably is a disgust reaction. Even very small amounts of a "disgusting" substance is still considered disgusting. I know that I am super sensitive to the stale cigarette smoke smell now.


Posted by: Lemmy Caution | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 2:56 PM
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193: Analogies are banned for a reason, James.

This isn't mere quibbling. It's a serious methodological weakness -- serious enough to reserve judgment on the correctness of the conclusion, anyway.

For example: let's stipulate that you're correct about smoking taking seven years off of the actuarial lifespan of a citizen. It would make a big difference how those deaths are distributed along the age curve. How many of the premature deaths are short of retirement, thus missing out on making pension contributions in their peak earning years?

What's the balance between lower pension expense and higher health care expenditures? The OECD countries spend a higher % of GDP on health care than on public sector retirement plans. Even in the U.S., where only half or so of health care expenditures run through the federal budget, the budgetary outlays for health care are higher than for social security. Saving 10% on pensions at the expense of -- and I'm just making up a number here -- 7% higher health care expenditures would not necessarily be a good deal for the treasury. Especially not after you factor in the other hidden costs I point to.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 3:11 PM
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Do people still burn incense these days?

eekbeat loves burning Nag Champa, which I found a bit quirky and mid-90s-seeming but also endearing. Now I burn it myself, and it reminds me of her (and masks the looming cat-pee smell that the roommate has yet to remedy despite the 'tariat's helpful recommendations I passed along grrrrrr).


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 3:31 PM
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smoking increases health care costs over the long term:

http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/short/337/15/1052

James is right about the reduced costs that result from smoking deaths. Things that kill you are still bad though.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 3:34 PM
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increases should be decreases


Posted by: Lemmy Caution | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 3:34 PM
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Is it kind, though, is it honest even,
To consort with none but incense—
Leaving true-wedded hearts like yours
In enforced night-long separation,
Each to its random bodily inclination,
The thread of miracle snapped?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 3:34 PM
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188: Of course, the crowd I ran with in the '90s had an interest in using it to mask other smells.

Well, yes, that was understood by everyone, of course. I think the college I went to was really pushing to have zero smoking rooms though, as they had confined the smokers to one wing of the big dorm, one wing of the small dorm, and I think the on-campus apartments (of which there were only like 8). The thing was, it was about half as expensive to rent in town as to live in the dorms (probably a lot less if you didn't get the meal plan either), so very few upperclassmen would condescend to live in the dorms.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 3:52 PM
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200: heh, my original college mandated that students live in the dorms for two years for that very reason; they'd overbuilt, and if they didn't make people live there, nobody ever would.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 4:00 PM
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I can remember my mother sending me to the store for cigarettes when I was 5 or 6 years old. She would give me a note to give to the storekeeper, who wasn't really supposed to sell cigarettes to minors (but nobody really cared back then, or not to the same degree and level of intensity as they do now).


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 4:27 PM
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I like Nag Champa. We burn incense occasionally, but really prefer candles. This one is my favorite.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 5:04 PM
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Did we somehow miss this?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 5:16 PM
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204: It's not so much that we missed it, but that some of us like to keep quiet about our romantic lives.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 6:16 PM
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203: That sounds cool. I like Nag Champa as well, but incense smoke has come to bother me unless we burn it in the basement, as my roommate does at times (his studio is down there), and the scent filters upstairs.

Good candles are hard to find; I've marked that one for investigation.

Speaking of smoke bothering my eyes, it's so ridiculously dry in a house with forced hot air heating ... despite the humidifier and pots of water in front of the air vents, a newfound humidity indicator here says we're at 40% humidity. Is this bad, good, reasonable? I'm thinking we should be shooting for, say, 50% or just over.

You should see what happens in a too-dry house to freshly ground coffee when you take the lid off the coffee-grinder.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 6:17 PM
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206: I'm with you on the dry air, but I think you may be using too fine of a grind for your coffee.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 6:23 PM
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207: Yeah. But still! I grind coffee to a similarly fine-ish grind at the shop, and it does not fly up and stick to my hand, and the countertop, and so on, when I take the lid off. So. It's the house.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 6:28 PM
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I've got steadily enlarging dry patches on my skin, some of which bleed, and you've got flecks of coffee. Whiner.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 6:31 PM
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Your humble servant*,

Moby Hick

*I'm trying to revive pre-modern epistolary practices.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 6:38 PM
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Who's whining? I'm just reporting. I have a device which measures humidity level now. It's science.

I've got steadily enlarging dry patches on my skin, some of which bleed

Geez. Do you at least use moisturizer? Why do I have the idea that men do not generally use moisturizer?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 6:47 PM
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Cordially,
parsimon


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 6:49 PM
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The combination of pregnancy and winter low humidity means that I am about to entirely flake off and blow away, despite slathering myself with unguents. ITCHY.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 6:53 PM
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Do you at least use moisturizer?

I have a steroid cream and a moisturizer (lotion from Target). They work, if I use them consistently, unless it gets really, really cold. Which it is.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 6:55 PM
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Doubly Cordial,

Moby Hick


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 6:56 PM
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Why do I have the idea that men do not generally use moisturizer?

Certainly some men use moisturizers.

I hope this missive finds you well; yours with the greatest respect,

M


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 6:57 PM
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195

This isn't mere quibbling. It's a serious methodological weakness -- serious enough to reserve judgment on the correctness of the conclusion, anyway.

It is exactly the sort of objection people make to climate models. All of them have serious methodological weaknesses in that there are things that they ignore. Does that mean we should all reserve judgement about climate change?

For example: let's stipulate that you're correct about smoking taking seven years off of the actuarial lifespan of a citizen. It would make a big difference how those deaths are distributed along the age curve. How many of the premature deaths are short of retirement, thus missing out on making pension contributions in their peak earning years?

It is my understanding that roughly speaking your risk of dying doubles ever 7 years (after age about 30 when the risk is about 1/1000 per year). And it is also my understanding that smokers have about twice the risk of death of non-smokers at all ages. So roughly speaking smokers are comparable to non-smokers who are 7 years older. So smokers still tend to make it through all (or most) of their earning years while collecting 7 less years of benefits.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 7:00 PM
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It is cold. Damnit. I'm not having a horrible time with dry skin this year yet. Just really dry eyes. And hair, maybe. Turning into skeletor. Maybe I have split ends.

Drink water!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 7:03 PM
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Peaceably,
p


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 7:05 PM
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slathering myself with unguents

I'll bet there's an entire website somewhere dedicated to pregnant women slathering themselves with unguents.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 7:20 PM
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Yours in Christ,
A


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 7:21 PM
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Certainly some men use moisturizers.

I don't doubt it. Some men wash their faces (specifically) too. I haven't run across a lot of them, oddly. I've never understood it. Babe, I want to say: doesn't your face get all, you know, dried out?

In wonder,
etc.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 7:31 PM
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Cock jokes, people, cock jokes.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 7:41 PM
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Sure, men use moisturizer if they have dry skin. But not preemptively.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 7:42 PM
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I suppose that if you were a Senator or something you might hold on to your FEHB plan if you wanted to be able to make an arrangement with a doctor privately who also saw medicare patients and you had a lot of money.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 7:58 PM
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200 and 201: We had the opposite problem. Nobody would want to live off campus. Housing of comparable quality would have been prohibitively expensive and much farther away.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 8:05 PM
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I'm not sure if I understand this thread. Are smoking bans the cause of global warming?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 8:07 PM
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206: parsimon, Crane, the company which makes the penguin humidifier about which Ned talked says that you should aim for 30-50% humidity. 40% doesn't sound bad to me.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 8:07 PM
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228: Okey doke. I'm going to go for more, though! I want a moist environment!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 8:14 PM
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...gentz.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 8:45 PM
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I want a moist environment!

Have you tried Omegle?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 8:46 PM
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It took you guys 30 minutes to follow up on that line, did it?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 8:50 PM
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231: Oh man, I just went back to Omegle for kicks and got:

Stranger: asl

You: Salutations, friend.

Stranger: hey, asl?

You: I am a 27yo male in the USA.

Stranger: im not gay

Your conversational partner has disconnected

I'm amused he felt the need to advise me of his not-gayness before disconnecting.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 8:52 PM
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232: I was busy driving home from work, getting gas, and grocery shopping. Frankly, I was shocked no one took that low-hanging fruit sooner.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 8:53 PM
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"asl" is code for something, maybe.

'Night all.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 9:06 PM
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"age sex location"


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 9:07 PM
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I noticed the same thing the last time I watched St. Elmo's Fire--jeez there was a lot of smoking going on! All of those characters were smoking incessantly, to the point of repeatedly emptying ashtrays onscreen (during the Andrew McCarthy/Ally Sheedy sexfest as I recall). I can't say I noticed all the smoking when I saw the film originally.

In terms of $, I think that the taxes on cigarrettes are supposed to balance out all the costs that smokers impose on society (they get extra sick and lose productivity and whatnot) but that alcohol has not been taxed as sufficiently to balance out all the costs it incurs. Discuss.


Posted by: Miranda | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 9:21 PM
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237: Miranda, I'm sorry to report that, while your line of questioning is interesting, Friday nights (Saturday early morning here, actually) are notoriously quiet around here, because everyone's either off getting sauced or tending to these motherfucking babies that keep popping out all over the place.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 10:20 PM
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Come on now, parsimon.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 10:31 PM
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Hey Stan check this out.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 10:32 PM
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240: That's freakishly raw talent.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 10:50 PM
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Claims of being self-taught. Raw indeed.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 11:03 PM
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||

For the political wonks: BBC Radio 4's "From Our Own Correspondent" today covered:

- Why Obama's detractors are a bunch of pussies in league with the terrorists

- On the ground in Yemen

- Tusla PD's podcast

- Ugandan medical care

My interpretation of the first story above may be somewhat "liberal". The third story is a gold-mine for anecdotes.

(http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/default.stm

Not sure when/if the latest program will be available to those outside the UK.

AND

http://www.tpdpodcast.com/)
|>


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 01- 9-10 4:43 AM
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My Dear Mr. Hick:

While I have made this recommendation before on this site, for dry skin that has gotten to the point where it is cracked and bleeding, let me reiterate that Aquaphor or the store-brand equivalent works spectacularly well. It's just a sort of lighter Vaseline, but it only feels greasy for a couple of minutes, and it holds in moisture amazingly well. My skin is so dry that my skin hurts all winter, and I cover myself in this stuff; it cleared up Newt's eczema when he had a patch a few years ago. And it's cheap.

In the hopes that this information will be of use to you, I remain as always,

Yr most humble & obdt svt,

Lzd Breath


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 9-10 6:09 AM
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244:

Mrs. Breath,

Let me kindly submit that I have used Aquaphor and find it very useful and also too much like putting Vaseline on your hands. That is, I can only use it before bed as you cannot touch anything after application. I even have cloth gloves.

But until I reach my long-term goal, a house with radiators for heat, I will continue in the Aquaphor.

Your even more humbler but less obedient servant,

Moby


222: I scrape a blade across my face daily without moisturizing it and without problem. I used to have great trouble, but I think it just got toughened up over the years.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 9-10 8:46 AM
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240: wow.

245: pronoun trouble!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 9-10 8:53 AM
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246.last: I believe I mentioned how I tend to write like what I've been reading. Somebody really bitch-slapped my brain on the use of 'in'. Somebody with an inappropriate feeling of attraction to hedgehogs.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 9-10 9:01 AM
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213: Body butter! AB has chronic dry skin under the best of circumstances but during her pregnancies (Iris' being mostly a wintry one) she slathered herself with body butter (from The Body Shop - she liked theirs best) and Dr. A commended her on her skin. Actually helps reduce stretch marking, as well.

Yours in moisture,


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 9-10 2:37 PM
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I have read that nothing has an influence on whether you get stretch marks except your natural predisposition to get them. (Well, that and whether or not you stretch your skin by, say, getting pregnant.) Body butter sounds pleasant, though the Body Shop's mango smells a touch too overripe -- did it leave her feeling sticky?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01- 9-10 2:42 PM
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I did not ever moisturize my belly and I did not get any stretchmarks. As a data point.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 9-10 3:06 PM
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Late, but I'm compelled to post this recently heard illustration of the change in attitudes on smoking: The lockers in Three Rivers Stadium (built in the late 60s) had ashtrays. They apparently were there until Jack Lambert retired (early 80s), and before that Lambert and a few others would smoke one at halftime.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01- 9-10 5:42 PM
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249: No, not sticky at all. I'm fairly squicked out by AB's relentless moisturizing (there's a datapoint for male moisturizing, which I think Ned got right), but the body butter really made her skin nice. Definitely better and worse scents, and her favorite (which I can't recall, but it's irrelevant anyway) was discontinued between Iris and Kai. I think she stuck with coffee and nut for Kai.

Obvs. stretch marks are dependent on more than moisturizing. Just reporting what I saw.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-10-10 6:52 AM
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We use a combination of aquaphor, cetaphil, and cortizone ointment for extra bad eczema.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 01-10-10 8:08 AM
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I meant to convey that they are dependent only on things other than moisturizing. But making your skin nice and comfortable is a worthy goal in itself! Coffee and nut sounds pleasant.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-10-10 8:12 AM
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Not that radiator heat is not better for several reasons than forced air, but the main factor that causes dry air inside in the winter is simply that warm air holds much more moisture than cold air (at "room" temperature at least 4-5 times as much as air below freezing) which causes it to have very low relative humidity (which is what controls how it interacts with your skin) when heated by any means. The average humidity outside is actually higher in the winter than the summer in most climates.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-10-10 1:03 PM
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Late, but...

When I was at UIUC in the late nineties, I became a night clerk in the halls of residence - oh the fools to have given such jobs to Brits where the main aim was to report people for drinking and smoking pot. I filed few incident reports. Even now I remember getting a call on the walkie talkie from an American colleague (very fond of walkie talkie speak 10 4 etc..) asking me to attend a suspected incident - he asked me whether the smell coming from under a door was pot - I stretched the truth somewhat and send it was incense. Case closed.

This pointed to me to a larger point that the middle class kids in the US were much more effectively closeted from vice than Europeans - it's was hard for me to imagine a teenage life that consisted not of going to the mob but being a mallrat. I'll make no judgement as to which was better but I did find that I got on much better with more worldly older students.

164: there's an exemption from England's smoking ban for theatre - it was really striking the smell of smoking just from Kevin Spacey onstage at the Old Vic a couple of years back.


Posted by: TiltingatWindmills | Link to this comment | 01-10-10 1:04 PM
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257

Um, for mob read pub.


Posted by: TiltingatWindmills | Link to this comment | 01-10-10 1:06 PM
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