Re: Magic bacteria

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Isn't there quite a bit of doubt as to whether this is actually true? I've read 'magic bacteria' articles, and also 'magic bacteria my ass' articles (that is, not doubting that oil eventually biodegrades, and probably faster in the Gulf than elsewhere, but that this isn't nearly enough to mean that the spill wasn't mindboggling damaging.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 10:42 AM
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Eh, you're probably just reading the alarmists' blogs.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 10:48 AM
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I think some doomsaying predictions are not made in good faith. A facebook friend recently linked to an article predicting that the gulf oil spill would lead to global civilizational collapse. It was a expert piece of deceptive writing, to the extent that I might use it in my critical thinking class this Spring. The thrust of the paper was that methane leaks in what is now the Gulf of Mexico were instrumental in one of the prehistoric mass extinctions, and therefore the gulf oil spill could cause mass extinction today. There was also speculation that methane could mix with water, be ignited by lightening, and rain fire on the coast.

There's a whole generation of population doomsayers that came to prominence in the 70s, most notably Lester Brown and the Ehrlichs, who have clung to theories of global collapse in the face of decades of counter evidence. To my mind they are either intellectually dishonest or in the grips of total fanaticism.

Oh and James Howard Kunstler.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 10:49 AM
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Diane Rehm today had on scientists whose studies of the plume seemed to find opposite results. It was kind of confusing, but my take away is (1) there was a big plume and (2) now it's not where it was and (3) where it was there's been an increase in the population of microbes that "colonize" (i.e., consume) oil in the water but (4) of course that doesn't mean there's not still oil elsewhere, say, deeper or settled under the seafloor so (5) anyway we'll look at "sentinel" species such as shellfish and tuna (eggs, specifically) for the next ten years or so, and by then we'll know for sure what's what.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 10:51 AM
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The thrust of the paper was that methane leaks in what is now the Gulf of Mexico were instrumental in one of the prehistoric mass extinctions, and therefore the gulf oil spill could cause mass extinction today. There was also speculation that methane could mix with water, be ignited by lightening, and rain fire on the coast.

Oh, I read that! It scared me.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 10:53 AM
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my critical thinking class

You are doing the lord's work, my good man.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 10:55 AM
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5: Don't be scared. It was unmitigated bullshit. (Unless it is the bullshit itself that was scaring you.)

I'm not getting sucked into this thread today. I'm working. Yesterday I lost too much work time fuming at someone who dissed community colleges on Facebook.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 10:59 AM
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7.2: Oh you did! I tried to chime in and even namechecked you! I tuned out when they all just sounded like privileged shitheads.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 11:01 AM
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Well, I'm not scared now that I know about the magic bacteria.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 11:03 AM
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ignited by lightening

How light would you have to get it before it ignited anyway?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 11:05 AM
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I wish there was a shared sense that environmental predictions are made in good faith and therefore worth heeding, even if we get lucky sometimes.

You wish. People who take maintenance seriously can't win, whether they're working with infrastructure, software (Y2K, anybody?), natural resources or any damn thing else. You spot a risk and publicise it: if you spend the time and money to mitigate it so that you avoid the undesirable outcome, you're "wasting resources on something that was never real anyway"; if you accept it and the whole thing goes tits up, you're entirely to blame for whatever happens.

There will never be a serious public culture of risk management as long as the media can make money from lurid misrepresentation.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 11:06 AM
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Everything will be just fine, heebie.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 11:09 AM
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Bob gets me.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 11:10 AM
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You know what the so-called experts are neglecting the possibility of? The Helvetica Scenario. It may be rare, but I'm pretty sure it's caused by magic bacteria.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 11:17 AM
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Bob gets me.

Does he have to pay Jammies a dowry?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 11:36 AM
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Is this the same magical bacteria that is antibiotic-resistant, and going to kill us all in 10-20 years?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 11:44 AM
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Apo does not get me.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 11:45 AM
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16: Depends. Are you oil?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 11:45 AM
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16. The magical bacteria can do anything. But I alone can control them.

I'm taking bids.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 11:47 AM
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Apo does not get me.

I wasn't willing to fight Bob anyhow. He has big-ass scary dogs.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 11:53 AM
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There are many many ways to cope.

Buffy to Giles:"Lie to Me"

Mad Men Sunday Night, something like:

Joan:"Get over WWII, already, Roger. The good guys won and now the world is a better place"
Roger:"Do you really believe that?"
Joan:"I have to." (J is prolly preggers.)

My lady votes right, contributes and works for local and national causes, and does not want to hear the bad news. Ever, at all. Any release you may think I get on the Webs is a release I don't get at home. Much.

But she laughs at my worries. I can really relate to Strindberg at the beach, soaking up the rays in an innertube with a MaiTai, grumbling "Despair and Doooooooom." 'Cept I'm smiling as I say it, which makes me even worse than August Strindberg!

The fat happy oil-eating microbes will be great feeding for the little fish, heebie.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 12:01 PM
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Speaking of bullshit explosions, there's this. No way, no how is either methane or Corexit going to make a sample of Gulf water explode violently. Makes it seem like the guy doesn't know what he's doing.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 12:17 PM
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I wasn't willing to fight Bob anyhow. He has big-ass scary dogs.

The unexpected sequel to Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, coming this fall to a theater near you!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 12:20 PM
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Riffing on my constant casual contact with people who*do* study this properly, and also on recent unfogged threads: the damage in one year will probably be less than expected, the damage in ten years, more. Reproduction is hard in the wild, and dirtying the beaches hurts.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 12:47 PM
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Woo bacteria and all that, and the Gulf certainly harbors microbes that digest oil, and those microbes are certainly having a field day right now, but there's a disconnect between the new paper's microbiology methods and its chemical oceanography data. The result is that a lot of wishful thinking went into their estimates of oil consumption rates. Sorry, heebie.


Posted by: Gabardine Bathyscaphe | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 1:26 PM
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I did see something somewhere about using magic bacteria to spotclean beaches, which sounded cheerfulish. I wonder if it was nonsense, or if there was anything in it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 1:40 PM
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Reproduction is hard in the wild, and dirtying the beaches hurts.

No kidding!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 2:09 PM
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A dirty beach isn't so much of a problem; it's the crowds. Even at night it is hard to find a place where people going for a walk won't trip over you.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 2:12 PM
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OT: I'd be curious to know what the local academics think of the latest post and comments at Female Science Professor (thanks, LB, for the recommendation)?

|>


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 2:13 PM
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29: Open it to the lawyer-class as well via the previously discussed parallels between tenure-track and partner-track.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 2:18 PM
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I suppose a lot depends on to whom the enjoyment is supposed to be suspicious. I would not look with invidious or suspicious eyes on an ass't prof who seemed to be enjoying his or her pre-tenure time, but then, I won't be evaluating same for tenure and don't particularly care if s/h's got h/h nose to the grindstone at all hours. (I would like to think that even if I were in such a position of potential evaluation I would still only care about the quality of the work actually being done and not how harried the worker seemed, but perhaps I would not.)

If one's colleagues feel harried and overworked it might be impolitic, at the least, or feel rude or improper, conspicuously not to at least act that way oneself. And if one's evaluators-to-be are not experts in one's field (so that they aren't ideally situated to evaluate one's work), it might seem prudent, not just to do the work, but to cultivate an air of constantly working. Beats me, though.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 2:19 PM
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30: of course.

In fact the two reasons that the post resonated with me were (1) unfogged has convinced me that I am very, very glad to have not gone into academia and (2) one of the real attractions of my current workplace is that there's very little misery poker that goes on. I can certainly imagine, however, a place in which there was social pressure on people to appear busy and harried.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 2:22 PM
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In academia, it seems to me at least, it's less "misery poker" than "I'm so productive!" backdoor bragging. As in, "Oh, I am sooo busy! I have two articles that I'm about to send out and a third I need to check the corrected proofs for! There goes my weekend!" The subtext of that is -- in no way -- that this is a miserable overworked person.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 2:28 PM
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I don't know, I've never witnessed anything like that. Many academic blogs seem to be written by people who are convinced that their life is a living hell, but I think that's more a matter of desperation driving people to blogging than anything representative. Of course, I'm aware that my own experiences are pretty unrepresentative.

At my grad school institution ass't profs [like my advisor] didn't seem excessively worried about whether they would get tenure. At my current institution, ass't profs know the odds are stacked against them and they have to apply for jobs elsewhere. I guess either way, people are resigned to their fate. But somehow I get the impression this is not the norm, or not perceived to be the norm, at most places. I have trouble imagining, though, that most tenure cases are borderline, so I think probably people are worrying too much over nothing.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 2:39 PM
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Note to attorneys taking over a litigation in the middle. Avoid phone contact with opposing counsel until you're absolutely sure about what the big secrets are.

I just talked to a new lawyer on an incredibly sleazy case, and he confirmed that his real client was (as I had suspected but not known) someone who was not supposed to have any ownership interest in the entity that's the nominal party in the case. In fact, the whole point of the case is that the nominal party is totally separate from the real client. Funny how he's paying for its lawyer, isn't it?

|>


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 2:39 PM
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Why would anyone diss community colleges? I mean, maybe this is just a California thing, but is anyone in higher education doing more important or harder work than community college professors?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 2:46 PM
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11: You have this exactly right; I've seen it happen forever and don't expect it to stop. For example, I just spent three weeks fixing a critical system someone broke by ignoring wisdom commonly available since the mid-Sixties.

The suits are thrilled, I'm contemptuous and hiding it well.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 2:47 PM
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35: Also, if you're a divorce lawyer, don't send a letter laying out your strategy and tactics without making sure your secretary/assistant addressing the letter knows the difference between "client" and "opposing party".


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 2:56 PM
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38: Hah! But at least the lawyer has someplace to hide if it's the secretary's error. I'm going to be in front of a judge next week with this guy, and who's paying him is definitely going to come up. Oh yes it is.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 3:00 PM
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RE 11

OTOH, the fact that the Right proficies doom and gloom every time some social change comes along hasn't made anyone serious take their shouts of "Stop" as a joke.

And the one time i can ever think of they got one right, that communism had totalitarian tendencies and economic production problems, nobody 'blamed' that on the skeptical capitalists.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 3:01 PM
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Yes, social pressure and a desire to avoid the inevitable criticism of "well, you could have achieved so-and-so if you hadn't spent so much time having fun instead of working". And "if this person devotes this much time to leisure pre-tenure, just think how lazy they'll be post-tenure".

IME, the difference is that you don't have to be quite so vocally unhappy as you used to, as long as you are also not always going on about fun stuff you are doing.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 3:06 PM
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I just found a maggoty dead mouse leaking ooze onto my stack/collection of currently not-in-use posters. >:(


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 3:08 PM
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I don't know that the Right was always wrong when prophesying doom. Much of what they thought was vital to civilization really is gone or threatened. I think they defined civilization iniquitously, me, but that's not the same error.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 3:12 PM
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about idleness: and yet there are Socially Approved busy things that are Work-like; e.g., some sports competitions. (Training for triathlons, where I am.) I smell lingering Puritanism: training is not acceptable because it does not hurt your work output, but because it does literally hurt you.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 3:13 PM
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this feeds the belief that environmentalists are alarmists who make dire predictions that don't actually come to pass?

I do think environmentalists are alarmists, because I think that the human race is capable of continuing to live fairly comfortably amid enormous levels of environmental devastation, so if you're worried about environmental devastation you have to constantly amp up the threat to peoples' everyday lives beyond realistic levels. But it could turn out in 100 years that I'm totally wrong about this and it's a time scale issue.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 3:32 PM
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33 rings quite true for my experience in the legal world -- the goal is to convey that you are working night and day, but LOVING EVERY MINUTE, OH, YES, LOVING IT!

35: Now you tell me!


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 3:38 PM
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At our school, there's a pretty wide range of tenure-related stress. Lots of people (myself included) are not very stressed out about it all.

There is a lot of complaining about how overworked we are. But it's not tied to rank and tenure. It's tied to the fact that we are really overworked.

(There's just an alarming number of truly time-consuming committees, and a 4-4 course load, and a general ethos of earnest enthusiasm for new ideas, and people end up putting in ungodly hours.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 5:12 PM
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Joan:"I have to." ...see 21, since I don't have the creds to comment on the sweatshops and brutal workhells that are academia or legal firms. The Chinese working for a dollar a week and sleeping in bunks will feel sorry for y'all. Can't compare pain, they always say.

Anyway: No Joan, you don't. It is easy to bring a child into a hellish world of pain and torment. People have been doing it, like forever. In the past it wasn't as much of a choice, but exposure was tacitly permitted as a pastpartum option. Now, women can always enjoy bouncing the baby for a year or two, and then hand them over to child services and leave the state. Relatives are not recommended, the bad pennies will come back. (Guys, you don't have this option. You are stuck forever. Pre-HS graduation vasectomies are strongly recommended,. Your genes are not teh awesome, and need to be dustbinned by evolution.)

Now, I understand a lot of the fun of having children is the tradition of watching them suffer miserably in this hellhole, just as your parents did. (This is called "Preparing them for life and helping them move into the world") And I know the prospect of being able to say:"2 weeks of labor and 2 years without sleep, so the Jenna Jameson tattoo is getting burned off now" is a thrill.

So, hey, people were fucking in the ruins of Magdeburg and Nanjing. Babies are born to starve and die. What's a little brain-eating pollution?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 5:31 PM
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No, Joan, you don't have to believe things are better. You can choose to focus on hellholes and misery instead. Some people find that an enjoyable existence.

46 was me, if it matters. Personally, I am test-driving the approach of demonstrating that I care quite passionately about the work I do, but that my life and my passion also extend well beyond my work. I'm ready and able to argue vigorously with the powers-that-be about "the right thing to do" when necessary, but when it's time to catch my train, I'm out the door. We'll see in time how this relates to the partner track.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 5:47 PM
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48.2: Bob, what the hell are you talking about? Is that a continuation of the Mad Men episode you refer to in 21? (I haven't seen it.) Or is it your perambulation on the topic?

I've been spending a little time reading Balloon Juice lately, and my god, are they are a wild-eyed, gesticulating, fuzzy-brained bunch. Don't sound like them.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 5:49 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 6:07 PM
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48 really is a candidate for the McManus hall of fame. I paricularly like And I know the prospect of being able to say:"2 weeks of labor and 2 years without sleep, so the Jenna Jameson tattoo is getting burned off now" is a thrill.

Who gets a Jenna Jameson tattoo? It's like having "World's Greatest Mastrubator" tattooed on your arm.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 6:09 PM
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48 is classic and wonderful. Especially the second-to-last paragraph.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 6:24 PM
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Bob, I find 48 quite bizarre. You seem to care passionately about the future of our world, and yet, at the same time, you betray a deep (and rather spiteful) resentment against those who continue to populate it.

(Also: no more MadMen spoilers, please, or at least not without some warning. I'm two episodes behind).


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 6:27 PM
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I gather Bob is despairing that we've trashed the world completely, not just for ourselves but for our children, and hypothesizes that we don't really care, because we can just ditch our kids on the welfare state after we're done playing with them. Apparently, this is chiefly the fault of women (mothers), though.

Bob should correct this translation if it's wrong.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 6:39 PM
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52: The thing is, if you are a very accomplished masturbator, there are very few venues where you can brag about it.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 6:51 PM
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Maybe a "Jenna Jameson tattoo" is a tattoo resembling one that Jenna Jameson has?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 6:55 PM
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because we can just ditch our kids on the welfare state after we're done playing with them.

...or on the ravines and rocks.

The "world", for most meanings of the world that matter to us individually, is always already being trashed. Almost always an unspeakably dangerous and horrible place, or on its way, imminently. The Greeks of Alcibiades Athens were not comforted that Persia might be ok. They killed the World.

You know, maybe the Spartans were not such horrible snobs, but simply took "Best to never have been born" seriously and recognized that making and raising children was nothing but an act of power and cruelty.

Apparently, this is chiefly the fault of women (mothers), though.

I love the cruelty of women. I care nothing for the drones.

Yggles brought back Kim DuToit a while back, ya know, the "feminization of America." "Feminine" to me, to the extent it means anything, also means Goldman, Luxemberg, the Pankhursts, Ana Pauker. It includes torches and automatic rifles.

Whatever is going on, it is not a "feminization" of men. Goldman had Alex Berkman. We have Joaquin Phoenix. Why tough women now prefer drones, well, I am not sure, but it may a step toward the elimination of the useless half of the species.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 7:01 PM
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I'm just horrified by "two weeks of labor". Childbirth is rough, but it's not that bad.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 7:01 PM
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The Greeks of Alcibiades Athens were not comforted that Persia might be ok.

You do know about Alcibiades and Persia, right?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 7:05 PM
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If you want to talk about the feminization of men, look no further than Archipiada.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 7:09 PM
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58: Yggles brought back Kim DuToit a while back, ya know, the "feminization of America."

Link? I don't ordinarily read Yglesias. I'd need to read something further in order to understand what you're talking about in 58.last. I can speculate about what "tough women now prefer drones" means, but I'd rather not guess.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 7:09 PM
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Bob, today on my way home from a picnic in the sunshine with my precious nieces and nephew, I turned on to my block and found a horrible scene. My neighbor's car had rolled over their six-year-old child. Neighbors and family flooded the street, waiting in horror until the ambulance came. He died an hour or so after getting to the hospital.

So, y'know, I hear that you're doing your apocalyptic thing and all that, but tonight I'm thinking about taking every moment of joy and peace and sunshine I can get. And yeah, kids are part of that. Go hug one.


Posted by: Not this time | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 7:10 PM
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Kim Du Toit is Ann Douglas?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 7:13 PM
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63 is horrifying. I'm so sorry.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 7:15 PM
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63: Oh god. My speechless horror sympathies go out to all involved.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 7:17 PM
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55: Huh. I had just gathered that Bob was trolling.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 7:18 PM
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62 - You need to Google for "The Pussification of the American Male". Set aside ten minutes for laughing, and another five when you contemplate that the dude's name is "Kim du Toit".


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 7:20 PM
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63 is heartwrenching. So sorry for all.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 7:22 PM
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69: 'kay.

67: Right. I should have just said "Bob, you now sound like a crazy person," and left it at that. It's what my 50.last was intended to say anyway.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 7:31 PM
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That FSP post didn't make much sense to me. In math, with the exception of 2 or 3 schools who have a "tenure track" but don't actually give tenure, my impression is that it's much easier to get tenure than it is to get a tenure-track job. I thought that both the grad student -> postdoc and postdoc -> TT steps have more attrition than the TT->T step. Once you have a TT job you're in good shape and thus should be less stressed.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 7:39 PM
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I'm baffled by 70.1 as a reply to my expression of sympathy.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 7:40 PM
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72: I assume 70.1 was actually to 68.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 7:40 PM
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63: How unspeakably awful. Jesus.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 7:42 PM
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68: Halfway through "The Pussification of the American Male", I see that the themes are remarkably similar to something I read in the Women's Magazines 1040-1960 anthology that I mentioned in a previous thread, to wit, one "Are American Moms a Menace?" (Ladies Home Journal, November 1945).


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 7:45 PM
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with the exception of 2 or 3 schools who have a "tenure track" but don't actually give tenure, my impression is that it's much easier to get tenure than it is to get a tenure-track job

Yeah, and as I said above, the people I know in those situations knew all along that their jobs are probably temporary and don't seem horribly stressed about it. (Though maybe they're secretly writing anguished blog posts!)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 7:47 PM
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Oh geez. Yeah, 70.1 was to 68. And the anthology of women's magazines is from 1940-1960. Not 1040. Obviously.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 7:48 PM
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Not 1040.

That's really disappointing.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 7:50 PM
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78: It is.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 7:54 PM
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60:Sure. I just wanted to mark a date, plague and war and all. Could have used Aristophanes.

But I am not sure it matters, since I believe Periclean Athens may have been just as pessimistic. It was about a moment of glory, not the hope of lasting progress.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 7:55 PM
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to wit, one "Are American Moms a Menace?"

Ah yes, the menace of Momism. American culture has long held (I don't mean centuries-long, btw, but certainly decades and decades) a strange attitude toward motherhood: a curious mixture of icky sentimentality and venomous resentment.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 7:57 PM
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77: Ah, that makes more sense! I was afraid I'd said something wrong...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 8:10 PM
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Wow. That is horrifying. So sorry.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 8:17 PM
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Here you go: "Are American Moms a Menace?"

Choice passage:

Shit. How do you make the grabby hand symbol turn into a straight vertical bar that allows you to cut and paste? I want to quote you a section from page 112.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 8:21 PM
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84: If you're trying to quote from Google Books, well, forget it. You can't since GB uses flash to disable that kind of quoting. There's one way to get the text and that's to screen capture and then run the capture through OCR software. That works to make quotable text. Or you can just screen capture and print if that suits you but that's about the only other way to get the text off of google and onto paper.

max
['And yet the publishers still hate google.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 8:38 PM
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I should have just said "Bob, you now sound like a crazy person," and left it at that.

Um, kinda goes without saying, right?

There is a lot of complaining about how overworked we are.

I ain't got much, but at least I don't work very hard for it.

Whatever happened to Kim DuToit, I wonder? Last I heard, conserva-blogging wasn't paying off like they hoped, the family was going bankrupt and Mrs. DuToit was begging for money for a family vacation to Europe. What a shame she didn't hang on until Obama's election. She could've gone full birthed and gone wherever she wished.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 8:41 PM
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I want to quote you a section from page 112.

I just skimmed 112, and halfway down the page was rewarded with a comparative ethnography (of a "national character" flavour, of course, which maybe doesn't [or shouldn't!] count as "ethnography") of maternal versus paternal influence. The Irish, and Catholics in general, worship mothers (reverence for the Virgin Mary is cited), whereas the Protestant nations favour paternal domination (this seems to be the preferred model, though there's an admission that the Germans under Nazism got a little carried away with the paternal principle).

I miss Emerson. He loves this shit.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 8:42 PM
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85: Okay. I'd begun to figure out that it couldn't be done, for a reason. Understood.

The publishers still hate google for a reason too. You know.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 8:42 PM
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I'll see your "Are American Moms a Menace?" and raise you a Generation of Vipers.

Wylie was a strange dude. Wanted to be remembered for his critique of "Momism," and is now remembered (if at all) as the co-author of When Worlds Collide. (Great movie, btw. Love it.)


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 8:49 PM
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rewarded with a comparative ethnography

Yes, that's it. The "Japs", the Chinese, and the Italians are mentioned as well. The latter are deemed quite failures to the extent that they became 'pathetically' confused with respect to their mothers and their fathers.

Interesting stuff. The whole article is interesting.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 8:50 PM
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Huge condolences, author of 63. That's terrible.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 9:13 PM
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My sympathies to the neighbors of 63 (and 63 himself or herself). Thinking about denouncing Mom as peril to nation is obviously more fun than thinking about dead kids.

89.2 - I think of him as the author of Gladiator, a fascinatingly dark little book. (Shorter version: Ubermensch can't end WWI, fix capitalism, clean up Washington, or even get the girl; in the end God puts him out of his misery.)


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 9:36 PM
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||

Krugman previews his column with a video of Al Jolson singing "Brother Can You Spare a Dime." I didn't like it.

So I have been checking out other versions. Vallee, Patinkin, George Michael (hilarious), Waits, Waits & Odetta. Can't remember if Boz Scaggs "Loan me a Dime" is the same song, but that may be Duane Allman's very best solo. I'm serious.

But I still like Spanky MacFarland

Here's the Duane solo. I must have been stoned.

"Loan Me a Dime" is a Fenton Robinson song. Hope people have heard him, one of my favorites.

PS:Everything's gonna be all right, heebie.

See, I have an intermittent grip on reality. What is this about, kindness? Kindness is sanity, like truth beauty? Whatever.

|>


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 10:07 PM
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I also try to avoid using personal tragedies to score political or debating points.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 10:20 PM
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Fenton Robinson

On the very first mix I ever posted here.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 10:46 PM
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I'm only going presidential (or prime ministerial, I guess I should say) out of an entirely irrational fear that my mother might find this thread (which she never would; God, she can barely manage to forward an email; though, on the other hand, she sometimes does send me annoying "pray for this, or die" chain letters: "Mum, don't make me put a block sender on your account!" is what I tell her, but to no avail, because she knows I'm not really serious, of course).

My mum was recently (less than a week ago, as a matter of fact) diagnosed with stage iv breast cancer, which has metastasized to the bone. Well, fucketty.

(Bob, it's all very well to indulge in Nietzschean fantasies of apocalyptic proportion when you're commenting on a weblog, but sometimes the people reading your comment are actually contemplating the imminent demise of a loved one, in which case, that nihilistic routine gets a bit stale, you know? Not that you could/should be expected to anticipate all possible responses to a comment, but just to say, yeah?).

Now, I'm not exactly an ardent admirer of Christopher Hitchens, but I do appreciate his rhetorical abilities. He's a polemicist, and highly skilled in his craft, I think; but I also think he is often wrong (especially about Iraq, and etc.). But that's not what I hold against him, actually. What bothers me about "Hitch" is that he doesn't fight fair (he's often quite outrageously selective and one-sided, but he quotes from the canon, and people are cowed by that); and what irks me is that he hides a multitude of sins under cover of his charming Oxbridge accent (Americans love to be told that they're a bunch of unwashed barbarians by European sophisticates with interesting accents, though they complain about this too [and not without good reason, of course]).

But anyway, this morning I read Hitchens' "Topic of Cancer" article in Vanity Fair, and it just struck such a nerve. Say what you will about the man (and I've probably said it too), but he really can write. What he says about being transported from the old domicile to the country of the sick is really quite poignant.

Like I said to one my sisters less than a week ago: "Our mum's just boarded the Cancer Train." That's a one-way ticket, more often than not.

(Apparently there are now all sorts of Christian groups praying for Hitch, and especially praying for a dramatic deathbed conversion. Like he was David Hume, or something. God, the world is crazy, and also the people in it).


Posted by: Zoé Lafontaine, épouse de Wilfrid Laurier | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 10:57 PM
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Zoé, I am so, so sorry to hear it. Serious illness is definitely a rollercoaster, at least as much for the family as for the patient. My thoughts are with you.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 11:09 PM
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||

Woman Rebel ...this weeks HBO Doc

"My name is Silu. I am a Brigade Commander in the Maoist Nepalese People's Liberation Army."

Bob, it's all very well to indulge in Nietzschean fantasies of apocalyptic proportion when you're commenting on a weblog

Only in America would most of my schtick be considered "Nietschean fantasies of apocalyptic proportion".

Only in America could the President assist the oil companies in covering up an environmental catastrophe the will cause cancer and birth defects for generations now with no provable source, and still be considered a great guy and President. Only in America would even mentioning this fact be considered "doom and gloom" from a negative nutcase.

Fuck, we elected motherfucking Harry Lime. Yeah, I feel apocalyptic.

|>


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 11:54 PM
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96: Sorry about your mother, Zoé. It't not going to be a fun time. Don't forget to take care of yourself too, eating and sleeping are still necessary IMX.

As for Hitchens, I'm not impressed. I knew and know too many people who've faced fates as scary as his. Some lived and some died, but none of them employed lame metaphors.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 08-26-10 11:56 PM
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So, heebie, go on and go to that all-you-can-eat Gulf Shrimp dinner. Carol Browner & Obama say microbes ate all the oil and dispersants and it's ok fine.

Are they the good guys for being positive, and I am the bad guy for for being worried?

Emerson showed up at Thoma's tonight. All you people who miss him seem to forget why he left.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 12:17 AM
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Was it because he doesn't like shrimp?


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 12:49 AM
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99. So sorry to hear that Zoé. My mother died of metastatic breast cancer too. There are things (drugs, mainly) that can be done to make it a lot less unpleasant and to offer pretty decent quality of life. There's not much can be done to arrest it. Make sure she gets the best treatment she can and enjoys the time she has.

Biohazard, I agree entirely re. Hitchens personally, but if his stuff helps a few people, then, you know, rock on.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 1:07 AM
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re: 99

Yes, very sorry to hear that Zoé. Seconding everything chris says.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 1:59 AM
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I read about academic doctors where the culture is definitely work really hard, but there's also a "play hard" to unwind motto too.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 5:04 AM
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Now I feel like an idiot for posting 104 without reading to the end.

11 and 37: This is all too true and depresses me no end.

I stayed at the hospital ER for several hours last night with someone who has a dual diagnosis (major mental illness plus substance abuse).

She wanted a place in a crisis unit instead of on a locked ward, and there was a huge infrastructure problem in that there aren't enough beds, but someone told the site manager that there were. Then I was supposed to tell them who approved it, because only X and Y can approve it. I spoke to X who wanted me to follow up so that he could adequately train the person.

Then I had to get her home, and the hospital no longer has cab vouchers from the ED. (None of the people I report to knew this.) Even though she lives in a 24-hour group home, they only have one staff person there overnight, so nobody could pick her up. The housing person thought that there would be petty cash to pay for a cab ride on the other end, but the overnight person said he had no access to petty cash. So I had to prepay the cab driver and get a receipt. I took a $35 cab ride home at 9:30 which I doubt will be reimbursed.

But let me just mention, that this particular group home is a actually a set of a lot of apartments, and our group program only occupies the upper part of the building and that the ground floor/ basement portion has some kind of drug operation. (Two of the residents got into an argument about whether it was actually a crack house or just a smoking den. I have no idea what the difference is, but it sucks either way.)


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 5:28 AM
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All my sympathies to Zoe and to the poster of 63.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 5:31 AM
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The Deepwater Horizon spill ended up being ~25% larger than Ixtoc in 1979. This article from the NO Times-Picayune comparing the two is worth a read (it was from early July when the new one was still a bit smaller than Ixtoc). There were a number of severe immediate impacts, but by most measures things recovered relatively rapidly.The main differences seem to be 1) the unknown impact of greater use of dispersants in Deepwater Horizon and 2) Ixtoc's location (just west of Yucatan) where currents caused the oil to not hit areas as environmentally sensitive as the marshy Mississippi delta area in Louisiana (map here).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 6:47 AM
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102: if his stuff helps a few people, then, you know, rock on.

Agreed. My likes and dislikes are almost always non-prescriptive, I'm very much into indifference about what other folk do as long as I don't have to compensate for their actions.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 8:33 AM
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Only in America could the President assist the oil companies in covering up an environmental catastrophe the will cause cancer and birth defects for generations now with no provable source, and still be considered a great guy and President.

Doesn't that happen in every country outside Northern Europe?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 8:46 AM
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Let me say this for Bob: his support of children's rights has made me think seriously over the last few years. It's not as though it's given me a blueprint to follow, exactly, but the principle has certainly resonated.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 9:13 AM
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Doesn't that happen in every country outside Northern Europe?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 9:20 AM
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Doesn't that happen in every country outside Northern Europe?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 9:21 AM
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If you define Northern Europe narrowly enough, it's mostly monarchies, so the conniving is done by the Finance Minister or the Trade Minister. Doesn't mean it's not done.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 9:27 AM
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The thing is, if you are a very accomplished masturbator, there are very few venues where you can brag about it.

There's always the pages of The Onion.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-29-10 3:29 AM
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