Re: On The Veldt, The Most Reproductively Successful Cougars Dug Swimming Pools To Attract Virile Young Men To Father Their Children And Bring Them Drinks With Little Umbrellas

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I don't know how they do things in fancy-pants New York, but here in the heartland, our URLs begin with "http", not "ttp".


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 7:37 PM
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Any more lip like that out of you, young man, and I'll reconsider allowing you to fertilize my increasingly intellectual eggs.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 7:40 PM
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Actually, Walt, in the heartland URLs can begin with a number of different protocol schemes, including "http", "ftp", "file", and even "gopher".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 7:43 PM
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Yay!!!


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 7:44 PM
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4 to 3?


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 7:49 PM
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I guess this bodes well for the kids.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 7:50 PM
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"Mrs. Robinson, are you trying to seduce me?"

"Our children won't ask such dumb questions."


Posted by: Cosma | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 7:50 PM
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Also: have you broken the news to Buck?


Posted by: Cosma | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 7:50 PM
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In the real heartland people still use the "varmint" scheme, but support for it is increasingly rare.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 7:51 PM
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The actual paper .


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 7:54 PM
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I object to the term "cougar."

Nevertheless, carry on.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 7:54 PM
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11: really? Why?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 7:59 PM
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11: really? Why?Rowr.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 8:07 PM
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Wow, you still read Alas, A Blog? I read it very consistently and then stopped entirely. Probably took a breather during the whole "Barry sells porn" thing and never came back.

I used to read Hugo, too. God bless earnestly feminist men trying to work it out, but I had my fill.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 8:12 PM
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I read Hugo a lot during grade and middle school, so much that my copy of Les Miserables had to be held together by ever increasing and ever more complex applications of tape. And since then, not at all.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 8:14 PM
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I check in on it occasionally. I'd forgotten Hugo -- I should see how he and the chinchillas are doing. There's a man who seems clearly (a) to mean well, and (b) to be from some other planet.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 8:15 PM
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15 is making me laugh.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 8:23 PM
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I have been told that 'varmint' was a LC subject heading, but my mother was too young for me to do more than guess that it's been replaced by 'rangeland management'.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 8:24 PM
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17: it's all true, too.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 8:25 PM
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Or it's still a hot subject; says so in the URL...


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 8:26 PM
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18: LC subject headings are so ridiculous. "Education, Effect of Technological Innovation on." Sure, it's descriptive, but who's going to search on those parameters?

(/sidebar)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 8:29 PM
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This is interesting:

... The development of the germ cell differs between human males and females--there are many more germline cell divisions in the life history of a sperm relative to that of an oocyte [2]. In the female there are 22 mitotic cell divisions that occur in utero. In contrast, after puberty, progenitor sperm stem cells undergo mitotic cell division once every 16 d. By age 20 the progenitor sperm cells have undergone approximately 150 cell divisions. By age 50 this number is 840. Thus, the chance of copy error mutations increases with age in males more dramatically than for females.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 8:39 PM
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21: I think the principles of LC cataloging developed before keyword searching was really possible (but maybe they've been revised). In that world, the subject headings simply were the parameters you could search by (along with title, author, etc.). I'm just guessing here. I find their subject headings often too precise, but there's a long history to why they chose to do them that way. Maybe I'll know in a year or two.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 8:51 PM
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Okay, no more lip. When does the fertilization begin?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 8:51 PM
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I swear to God, I thought that I must have dreamed the Alas A Blog porn thing, since it never made any sense, and I never heard anyone mention it again.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 8:54 PM
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Weird. The plots I get to from following a few links from Shearer's link show a smooth decline in IQ as the father's age goes from 15 to 30-ish, then look pretty flat above that, maybe even rising a bit as the father passes 50. That seems... strange.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 9:01 PM
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23: That's right. The headings are established now, indeed encoded via MARC code (and/or whatever goes hand in hand with that), and aren't suited to keyword searches. You would know in a year or two because?

The Exlibris list out of Stanford is my main avenue to hearing about any morphing that goes on in that realm, but it's not really the main interest of those guys.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 9:03 PM
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But hey, at least we understand what Mary Kay Letourneau was after now.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 9:03 PM
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27: I meant I might know the history in a year or two. From library school.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 9:06 PM
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From library school.

I figured, but didn't want to presume. You will learn all about the transformation of the medium of information. Cool.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 9:10 PM
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The plots I get to from following a few links from Shearer's link show a smooth decline in IQ as the father's age goes from 15 to 30-ish,

If your dad is 15, you've got to figure a lot of shit out for yourself.

Seriously, there's so much social background stuff going on here...do you spend more time with your mother if your dad is young? Is your dad more engaged with you in activities and more easily able to communicate with you when you're closer in age? (A legit age effect but not biological).


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 9:11 PM
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But did intelligence mean reproductive fitness, on the veldt? Or was it selected against?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 9:13 PM
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31: They say "Adjusted for Other Parent's age, Mother's Race, Gestational Age, and Child Gender, Socioeconomic Index, Marital Status, and Maternal and Paternal Mental Illness". So... yeah, looks like there's still room for lots of different non-biological things to explain this.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 9:20 PM
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31 is cracking me up, over here.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 9:21 PM
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23, 27: Which is why there must be cross-referencing! And random extra 650 fields! And cataloging librarians should be forced induced incentivized encouraged to do one shift a week on the floor of a public library helping people who don't think linearly to find what they need.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 9:24 PM
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Is your dad more engaged with you in activities and more easily able to communicate with you when you're closer in age? (A legit age effect but not biological).

"not biological"? Not genetic or epigenetic, but that sounds like it could be described as a "biological" factor, potentially true in most or all human societies, and other species as well.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 9:29 PM
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Okay, I've screwed up multiple times by forgetting that tags automatically end at the end of every paragraph and thus failing to italicize the multiple paragraphs I intended to quote. And now in 36, somehow I screw up by NOT ending an italics tag?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 9:31 PM
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Next time I'm slow to understand something, I'll explain that it's not my fault, my dad was almost 30 when I was born.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 9:33 PM
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37: How old were your parents, specifically, when you were conceived?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 9:33 PM
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39: 32.5, on average.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 9:35 PM
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I suppose I ought to have asked the age of each parent. I suck at this new science.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 9:38 PM
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(Thanks to Shearer for linking the original paper):

For instance, the average difference in IQ between the offspring of a father aged 20 and a father aged 50 decreases from six points to three points after adjustment for socio-economic factors.

OK, call me unimpressed. A 6-point difference in IQ is utterly meaningless as far as I'm concerned, let alone 3 points.

I don't want to throw the baby out with the bathwater here, and certainly the past research I've seen on schizophrenia suggests that paternal age has very real influence on children's health, but if this is the most significant result they've got on this question, I'd say they haven't got a story.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 9:39 PM
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35: Nobody here wants to talk about cataloguing, really, but I feel compelled to note that cataloguing librarians don't have much freedom, and it doesn't matter how much they know about how people actually search.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 9:49 PM
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Those of you with 15-20 year old daughters already should strive to engender sons right now, and then marry them off to each other's daughters in about 15 years.

One people which historically did often marry younger men to older women was the Mongols. Men were regarded as adult at 15, and a young man's first (and main) often would be an older widow.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 9:55 PM
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I feel compelled to note that cataloguing librarians don't have much freedom

Fair point, although it's somewhat contextual. I had quite a lot of discretion when I was doing it, and I was a teenager at the time. It was for a pretty good sized system, too, so we're not talking Podunk Public Library.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 9:56 PM
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44: Those couples only have smart babies because they steal them.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 9:57 PM
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The Podunk Public Library is nothing to sneeze at, considering the size of the town.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 9:59 PM
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That link in 46 is sad.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 10:03 PM
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If you think that's a sad Pittsburgh-related baby-stealing story, you won't want to search for the name "Andrea Curry-Demus".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 10:08 PM
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I would guess that older mothers are going to have larger IQs since many of them have delayed childbirth for things like education. That is probably true for older fathers as well; it is possible that the sperm damage of the older fathers is even greater than this paper would otherwise suggest.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 10:27 PM
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49: I paid some attention to that story, but never could have come up with the name. Super-awful.

46: You know, I saw a picture of her and thought that she didn't look much like a baseball player's wife; being 2.3X the age of the ballplayer in question can do that.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 10:28 PM
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45: An outrage! A mere slip of a girl given a free hand to catalog books whichever way she pleased. This would not happen in a well-regulated state.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 10:29 PM
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45: People can still catalogue books with free space to make additional remarks, cross-references, and so on, in their local systems. Their additional remarks will often not, though, be incorporated into the more universal body of codified information about a given book. Oh, well.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 10:35 PM
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Some comments.

39% of the mothers were black suggesting the original sample was far from random.

The IQ tests were given at 8 months, 4 years and 7 years. It is my understanding that IQ tests at 8 months are a joke, at 4 years are dubious and even at 7 years are a bit shaky.

If a mother had multiple children one was chosen at random. This will over sample children from small families. In general the statistics used in the paper seem complicated and easy to foul up.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 10:57 PM
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54 is correct. Also I am befuddled by the fact that despite correcting for parents' socioeconomic status, they didn't not correct for parents' level of education or whether the parents work part-time, full-time or not at all.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 11:02 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 11:15 PM
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Luckily my wife was even older than I was when our son was born, so he didn't turn out to be stupid.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 12:13 AM
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NPH might as well win the thread.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 12:25 AM
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My MA roommates and I had many, many "themed" parties, the point of which was to get our friends from various parts of our lives to hook up with each other. One that we planned but never had a chance to throw was "Old Ladies and Pool Boys." In a non-gender-specific way, each guest would choose either to be an OL or a PB. The former would mostly stay put during the party, and the latter would ferry drinks to them. Oddly, when we discussed it, all our friends said they wanted to be Pool Boys. We didn't have enough Old Ladies to run the thing.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 3:09 AM
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So, before I read the article and actually do some critical thinking, I can be all smug about the fact that I'm 3 years older than the guy I'm dating.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 5:23 AM
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My mother was 36 when I was born. My father was 32. I think this is a counterexample.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 5:31 AM
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The NY Magazine article doesn't seem to take itself too seriously, at least, unlike a bunch of the evolutionary psychologists.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 5:35 AM
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"not biological"? Not genetic or epigenetic, but that sounds like it could be described as a "biological" factor, potentially true in most or all human societies, and other species as well.

Yes! I'm kind of uncomfortable with describing this as 'not biological' as distinct from 'not genetic'. We are biological creatures. Of course culture, the environment, nutrition and the rest affect the development of our brains, but that's still a biological process.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 5:40 AM
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Yeah, there's a particular crypto-Dawkinsian school of thought that reduces everything to a false dichotomy between selection at single alleles [biology] and everything else [airy fairy sociological stuff and humanities badness].


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 5:43 AM
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64. Trying hard to be fair to Dawkins, I don't think he'd actually defend the extreme dichotomy you present there, although he has plenty of acolytes who probably would.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 5:50 AM
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re: 65

Actually, he certainly used to take a fairly hard line on that. I'm sure he accepts that non-genetic stuff is going on in biology -- vis his own writings on 'memes' to take one example -- but his presentation of it in the Selfish Gene is a lot less nuanced than William's original presentation in Adaptation and Natural Selection. Although perhaps more nuanced than some of his acolytes, yeah.

Where's nworB werdnA when you need him?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 5:56 AM
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66: I've generally given him the benefit of the doubt that his monomania was a purposeful rhetorical stance in The Selfish Gene, almost a provocative bit of ogged-type trolling. His talks and much of his other writing are generally more nuanced.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 6:27 AM
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re: 67

Yeah, possibly. Perhaps he felt it was necessary to counter what he saw as common errors.

There's quite a lot in the Selfish Gene that's fairly pernicious, I think. A lot of 'nature red in tooth and claw' rhetoric.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 6:33 AM
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Comments like 42 and 54 aren't helpful to me. Having finished my reproducing for this lifetime, my main interest in studies like these is to look for further confirming evidence that my children are brilliant. Both Molly and I were in our thirties, so what we need people to do is undermine the claim that older fathers are bad while supporting the claim that older mothers are good. Can you people do that? Remember that the evidence we need can just be specific to our demographic group--educated whites, or whatever.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 6:52 AM
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69: Better yet, studies that help us internalize that intelligence in children (and adults) ain't all that it's cracked up to be.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 6:56 AM
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70: How about the fact that with 15 minutes of motivational priming, you can induce about a 7* point difference in measured IQ between right- and left- handed students? (And of course you can flip which handedness seems smarter by changing the priming.)

*: really, 1/2 standard deviation, which comes to 7.5 points on the usual IQ scale.


Posted by: Cosma | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 7:38 AM
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my 2 yo niece is so smart she chooses and watches youtube cartoons herself, she talks a lot explaining them and her books and toys, sings along watching the cartoons, she's very quick with catching new words even from Russian and asks its meaning
i'm not sure about IQ tests for 8 mo babies, but for 2 yo she would score very high and i think it could be objectively measurable for 4-7 yo kids


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 8:00 AM
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their meanings


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 8:48 AM
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64--68: If I recall correctly, in The Extended Phenotype Dawkins explicitly rejects conflating "biological explanation" with "genetic explanation".


Posted by: Cosma | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 8:53 AM
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Dawkin's "meme" idea explicitly separates cultural from biological evolution. That was the purpose. What he did was try to analyze social evolution atomistically and to an extent, reductionistically, with memes playing the role of genes. That was less successful, but to my mind it's still worth working on.

But anyway, he absolutely wasn't reducing nature to culture.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 9:59 AM
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Speaking of developing IQ in children, how do you politely tell your carpenter that teaching children the alphabet, how to write their name, and so on is not 1) solely the school's job and 2) keeping up with the Joneses, but 3) an essential part of your parenting duties and their development?

My solution was: you don't.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 10:04 AM
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I wonder if this is why Rory insists on remaining an only child -- she knows that the older I get, the greater the advantage her potential sibling would have in the which-kid-is-smarter competition.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 10:04 AM
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Try to prevent her from plunging her fangs into her competitor's throat, if she gets one. back on the veldt, you know.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 10:06 AM
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76: I feel like an essential part of this story is missing.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 10:07 AM
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re: 75

Yeah, I know. It's the reduction of biological evolution to selection at a single genetic locus that's the problematically reductive bit.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 10:08 AM
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76: There's this commercial that comes on now and again for some system to teach babies how to read. Rory rather vocally objects to it every time, that it's just parents trying to show off and that even if babies could read at 2, sitting around doing reading flashcards just means they don't learn how to have fun. Every time I think, "Oh man, I really have to get her to watch Parenthood -- she'll love it." And then I remember the scenes with the vibrator and the dirty pictures and think, "Maybe not just yet."


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 10:08 AM
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76: Depending on the carpenter in question, and if you actually have some interest in affecting his parenting behavior, have you thought of the conspiratorial approach: "That's how THEY get over on people like you and me -- they set up the schools so that THEIR kids know (the alphabet, how to write their name) already when they get there, and so the teachers know who to treat like the smart kids. It's all a big fix, unless you get ahead of them by making sure your kid is one of the ones the teachers are going to think is one of THEIR kids, but doing all that bullshit yourself." This is a coarser way of putting it then I'd do for real, but you get the idea.

I've done versions of this trying to persuade witnesses who were trying to strategize with me about what lies they should tell under oath to tell the truth: "You know what'll really drive them crazy? If everything you say at the deposition is absolutely literally true. They'll go nuts trying to figure out what you're trying to pull." It worked okay.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 10:10 AM
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82 is awesome. God-willing, I shall never, ever be up against you in litigation. Clearly, you mother was much older than mine, and your father much younger.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 10:13 AM
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79: The story is more or less as I told it. I was chatting to my carpenter, and he mentioned his adopted kids and the harassment he was getting from the social workers to perform the above mentioned tasks.

82: I love it. I don't know if I could pull it off, but I love it.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 10:16 AM
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Eh, by the time you've got the kind of client who doesn't spontaneously grasp why telling the truth under oath is a good idea, you're in enough trouble that being able to wheedle them out of lying doesn't help much.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 10:17 AM
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On the "kids having fun" theme, we were discussing Huckleberry Finn awhile back and I theorized that one of its universal themes was "loosely supervised kids who don't have to work much" -- an actuality in many places in the worl.

I got to thinking about the fun things kids do which are genuinely dangerous. Then I asked myself how high a death rate would be acceptable if it was the price of kids having lots of fun during the ages 2-16 or so. I never fixed on a number, but it would have been high. Better 99 sixteen year olds with happy memories (plus one dead one) than 100 sixteen year olds with memories only of tightass rules. 98? 97? I wouldn't go too far down the slippery slope.

I actually succeeded in reversing the nanny-state argument, because the nanny state is cool with me. Tobacco, seatbelts, obesity, drunk driving -- state concerns. Kids having too much fun -- not a state concern.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 10:17 AM
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Eh, by the time you've got the kind of client who doesn't spontaneously grasp why telling the truth under oath is a good idea, you're in enough trouble that being able to wheedle them out of lying doesn't help much.

Doesn't this mean you have a client who assumes that everyone else in the courtroom is going to be lying and he needs to be able to compete?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 10:20 AM
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Parenthood ... And then I remember the scenes with the vibrator and the dirty pictures and think, "Maybe not just yet."

My most uncomfortable movie-watching experience evar was watching Parenthood on video with my mom and brother when I was about 13. We were stuffing envelopes for my dad's campaign, so there was no escape.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 10:23 AM
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87: IME lying is more about personality type than about the rights or wrongs of the case, or any specific advantage to get from the particular lie -- the most maddening thing is when your client is right, and would be fine if they told the truth, but is also innately a crook who can't tell you the time of day straight. Liars are the ones who are always trying to get over, to have a clever angle on everything, and they'll do it whether it's necessary or not.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 10:24 AM
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86: I'm mostly in agreement here. I don't see wearing a seat belt, for example, as a significant dent in freedom. On the other hand, I'd like to have a better play area in the local park. It used to have parallel bars, monkey bars, etc. A couple of years ago that was all condemned as unsafe, and replaced with equipment that offers much fewer opportunities for kids to develop their strength, coordination, and so on. (Basically, swings and slides.) This is, I feel, a substantial loss and I expect there is weak or no data to support it.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 10:26 AM
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One supremely happy sixteen year old remembering all the cool adventures he's survived, and all his cool dead friends? Too few.

A hundred depressed survivors of a fascist safety regime? Too many.

We've established the extremes now, we just need to work in both directions toward the optimum.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 10:29 AM
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84: Well, everybody else seems to have grasped that this was about the carpenter's parenting, not about the carpenter inexplicably trying to interfere with your parenting.....but, then, my dad was kind of old when I was concieved, so what do you expect....


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 10:30 AM
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86: Speaking of Huck Finn... Rory is currently reading The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and opined this morning that Huck Finn had some parts that probably aren't appropriate for younger kids. (She hasn't read it yet -- apparently for fear that it's not "appropriate." Which is pretty funny, given that she watches House with me weekly.)

Of course, I told her she had my permission to read just about any book she wanted, frankly, butt also that I couldn't imagine for the life of me what anyone would consider inappropriate about Huck Finn. Of course, I know it is also a perennial favorite on Banned Books lists -- WHY???


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 10:34 AM
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Death and slavery and violence? It's a pretty rough book. I'd let my kids read it as soon as they were interested, but there's certainly stuff in there.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 10:37 AM
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"Nigger. "


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 10:38 AM
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Of course, I know it is also a perennial favorite on Banned Books lists -- WHY???

Its unflinching and even approving portrayal of akrasia, probably.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 10:38 AM
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95: Many contemporary versions just omit the word. There are some worries about the portrayal of Jim (sort of a lovable buffoon.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 10:40 AM
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Many contemporary versions just omit the word.

No shit? That's bizarre.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 10:41 AM
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99

Ah. I guess I forgot that 95 was in there. 94... The school had her reading up on the Holocaust in 2nd grade, so by comparison, Huck Finn seems terribly tame.

And re: 86. Earlier this year, the school changed the playground rules to prohibit "tricks" on the monkey bars (i.e., skipping bars, spinning, etc.). There were some irate 4th graders, I'll tell you.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 10:45 AM
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David Markson reports a bowdlerization of Macbeth that replaced the lines "The Devil damn thee black, thou cream-fac'd loon! / Where got'st thou that goose-look?" with "Now friend, what means thy change of countenance?".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 10:48 AM
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I remember being afraid of Huck's dad, what with the death threats, etc.

Also the phrase "fish-belly white" describing his face.

I should say that the high-mortality childraising I decribed is favored by country folk and many conservatives and Christians, and not just me.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 10:48 AM
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I've got some sympathies with the more risk/more fun/higher acceptable death-toll parenting, but I'm not sure what sort of mortality rates I'd find acceptable in practice.

And one thing about Huck Finn is that it's probably very susceptible to naive reading -- I can see a little kid enjoying it a great deal, and simply missing most of the heavy stuff. (Come to think of it, I don't know if I've read it since I was a teenager. I should give it a shot again.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 10:52 AM
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I haven't read it in a while, but it's a book that rewards being mature enough to understand the "all right then, I'll go to hell" passage. But it's a great adventure in any case.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 10:54 AM
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the most maddening thing is when your client is right, and would be fine if they told the truth, but is also innately a crook who can't tell you the time of day straight. Liars are the ones who are always trying to get over, to have a clever angle on everything, and they'll do it whether it's necessary or not.

Hey, stop talking about my clients!

[Disclaimer: humor; if you are opposing counsel, I invoke the blog-commenting privilege]


Posted by: Idealist | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 10:58 AM
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This is one of the lovely things about no longer being in private practice. My current institutional clients don't run to the kind of weasels I used to work for.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 11:00 AM
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A friend of mine worked for a few years doing street-level law in a rural depressed area, and he got tired of his clients lying to him and the court while the other client and his lawyer lied to each other and the court. He didn't accuse any judges of lying that I mentioned. Anyway, he burned out.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 11:01 AM
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clients don't run to the kind of weasels I used to work for.

Gee, thanks for calling me a weasel. And most of our clients take the subway, not run.


Posted by: Idealist | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 11:03 AM
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81: I find Parenthood an interesting case, because I think it is a great movie and has so very much that kids can relate to, but then it does pop in the few little "mature" aspects. I know we watched with some subset of the kids at a relatively early age* (they may have been mortified, I don't know), and in this case I think it is worth it. In fact, it provides a good context to answer questions about something like a vibrator.

*It probably seems like (or is) more of a parental-controlled thing for a single child. With any age spread the youngest gets an early exposure through the others. I would not want to admit in public at what age my youngest surprised me by listing Dogma as his favorite movie (I had no idea he had even seen it.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 11:03 AM
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107: You've never been my client. (And I never worked for you. With, not for. You didn't make partner until well after I left.) So no weasling implied.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 11:05 AM
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Wow...I'd never heard of this "Parenthood" movie before. It has such a generic title, I guess I just didn't notice references to it. Weird.

(And I never worked for you. With, not for. You didn't make partner until well after I left.)

So, he wasn't one of the specific weasels you actually worked for, but now he's the KIND of weasel you worked for.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 11:07 AM
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No, I was talking about weasly clients, not weasly partners. The sorts of bad things I say about law firm partners usually aren't limited to 'weasly'.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 11:09 AM
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But they do start with "weaselly", right?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 11:13 AM
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97 to 96.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 11:15 AM
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112: Only to those hidebound by conventional notions of spelling.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 11:17 AM
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I guess I forgot that 95 was in there.

I actually am rereading it right now (Thanks, Classics app on the iPhone!), and there's sort of an astonishing amount of 95 in there. I was expecting it, but it's damn near every other word. I mean, rightly so - Twain was working very hard at getting his characters' speech right - but it's a bit jarring.

Other surprising thing - how often Tom Sawyer comes up. My hazy impression was that HF is the adult sequel to the essentially childish TS, and so TS the character was nothing more than a jumping-off point for HF the book. But Huck is constantly thinking about Tom, even taking unnecessary risks because that's how Tom would have done. I expect that this is something that will change over the course of the book, but I'm already a decent chunk in, and it's still happening.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 11:19 AM
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91: Split the difference and call it 50/50.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 11:20 AM
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In fact, it provides a good context to answer questions about something like a vibrator.

Precisely the problem, what with the context in the movie being single mom with jackass ex-husband possessing the vibrator as a result of her being too busy, too burned etc., to get back out there and do some dating. What if, instead of "What does that thing do?" Rory makes the logical leap to, "Do you have one of those things?"

Let me tell you, open and honest communication suddenly seems overrated.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 11:22 AM
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102: Yeah, I think I need to re-read, too. The reference to Huck's dad in 101 reminded me that there's a scene in there describing DTs that I'd completely forgotten -- which could very well be a good jumping off point for discussing why we won't be taking our annual summer trip with my friend and her daughter this year...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 11:25 AM
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Is UNG's face fish-belly white? Because that would clinch the case against him.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 11:27 AM
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117: Good point. I obviously wasn't walking around in your shoes when I suggested it.

And thinking about it, I realize that it not so much movies with mature themes, but some which too closely correspond to specific "issues" that are present in our family (or especially in specific individuals in the family) that have been and continue to be sometimes uncomfortable to watch.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 11:32 AM
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And yet, it really is one of the best movies ever.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 11:37 AM
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There is a Dan Savage column about a mother/ daughter sex aid conversation which contains my favorite two-word phrase ever: Dildo fatwa.

Say it out loud a few times: "Dildo fatwa." It's just great.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 11:45 AM
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I said it out loud a few times, and now I'm singing it to the tune of "Junco Partner".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 11:46 AM
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86, 102 - Talking to my grandfather about going out to swim in filled in limestone quarries, hitchhiking to Chicago and having the run of a small Indiana town, I asked him if kids got hurt. He said yeah, they lost about one kid a year. Don't know how I feel about that tradeoff, but the memories sound lovely. And the quarries are AWESOME.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 11:53 AM
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OT: This is a heartbreaking article: http://www.salon.com/mwt/feature/2009/03/26/bauer_autism/index.html


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 11:56 AM
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And thinking about it, I realize that it not so much movies with mature themes, but some which too closely correspond to specific "issues" that are present in our family (or especially in specific individuals in the family) that have been and continue to be sometimes uncomfortable to watch.

Which is why Parents isn't permitted in our home.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 11:57 AM
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I swam in a quarry as a kid. It was fantastic.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 11:58 AM
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My friends and I ran around completely unsupervised from about age 7 on. No one died, but there were some close calls. Too many, thinking back on things--I think a little more supervision might have been worthwhile.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 11:59 AM
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I'm going to have to get out my rat-util calculator and cost out the proper rate of child deaths per year at various levels of fun.

Perhaps in a libertarian society excessively safe areas will be encouraged to get the stick out of their butts. Tax incentives might work.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 12:03 PM
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all our friends said they wanted to be Pool Boys. We didn't have enough Old Ladies to run the thing.

Me, me, me!! I want people to bring me drinks while I lounge. Also delicious snacks.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 12:05 PM
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I have a feeling more childhood freedom is the sort of thing that everyone thinks is a great idea unless they known someone who was killed or badly injured, or had enough close calls to scare them. Then it seems like maybe not such a good idea.

John, are you really convinced that a hundred depressed survivors of a fascist safety regime is "too many"? It sounds like just the right amount of survivors to me. The trick to avoiding fascism is getting the safety regime just tight enough that we can be reasonably confident we'll get our 100 survivors, and no tighter. I'm pretty sure you can do that (for some value of "reasonably confident") without creating 100 "depressed" children.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 12:06 PM
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Note that I don't think this means we need to take away the monkey bars.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 12:07 PM
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And of course, feeding your children spoiled cheese toughens them up.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 12:08 PM
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76: I feel like an essential part of this story is missing.

I feel like noting the parent's occupation is a non-essential part of this story and suggests class bias.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 12:16 PM
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131: So 99 healthy survivors and maybe one kid with a prosthetic leg? Especially with the ADA, that seems reasonable.

More seriously, Brock is probably right. Wasn't it just a couple weeks ago we were discussing that the childhood mortality rate has dropped massively over the past ~40 years? And 1965 wasn't exactly mid-19thC Hannibal, MO.

I suspect we've entered the era of diminishing returns, but only just. Helmets and soft surfaces are valuable, because head injuries are no joke. Taking away monkey bars gets into trying to avoid scrapes, bruises, and the occasional fracture - none of which are problematic (says the guy who's never broken a bone). It would probably be valuable to make explicit the policy goal that mortality reduction has a pretty low bar to clear for [liberty] cost/benefit, while mere harm reduction has a very high bar to clear (100 happy childhoods are worth 99 broken limbs)


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 12:17 PM
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134: Could be, but also lends color to the story. Could also work with barbers, neighbors, and doctors, although the last one would be surprising.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 12:18 PM
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I swam in a quarry as a kid. It was fantastic.

a. Talk of swimming in quarries always makes me think of Breaking Away.

b. M/tch and his high school and college friends used to do quite dangerous jumping into bits of the Colorado River full of big boulders.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 12:20 PM
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136: Anti-barberist.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 12:21 PM
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I'm sure Brock's point is the main one. People can be perfectly relaxed about the odd kid dying in the interests of everyone else having a more exciting childhood, as long as the one kid isn't theirs.

In diesem Wetter, in diesem Braus,
Nie hätt' ich gesendet die Kinder hinaus;
Man hat sie getragen hinaus,
Ich durfte nichts dazu sagen!


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 12:22 PM
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I actually broke my wrist falling from monkey bars as a kid. But I'm still in favor of them.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 12:28 PM
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In diesem Wetter, in diesem Braus,
Nie hätt' ich gesendet die Kinder hinaus;
Denn angesichts ihres Elends
Werfen die Kinder ihr unerträgliches Leben fort!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 12:29 PM
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I think John and others are forgetting the fungibility of fun.* Yes, monkey bars are fun, but so is digging vaguely edible weeds** up from the yard and insisting that your father cook and eat them.

____
*Another good phrase
** Specifically, onion grass.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 12:29 PM
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BETTER DROWNED THAN DUFFERS IF NOT DUFFERS WONT DROWN


Posted by: OPINIONATED COMMANDER WALKER RN | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 12:31 PM
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139: Well, and obviously, the progression has been that, with the conquering of childhood diseases, the odds of survival went up dramatically, at which point parental expectations shifted, and the demand began for survival rates approaching 100%. There's the wealth factor as well - society is wealthy enough to afford all these safety measures, and a kid's future economic value far exceeds the cost of new playground equipment and car seats and the rest - but I don't think that alone would do it, if 20% (or whatever) of kids died from disease no matter how carefully cosseted.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 12:35 PM
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143: I must buy these. I keep on forgetting them.

142: the fungibility of fun.*

What it comes down to, as a lazy, busy adult, is that safety of the level we insist on now requires either constant adult supervision or close confinement. A kid is being watched by an adult, indoors, or in a small yard. Unless you have an adult around with a lot of free time, our current safety requirements mean a lot of very shut-in kids between, say, seven and thirteen.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 12:35 PM
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142: Tried that once; very disappointing. There must be some way to make that stuff a decent ingredient.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 12:36 PM
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There are some wealthy countries that encourage semi-dangerous play. Some of the Scandinavian countries go in for big adventure playgrounds, and even in the UK there are tentative policy movies to provide more space for 'adventurous' or risky play.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 12:37 PM
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BETTER DROWNED THAN DUFFERS IF NOT DUFFERS WONT DROWN

xoxo


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 12:39 PM
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145.last: Super-true.

And of course we've discussed here before the class-based differences. Every child benefits from safer playgrounds, but it's mostly the UMC parents who insist on helmets and constant oversight. And it has a lot to do with harm-reduction, not survival - there's no realistic fear of death or incapacitation that keeps us from sending Iris to our park to play unsupervised, but Something Might Happen, and We Wouldn't Be There. Horrors!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 12:39 PM
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Kids did die now and then when I was growing up, and I still meet the father of a friend of my brother's who was killed pretty often. He was weepy for years and still gets that way. (The kid was killed in a classic Huckleberry Finn way, fishing for bullheads at the outlet).

So should we regard the father as a martyr of beautiful but costly fun, or as a victim of seemingly wonderful but really quite evil fun. I'm disinclined to ask him.

The high-risk parental demographic probably tends toward large families.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 12:41 PM
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I should start campaigning for a policy of allowing the kids to go alone to the park on our block to play -- Buck's more cautious than I am, and generally the more cautious parent should win these arguments, but they're nine and seven now, soon to be ten and eight, and they could use more time kicking around outside.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 12:43 PM
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a friend of my brother's who was killed pretty often

Your bother knew Kenny?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 12:43 PM
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By which I mean "the risk-tolerant parental demographic". And religious belief also makes that view easier.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 12:43 PM
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the father of a friend of my brother's who was killed pretty often.

That must have gotten really annoying after awhile.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 12:43 PM
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131 notwithstanding, it is a little worrisome to me that many kids aren't allowed to play alone at parks anymore. Parks are exactly the sort of safe spaces at which kids ought to be allowed just to go play. As opposed to, say, quarries, or railroad stations. That's broadly true for any park, but especially for the ones with all the fancy new "safe" playground equipment.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 12:45 PM
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generally the more cautious parent should win these arguments

Curious why?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 12:46 PM
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149.2: but Something Might Happen, and We Wouldn't Be There. Horrors!

Yes.
Broken arm while competing with Cup soccer team—OK.
Borken arm while hacking around with friends swinging on vines over a local ravine—Not OK.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 12:47 PM
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Aren't violent videogames the solution to this problem? The feeling of danger and adventure without any actual risk to the child.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 12:48 PM
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157: is this really an OK/Not OK situation, or is it just that you know a broken arm is about the worst thing that can realistically happen on a soccer field, whereas you'd worry that the broken arm from swinging over the local ravine could easily have been much worse?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 12:51 PM
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156: Lower stakes if you get it wrong? I dunno, it seems like a good rule of thumb. Not always, but generally.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 12:51 PM
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156: Because if the less cautious parent wins, the more cautious parent is wracked with anxiety the whole time and that's not going to foster good feelings between the more and less cautious parent.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 12:53 PM
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The best luck I've had with the onion grass is to fry the shit out of it with potatoes.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 12:54 PM
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This is a heartbreaking article

Christ. No kidding.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 12:56 PM
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159: Yeah, probably a lot of what you say. In fact, I grew up with a lot of swingable vines over ravines in a woods behind my house and they led to a lot of kid mayhem. Worst I saw personally was a broken ankle, but it culminated a few years after I had left the scene when a boy my younger sister's age died from complications to a head injury from a fall. (Somewhat similar to the Natasha Richardson thing, went home seemingly "OK", took a turn for the worse later and never recovered.)


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 12:58 PM
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Brock, people aren't worried that their kids will drown in a quarry or be run over by a train if they go to the park. They're worried that the bogey man one of those scary people you hear about on TV will make off with them.

How you address this is beyond me.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 12:58 PM
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165: Constant video monitoring of public spaces. Easy!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 1:04 PM
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What! Our privacy!!! Our human rights!!!!! The surveillance state!!!!1!!eleven!!


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 1:08 PM
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It is better if at least some responsible adults are at the park, yes, but that's true for lots of reasons other than just bogey men--to watch for injuries, and just to help avoid general lord-of-the-flies-style playground shenanigans. But most parks have adults loitering about, don't they?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 1:12 PM
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They're worried that the bogey man one of those scary people you hear about on TV will make off with them.

It would be interesting to know to what extent those scary stories on TV are exaggerated. One suspects that the odds of a kidnapping are actually pretty low.

There are increasing numbers of studies about the benefits -- cognitive and otherwise -- to kids of being able to run around outdoors on their own. That we should need studies in order to convince us of this is a sign of the times. And now I sound like Emerson.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 1:12 PM
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So anyway: how many rat orgasms is a dead ten-year old worth? This is not a simple problem.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 1:14 PM
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169: Yep. An easy way to check this is to try and remember coverage of a child abduction or stranger-murder. When one happens, it's nationwide news, and the last one I remember is Elizabeth Smart, which is years and years ago now.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 1:15 PM
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John Emerson is not one to shy away from the hard questions.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 1:15 PM
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Once we've got a good quantitative model, this will be easy-peasy.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 1:17 PM
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But most parks have adults loitering about, don't they?

QED.

About 10 years ago I read a thing which suggested that the rate of child abduction in Britain had been roughly constant for about 50 years. Take with as much salt as you like. But I firmly believe that the MSM use cases as excuses to create a moral panic on a far greater scale than they used to.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 1:18 PM
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re: 169

In the UK the risk of abduction or murder of children by strangers has remained more or less constant for decades. It's vanishingly unlikely. I've looked it up more than once when these discussions come up. These things are tragic when they happen, but they are so rare it's absurd.

Of course the risk of being knocked down on the way to school by one of the zillions of over-sized vehicles transporting kids to school has vastly increased.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 1:19 PM
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I presume OFE and I are referring to a similar news report.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 1:19 PM
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170: orgasms vary considerably in quality, so I don't think we've got a standard unit.

How cute was the ten-year old? Any siblings?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 1:20 PM
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162: So that it crisps? I think I threw it in towards the end of sauteeing something, and it skipped right past wilting into drying out and becoming inedibly tough.

Problems with our, personal park include: drug dealers/users, homeless guys living under bushes, dogs off leash (including ours), and cars short-cutting through (there's no legal motorized access at all. I blame cyclists, of course). Also, big basketball games with adults that leave me vaguely uneasy. Some of this last is probably flat-out racism, as I've never seen violence (maybe a few tense arguments) in the games, but they just don't give off the vibe that, if they saw a small child crumpled by the swings crying, they'd stop the game to check. The fact that they park their cars in the park doesn't incline me favorably.

So, to sum up, I have some rational reasons not to send Iris (turned 5 today!) there alone, but I strongly suspect I'm being unreasonable. Or would be, in another year or so. It's a great amenity, but its flaws cause me unease.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 1:22 PM
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orgasms vary considerably in quality

Moody's has given AAA ratings to my orgasm tranches. There's no way you can lose.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 1:22 PM
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Happy birthday, Iris.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 1:24 PM
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177: That's impossible. Without a standard unit, we have no science. That was the whole point of the rat-orgasm.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 1:27 PM
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Actually, that report, iirc, was referring to rates of child murder by strangers. According to wiki that's been more or less constant (in the UK) for 28 years. Killing of children by strangers in the UK has been approximately 11 per year, according to the NSPCC.

According to the Home Office in 2002/2003 there were 846 attempted abductions of children in the UK. Of those there were around 68 successful abductions of children by strangers.

So, 68 abductions, 11 murders. There are approximately 12 million children in the UK if anyone wants to do the stats.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 1:27 PM
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178: I think Iris might be a bit young yet for unsupervised play outdoors. (Happy Birthday.) More like 7 or 8? 5 might be okay with an older sibling, but not alone.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 1:27 PM
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I thought onion grass was chives (sometimes old, tough, bolted chives). Have I been wrong all along?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 1:28 PM
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178: I wouldn't sweat the ball game (that is, not a positive, if you don't think they'd notice a problem, but not a negative), but the dogs off leash, homeless guys, and cars are an issue. And five is young. (Actually, I'm not sure why I'm saying dogs are a problem -- there are loads of dogs off leash in our park, and that gives me no pause at all. But I trust our local dog-owner culture more than it sounds like you do yours.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 1:31 PM
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184: It's pretty close, but not exactly garden chives.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 1:33 PM
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175: Of course the risk of being knocked down on the way to school by one of the zillions of over-sized vehicles transporting kids to school has vastly increased.

As someone who was hit by a car (hit and run) in 1st grade, I'm more sensitive to this than I am to the laxity my parents exhibited in letting me ride my bike in the woods with my friends for hours on end every day. Accompanied by endless warnings about bad men in the woods, mind, but still.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 1:36 PM
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I'm not sure why I'm saying dogs are a problem

Because it only takes one dog owner like this.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 1:47 PM
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But I trust our local dog-owner culture more than it sounds like you do yours.

Some of my best friends are local dog-owners (literally true), but it's just one of those things - there's no question that dogs fierce enough to maul Iris are present sometimes in the park, and dogs can't always be controlled, and Iris is too slight to intimidate a charging dog (whereas, were I present during a theoretical wild dog event, I would have no fear in going right after the dog, which usually suffices to deter them, esp with an owner calling them back).

It's the accumulation of things, really - too many different things that could be bad. We'll see what happens in 2 years.

One other thing - altho it's a pretty small neighborhood, it's a pretty random and wide selection of kids in that park, and I hardly know any of them - if she fell badly, it's highly unlikely anyone could run to our house with the news.

Thanks for the wishes, y'all. I'll go down right now and not tell her that my imaginary friends wish her a happy BDay.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 1:49 PM
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That's a parody, right?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 1:51 PM
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191

190 to 188.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 1:51 PM
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I have some rational reasons not to send Iris (turned 5 today!)

Hey! Rory hit 10 today. Happy birthday, Iris!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 2:01 PM
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I'll go down right now and not tell her that my imaginary friends wish her a happy BDay.

"That's really sweet of your Club Penguin friends, Daddy."


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 2:01 PM
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Accompanied by endless warnings about bad men in the woods, mind, but still.

Until I was four I lived in the grounds of a mental hospital, and then we moved about half a mile away and the grounds of that mental hospital were where we played a lot.

There really _were_ bad men in the woods, but I think most of the kids were aware of who to keep an eye out for.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 2:03 PM
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I think most of the kids were aware of who to keep an eye out for.

Yes, this. I like to think, rightly or wrongly, that we kids learned discrimination in potentially risky situations in virtue of being let loose.

Hey, we found some Porn! Magazines! in the woods, so we knew that some weird people were around. We could ride our bikes pretty fast, though, and we had a hidden fort or two. (We learned some things from the magazines, but mostly we were bemused.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 2:13 PM
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mostly we were bemused

This seems to be a constant in your life.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 2:17 PM
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Happy birthday, Rory!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 2:21 PM
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196: It's a good trait in a philosopher, I guess. Otherwise I don't see the point of your comment.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 2:36 PM
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Happy Birthday Rory and Iris!

Daughters born in March are the best!


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 2:44 PM
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Can't a fellow make a goddamn observation without there needing to be a fucking point?

Or were you simply noting the seeming absence of a point with bemusement?

What's going on here?!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 2:46 PM
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200: Calm down. Conversational implicature: I have no idea why you'd make that observation at this time. Yet it is an accurate one, though I've never thought of it that way. So alright. Peace, babe.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 2:52 PM
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Obviously I made it because you just mentioned bemusement at an early age. So it was a timely observation. MY BLOOD PRESSURE IS THROUGH THE ROOF OVER HERE.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 2:54 PM
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Honestly, ben, nobody thinks you look ridiculous without your facial hair.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 2:57 PM
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That's not true!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 2:58 PM
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Well, okay, but it'll grow back, so chill.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 3:02 PM
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WHAT IF IT DOESN'T?!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 3:03 PM
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About 10 years ago I read a thing which suggested that the rate of child abduction in Britain had been roughly constant for about 50 years.

This is true in the U.S. People are just more hysterical about it now.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 3:04 PM
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Hasn't it been like several days now? If it hasn't started growing back yet, it probably won't. Sorry.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 3:05 PM
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184: The stuff that grows wild in our backyard looks like ordinary green onions, but they taste more like garlic than onion. It is, I believe, a different species than anything you buy in the store.

178: Yeah, it was very crispy. I chopped the onion grass very finely and mixed it with french fry cut potatoes. Then I left them in hot oil far longer than I originally intended. The fries were brown to black, and the onion grass existed only as a flavor.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 3:05 PM
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It hasn't started growing back yet? Wow.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 3:07 PM
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It has indeed started growing back.

Of course, I cut the tender shoots down without ruth.

That'll show me!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 3:07 PM
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211: What are you talking about? Yeah, it probably looks strange for a little while, but unless you have a real need not to appear strange-looking at the moment, why wouldn't you let it grow out? Maybe you don't look that bad without it after all?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 3:14 PM
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Hey, you brought it up.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 3:34 PM
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People are just more hysterical about it now.

Yeah, childhood abduction and facial hair, the twin terrors of 21st America.

Hey, I missed the news about neb's whiskers, but did anyone see my pics in the Pool? I'm kind of surprised - my newest/biggest clients have never seen me w/o a lot of beard, but then I showed up yesterday morning clean-shaven and looking, IMO, 5-10 years younger, and nothing. I mean, sure professionalism and all, but PAY ATTENTION PEOPLE.

178: Interesting.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 3:34 PM
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I'd like to see the spring clothes and the winter facial hair, JRoth.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 3:37 PM
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214: Did you have a beard last fall? I've got no memory for faces, but I didn't remember one.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 3:39 PM
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ime whenever i have some pimples or herpes my face seems very nice and even attractive if only those pimple or herpes will go away
i don't know how to call that phenomenon, lowering the self-image threshold perhaps, or the lowered real image increases the perceived self-image something maybe


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 3:52 PM
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214: I agree that you look younger without the beard. Weird about people not saying anything, but sometimes when someone makes a big obvious change I still have that feeling that I know there's something different but I don't quite know what.

Who took the photo of the Fargo sandbag making? I don't recognize the pseud and I didn't know we had anyone in Fargo.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 3:57 PM
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217: To avoid embarrassment? As a fellow sufferer from facial herpes, it's conventionally referred to as a "cold sore". "Herpes" is colloquially used only for the sexually transmitted disease, so if you describe something on your lip as 'herpes', people will look at you funny. (Probably less so considering that you work with doctors/biologists, but even then). But I do know what you mean, that one big blemish seems to make the rest of your face look as if that's the only thing wrong with it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 4:04 PM
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yeah, herpes simplex or labialis, in conversation can't say that, right
cold sore, sure, i knew the word! and wouldn't recall


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 4:09 PM
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the


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 4:34 PM
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216: No, the beard started as a sort of playoff beard - we headed off to the woods as I was waiting to hear about a massively important job, and I decided not to shave until I heard. After a few weeks, I decided I wouldn't hear (and indeed never have), but figured I'd just call it a winter beard. Jan 9-March 19, close enough. AB liked it enough that I plan to make it an annual tradition/ritual. Next year I'll maintain it a bit more, for less of a Grizzly Architect look.

215: The spring green shirt is a spring shirt, but it was still a bit chilly (and, indeed, was actually the last day of winter), so I went with the camelhair jacket.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 7:27 PM
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On the veldt, panthers KICKED ASS.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 7:46 PM
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Who took the photo of the Fargo sandbag making? I don't recognize the pseud and I didn't know we had anyone in Fargo.

I did. Just an update I give Fargo a 50% chance of being well and truly boned.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 03-26-09 8:39 PM
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207: hysterical

Sexist.

219: Cold sores visible on the outside? Bizarre. I get them now and then, but only on the inside of my lip, jaw or tongue. I've never had them on my face.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 9:29 AM
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Yesterday's Strib had an little passage about an Iraqi refugee family filling sandbags. They seemed happy enough to be facing a mere 500-year-flood.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 9:32 AM
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225: I think you're talking about canker sores, which are inside your mouth and have nothing to do with herpes. Cold sores usually start as a blister on the lip, which dries up and peels off leaving a painful raw spot.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 9:36 AM
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194: Until I was four I lived in the grounds of a mental hospital

So did I. It's called "Scotland". The closed wing is colloquially known as "Glasgow".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 10:04 AM
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re: 228

Heh, with Falkirk and/or Dundee standing in for the punishment cells?


Posted by: natttarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 10:09 AM
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223: It takes all different kinds of wild cats to make a veldt I guess. ...sigh


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 8:03 AM
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when you need him has been busy, alas, writing something for the resurrected edition of deriW KU, which should have been left to moulder in the goddamn grave rather than acquiring an rodite who knows the square root of fuck all about either science or journalistic "integrity".

This has been a public service announcement.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 1:33 PM
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231: so rather like the US edition, then.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 1:35 PM
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231: yes; though I haven't read that in years. The sad thing is that there was a much earlier edition of deriW KU in the nineties which was really fun to write for and edited by really smart people, one of whom asked me to write for the new one ...

gnaah. Fuck.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 1:51 PM
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re: 233

Yes, I occasionally used to buy it. Magazines sometimes go through 'golden ages'.

The US magazine Guitar Player had a streak of about 2 or 3 years in the early 90s when the quality of writing and the eclecticism of the artists and music featured was just stellar. I'd be even a non-guitarist would have found it interesting. These days it's a perfectly competent, boring magazine, but nothing like it was.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 2:50 PM
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