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Indeed.

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 01.29.05

Glenn Reynolds:

It's just that the right has done a better job of muzzling and marginalizing its idiots, while the Left has embraced them.

Perhaps we simply have different conceptual schemes. (Via Kevin Drum.)


 

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Apologies

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 01.29.05

I'm afraid I won't be able to pick up the slack around here. Things have been a bit crazy, and not in an entirely good way. I'll be sure to return to my normal non-posting policy just as soon as I can.


 

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Apologies

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 01.29.05

I'm afraid I won't be able to pick up the slack around here. Things have been a bit crazy, and not in an entirely good way. I'll be sure to return to my normal non-posting policy just as soon as I can.


 

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Found It

Posted by Ogged
on 01.28.05

Amazon's search tool, A9, now has a local search that features a photo of the place you search for, along with the ability to scroll up and down the block. That's very nifty, unless you search for a neighborhood pizza joint and find pictures of your whole family...

via cliopatria

And with that, I'm off for the weekend. Maybe Fontana will stop pretending he's busy long enough to entertain you.


 

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Utility

Posted by Ogged
on 01.28.05

I'm posting this link just so that the apostropher can blog it.


 

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Wrong

Posted by Ogged
on 01.28.05

A woman was shot and killed in New York after she said to the gun-wielding mugger, "What are you going to do, shoot us?"

Screw the guy with the gun, and I admire her pluck, but really, just hand over the cash.

I have heard from friends about people they knew talking to stick-up men: one to negotiate keeping a piece of jewelry with sentimental value, another who accompanied her mugger to an ATM, chatted with him, and even had him introduce himself--"I'm Tim"--and apologize (though not not rob her). Yes, there are judgement calls to be made, but don't dare anyone to kill you, ok?


 

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Talking Points

Posted by Ogged
on 01.28.05

Mickey "Microsoft can't afford permalinks" Kaus gets an email from a reader:

What is the mechanism whereby conservative radio hosts and print scribes all say exactly the same thing at the same time? I am a conservative talk show junkie.and I am always amazed at the coordination of message. When something negative to the Administration is written or occurs, almost instantly there is a flood of identical, defensive,debating points afloat. Is there a master script? If so, who decides what it contains? How is it distributed? E-mail? Web-site?

Of course there's a master script, and Mickey replies,

I think this fabled master script does exist! I have a friend who claims to have seen it.

And that's the real mystery: how do they keep this thing secret?


 

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Update

Posted by Ogged
on 01.28.05

Maybe you're a purist and will object, but I'm with Ben Hammersley on this one: very very cool. (video link)


 

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Why I will miss the mob

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 01.28.05

Apparently Joseph Massino, head of the Bonanno crime family, is cooperating with authorities in a case against acting boss Vincent Basciano. It's the end of an era.

Their conversations are briefly outlined in a murder and racketeering indictment unsealed yesterday against Mr. Basciano, a beauty salon owner who is known as Vinny Gorgeous, in an unrelated killing.

I mean, any subculture where guys get to have nicknames like Vinny Gorgeous can't be all bad.


 

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Meth For Health

Posted by Ogged
on 01.27.05

This is the kind of good stuff that Kevin used to blog more regularly. The Washington Post writes,

The most detailed study ever conducted of mundane bodily movements found that obese people tend to be much less fidgety than lean people and spend at least two hours more each day just sitting still. The extra motion by lean people is enough to burn about 350 extra calories a day, which could add up to 10 to 20 pounds a year, the researchers found.
"There are these absolutely staggering differences between people who are lean and people who are obese," said James A. Levine of the Mayo Clinic, who led the research being published in Friday's issue of the journal Science. "The amount of this low-grade activity is so substantial that it could, in and of itself, could account for obesity quite easily."

Staggering is right. 350 calories each day? That's the equivalent of 30 minutes of running, or a medium McDonald's fries--every day. But, speaking as a fidgety person, fidgeting is kind of unattractive, no? I'm always jealous of people who can just sit still for hours.


 

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No Rough Trade Jokes, Ok?

Posted by Ogged
on 01.27.05

I like women who like to rough it. Not exactly the kind of insight that should come so late in life, but after so many abortive attempts here to explain the peculiar sort of not-girliness that isn't ideological or hippy-dippy, it finally occurred to me that the women I'm attracted to are tent-pitching, topo map-reading, dirty, grimy, tromping in the desert and mountains gals. They're not really opposed to heels and makeup and dress-up, but out of their element with those things. And my girlfriends have been like this: not just "outdoorsy," but really happiest when they're a several-days hike from anything, in the middle of nowhere, with just whatever (light!) essentials they've carried in.

This is wonderful to know, finally. So that's where to look.

There's just one, massive, problem. I friggin' hate roughing it. I'm from the Middle-East; my nomadic people are still getting cozy with these things the White Man calls "amenities." I love my amenities.

And there are two specific things I really don't like about hardcore backpacking. First, the vagaries of my ticker make me very nervous about being too far from civilization. I might be able to get over this. I did go to Iran, where, except for a couple of hospitals in Tehran, the hospital/Hotel California distinction is very blurry.

But this whole "carry your shit out with you" business just offends my sensibilities, you know? Forgive the indelicacy, but after I shit, I'm pretty much through with the shit itself. I have no desire to pick it up, pack it, and carry it around with me for the next few days. Did we fight the Huns for a reason, or not?

I don't see any good solutions here. Maybe a hearty woman who's had some terrible experience in the woods, and doesn't want to return? Maybe she fought off a grizzly or two, and that's enough of that, thanks very much? All the sensibility, none of that damned doing. Seems like a longshot.


 

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Roll 'Em!

Posted by Ogged
on 01.26.05

It's a video. Turn up the sound, wait till the end. (Audio not work safe.)

via nobody's business


 

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Just When You Thought It Couldn't Get Any Gayer

Posted by Ogged
on 01.26.05

Here's a question that's guaranteed not to come up at your local sports bar, but that's been troubling me lately: which athlete has the best body: Michael Jordan, Terrell Owens, or Michael Klim? Or someone I've missed?

(Nominations for female athletes gladly accepted; though I can't promise I'll pick a winner....)


 

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I Don't See It Tattooed On My Forehead

Posted by Ogged
on 01.26.05

You've probably already heard that another right-wing pundit was in the employ of the government (though this case is a bit less objectionable than the last--you can click the link for details). But you might not have seen her apology.

Gallagher was hired by the Department of Health and Human Services to write some things for them.

I'm a marriage expert. I get paid to write, edit, research and educate on marriage. If a scholar or expert gets paid to do some work for the government, should he or she disclose that if he writes a paper, essay or op-ed on the same or similar subject? If this is the ethical standard, it is an entirely new standard.

What to say?


 

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So Many Ovaries...

Posted by Ogged
on 01.25.05

Thanks to everyone who sent in a nomination in the Great Unfogged Blogger With Ovaries search. I'm passing on asking anyone to join us for now, but I've added a bunch of sites to my regular reads, and recommend, in particular, that you check out SueAndNotU (with a picture of Kriston doing...something...with a dog right up top at the moment), and SnarkAttack.


 

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Our Knowledges

Posted by Ogged
on 01.25.05

I like this game that Sherry's playing: she asks her readers to tell her something she doesn't know. We'd play it here, but you all couldn't keep it clean to save your lives.


 

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Career

Posted by Ogged
on 01.25.05

Occasionally, I'm tempted by job postings like this, but then I think, could I possibly have a more cush job than the one I have now? Do I really want to take a pay cut, move, and subject myself to editorial control? Maybe. (Not that they'd hire me. I have no reporting experience. Just musing.)


 

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Because They Both Wanted to Date Ann Coulter, I Think

Posted by Ogged
on 01.25.05

Ezra Klein has left Pandagon to start his own blog. Now you know. Ezra and Jesse are both excellent, and you ought to check them out if you haven't.


 

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Just What We Need

Posted by Ogged
on 01.25.05

Stupid Democrats. Please to make an example of them, o' powers that be.

Five men arrested in the "election-day slashing of Republican vehicles' tires -- including the sons of two prominent Milwaukee Democratic politicians -- have been charged with felonies," the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports.
"The five are accused of cutting the tires on some 20 vans and cars parked in a lot adjacent to a Bush campaign staging office. The vandalism was discovered by Republicans before the polls opened November second."

 

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TV Search

Posted by Ogged
on 01.25.05

Well, isn't this nifty? Google is testing a television search tool. It indexes the closed-captioning text and returns results with screenshots.

Still quite limited, but here's an example that brings it all together: the newest detective on Law and Order is named, naturally, Joe Fontana.


 

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Freedom Fried

Posted by Ogged
on 01.25.05
Just FYI: They're still torturing people in Iraq.


 

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And Where's the Blogger Prize?

Posted by Ogged
on 01.25.05

With a little Herculean self-overcoming, I can get past the clumsy writing and various stupidities to say, there is a good point here (use bugmenot). The gist: Despite the MacArthur Foundation's avowed intention that its "Genius" grants be an investment in promising talent, writers who win the award have almost always already done their best work.

It's more than a bit churlish to criticize people who are giving away millions of dollars, but...it really doesn't make much sense to give Thomas Pynchon the award 15 years after Gravity's Rainbow, does it? And even where they pick younger writers, like Richard Powers and Colson Whitehead, they do it after that writer already has plenty of critical acclaim. Whitehead doesn't need anybody's help in getting his next books published. The money's wasted on him. I would have loved to see someone like Joshua Clover get the prize. His first book of poetry was a knockout, and did the world really need him to need to write reviews of Jewel for Spin to support himself? (Though he seems to have landed nicely. And check out that picture and this one. The years do roll on.)

In the grand scheme, it's a minor complaint, but if the Foundation informally adopted a rule that the writing prize would only go to people under 35 without a major book contract, maybe we'd get just a bit more great writing in the world.


 

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Spammer

Posted by Ogged
on 01.25.05

If you run a Movable Type blog, you should install this (just one file) patch, to keep your blog from being used to send spam.


 

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Is that racist?

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 01.24.05

Atrios links to this story relating how "several [Mississipi] House and Senate members" are to speak to the Council of Concerned Citizens, a group the Southern Poverty Law Center calls a "white supremacist group." While Atrios links to the CCC main page, I think it's more informative to read the FAQ:

Does the C of CC oppose racism?
The word racism was concocted by a communist ideologue in the 1920's. The purpose of racism was to instill guilt and shame in the minds of white people and to inflame racial hostility among blacks. This word play succeeded beyond all expectations. Of course, the word racism has no meaning unless whites react to it. Because racism defines nothing, but instead generates dubious connotations, the C of CC refuses to be held hostage by what the word implies at any given moment. It is normal for white people to be proud of their race and heritage. Is that racist?

Hooooboy. You know you're in for a special Southern brand of crazy when you hear that racism is a communist plot.


 

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Get Fixed

Posted by Ogged
on 01.24.05

Last year, I was having persistent and annoying back pain. I gave up basketball, went to the doctor (sciatica), to an osteopath (bulging disk), and tried all sorts of stretches and exercises. Nothing helped. Then, I think it was Doug M at the Bandarlog who mentioned a book by John Sarno that sounded kind of crackpotish--but that a lot of people at Amazon swore by. Add me to the list. I didn't even finish reading the book and my back pain went away. No shit. I sent the book to another friend who's had worse pain for longer, and she recently told me that she's much improved.

Short caricature of Sarno's argument: It's all in your head. Slightly longer and charitable version: There is a physical cause of your pain, namely, lack of bloodflow to the painful areas. But that lack of flow is almost always just the physical manifestation of some mental disturbance: stress, unresolved feelings, etc. The physical pain is your body's way of distracting you from whatever is upsetting you.

Leave aside, now and while you read the book, whether you think this "makes sense." A little bit of faith goes a long way with this book. Sarno recommends that you stop babying your back, and think of the pain simply as a distraction. He notes, correctly, in my experience, that it's not the pain, so much as the care of the pain, that's debilitating.

If you have back pain, check it out.


 

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New and Shiny

Posted by Ogged
on 01.24.05

This one goes out to the gadget geeks in the audience. The ex just got a Siemens SX66, the nifty phone/pda that supports both GPRS and WiFi net access. That, as you know, is super cool, because it means that you can grab your mail or surf just about anywhere, and often, given the prevalence of WiFi now, at quite high speeds.

So far, she loves it, with the only problem being a bit of dodginess in setting up a bluetooth headset, but that's been more hassle than unworkable.

Cingular does try to pull a fast one by setting up separate plans for web vs. email data access. The built-in Inbox is GPRS-crippled until you spring some unconscionable amount of money ($30/month? Something like that) for their email plan. But, I guessed--correctly, as it turns out--that the crippling wouldn't affect any other software that was installed, so now she's running WebIS Mail, and that works perfectly with GPRS.

It's amazing how much of a complete computer you can put in your pocket now. A 400Mhz chip...128MB of memory...all over net access...amazing.


 

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Johnny Carson

Posted by Ogged
on 01.24.05

I didn't grow up watching Leno or Letterman; I grew up watching Johnny Carson, and no one can match his light touch. There's not much to say when a man dies at a not-too-young age after being on top of the world for decades. But Carson always seemed like the most lonely of public figures, so his passing has a bitter poignancy--sad as it makes us, we'd like to love the dead, but with Carson there's only admiration, and the enigma. I'll miss him. I guess I always have.


 

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I'm Gonna Hurl: Baby

Posted by Ogged
on 01.24.05

Olivia Judson offers an evolutionary biologist's take on the Larry Summers / sex differences controversy. At the very least, it's worth reading for her typically funny and informative examples. Have you read Dr. Tatiana yet? Why not?


 

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Noted without comment

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 01.23.05

The Times on the Donald's wedding:

Later, the boxing promoter Don King, whose diamond cross pendant and two diamond name necklaces nearly surpassed the bride's bling, summed up the event as "a great American occasion."

Is "nearly surpassed the bride's bling" the whitest thing ever said? Time will tell.

UPDATE: giving Trump a run for his money in the self-parody olympics is the ex-married tag team of Bruce Fields and Phyllis Curott:

He healed in a different way, by talking every day into a tape recorder about their relationship. "Finally, I had nothing left to say," he said. "So I burned the tape, ceremoniously poured a libation over it and thanked the universe for taking care of me." Today, both have new loves. Soon after he "awoke" from the breakup, he called an old girlfriend with whom he used to ride motorcycles years ago.
"She's a very sweet, loving, positive person," he said. "She's so loving I now know why I didn't get involved with her in the beginning. That was not my style. My style was to get involved with women who were impossible to please." He has also found a new career, which he is passionate about: selling real estate for the Corcoran Group in Manhattan.

What cracks me up about this sort of new age person is that he does everything that other people do--e.g., making a gratuitous dig at the ex--but he calls it by a special name.


 

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The near occasion of sin

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 01.23.05

There's an interesting article in the NYT magazine about a man's transformation into a sex offender.

It was wrong. So wrong. I put myself in such a bad situation, and I just fell into it. I guess that's how a drug addict gets. Once you've fallen into that, and you've gone in, it's almost like that's it: now you've got it in your head, and it's not going to go away.

I have a measure of sympathy for those who find their desires spinning out of control. Who would want to want this?

''I just don't know how I got myself there.''

How true. A chilling essay, in any case.


 

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