I'm going to assume optimistically that the first paragraph here has nothing to do with the fact that "guess what happened at the gym" stories are an Unfogged staple, and tell you that the whole post is pretty damn funny.
It's difficult to keep turning out the high quality political commentary you're accustomed to seeing here, but I'll keep at it: Tim Noah, generally reasonable guy, is smoking crack...here:
You're Colin Powell. You've recently departed the Bush State Department, your Last-Reasonable-Man halo only slightly dented by your erroneous speech to the United Nations in February 2003 about Saddam's supposed cache of chemical and biological weapons. Mostly you're remembered as the guy who told Bush, when he contemplated invading Iraq, "You break it, you own it." You smell good. You look good. Now let's see what that reputation will buy.
Does anyone have fewer supporters than Colin Powell? Has he not managed the very neat trick of having himself considered a traitor by Democrats and Republicans?
In any case, the story is pretty interesting, and nothing depends on that paragraph; it's just a throw-away set up bit, but still.
It takes a lot longer than you think to shave your entire body.
Just got off the phone with a friend who recounted a conversation with a co-worker who is the type we all know: the person who instantly negates everything that comes out of your mouth with his own *very* strong opinion: "I say 'I like cheese.' and he says, 'No! You only think you like cheese. What you really like is yogurt!'"
(I couldn't quite tell if this conversation actually occurred, but it hardly matters.)
I'm feeling far too much love lately, so let me ask a question I've had for a long time: Don't the Beach Boys suck, objectively speaking? I always thought that they got radio play as some kind of nostalgic joke, but it seems that some people actually like the music. Who are these people? Beatles fans? And what's the matter with them?
(Note: I actually listened to (all that I could stand of) Pet Sounds before posting this.)
The phrase, "the exception that proves the rule" (noted by Joe D) is pretty interesting because it has a common, incorrect meaning, a perceived correct meaning, which is also wrong, and a correct meaning, which is almost never used.
Usually it's used nonsensically to mean, "this is an exception, but there's still a rule!" More enlightened folk will tell you that "prove" in this instance means something more like "test." But here's what it really means.
...the original sense was of someone or something that is granted permission not to follow a rule that otherwise applies. The true origin of the phrase lies in a medieval Latin legal principle: exceptio probat regulam in casibus non exceptis, which may be translated as "the exception confirms the rule in the cases not excepted".
Let us say that you drive down a street somewhere and find a notice which says "Parking prohibited on Sundays". You may reasonably infer from this that parking is allowed on the other six days of the week.
Now you know.
Congratulations to Matt Yglesias on his new gig.
I used to be irrationally prejudiced against The New Pornographers because the Instapundit likes them. (God, now I can't find any evidence on the intarweb that he does, but I swear he's really into them.) But that's not rational. I mean, the Instapundit loves fluffy kittens, and baby horsies, and does that mean I got to go hating on the baby horsies? For god's sakes, it's not like we don't share a love...of blogging?! Anyway, The New Pornographers actually rock. I think I want a T-Shirt that says "Teh New Pr0nographers." Just so people will know that I love The New Pornographers, and I'm a big nerd.
That reminds me, someone posted in a comments thread the T-shirt that was supposed to be the official T-shirt of Unfogged's female commenters, which was all in 133t speak and said that if you could read it, you needed to get laid? I want that shirt, so email me some links, mysterious person, please.
Aw, for the love of pleats: I just called the restaurant and they said I can't wear jeans. (More precisely, I asked whether folks wear jeans there and was told "not typically.") I'm sure everyone remembers my failed adventures in pant-buying, and I'm still stinging from dorkhead himself telling me that I don't look good in pleated pants. Now what, geniuses?
Purchased! (British khaki.) In the wash now, in for rush alterations tomorrow. Oh, the things I go through.
You know, baa's comment on date activities is really so good it needs to pulled up into a post.
the ideal date activity is just that: an activity. One must have a text from which subtext can emerge. Thus:
--a game/passtime (often very good to play something that *neither of you know how to do.* This eliminates competitiveness, unless you are a total freak. Also, it is by nature forward looking rather than backwards looking. If you already play X, then X on a date is about your past, the skills you have already acquired. If you don't know X from curling, then it's about how you approach new things. )
--a task (e.g., wandering through target, buying things for a party)
--a spectacle, but one that allows for conversation (ok: a baseballgame; not OK: a movie)
Why are Texans like foreigners? And not like those good foreigners from Western Europe, but those annoying, inferiority-complexed foreigners from places like Iran, Greece, and Turkey (for example).
What am I talking about? Here's Margaret Spellings, Secretary of Education, and Texan, responding to an interviewer's question.
Q: Should I call you Secretary?
I've been called worse, as we say in Texas.
You know what, Marge? They fucking say that everywhere.
Farsi has borrowed a bunch of words from French, but try telling my mother that the French didn't borrow them from Farsi. Our culture is older! Everything was invented, is sweeter, looks better, etc., back in the homeland. I can understand the response to dislocation that inspires this kind of backward pride in immigrants, but what the hell is wrong with Texans?
Dancing, nudity, and the disemboweling of a seven-foot-tall bunny rabbit. Japan is a really weird place.
Moira just had a psychic reading done.
she said that if I hired her for a more in-depth reading that she could help me discover what kind of man I would marry. I then got an image of me taking out a few twenty dollar bills and summarily lighting them on fire.
But am I really saying that I don't want to go to a psychic because Moira found
her's hers to be unreliable? That would be, like, incredibly stupid, right? No, Ben W-lfs-n, it would be entirely reasonable. But it would also be evidence that heretofore theretofore, I had been an incredible idiot. So, PG, maybe we should go see a psychic.
I've rejected bowling as something to do on my date with PG because competitive activities tend to bring out the ugly side of my personality. At one of the weddings last year, we were playing ping-pong. I was on my game: quick returns, wicked smashes...then somebody said, "Ogged, he's ten."
Pretty funny, but I think I actually answered, "He's old enough to lose."
When you really dislike someone you have to spend time with, either because he/she is in your social circle or a co-worker, part of what's really upsetting is the belief that you're the only one who can see how totally annoying/crazy/evil that person is. But, in my experience, you should relax, because almost every time, everyone else can see it too.
We have all these philosophy types floating around, ought we not make some lemonade? I'm thinking of an online seminar cum reading group. One of the reasons I wanted to take a hiatus was to reread Being and Time, but why not share? We can take a short slice each week, have someone post a precis and discuss away. I'd really like to keep the amount of reading down to levels that would let even busy people participate--you know, the professors, students and corporate folks.
And this invitation isn't limited to philosophy types. If you're interested and are willing to commit to doing the reading and posting the precis when it's your turn, then jump in.
I'll set up the new site and take care of all the back-end stuff. Who's in?
[This post will stay up top for a bit. New posts will appear below.]
Standpipe Bridgeplate is an African-American professor at a southern university. He and I are in big trouble with the Feds because we both plagiarized the same passage from something. This is what I dreamed.
I know you're all merrily going about your lives, but have you stopped to consider, What the hell is Ogged going to do with Profgrrrrl? The plan is for me to pick her up at her dad's place.
Hello, sir. I've never met your daughter; we've never even spoken on the phone, but she does like to post half-naked pictures of herself on the Internet and I'm not a Jesuit yet, sir.
I've always been "good with parents."
PG and I will have to, like, talk&shit for a while, because her dad lives a goodly drive away from Topsecretville Metropolis, where I've made dinner reservations. I would just play the same CD over and over and take her to a funeral, but I'm not ready for marriage.
Anyway, after dinner, I'm stumped. Yeah yeah, at the Mineshaft. I haven't been on a "date" in seven or eight years. And I've never been on a date-as-blog-performance-art. Suggest away; in your mocking there may yet be wisdom.
I'm trying to be adult about this; also trying to be funny, but look! naked yoga!
Via, believe it or not, Instapundit, here are some odds as to which major character gets it in the new JK Rowling book, Harry Potter and the Interminable Committee Meeting.
Hard to know where to put the money-- except, at those odds, definitely not on Dumbledore. (I so hope Harry gets it, so we can read Harry Potter and the Contractually Obligatory Seventh Novel.)
Did I read Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix? I have no idea.
Wow, Tom Cruise sure is straight!
First Tom Cruise was head over heels about his new girlfriend, Katie Holmes. Then he was giddy. Now, he's just plain batty.
"I can't be cool. I can't be laid-back," an exuberant Cruise said Monday during a taped appearance on "The Oprah Winfrey Show." "Something happened and I want to celebrate it."
A starry-eyed Cruise got down on his knees and repeatedly jumped up on the couch like a Robin Williams comedy act, saying that his love for Holmes was "beyond cool."
Wait, he can be even straighter!
Then Oprah asked him if he was going to marry her:
Tom: "I don't want to disappoint her."
Oprah: Does this mean that you're going to ask her to marry you?"
Tom: "I've got to discuss it with her."
Oprah: "So this is beyond smitten, this is gone?"
Tom: "I'm standing on your couch!"
Am I straight? I'm standing on your couch!
Tom brought Katie out from backstage, she mouthed "I love you" to him and then they kissed passionately.
I'm Michael Jackson!
One of our good family friends is a scientologist (I'd like to modify that with "hardcore" or "serious" but neither seems quite right). At my cousin's wedding, I tried to convince her that Tom Cruise is gay (which, you know, he's totally not), but she wasn't falling for it. Then I had my friend try to convince her that he'd just announced his conversion to Catholicism, but she didn't go for that either. Even the fallback option--Tom Cruise is very short--didn't work, because apparently she's met him. Tom Cruise has a tiny penis!
I'm recalling this exchange with Labs about how much we have to eat. Ex is the same way. We were out at the shabu-shabu place the other night, and we ordered two large (11 oz.) plates of beef apiece, and another regular (8 oz.) plate to split. As we were finishing up, I looked over at the couple next to us, who were splitting one large plate between them. I'm generally not one to think "oh, I wish I were different in this or that way," but I have to admit that I get pretty tired of having to eat all the time, and that's even given that I really enjoy eating (or maybe it would be easier to eat all the time if I just thought of it as fuel, and didn't worry about texture, flavor, etc.). Labs is so right to say that it pins down the day. I'm constantly aware of how much food I have at hand, how close I am to more food, etc. And that's not to mention all those wonderful moments where people say, "Wow, you ate all that?"
An interesting article on movie insurance, of all things. Because movies cost so much to make, and because injury to a star can scrap an entire production, insurance rates and payouts are sky-high. As a consequence, insurers are very very careful.
Insurers may require periodic medical examinations during shooting, including testing for illegal drugs, or even continuous medical treatment for some actors. (Kidman, for example, was required to take daily doses of medicine for her thyroid gland.) They also place stringent restrictions on what actors can do off the setóno motorcycles, surfing, or flying planes. As for what happens on set, the insurer analyzes every shot in the script for potential risks. Once the production starts, they also station hawk-eyed agents, called loss-control reps, on location to make sure that the stars are not put in harm's way. If a shot presents the slightest danger of causing an injury that might delay shooting, the reps bar actors from participating in them. Either a stunt person substitutes for the actor or the shot is changed to eliminate the danger.
But what about movies where the actors do their own stunts?
Even when studios base their marketing campaign on stars performing the perilous stunts of their action-hero characters, the loss-control reps make sure these claims remain wholly in the realm of media make-believe. Consider, for example, the video game-inspired movie, Lara Croft: Tomb RaideróThe Cradle of Life, starring Angelina Jolie outfitted in skin-tight action-toy garb. The hype of this sequel was that Jolie did "most of her own stunts" out of her own "edgy quest for danger." In reality, the insurer, AIG, was so strict that it did not even allow director Jan de Bont to be at the Luna Temple set during shooting because he had a prior leg injury. To avoid the possibility that he might slip on the set's wet floors, the loss-control rep had him direct the entire seven-day sequence via closed circuit TV from a remote location. The insurer took even more precautions with Jolie, the only cast member insured by AIG as an essential element, since even a broken toe could cost the insurer a cool $134 million. Her "edgy quest for danger" notwithstanding, no fewer than three stunt doubles substituted for Jolie, bringing the stunt-person budget to a near-record $1,894,662.
Hmm. Do stars really never do their own stunts?
Crooked Timber is (collectively) reviewing Steven Levitt's Freakonomics, including a guest post from the excellent Tyler Cowen and a response from Levitt.
Walking out of Sith with the Ex.
Ex: I hit Jimmy Smits' car.
Me: Oh yeah. I can't remember if you said he was notably nice or not nice.
Ex: He was an ass.
There you have it. The movie: not as bad as anticipated, which is still approximately one-half galaxy from good. Question (including something like a spoiler): Skywalker helps kill Windu, collapses, "What have I done?" and the very next thing he does is pledge allegiance to the Dark Side. Why? Which is to say, why not something else, like surrendering himself to the Council? Or killing himself? Or killing Palpatine and himself?
People in from out of town, so I was engaged in a not-at-all-typical game of darts with friend, friend, and friend's girlfriend, who was playing for the first time. I said to friend, "I like how hard she takes it when she misses," and sure enough, some complete stranger who literally had walked in not ten seconds before turned to me and said, "She takes it hard?"
It's like god sends someone to wherever I am to pick up the low-hanging fruit.