This is pretty obvious, but if I bring people to the party no one should be like, "hey, so, did you just get busted last week?" Because that wouldn't be cool.
For those of you who can't make it, speculate about who is getting thrown off the roof or hooking up with whom here.
I won't shed any tears for Saddam Hussein, but boy will his execution have the taint of dead-men-tell-no-tales mafia justice.
The local news reports that thieves stole 600 pounds of copper balls from an area manufacturing company. How big would a 600 pound ball of copper be? The answer might surprise you. My reasoning went this way:
Some website somewhere reports that the density of copper is 8920 kg/m3. Density is mass/volume, so 8920= 273 kg/x m3. Hence the volume of copper is .0306 m3. The volume of a sphere is 4/3 pi r3, so the diameter of the sphere is about .388 meters (or 15.3 inches). Not large!
So, is it racist to have the view that mixed-race people are unusually likely to be attractive? I can recall having an earnest conversation with a mixed-race friend at Berkeley and she thought it was (she was mixed-race only in so far as Spanish-speaking people of the Americas count as a distinct non-white race, which is to say, not much). Then again, I had another conversation about it with a Finnish/Chinese model friend of mine, and he thought it was hilarious. He was incredibly hot, 6'3'' with long black hair and cheekbones you could cut yourself on, but no fun to have sex with on account of junkies can't get it up. My Berkeley friend thought it was racist first because any form of stereotypes about people is racist, regardless of whether it is positive, viz. "Jewish people are smart." (Me: but Jewish people are smart! Her: cold skeptical glare.) Secondly, insofar as American popular culture regards people of mixed-race as hot, it's in virtue of these people offering a watered-down version of ethnic beauty, one tamed and made acceptable with a big creamy splash of whiteness. And along these lines, consider octaroons, "high yellows" passing, etc. I thought about this recently because I was telling my mom about the kids in Girl X's class this year, one of whom is Ethiopian/Swedish, and the cutest girl ever, with curiously honey-colored skin, golden (but curly) hair, and green/brown eyes. She's modelled kids clothes before, on account of her Benetton-ad amazingness. So, what say ye, Unfoggedtariat? Also, what should I wear tomorrow? I should post pictures of the different options. Too bad I can't ret-con my dad black or something, I would probably be really hot.
Althouse drives a TT Coupe? That explains everything.
You're backing up your Gmail, right?
I know only about three people are reading today, but I don't care. Serious Eats is a newish and promising-looking food site, with original and aggregated content. And you know that Chowhound got a nifty redesign when they were acquired by CNet....
Dooce's pictures are often good, but today's is great.
John Edwards announced the official kickoff of his presidential campaign from New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward yesterday, which you can watch at the campaign website. Ezra's thoughts about the oddly uncampaigny campaign speech and the underlying imagery are worth reading. However, I was most struck by a single sentence from the announcement.
Americans have to be patriotic about something besides war.
Be still, my fluttering heart. That is just about the best thing I've heard come out of a Democratic candidate for anything since 9/11. Even if Edwards' campaign ends up going nowhere, that's a theme the rest of the party should be out pounding every day.
Does anyone post here anymore? Here are some Australian dudes in speedos to tide you over until I find something else to blog about.
Except for the fact that Ackerman seems a touch insane, I don't see why he and Yglesias don't launch a blog/online magazine together. They wouldn't really have to do anything differently other than post at the same site and call it a magazine. One of the problems with generating income from a blog is that people read lots of blogs, but can't donate to all of them--launching as your one online source for punchy liberal analysis and evisceration would (I think) make it the one site that regular readers of Drum/Yglesias/Marshall would be most likely to contribute to. That, plus ad revenue (which will get a bump from their "launch" as a "magazine" as well as from Yglesias's forthcoming book) should be enough to keep them in the flophouse, if not in the heart of Dupont.
One of my friends recently had a wedding that landed in the pages of Chicago Bride Magazine (12MB PDF) (she's not in this issue) so I decided to check it out. Holy matrimony! The horrible wrongness of it all leaps off the page, so you don't need me to point it out, but a few things caught my eye: one picture looks like it might be of someone who's not white; "Choosing The Right Tuxedo for your groom [emphasis in original]; and, as a labor of love, I transcribe the advice for writing your own vows.
Writing your own wedding vows may be time consuming, but follow these few easy steps and you will be so glad you got to say those special things to your fiance on the most important day of your lives.
To be a successful wedding vow writer, you and your fiance must take time out of your day when the two of you are relaxed and comfortable to focus in on why you are getting married and what is so special about each other.
Grab a pen and some paper and each of you take a half hour alone in the two separate rooms to start writing and explaining what you love about your fiance, why they mean so much to you and how you think the relationship has grown and will grow in the future.
Write two our three of your favorite times together when you might have laughed, cried or carried and inside joke for so long.
Write down quotes or songs that are meaningful to you and words that may describe your relationship and how and why is it so important to you.
Meet back and discuss what you have written.
You may want to incorporate traditional wedding vows into your own.
When you have both agreed on the type of vows you want to say, discuss it with your minister and then practice, practice, practice!
By request, a thread for people coming into town early for UnfoggeDCon to make sightseeing and frolicking plans and general coordinating.
As y'all know, the news of the day is that Gerald Ford died at the age of 93. I've been waiting for one of the oldsters to put up a post about him since he was before my time but, since they haven't, you can talk about it here if you'd like.
Hey, sure enough, on my new computer I can't play music that I bought on my old computer through Napster and Rhapsody. There might be a way to re-license it, but You Must Be Joking. Luckily, there are only about ten such songs, which I bought mostly to see how music from those stores sounds. I'll be sticking with my "don't buy anything you can't strip the protection from" plan, thanks.
This time, a reminder that you cannot swim like Ian Thorpe. Wow.
What was dinner yesterday?
We had roast goose and a fresh ham stuffed with proscuttio and wild rice stuffing; mashed potatoes; maple glazed sweet potatoes; mashed rutabagas (which I was raised to refer to as 'turnips' -- I still get flummoxed when I ask for a turnip and someone gives me one of those little purple and white radishy looking things); brussels sprouts baked in cream and parmesan cheese; a Thai salad with a peanut/rice vinegar dressing brought by a guest; a spinach lasagna brought by another guest; cranberry sauce; and goose gravy. Dessert was apple pie, pecan pie, tiny individual mince pies brought by a guest, some bizarre bread pudding based on doughnuts (crullers, actually) brought by a different guest, chocolate peppermint bark, and a cookie sheet of failed chocolate chip meringues that came out soft rather than brittle.
I plan to have my next meal in 2007 -- I should be hungry by then.
I made a pledge to stay offline as much as possible this vacation and spend time with my family instead of on the Internet. And what happens? Well, my mother's in the computer room reading her websites, youngest brother's in the basement playing WoW, the older one's next door at a LAN party, and my dad's in the other room watching the TiVo. I tried to organize a game night but discovered that they gave all of our board games away to a neighbor since nobody played them. I tried to get someone to go see a movie tonight but there's nothing they want to see. I'd offer to take one of my brothers out to the coffee shop or something but it's Christmas and everything's closed. So I gave up and am checking my email.
We're really killing the holiday cheer around here. Merry Christmas, everyone! Feel free to share happy holiday links, stories, whatever. I'll start us off with my new favorite karaoke performer.
Accusations that a country's neighbor is "meddling" made by the country that went around the world to occupy it are what you might call pretty rich.
More broadly, regardless of what was in the deepest heart of the Times' reporters and editors, uncritical stories like this are constitutive of what crazy lefties call "a campaign of propaganda." The most important thing this story communicates isn't any of its facts, but the framing assumption that any opposition to US power is malign. Bit by bit, through stories like this, a public perception is created of an intransigent and hostile "enemy" state. That perception of intransigent hostility is then spun as irrationality, and presto, war is the only possible solution. What's galling is that it would be so easy to take a moment to reflect at each step of the way and ask "what would you do in their place?" Maybe it's totally rational to want nukes when a hostile and powerful country invades two of your neighbors, and maybe it's totally rational to want your operatives in those countries to figure out what's going on and try to influence events in your favor.
Put your best and worst Christmas gifts here.
I think I'm in contention with mine -- a self-published novel where one of my relatives imagines herself to be an angel who travels the country solving mysteries and convincing people to accept Jesus Christ into their hearts.
A new one (depending on how you count it). Ethiopia is in a shooting war with Somalia. I haven't been following this at all, but Gary is.
(Does anyone remember that Simon and Garfunkel song that's Silent Night interspersed with a news broadcast of typical horrible 60's news? Vietnam, civil rights protesters getting beaten, that sort of thing. It's beginning to feel that way around here.)
Someone near and dear to me got arrested for buying heroin in Baltimore this evening. Hopefully will be out of jail by Christmas, but this is still going to be in the running for Worst Christmas Ever. It's Randy Newman song-style depressing. Any law-talking people want to tell me about penalties for simple possession in Maryland? I mean, I'm assuming it's below the intent-to-distribute limit, provided the line isn't ridiculously low, like I think it's only a bundle or two in NYC. Hey, at least it wasn't in NY! Too many lawyer please hire-me sites clogging up my searches. If I only watched the Wire I'm sure I could make some killer joke right now... Oh, and Merry Christmas, you clowns.