Someone emailed me to ask if we'd ever had a thread about what people say during sex. I don't think we have, maybe because all the women I've slept with have been of the quiet moans of transcendent pleasure variety, and also because people aren't so willing to share things like that. But! I do remember one woman who wasn't a screamer, exactly, but a yeller. Like, at the top of her lungs. Really fucking loud. I'M RIGHT HERE!!! Seriously, it was loud. It was so loud that she only did it a few times, when we were in a detached domicile far from other humans. No words, just yelling. Really loud yelling. It does make an interesting vibration, so it's not all bad. You?
I don't know if this guy is sincere or, as I suspect, pulling a prank on what looks to be a local access Christian show, but either way, I promise this will be one of the best things you've seen in a long time.
Update: Definitely not sincere.
[At McDonald's, having lunch after taekwondo class]
"Yes, Sally, after you bit it on both sides, that burger really does look like the BatSignal. No, you can't take it home and show it to Daddy."
Via TPM, this WSJ article points out that we're in worse shape on the global warming front than the UN report suggests:
U.S. government scientists Friday said the long-term outlook for global warming may be more dire than suggested by this week's United Nations' report, which they say doesn't fully address the impact of clouds and melting glaciers.
Update: Since I complain about Instapundit in the comments, I should note that he has a longish post on the subject with some reasonable points.
We haven't had enough bad feeling around here recently, so I thought I'd offer a chance to muse about sex, sexism, fraternal bonding, and conflicting loyalties. Via Magpie comes this San Fransico Chronicle article about the outrage many men feel toward Mayor Gavin Newsom's affair with the wife of a high-ranking, uh, staffer. Why are men angry while women are more likely to forgive?
Apparently it is the Man Code, a set of rigid but unwritten boundaries over which no man may step. Break the Man Code, and you're toast.
"It's a huge betrayal," sputtered Jason Mundstuk, 67, a business owner from Oakland who got upset just talking about it. "It's big. It's mythical."
C'mon, you say, what is this, a TV beer commercial? Evidently not. These guys were dead serious. Make no mistake -- having an affair with the wife of a trusted male colleague is an irrevocable Man Code violation.
Yeah, I'd be pissed.
Unlike my other posts, which are unassailable fortresses of words, logic and brainsweat, I'm just kind of musing here. See, every now and again I really covet a Mac. They're so shiny! And the people who use them love them so much! I get all curious. Maybe it would make me...happier!
But I have to admit, though Microsoft gets a lot of hate, and much of it is deserved, I have a computer running Windows XP, and it's fast, it never crashes, it recognizes and works with anything I've plugged in--from an old notebook drive that I attached to an adapter to my fancy-shmancy remote control--and it cost me precisely half what a similarly spec'ed Macbook Pro would cost. This is a strictly non-partisan post. All I'm saying is: Windows: not so bad.
First, we have the oh so smooth Alex Popov going so fast with so little apparent effort that one suspects he's using a secret form of propulsion
And I love this picture of pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva.
Time to head out to the Gay Bar! Gay Bar! Gay Bar! Oh, surprise, Bush and Blair are there too.
Here's the transcript of an interview Ezra just did with Edwards. Edwards sounds very sensible and engaged on Iran. He's clear that the use of military force against them is just a flat out bad idea, and has some very reasonable thoughts about setting up negotiations:
First, America should be negotiating directly with Iran, which Bush won't do. Second, we need to get our European friends, not just the banking system, but the governments themselves, to help us do two things -- put a group, a system of carrots and sticks on the table. The carrots are, we'll make nuclear fuel available to you, we'll control the cycle, but you can use it for any civilian purpose. Second, an economic package, which I don't think has been seriously proposed up until now. Because there economy is already struggling, and it would be very attractive to them. And then on the flip side, the stick side, to say if you don't do that, there are going to be more serious economic sanctions than you've seen up until now. Now of course we need the Europeans for this, cause they're the ones with the economic relationship with Iran, but the whole purpose of this is number one to get an agreement. Number two, to isolate this radical leader so that the moderates and those within the country who want to see Iran succeed economically, can take advantage of it.
Now that's on the one hand, the flip side of this is what happens if America were to militarily strike Iran? Well you take this unstable, radical leader, and you make him a hero -- that's the first thing that'll happen. The Iranian people will rally around him. The second thing that will happen is they will retaliate. And they have certainly some potential for retaliating here in the United States through some of these terrorist organizations they're close to, but we've got over a hundred thousand people right next door. And most people believe that they have an infrastructure for retaliation inside Iraq. So, that's the second thing that'll happen. And the third thing is there are a lot of analysts who believe that an air strike or a missile strike is not enough to be successful. To be successful we'd actually have to have troops on the ground, and where in the world would they come from? So, to me, this is the path, I don't know if you read Tom Friedman's column either yesterday or the day before?
Really, at this point, I'm torn between Obama and Edwards, wouldn't be distraught over Clinton, would be very happy with Gore if he ran... I can't think of anyone in the Democratic field who sounds like a real problem.
The post is inspired by some hostility Glenn Greenwald has gotten for moving his blog to Salon. Ezra goes through the pathetically few positions there are in which a writer can earn a living writing about progressive politics: The Nation, The American Prospect, The Washington Monthly... total it up, there are about thirty jobs. And you can't do any interesting reporting unless you can make a full time living at it.
The last part of that is absolutely true. I post more about politics than about anything else here. I put in a fair amount of effort writing political posts when I do, and they take me some time. And I don't do any reporting or bring anything new in the way of facts to the blog -- really, my political blogging comes down to "Here's an article in the NY Times/some other blog I read, and here's what I think of it." While I've had people be very kind about my writing, I don't bring anything factual to the table -- it's pure personal reaction -- and I couldn't without spending so much time on it that I couldn't hold down a job. (There are questions about how I hold down a job as it is.)
Anyone carping at a decent left-wing writer or reporter doing what they can to get paid is way off base; we need to build an infrastructure that creates more full time jobs for them, not give them a hard time when they rattle the tip jar or go to work for a pay site.
Here's a picture that won't be on the front page of the NY Times.
Just some nice Israeli kids beating on an old Palestinian woman. Good thing they don't show this stuff in the Arab world, or people might get pissed.
The photo comes from the fantastic Rootless Cosmopolitan, which eb just told me about. Despite the picture and my inflammatory intro, the blog itself, by senior Time editor and mid-east expert Tony Karon, is quite devastatingly reasonable--like a saner Juan Cole. Must reading.
I've had the occasional spell of afib for about ten years, and in that time, I've talked about it with at least thirty doctors, a good ten of them cardiologists. The thing I've found which helps most to keep those portentous skipped beats away is consuming lots of potassium from low-sugar sources. The afib message boards are full of people who confirm that this helps them too. And not a single doctor has mentioned it to me. They've suggested drugs, or surgery, but nothing about a small no-side-effect addition to my diet. There must be instances of this kind of lacuna for dozens of ailments.
Don't tell me I'm behind the times; I don't care.
Music that is indubitably pop, yet enjoyable.
The Franken discussion suggests a topic for our next thinly-disguised open thread, namely, love/hate relationships with NPR staples. Confession: I never get tired of Car Talk, maybe because I use it as a way of measuring how my life is going. Up and productive by the time Tom and Ray are yukking it up? All right. Sleep through it? Friday night must have been a train wreck.
Confession II: I enjoy The Tavis Smiley Show but only in an ironic, "I cannot believe that Cornel West keeps saying 'Brother Tavis' like it's 1973" sort of way.
Of course, the best show on NPR is Delicious Dish-- aka the "Schwetty Balls" skit. "I'm going to leave Santa some tap water and rice." Sweet.
He's running for Senate, challenging Norm Coleman. I'm glad. He's a smart guy, and I like his politics, and I think he'd do a fine job.
Goodness only knows which way the comedian thing will cut. I figure it helps in that being someone who's a professional in front of a mike and a camera helps. It probably hurts in that he has a long, long, long, long print record of saying things that are going to make it very difficult for people who identify tribally as Republicans to cross the line for him. But it should make for an interesting campaign to watch. (Via tristero at Digby's place.)
Our handsome mayor seems to have slept with his friend's wife. Maybe it all would have stayed hush-hush if the woman wasn't one of his aides, and if her husband wasn't another high-ranking aide, who just abruptly resigned. We'll see if San Francisco thinks this is ok.
When there are dedicated civil servants blogging for the rest of us. Megan's linked post analyzes why the recent executive order mandating that agencys establish a regulatory policy office run by a political appointee, to supervise the development of rules and documents providing guidance to regulated industries, is a bad idea:
But the more important reason is that a distant political appointee, even assuming that she is not a partisan hack and that she is interested in the topic and not using the office as a stepping stone, would know exactly the wrong amount. Anyone at a distance from the process can only know enough to be dangerous. When we go to write anything that tells people what they have to do, there is an intricate multi-year negotiation between everyone involved. There are drafts, and comments, and drafts, and workshops, and drafts, and internal meetings, and drafts, and formal written comment, and more drafts. Usually, in the end, you will come down to very awkwardly written compromises that no one will sue you for. They are compromises like "We will shift this item from the list for mandatory implementation by the next contract negotiation to the list for voluntary implementation unless it has a positive CBA, in which case it must be done within three years."
Every word in there was hard fought. People snorted and sat back at the table with their arms crossed. We changed it until no one threatened to call their congressperson any more. We explained to them why we have to implement the law that way, and caved when we couldn't get more, or when we were wrong. We brought in someone's good idea. I know how people laugh at ridiculous regulations, but I swear they didn't get to be ridiculous because no one was thinking. They're ridiculous because the topics are complicated, and we have to accommodate widely divergent views, and because there were so many iterations.
Anyway, a political appointee who wasn't there for the painful years of writing regulations can only disrupt a very precarious balance. She thinks to herself that those two lists are mostly redundant, moves over a column heading, and undoes an eight hour meeting. She crosses out a verification technique and destroys the trust of half our constituents. Unless she was there, she can only make things worse. I don't want her in the loop.
Go on and read her followup on why regulation generally is necessary. Click through -- it's really worth the read.
A note from Cheney to McClellan about what to say to the press about the Plame affair.
Has to happen today.
Call out to key press saying same thing about Scooter as Karl.
Not going to protect one staffer & sacrifice the guy
this Pres.that was asked to stick his neck in the meat grinder because of the incompetence of others.
What's new here isn't that Bush knew (which we surely knew, but, yes, had no proof of), nor that Cheney was cautious even in an internal memo, but that there was real acrimony between Bush's people and Cheney's. Obviously, Cheney thinks someone in Bush's office screwed up, and Cheney is getting his man Libby's back, lest he be offered up as a scapegoat. What the fuck was going on in this administration that there could be this much anger between the President and Vice-President? And if Cheney is running the country, why did it happen that his guy did become the scapegoat? And is this acrimony a big part of the reason this administration can't plan for shit? I thought we'd find out about this stuff 10 or 20 years from now, but he's not even out of office and it's already becoming clear what a complete and utter disaster George Bush has been as the leader of the country.
I read somewhere, and it's probably no great insight (no, none at all) that the reception of Sufi (perhaps! details escape me!) poetry in the west was somewhat confused because, in the absence of a religious ban on drinking alcohol, no one made the connection between the fervor and loss of control in bodily drunkenness and the fervor and loss of control in a mystical union with god. Or something. Exercise: apply a suitably expanded version of this line of thought to noted Muslim Richard Thompson's song "God Loves a Drunk".
All this is by the way of observing that one can now purchase 20-year-old whisky in Pakistan.
At only 62. I'd never heard the story of her being fired from the Times:
Molly Ivins could have played in the league of the big boys. They invited her in, giving her a bureau chief job with the New York Times--which she wrote her way out of when she referred to a "community chicken-killing festival" in a small town as a "gang-pluck."
Charley Carp's son needs to interview a scientist for 10 minutes by tomorrow evening. Drop in here if you're available.
(Economists, this doesn't mean you.)
I'm very late to this party, but this '05 post from Kung Fu Monkey about the "crazification factor" is great.
John: Hey, Bush is now at 37% approval. I feel much less like Kevin McCarthy screaming in traffic. But I wonder what his base is --
John: ... you said that immmediately, and with some authority.
Tyrone: Obama vs. Alan Keyes. Keyes was from out of state, so you can eliminate any established political base; both candidates were black, so you can factor out racism; and Keyes was plainly, obviously, completely crazy. Batshit crazy. Head-trauma crazy. But 27% of the population of Illinois voted for him. They put party identification, personal prejudice, whatever ahead of rational judgement. Hell, even like 5% of Democrats voted for him. That's crazy behaviour. I think you have to assume a 27% Crazification Factor in any population.
That seems just right, doesn't it? Bush's approval numbers won't dip below 30%. I think I've seen Cheney's go lower, but people can repudiate him without repudiating their primary allegiance to the party or the president. My only nitpick is that these group allegiances are strong, so it's not as if the same 27% would vote for a Democrat, no matter what. But I, predictably, don't think there are as many crazified lefties--somewhere between 5-10% of the population would defend a Democrat, no matter what. That leaves about 35% of the population more or less beyond the reach of reason. Explains a lot.
When asked if they had a 20-year-old daughter what would they least want their daughter to bring home as a boyfriend, respondents said they would least want it to be a guy she met on the Internet -- even over someone she met at a bar or at a Star Trek convention. Of those polled, 31.9 percent considered the Internet boyfriend to be the worst, followed by a guy she met in a bar (22.3 percent) and then a Trekkie (16.1 percent).
Though it forces me to relive another of my uncomsummated retirements from blogging, I want to note that it's been one year since Apo, Becks, Ben, LB and Tia breathed new life into the site. Many thanks to them, and to Alameida for bringing them on.
Joe Biden says that Barack Obama is "the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy."
And follows up with,
Volumes could be written about all that was wrong with what Biden said about Obama, but I believe we've just witnessed the shortest presidential run in history.
Agreed. Though I think I would have said, "'Clean.' Oy."
"I didn't take Senator Biden's comments personally, but obviously they were historically inaccurate. African-American presidential candidates like Jesse Jackson, Shirley Chisholm, Carol Moseley Braun and Al Sharpton gave a voice to many important issues through their campaigns, and no one would call them inarticulate."
Running for president is hard enough with two feet on the ground, Senator Biden, but it's going to be even harder when you have them in your mouth.
"I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy," he said. "I mean, that's a storybook, man."
But--and the "but" was clearly inevitable--he doubts whether American voters are going to elect "a one-term, a guy who has served for four years in the Senate," and added: "I don't recall hearing a word from Barack about a plan or a tactic."
Really? The very first one ever?
Apparently Israel doesn't mess around with sex crimes. The former justice minister was just convicted of kissing a woman against her will, and for that he could get up to three years in jail. Yowza. Note that it wasn't a peck on the cheek.
Both sides agreed that H., who was finishing her army service, asked to be photographed hugging Ramon. According to the indictment, she then tried to leave, but "the defendant continued to embrace her body with one hand and drew her near. With the other hand, he grasped her cheeks, turned her face toward him and pressed his lips to her lips, while inserting his tongue into her mouth, all without her consent."
He hasn't been sentenced yet, so I don't know if three years is the likely outcome. This, from the judges, is awesome.
Ramon came under heavy criticism from the judges, who wrote that his behavior was not "an honest mistake, rather indifference to the wishes of the complainant." The reliability of his accuser, however, "was never in question."
The judges said that Ramon "tried to distance himself from the event and from anything that could have embroiled him" in the affair. "He had no qualms about slandering the complainant... The defense produced witnesses whose sole target was to blacken the complainant's name."
The panel expressed the hope that the trial and the accusations hurled against the complainant would not discourage other victims of sexual crimes from coming forward.
Blackening the complainant's name, which is standard operating procedure here, draws the opprobrium it deserves in a civilized society. America is really weird sometimes.
More crazed propaganda from the war machine. I'm trying to find just one alarming fact among the alarmist innuendos in this Time piece about Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corp by former CIA man Robert Baer.
An apocalyptic cult came uncomfortably close to taking Najaf, one of Shi'a Islam's most holy cities, and murdering Grand Ayatollah Sistani.
What that has to do with Iran, we aren't told.
on Sunday, Iran's ambassador to Baghdad told the New York Times that Iran is in Iraq to stay, whether the Bush Administration likes it or not
But he was substantially less belligerent than that. The Times summarized,
The ambassador, Hassan Kazemi Qumi, said Iran was prepared to offer Iraq government forces training, equipment and advisers for what he called "the security fight." In the economic area, Mr. Qumi said, Iran was ready to assume major responsibility for Iraq reconstruction, an area of failure on the part of the United States since American-led forces overthrew Saddam Hussein nearly four years ago.
Nevermind, Baer is on a roll.
And that's not the worst of it. American forces still hold five members of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Arrested by American forces in Erbil on Jan. 11, the Administration has accused the five IRGC members of helping the Iraqi opposition kill Americans.
I've written here before that the IRGC has a long history of calculated violence against its enemies, particularly the United States. The Administration's accusations are plausible. But at the same time the U.S. needs to remember what a serious spoiler the IRGC can be when provoked.
And then he adduces an instance from 1982 in which the IRGC retaliated for a kidnapping. And note the ominousness of "calculated violence against its enemies," which it might occur to us would include things like launching cruise missiles against pharmaceutical factories, or, say, invading other countries. He then moves from the "plausible" to the much more powerful...
Some Iraqis speculate that the IRGC has already started a campaign of revenge with the killing of five American soldiers in Karbala on Jan. 20, nine days after the arrest of the IRGC members in Erbil. As the logic of the rumor goes, five American soldiers were killed for five Iranians taken; Karbala was an IRGC message to release its colleagues -- or else.
Seriously, could you have weaker sourcing than "some Iraqis speculate?" I found this more recent Times story about this speculation, which is now being done by the more professional speculators of the Iraqi and American governments. Is there a single piece of evidence in the entire report that Iran was connected to the killings in Karbala? There is not.
But Baer moves inexorably to his conclusion, that the wise President Bush will try to forebear, but lord knows what the Iranians will do.
Mindful of the spreading chaos in Iraq, President Bush has promised not to take the war into Iran. But it won't matter to the IRGC. There is nothing the IRGC likes better than to fight a proxy war in another country.
Congratulations, Mr. Baer, you've now done your little part in bringing us needlessly closer to war.
Maybe it's because of the New Year, or something in the air, but I've now read a few posts by people who are trying to lose weight. I'm not a doctor, nor a nutritionist or personal trainer, but I *am* obsessive about my weight and what I eat, and also prone to large and rapid fluctuations in weight, so I'll share what I've learned. A doctor would only tell you you had cancer anyway.
1. Don't think about your weight. Weight is misleading because muscle is denser than fat, and not everyone's bones are equally dense. This is hard for some people, but I'd recommend not setting a target weight at all. Set goals for the exercise that you're doing, and have in mind a realistic picture of what you hope to look like or be able to wear when you're "there," but don't make yourself crazy over the number.
2. Make a plan that's sustainable, both physically and emotionally. You will not be able to sustain exercising 90 minutes every day, nor will you be able to give up dessert forever, or live on apples and celery. But you can exercise for 30-45 minutes most days, and you can give yourself an allowance of "bad" foods, eg, two or three transgressions a week, whether your chosen sin is fries or a scoop of ice cream, or a few strips of bacon. Give yourself permission; it'll make it easier to keep up the regimen in the long run.
3. Give yourself plenty of time. If you want to lose 20 pounds, give yourself 6-8 months. If you want to lose 30 or 40, give yourself a year. You can do it more quickly, but see (2), and here's a secret: if you lose weight really quickly, you'll look kinda bad and sickly. That's presumably not your goal. Go slowly, and you'll suffer less, feel better, and have a much better chance of keeping it off.
4. Do weight-bearing cardio. There's no substitute for this. You have to do at least 30 minutes every day (or six days a week, or 40 minutes five days a week). This is the way and the life. Walking (when you're just getting started, you lazy ass), running, aerobics, stairmaster, elliptical--these are all excellent. Biking is ok, ditto a rowing machine (but careful with your back!). Swimming is no good--it's not weight-bearing, and you'll hardly lose any weight at all. And there are plenty of things that'll make you feel good or strong, but won't help you lose weight: yoga, pilates, rock-climbing--great for variety, but not for losing weight. If you really want to get serious about this and/or if you're a gadget geek, get a heart-rate monitor. This is simplified, but if you stick to it, you'll get good results: Find your maximum heart rate with the formula 220 - (Age x 0.85). Warm up for a few minutes and then work out at around 70% of your MHR, give or take.
4a. It's good to get stronger. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn. That's good. But muscle is not a substitute for cardio and my guess is that the effect is more difficult to achive and less pronounced for women.
5. Eat a little less, and smarter, but don't starve yourself. There are a bajillion diets, but if you do the cardio, you really only have to think about your food like this: stop when you're full; don't eat crap you know is bad for you; give yourself a treat occassionally. Don't make this part more complicated than it needs to be: you already know when you've had enough to eat, and you don't need a book to tell you that donuts and fries are bad for you. Being hungry sucks and you don't need to put yourself through it to lose weight.
6. Have an exercise routine. If you don't have a regular schedule for your workouts, you'll fail. You'll fail not because you're bad and lazy, but because it's fucking impossible to make yourself work out consistently if you have to make an affirmative decision every time to do it. Set your day so that you know, when you wake up in the morning, what time your workout will be, and stick to that. After just a few weeks, you won't want to skip it.
7. You don't have to suffer. It's really not about suffering or deprivation or any of that. If you do this right, you'll enjoy it, and you'll look great.
That's it. The first few weeks are hard. You'll want to quit. Don't. The weeks after that are easy; you'll feel better, and won't want to stop.
And now I'm sure the Unfoggetariat has lots of advice it wants to share...
Update: One very good point that a few people have made in the comments is that you should take it easy with the exercise and gradually build to, say, 30 minutes a day of running or whatever it is that you're doing. Totally right. And a related point: don't try to train through injuries. If something hurts, rest it until it feels better, or it will become chronic.
Fuck you and your below the fold.
Dean Barnett doesn't like John Edwards' taste in houses, since, apparently, the one thing you must not do, if you're really rich, is give a fuck about poor people. John Edwards claims to care about poverty-- yet he himself is quite wealthy! Zing!
The heart of the Edwards message is the class warfare sentiment that the working class should envy the rich. Income disparity is the Homeric theme he hopes to ride to the White House. And then he builds a house that will serve as a living, breathing example of how the "other half" enjoys lives of a completely different sort than working people. It doesn't add up.
He also thinks that this video of Edwards getting primped for an appearance is damning. Indeed, John Edwards looks ridiculous getting his makeup done; in this way he resembles everyone else.
This is just a throwaway post, but it seems to me that someone ought to note the awfulness of this argument. Hey, how did this saliva get in my eye?
It's the moment you've all been waiting for: Harry Potter nude and on stage. Some are outraged, naturally. I wonder why he couldn't get Hermione to co-star, and note that Harry's been working the abs.
Things that are important:
1. Reading skills.
2. Bedside manner.
I just went in for my six-month surgery follow-up. Different state, different doctor, etc. They asked me to bring my medical records from Chicago with me, and the new doc looked at them for about 30 seconds while he was talking to me. In cancer surgery, they talk about the "margin," which is the extra bit (typically 1cm) that they cut out around the tumor, in order to make sure that there are no bits of cancer left near where the tumor was.
The new doc came in and said, "So, you have cancer."
"Well, I'm supposed to be cured."
He meaningfully underlined something in the report and asked me what my surgeon had said about the margins. "He said they were clear." (I.e., no cancer in them, aka, "negative margins.")
The sentence he underlined was,
The resection margin is inked black and there is a tan-yellow, encapsulated tumor directly present on the resection margin (1.7 x 1.6 x 1.5 cm).
"That means the margin was positive, not negative, so there might be microscopic bits of cancer left."
Uh...um..."I remember the surgeon saying that the margins were negative. I'll give him a call."
"Well, it doesn't make any difference to how we proceed."
I swear to god, "peace of mind" didn't even occur to him. No biggie, it's a CT scan either way. Luckily, I trust my surgeon, so I figured that the margins were in fact negative, and the report was ambiguous. But now that I have a minute to read it myself, I see that the report was perfectly clear, if new doc had bothered to read the whole fucking thing. The tumor and the margin were submitted as separate specimens, so the "resection margin" that he underlined is not the same thing as the margin that was cut out around the tumor. The context makes this absolutely plain. Oh well. He filled in the referral forms and was out the door before I had my jacket on.
Update: Just talked to my surgeon. Read him the sentence in the report, and told him what the doctor had said. His reaction: "We send two samples, that's not about the margin." He added, "Oh my goodness." Honestly, this didn't cause me much distress, but what a fuck up.
etc.: My friend's summary of the interaction: "You might have cancer, but I don't care."
&etc.: My mom: "What's his name."
So he's a foreigner. What kind of name is that?
I think it's Chinese, mom.
Ohhh, so his mother forced him to be a doctor.
A question every urban dweller must eventually answer:
Your usual take-out restaurant has been closed by the Health Department. If it was closed on Date X and reopened on Date Y, what is the earliest date D when one should consider ordering from there again?
Show your work. You may include additional variables such as the quality of the cuisine, the proximity to your apartment, and whether the restaurant allowed you the polite fiction of pretending to reopen under new management.
It's a distressingly common occurrence that sexual assault victims are victimized a second time by the legal system when they try to press charges, but seldom so blatantly as this. A pre-med student in Tampa was grabbed and raped behind a building following a parade early Saturday afternoon. After the assault, the woman called police, who took her to a nurse examiner's office. While processing the report, they discovered an outstanding juvenile warrant from 2003 for failing to pay restitution (the article does not specify the old charges). The police then arrested the woman and took her to jail, where she remained for the next two days. But wait—that's not where it ends.
The clinic had given her Plan B for emergency contraception but the jail's medical supervisor, an employee of a company contracted to provide medical services in the jail, refused to allow her to take the second dose, citing (of course) religious objections. The second pill is supposed to be taken within twelve hours of the first one, but the woman was prevented from taking it for nearly 48 hours. Her lawyer claims that she has paid the restitution already and the record of non-payment must be a clerical error.
The kicker is this quote from police spokeswoman Laura McElroy: "We may need to revisit our policy." Yes, I think you may. Oh, and while you're at it, you may want to revisit the contract with the medical services company. I'll bet there's a negligence clause in there somewhere.
Yes! The copyright holder on this (who happens to be the "ref" in the video) is brutal, so you can't find it on YouTube or most of the other video sites, but I guess her lawyers haven't sent a letter to MetaCafe yet. Just ask yourself, how is it that a video with awful lyrics, atrocious dancing, and a silly melody is, nevertheless and non-ironically, THE GREATEST VIDEO OF ALL TIME!!!!
Actually, I know the answer. It's because the '85 Bears are THE GREATEST FOOTBALL TEAM OF ALL TIME!!!!
I should probably close comments for this one. But whatever, you can't mar my enjoyment of this.
Hey … hey! Listen to the radio tomorrow from 9 to 11 am PST, okay? I guarantee that everything you thought you knew about the Necks will be called into question, and there will be some seriously unreconstructed progged-out rocking courtesy Indukti along with slightly more modern progged-out math rocking courtesy Sleeping People. Also: Maher Shalal Hash Baz, the Tiger Lillies, Ornette Coleman, Spires that in the Sunset Rise. Assuming my worthy colleague Matt F is still willing, recordings will eventually appear here.
The Star Wars movies all suck (maybe not tESB), but our young, impressionable brains didn't know that at the time, so our older, ossified brains will think this is pretty cool.
again via mr
I'm about 99% certain this video is a spoof after wandering through the rest of the associated sites but all the same, here are the bands you shouldn't listen to if, for whatever reason, you don't want to be gay. SomeCallMeTim is in luck, though, because Morrissey is only listed as "questionable."
I think we need to keep our eye on Huckabee. So far, he hasn't had the exposure or name recognition of McCain or Romney, etc. but the few times I've seen him on TV, he's managed to pull off "compassionate conservative" more believably than any Republican I can remember. Like when he was on The Daily Show a few weeks back and had to say about abortion:
I'm pro-life, and I think life begins at conception, but I don't think it ends at birth. We have to be concerned about a child's education, and healthcare, safe neighborhoods, clean water, the access to a college education--that is pro-life, to care about a child's entire life.
I swear, more than once I've heard things come out of his mouth that I've thought should be stolen by Edwards or Obama before he has a chance to make them his own. Unless the whole parole scandal thing blows up outside of the blogosphere, he could be a dark horse.
This is a fun page of the childhood pictures of various world leaders. Most evil-looking throughout their lives: Hitler, Putin, and Gandhi.
Part of the fun of reading comments (and blogs) is the occassional glipse into someone's crazy head. Over at Crooked Timber, in a discussion about data storage, someone writes,
Even not taking many photos I'm using nearly 1GB/mo just for stills, and if I let the footage from my helmet cam pile up that uses nearly 1GB/day (I video my ride to and from work just in case I need the footage after a crash).
Of course you do. Who wouldn't? I hope he's recording front and back, because a tape of him getting hit from behind which goes from scenic to concrete in an instant won't be much use.
Blackwater USA, which is typically described as a "military contractor," might be better described as Dick Cheney's private army. This seems like a story that needs a lot more people looking into it.
Check out this A1 story on the Obama/madrassa smear. I couldn't have asked for a better summary of what happened -- they bring it back to the source at Insight, and are very clear that there's no connection to the Clinton campaign other than through Insight's story.
Maybe they could have been more hostile to Fox for giving the story so much play, but this is really very respectable.
Update: To be clear, I'm pleased by this story because it seems so different from how the media has handled smears like this in the past. The Swift Boat lies got covered as if bullshit being spewed by people nowhere near the events they were describing had to be treated as respectfully as eyewitness accounts and contemporaneous official records -- stories presented the two conflicting versions as if there was no objective way to decide which was more reliable. The Times story I linked has none of that attitude -- it makes it clear that there is no evidence at all for the truth of the Obama/madrassa story, and that the interesting thing to report on is tracing the bullshit back to its original source.
I'm watching a TiVo'd episode of Medium where the little kid has to make a diorama for school. Is there a more pointless assignment than making a diorama? Has anyone ever actually learned anything from making one?
I think in all of the childhood homework exercises, the diorama must have the worst time-expended-to-complete-assignment to knowledge-learned ratio, with the added bonus of frequently requiring parental involvement and/or an otherwise avoided trip to the craft store. They should be banned.
A gentle reader emailed me this article by Linda Hirshman in today's Washington Post arguing that women aren't rational actors when it comes to voting and would rather vote based on personality than worry their pretty little heads about the issues.
In every election, there's a chance that women will be the decisive force that will elect someone who embraces their views. Yet they seem never to have done so, and I've never seen a satisfactory answer as to why. My own theory is that women don't decide elections because they're not rational political actors -- they don't make firm policy commitments and back the candidates who will move society in the direction they want it to go. Instead, they vote on impulse, and on elusive factors such as personality.
Hirshman then does some rigorous investigative journalism involving calling up six well-to-do, suburban stay-at-home moms in the D.C. area and asking them how they decided who to vote for in the last few elections and extrapolating those results to women in general. I'll give five imaginary dollars to anyone who makes it through that article without banging their head against a wall. I think there are some interesting things that could be uncovered about the difference between the way men and women make political decisions but this article isn't it - I defended Hirshman before in some of the mommy wars threads but this article made me believe she truly thinks women are idiots.
UPDATE: Whoa! Another gentle reader just pointed me to this blog post of Hirshman's. Now I really have to question her attitude towards women. Can you all who know more about philosophy help me out?
My hypothesis is that American women, believing that politics has no ultimate meaning, raised on a steady diet of the authenticity of private feeling and in retreat from communal ties to the single family dwelling, were the actually incarnation of, pardon the gendered language, Nietzsche's last man.
I've been accused of girl-on-girl misogyny before but even I would never take it to that level.
Remember the library-throws-out-the-classics brouhaha? Thanks to TomF in the comments, we see that it was basically bullshit: they were throwing out old, uncheckedout copies of some classics, but had plenty of copies available. Thanks, MSM.