I love this personal ad (this is the whole thing, save the picture).
Hi! I am from Russia, the republic of Bashkortostan. I am Tatar. Now I live in San Jose making research. I came by Fulbright Program for exchange of scholars. I am 31. I heard there is a big Tatar community in Los Angeles. I'd like to meet some Tatars.
Now let's talk about that timetable for withdrawal.
This is not a baseball post, as that would be unacceptable; it's a cosmic justice post. If Barry Bonds breaks Hank Aaron's record and it's treated as a legitimate accomplishment, it will be a fucking travesty. If there's a god, Bonds will get hit by a bus after he hits 754, but odds are that humans will have to mete out justice and that means screaming "cheater!" anytime someone pretends that Bonds is the real record-holder.
We're entirely non-churchgoing, but lots of Sally's friends are Catholic, and she's fascinated by it (got very, very into an episode of Nova on the Shroud of Turin). Today, I came home from work and she asked: "The guy who runs the church, and reads from the Bible: I noticed it's always a man, not a woman." And so I explained that for Catholics, the guy was called a priest, and the rules were it was always a man, but Protestants called the same person a minister or a pastor, and it could be a man or a woman. And she asked why Catholics only let men be priests, and I explained that one might think it was sexism, but that my understanding of the church's reasoning was that the apostles (short digression to explain 'apostle') were all men, and so Catholics thought that meant that God only wanted men to be priests.
She took a couple of beats, and said "That doesn't make any sense: what about Mary?" You have to like a kid working out her own feminism from the ground up -- if it turns out to be feminist theology, I'm fine with that.
There are thousands of us here - scraping out a living, competing for nonpaying acting jobs in 30-seat theaters in Bushwick, working as singing waiters while serving the tourists overcooked Denver omelets. Some people -- a few lucky ones -- will have what it takes to succeed in New York theater. They will be ushered in a private limousine from their temp receptionist job straight to their Letterman debut, while their agent BlackBerries them a breathless six-figure offer from Cameron Mackintosh.
'Breaking In' is not about those people.
It is a comedy about the others -- theater people with very little talent and even less character, each one of them convinced that they are the next chosen savior of the American stage. 'Breaking In' is about the people you should avoid at all costs, the ones who will put you up in front of an audience under fluorescent lighting singing church-basement music after you've been sexually harassed in the wings. It's about the shows you're ashamed to admit that you were a part of. It's about the theater world not as we'd like it to be, but as it is. Petty. Sleazy. Crass. Dehumanizing.
And funny. We hope.
'Breaking In' -- If 'The Office' were set in Off-Off-Broadway theater, it would look something like this, though it would probably be watched by way more people.
Make some curried popcorn and give it a watch!
I got nuthin', and I'm off to swim in a moment, but to tide us over,
1) Halle Berry goes online anonymously, until she just has to tell.
2) Michael Phelps (best male swimmer in the world at the moment) races against Libby Lenton (best female swimmer...). Fun. (Race starts around 2:25.) And a great few seconds of Phelps' stroke shown underwater.
Women might soon be able to produce sperm in a development that could allow lesbian couples to have their own biological daughters ... the results also raise the prospect of being able to take bone-marrow tissue from women and coaxing the stem cells within the female tissue to develop into sperm cells ... Creating sperm from women would mean they would only be able to produce daughters because the Y chromosome of male sperm would still be needed to produce sons. The latest research brings the prospect of female-only conception a step closer.
Public debate about issues like this usually breaks down into "this is an abomination and will end civilization as we know it" against "what's the big deal?" But that won't do, because "what's the big deal?" 1) denies the obvious: this is a big deal and 2) fails to demand that we do the thinking about traditional arrangements that we clearly need to do. We don't even have clear sides in a debate about what parents are supposed to do, let alone a national consensus. And if the terms of the debate aren't explicitly challenged, we end up with a sort of lowest common denominator understanding of a good family as a man and a woman with X dollars spending X hours with their kids and an inchoate sense that anything different from that is inferior. We should be talking about parents as people who want and plan for children, who open their kids' eyes to the modern, globalized world, and who teach them to live with the many different people in that world. Those are terms that are, first of all, right, and that are also favorable to the liberal view of the world and serve as an implicit rebuke to conservatism.
Remember back when I was having such a hard time shopping for pants? It was back in the days when my location was Top Secret, but now it can be told that I went to this place. It really is as gay as it sounds, so they have great stuff.
And I'm afraid the link to Venkat's site got buried today. Again! Cheap, yummy spices, people! You know you wanna.
The new Althouse bloggingheads is up. I got excited by the topics:
A diplomatic breakthrough? Ann half-apologizes, kind of
But oh, wait...
I can't watch, lacking some kind of plugin, but the comments are pretty sweet. Some guy complains
it only "takes a long time to explain" Ann, when you hedge the "wisecrack" in all kinds of irrelevant obfuscating backstory.
And then, like the Kool-Aid Man bursting in to yell "oh yeah!" we get Simon:
That's exactly right - just as the reoccupation of the Rhineland, the Anschluss, the annexation of the Sudetenland and subsequent invasions of Czechoslovakia and Poland are just "irrelevant, obfuscatory backstory" of no help in explaining why the Allies declared war in 1939.
The Times has a great followup article today to yesterday's great article on the federal Election Assistance Commission's decision to baselessly exaggerate the magnitude of fraud by individual voters. Today's article looks at changes in the Justice Department's standards for prosecuting voter fraud, and at the nature of the defendant's those changes have pulled in:
Previously, charges were generally brought just against conspiracies to corrupt the election process, not against individual offenders, Craig Donsanto, head of the elections crimes branch, told a panel investigating voter fraud last year. For deterrence, Mr. Donsanto said, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales authorized prosecutors to pursue criminal charges against individuals.
Ms. Prude's path to jail began after she attended a Democratic rally in Milwaukee featuring the Rev. Al Sharpton in late 2004. Along with hundreds of others, she marched to City Hall and registered to vote. Soon after, she sent in an absentee ballot.
Four years earlier, though, Ms. Prude had been convicted of trying to cash a counterfeit county government check worth $1,254. She was placed on six years' probation.
Ms. Prude said she believed that she was permitted to vote because she was not in jail or on parole, she testified in court. Told by her probation officer that she could not vote, she said she immediately called City Hall to rescind her vote, a step she was told was not necessary.
"I made a big mistake, like I said, and I truly apologize for it," Ms. Prude said during her trial in 2005. That vote, though, resulted in a felony conviction and sent her to jail for violating probation.
While there have been a couple of prosecutions that would have been proper under the old guidelines, for vote buying in local races, most prosecutions for voter fraud in the 2002-2005 period were against individuals like Ms Prude. Now, this is obviously an attempt to hype up the issue for publicity, rather than to preserve the integrity of the electoral process; individual errors, resulting in a vote here and a vote there that should not have been case, have no effect at all on the outcome of elections. If Ms. Prude is the caliber of wrongdoer this sort of politicized drive to uncover voter fraud is turning up, then our current level of security preventing individuals from voting improperly is working very, very well.
Any serious discussion of a solution to a voter fraud 'problem' has to be accompanied by some sort of ballpark figures on how many improper votes it's expected to prevent, compared to how many legitimate votes it's likely to discourage. Where that analysis is absent, or where, as usual, any reasonable estimate of the number of legitimate voters discouraged is several orders of magnitude greater than the number of illegitimate votes prevented by the suggested safeguard, the person advocating it is not thinking seriously about voter fraud, and the proposed measure is presumptively a terrible, terrible, idea.
Reading about this drama teacher (thanks, apo!) showing his students how to act like a gorilla (by humping one of them), has me reminiscing about my own teachers behaving inappropriately. I'm not counting college and beyond, since college instructors seem to be among the sleaziest people on earth.
We loved our homeroom advisor, who was a young, cool guy who would typically deliver disciplinary messages with words to the effect of "I don't give a shit what you do, but as your advisor I'm compelled to say...." And there were totally believable rumors that he'd been disqualified from Olympic swimming trials for cocaine use, which only made us like him more. All was well, until one day, after a heartbreaking Bears playoff loss to the Redskins, he came in lamenting that he'd lost a lot of money on that game, and he was VERY UPSET. You could never tell if he was totally serious, even when he wasn't telling you about his gambling losses, so we were all enjoying the rant when he picked up one of those desk/chair combinations and hucked it ten feet at the wall. We were about fifteen, so we fucking loved that, but of course word got around, and it must be admitted that he wasn't really modeling good behavior.
(The next year we had a new advisor (I hear the young guy is doing just fine) who was the totally clueless, totally bald coach of girls swimming and diving. We spent the next few years with people standing behind him pretending to buff his pate, and giving him shit about skeezing on the girls. God, I miss homeroom.)
The only other example was relatively mild. One of my male high-school teachers was just so damn obviously smitten by one of the girls that it was uncomfortable to be in class with the two of them. He was like a kid with a crush, except that he was married with a kid and, you know, the teacher. As far as I know, nothing inappropriate ever happened between them and I'd forgotten all about it until I saw a Volkswagen ad and looked at the hottie in it and thought, "Wait, is that...?" Sure enough. The girl from social studies. I hope teach saw it.
If you stop commenting here, you can...start your own business! I've been using Venkat's sambar powder in various dishes and it's actually—as opposed to being-nice-to-a-regular—yummy: curryish with a hint of citrus (so say I, anyway). There's also a chili rub that I haven't tried yet. Check it out, like-to-cookers.
At least one rental application I've seen so far includes the question "Have you ever willfully refused to pay any rent when due?". The only reason I can imagine for asking for that information is to discriminate on its basis—to favor those who answer "no" at the expense of those who answer "yes" (or possibly to favor those who answer truthfully, whether "yes" or "no", at the expense of the liars, but that seems unlikely). It's my understanding that one is allowed to withhold rent when due if, for example, one's had to pay for repairs to the property oneself since the landlord failed to do so in a timely manner and the damage makes the property unsafe or uninhabitable or something like that, provided various state-dependent requirements and procedures are met and shit. But provided the requirements are met, it's a kosher thing to do, and whether or not you've done it indicates only that some previous landlord of yours wasn't up to snuff and you had some idea of your rights as a tenant.
I assume, though I don't actually know, that if you've done this, you've got some protection from retaliation from the landlord denied rent. (Maybe the standard protections are supposed to suffice.) But if future potential landlords can ask if you've ever denied a previous landlord rent and favor other potential tenants (over whom they might better be able to walk) because of that, it's just retaliation by proxy. But that's absurd.
One possibility I refuse to consider is that "willfully" actually has some technical legal sense according to which it means that the denial of rent was not justified legally, as opposed to the natural interpretation on which it just means that it was deliberate.
I feel bad for the kid here, and yet, boy do I want this to be real.
Via Althouse, this heartbreaking tale of captivity:
Seaman Batchelor's claim that he cried himself to sleep after his Iranian captors likened him to the comedy character Mr Bean made him a laughing stock.
The thing is, he totally does:
I think I understand Ogged a lot better now. Mullahs to Bean: you're old enough to lose!
UPDATE: And stay tuned for the coffee-table book.
Iran is to issue a CD and book documenting the recent detention of 15 British sailors in an attempt to counter claims of mistreatment and maximise what it sees as a major propaganda victory.
The plan, disclosed at the country's armed forces headquarters, has been hatched partly as a riposte to the sale of the sailors' stories to the British media, which has been greeted with bewilderment in Iran. It is also a response to a Ministry of Defence press conference at which six of the sailors said their admissions - screened on Iranian state television - to having illegally entered Iran's territorial waters were extracted under psychological pressure during their 13-day detention.
Just the thing to liven up your living room!
As I was reading Catherine's lament about the "golf pros and tennis hos" party to which she was invited, my first thought was "That's pretty bad but I bet we could think of a worse one."
Data point: the thought police of the academy have managed to mold my psyche to the point where Imus's remark is genuinely, viscerally unpleasant to me, both in its stupid racism and the way it pollutes what should have been a moment of enjoyment and pride for the Rutgers team. On the other hand, I can listen to mainstream hip-hop* without cringing at, or feeling indignation toward, the sex and the violence. What explains this awkward conjunction of attitudes? One hypothesis: I've accepted, at some level, the presence of lyrics like these as features of the genre, and in doing so I ignore them.
Kendall Walton has a famous discussion of what he calls standard, contra-standard, and variable properties of artistic genres: some features are just built in (or ruled out) in virtue of an artwork's being of a particular type, and this fact is relevant to aesthetic evaluation. For example, it would be a mistake to wonder about the artistic importance of the absence of arms on a bust of Caesar ("a great general, yet he's depicted without arms! fascinating!") because that's a feature that a work has simply in virtue of being a bust. Similarly, I wonder if a non-response to
Now as the sun rotates and my game grows bigger
How many bitches wanna fuck this nigga
is a function of (a) coming to look past the standard features of a genre and (b) a general tendency to focus on aesthetically relevant properties over morally relevant ones.
*Look, I read a book about the civil rights movement once, so I have something I like to call "street cred."
I forgot that I'd promised Scott Lemeiux of Lawyers Guns and Money that I'd guestblog for him while he was out of town for the next two weeks. Desultory blogging will therefore be crossposted here and there until he gets back, and your regularly scheduled hiatus will then recommence.
(Anyone linking to that other video will be slowly boiled.)
Back in grad school, I knew people who were independently wealthy and had been students in the department for years and years, just wealthily dithering about. Which blogs do those people read? The question is occasioned by this Times article on fractional yacht ownership. We, the people of Unfogged, should totally go in on a yacht. "You're banned!" [Splash]
More realistically, I'm intrigued by this site, which is basically Netflix for expensive handbags. Part of me thinks it's a neat idea, but isn't it also a bit sad? The point of having an expensive handbag is to look rich, right? (This is different from borrowing couture, in which one might look fabulous.) It makes me sad that being rich is so important that there's a business in helping people fake it. Or is this just my inner Qutb talking?
This Times article which notes that buying isn't always better than renting is ok, but the real reason to click through is the very elegant interactive chart that let's you calculate which is best for you based on your own budget and expectations. I've seen many such charts, and this is by far the best.
Via the wattle-armed one, I read law prof David Cole's apologia for banning laptops in his classroom. I'm old enough that I'm shocked that they were ever allowed in in the first place. There's no question that they're a distraction, and I like his point that note-taking on a laptop tends to become stenography, during which the brain basically turns off. But the heart of the argument is this.
I feel especially strongly about this issue because I'm addicted to the Internet myself. I checked my e-mail at least a dozen times while writing this op-ed. I've often resolved, after a rare and liberating weekend away from e-mail, that I will wait till the end of the day to read e-mail at the office. Yet, almost as if it is beyond my control, e-mail is the first thing I check when I log on each morning. As for multitasking, I don't buy it. Attention diverted is attention diverted.
Right. The net isn't like other distractions; it's like crack, and we all know it. So while it might be true that banning laptops in the classroom is "paternalistic"--as Cole says his colleagues accuse him of being--it's also the right move: sometimes we need an external pressure to get us to do the right thing.
I thought Google didn't support wildcards. But this referring search says different. Brave new world!
Last night I dreamt that I was visiting my parents' house and it was infested with inch-long red bugs that look like a cross between Fisher Price Little People and Marvin the Martian, only with really long icky antennae. They were all throughout the house and taunting us by leisurely crawling all over the walls instead of hiding and scurrying like good bugs should do so we finally decided to call an exterminator. I went through the phone book and saw a name I recognized, Robust McManlyPants, and gave him a call. He was kind of upset that I woke him up but agreed that a Little People infestation was nothing to mess around with and agreed to come right over with all of his exterminator gear.
I don't know if McManly was able to get rid of them or not, though, because that's about when I woke up.
I don't have much to say about 300 that hasn't been said already. Gayness: extraordinary. Built dudes in leather jock straps, cliches of manly fortitude, and lingering, approving glances. From the very first scene, it's high camp that lasts throughout the film. Cartoonish violence: off the charts. Visual metaphors for evil: yes! A lot of the villains seem to be lifted from Lord of the Rings, with the same use of deformity as an indicator of moral decay. Instead of LOTR's flaming vagina, the villain here is an enormous drag queen with Mommy Dearest eyebrows and a taste for piercings.
The only thing standing between me and harmless satisfaction is the existence of people who take this sort of thing seriously: it's impossible to enjoy campy war/playstation porn with the knowledge that someone, somewhere, is really getting off on it while thinking that it has Serious Cultural Significance. And that makes a difference. The degenerate Persian hordes are held back by men who fight for reason and "against mysticism," we're reminded that "freedom isn't free," and there's a visual similarity between Xerxes' forces and scarf-covered jihadists. Forgive me if I have a foreboding sense of where this is going. (What makes this more troubling is the fact that Sparta is a sort of anti-American ideal: an infanticide-loving theocratic monarchy committed to a single vision of the good life, with scorn for the citizen-soldiers who, though identified as Arcadians, bring to mind Pericles' praise of the "amateurs" who matched the professional Spartan army.)
All of this, of course, is outweighed by the huge pecs.
As the single most desultory housing search in history gets underway, I & my prospective roommate find ourselves only now realizing that it will be easier to find non-crappy yet bank-preserving places with at least a third occupant, and one prospective such third person recently decided against joining her forces to ours (the proximate cause a soi-disant friend of mine!). Many of the housing-wanted advertisers on the SF CL being relatively uninspiring, I turn to you, O incomparable unfoggedtariat, to ask if any among you are, or know anyone who is, moving into or within San Francisco, and are or who would be amenable to living with the foremost cock theorist of our time and an oppressed law clerk (who is, into the bargain, an honest-to-god red-headed stepchild). This matter is so important to me that I have been moved to my long-neglected marimba to craft a musical entreaty.
I think we should shoot for limiting the unremitting mockery to the first 150 comments, with only intermittent mockery thereafter.
For those of you now stuck with ten dozen hard-boiled eggs in various pastel shades and wondering what to do with them, the best deviled eggs in the world are made from mixing the egg yolks with Hellmann's mayonnaise, French's yellow mustard, and juice (just the juice!) from a jar of sweet gherkin pickles. Or, if assembling deviled eggs is too time-consuming, make the deviled egg filling I described and then mash up the whites with a potato masher until they're broken up (so much easier than chopping them!) and mix them in to make an easy egg salad.
You'll want to save the juiceless pickles for grilled sandwiches made from sharp cheddar cheese, sweet gherkins, and (again) French's yellow mustard.
Now that Lizardbreath is on hiatus, we can finally boy it up around here. No 2 Alike motors took a Corvette chasis and built a body based on iconic Chevrolets of the late '50s, and the result, the 789, looks friggin fantastic.
arthegall asked that I remind everyone that there's a Boston meetup planned for this Thursday. Lurkers welcome! Make plans here!
I've been out of ideas for anything to blog about for a while now; I figure if I announce that I'm taking a break, I won't feel bad about not coming up with anything interesting.
I'll start posting again if it starts sounding like fun, and I'll almost certainly still be in the comments.
Intrigued by Tom's post about the Helio Ocean phone and other cool stuff doohicky, I wrote to Helio about support for Office documents. "Dawn" wrote back.
Thank you for your inquiry.
I would be glad to answer any questions you have, but all the information we have on the Ocean is located on our home page. Since we have not currently released the Ocean for sale we will only release a minimal amount of information.
I hope we answered your question. If we didn't answer your question or if you have additional questions, please send us another e-mail at the address below.
Helio Member Care
Why can't liberals work with Bush?
Finally the President has realized that the liberals' agenda is to personally destroy his presidency and our nation as well. President George W. Bush has spent most of his terms giving Ted Kennedy an education bill ladened with money, increased social spending on every front, and seeking bipartisan Democrat support in hopes of generating good will.
While being called various names by Democrats and charged with trumped-up scandals, President Bush has responded with open humility and generous terms to his enemies. George Bush has drawn the line with his unwavering support for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales against recent attacks. The liberals will not stop with Mr. Gonzales but will, like sharks, continue to seek blood from Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Condoleezza Rice, etc.
The Democratic Congress has decided once again it has the right to undermine executive privilege, knowing that many Americans understand very little about the separation of powers as stated in our Constitution.
Presidents Clinton and Carter routinely fired their appointed attorneys as well.
Instead of offering the positive agenda promised with their new leadership, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid seek only to further their lust for power by character assassination. I hope we will see more of President Bush's fighting spirit against these liberals.
I had hoped that the new Congress and Democratic leaders would work with the President for what is best for our nation. Instead they undermine our soldiers and economy with calls to redeploy (surrender in the war on terror) and invest more (increase taxes) and using other "terms" designed to cover their socialist anti-American agenda.
Jane, meet Nancy
In the 1960s we had Hanoi Jane, now we have Damascus Nancy. Perhaps the two of them could plan their next self-promotion tour together.
I hear Tehran is lovely in the spring.
I just uploaded a few pictures from a walk I took at the Stanford Dish when my mom was here a week or two ago. They're unremarkable pictures, except that it's amazing that places and views like this are a dime a dozen out here. When I think about Chicago (which is great city, honest), and those endless stretches of concrete...gah. Too bad I don't even have a good kidney to sell for a decent down-payment.
For once, Modern Love isn't terrible. I thought this week's essay, about a family that tries out a "Flat Daddy" when the father is sent to Iraq, actually sounded like it was written by someone semi-normal. And an interesting contrast to the Washington Post, which published a rah-rah piece on Flat Daddies and even-newer Daddy Dolls today.
Whoa, long course swimming is the shiznit. Most of your local pools in the States, see, they're 25 yards long. Long course is 50 meters. And 50 meters is much, much longer than 25 yards. You're thinking, "yeah, 29.68 yards, or 118.7% longer, ogged." But you're wrong. It's much much longer longer than that. Part of what makes it longer is that it gets deeper as you go (in one direction, anyway). Think about that. You start in the happy security of 3.5 feet deep, and as you go and go, it gets deeper and deeper, until you're looking down (but not straight down! you're not Alex Popov!) at 14 feet of treacherous, possibly shark-infested water. Anysnooze, my peeps, there's a beautiful outdoor pool about ten minutes away from me that's set up for long course once a week, and whatever is wrong with people that there were free lanes at this place on a perfect swimming day, I hope continues to be wrong with them. Amen.
And Nobody Cares... [Michael Ledeen]
...about chemical weapons, do they? For the ninth time in recent weeks WMDs are used by the terrorists in Iraq:
BAGHDAD - A suspected al-Qaida in Iraq suicide bomber smashed a truck loaded with TNT and toxic chlorine gas into a police checkpoint in Ramadi on Friday, killing at least 27 people -- the ninth such attack since the group's first known use of a chemical weapon in January.
But, just like women stoned to death in Iran, or the mass starvation of the people of Zimbabwe, these horrors are greeted with the silence that racists reserve for the less-than-humans who behave in an uncivilized way. Their unspoken attitude is, well, what can you expect of these untermenschen?
And anyway, it's all Bush's fault.
Glenn Reynolds links with agreement:
"UNTERMENSCHEN:" He's right. That's how they seem to think.
You might be wondering about who he's talking about. Reynolds says that "they" do seem to think this way, but, from what I can tell, Ledeen is talking vaguely about "racists." So someone asks him:
UPDATE: Reader Ted Clayton emails: "Perhaps you could specify who "they" refers to. "
As you can see from reading the linked item, it refers to those allegedly-progressive Westerners who refuse to hold non-Westerners to the same moral standards applied to, say, America and Britain. That should be obvious to, well, anyone who's paying attention.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Drew Kelley writes: 'I am shocked, shocked, to find prejudice among our "best and brightest'." The descent of the "progressives" into racist double-standards is an old story, but it's still one that bears pointing out now and then.
From "racists" to "allegedly-progressive Westerners who refuse to hold non-Westerners to the same moral standards applied to, say, America and Britain" to "progressives" without actually identifying anyone at all. Is this us? Are we refusing to take the moral agency of terrorists seriously enough? What would the solution be? Terrorists, I denounce you. I am opposed to chlorine gas attacks, stoning women to death, and causing mass starvation, and I urge you to change your minds about these things. I am not part of the pro-terrorist lobby. I'm glad to have the chance to clear this up.