I believe that the British recently tried, and maybe even succeded in the attempt, to put one over the EU regarding the proper constitution and make-up of chocolate. Now we see that we too in the US may soon be subject to the rise of mockolate! (Though, honestly, the state of your average Hershey bar is pretty dire already; it might be worth a shot just to see if the taste improves.)
Whenever a weather front is moving in for a big rainstorm, I get a splitting sinus headache from the change in pressure. Always have as long as I can remember. And, when I get one, there's only one thing that can make it feel better -- drinking a Pepsi.
Diet Pepsi won't work, coffee won't work, eating something sugary won't work. I have to drink a Pepsi. (To answer the inevitable question, yes, Coke does also work but not as well. Also, fountain sodas work better than bottled.)
I don't even particularly like soda and it usually upsets my stomach a little but, goddamnit, I have to drink one if I want my head to feel better. I'd been fighting it all afternoon, taking Tylenol and making myself tea, but just caved and went to the corner store and bought one.
I won't make it to the movie tonight; I'll try to make the showing on Monday night. Not that any of you even fucking care, you bastards.
And yes, we'll have a proper Bay Area meetup, just as soon as out-of-towner Armsmasher lets us know when he'll be around.
Is there a name for the phenomenon in which you see a hot, bikini-clad woman at the pool, and then see her kid waddling over to her? "Mama-psych," maybe?
My entire neighborhood has been taken over by tweens recklessly riding these.
I'm having an email emergency. I'm the last Eudora user in North America, but the application is behaving very badly, and not in a fun way. It just stops responding most of the time I check for mail, and when it does retrieve mail I can't open the mailboxes unless I force quit and restart.
So I thought, hey, now's a good time to switch to Mail. I copied my preferences from Eudora, but I can't seem to send mail, because "sender address was rejected by the server." I think it's the same sender address and server that Eudora used successfully. Why? Why?
City boy goes west. Hilarious. It's too bad no one thought to send a documentary crew with him.
Wow, I thought our comments section was mean. I was going to pick on Megan for saying this:
and you can not shame people for what they can't control.
But the comments are kinda harsh, I think. Anyway, one interesting thing about shame is that its proper objects seem to be deficiencies or inabilities of all sorts, whether or not these are under voluntary control. (Examples: shame at one's circumstances or one's physical deformities.) Arguing that one shouldn't feel shame about these things usually takes the form of either (i) arguing that these features don't detract from one's worth, in some sense, and hence aren't appropriate objects of the emotion, or (ii) arguing that it's pragmatically ill-advised to feel negative emotions about features that can't be changed. If you buy (i) about all non-voluntary features of persons, you'd think what Megan thinks, but this isn't built into shame itself; it's a view of worth that, when joined with a plausible gloss of what shame is, has the consequence that it's a mistake to feel shame at non-volitional traits.
Like all right-thinking people, I like Richard Thompson, and John Cale's many conceptually similar though often rather different in execution covers of "Heartbreak Hotel" (eg on June 1, 1974 or Fragments of a Rainy Season). Thus I was shocked and delighted to find that Cale did a cover of the song with Thompson's participation, along with someone called Shawn Colvin, and I hereby pass it on to you.
Cale looks kind of like Trent Reznor, too.
I know this video on how to conduct a strip search has been making the rounds on other sites but this site is its natural audience, no? I love how the "inspector" makes tiny bouncy giddy motions whenever he orders the "inmate" to do something.
I'm, oh, five years late to the party but this episode of This American Life called "Somewhere in the Arabian Sea" gives a very interesting look into the lives of people working on an aircraft carrier. It's quite funny (many parts are probably not what their Navy handlers were hoping for) and does a good job of showing what being deployed is like for the 99% of people working on a carrier who don't have glamorous jobs and just work to keep the ship running.
Astounding that he can do this and still get high-level guests on his show.
Flipping channels during a basketball time-out last night, I saw that Leaving Las Vegas was on, and that reminded me that I used to think, around the days of The Karate Kid
that Elisabeth Shue was sooooooooo hot. I recognize now that this was just another manifestation of my plantation owner's daughter issue. Even when I originally saw LLV, I found her soooo hot. Last night, however, I thought "Pretty, certainly; quite appealing, in fact. But these days this woman would not inspire so many 'o's' in my 'so's'." I guess hot celebrities are like gadgets or toys, and the shiny effect wears off. One interesting question is whether I would have found her so very hot if I'd seen her for the first time last night. I suspect yes.
It's a good bet that if you heard about the bomb placed at an Austin women's clinic, it wasn't at one of the big news sites. In part, the silence is about the normalization of violence against women. It's also in part about the right-wing and its nutcases getting a pass in the media. But I read the story right after I read this post by Jim Sligh, so something else jumped out at me. Jim quotes the governor of Minnesota in 1862 talking about the Indians.
Infants hewn into bloody chips of flesh [...]; rape joined to murder in one awful tragedy; young girls, even children of tender years, outraged by these brutal ravishers till death ended their shame; [...] whole families burned alive[...]. Such are the spectacles, and a thousand nameless horrors besides, which this first experience of Indian warfare has burned into the minds and hearts of our frontier people; and such the enemy with whom we have to deal.
And it suddenly struck me that rather than having been a nation fortuitously protected from terroristic harm--and therefore ill-prepared to deal with it--hysterical warring with an ostensibly implacable, hostile and uncivilized other is fundamental to American identity. So the root of the overreaction to the threat from muslim terrorism isn't a skewed calculation of risk, or a particular view of the geopolitical stakes, but the narrative of the crazy other itself, with the muslims filling the role that used to be filled by the Indian, the Mexican, the German, the Filipino, the German, the Japanese, the Russian, and soon, the Chinese. This isn't a new insight, obviously, and I think I and others even on this blog have noted that muslims happen to be the enemy of the moment, but I'd been seduced by the rhetoric that casts the right as bed-wetters who are irrationally afraid of infinitesimal risk.
But this makes defeating the attitude seem, to me anyway, more difficult. Shaming cowards is easy, but how do you overcome the fact that demonizing and mythologizing an enemy is part of what it means to be a good American?
There were about ten lines in this article about the "first spouse" of the potential future French presidents that blew my mind. From the fact that the press won't even ask if one of them has left home, to saying that she'd like to be living in New York in ten years, to being actual political rivals with his partner. I often try not to despair about our diseased political culture by telling myself that it's naturally a dirty business and people will try to gain any advantage, etc. But no, saner ways are possible.
Last spring, Giles kicked as many as 70 students -- "I didn't keep count," he said -- out of the school's prom for breaking Capital's dance code and canceled the prom king and queen's coronation. He told the Gazette the dance code was too general, and that he planned to make it more explicit, describing dances like the "booty pop" in detail.
This year, the school's student/parent prom contract lays out prohibited risqué dances in clear, blatant language. In part, it reads: "Any variation of dancing that approximates the following is expressly prohibited: A student (male or female) bent over at the waist with the pelvis of another individual (male or female) pressed against their buttocks while holding (or not holding onto) the bent over student's waist or hips is prohibited at all times at functions at Capital High School where dancing is permitted."
The dance contract requires the signature of prom-bound students and their parents. [...] The contract, or "Statement of Student Responsibilities," also bans "'grinding,' 'bumping,' 'humping,' 'hunching,' 'goosing,' or sexually explicit dancing such as 'freaking' or 'dirty dancing.'"
"Goosing? What is goosing?" Roberts asked.
In other prom-related news, a Georgia high school just held its first ever integrated prom. That's right, in 2007. Christ almighty.
Somebody finally did it: they created the Rent-A-Puppy service that we used to joke about that guys could use to borrow a dog to take to the park to meet hott chicks.
Or, you know, that parents could use if they didn't want their daughter to be in the poor 60% of teenaged girls who haven't masturbated the family dog. Either way.
Riverbend and her family are leaving Iraq.
I've been to Searchlight, bitches.
There's a much-beloved myth that being a certain kind of conservative involves telling the cold hard awkward truth while being a liberal means speaking in pleasant fictions. It's amusing to contemplate this in light of the response to Harry Reid's now-infamous remarks about Iraq, much of which focuses on the harmful effects of the utterance instead of its truth-value.
I say to you that dolphin kick with crawl arms is the future of sprint freestyle. To those who respond that this is old news, I say, you just don't get it.
My thanks to the anonymous reader who sent me a set of "The Gayest Spot in Town" bar towels. They fit right in!
This roundabout here is one of my favorite unfogged comments ever. I don't know why, but... Also on the subject of granular substances, this NYT article about costly creams, unguents, and (more obviously) exfoliating scrubs containing GENUINE. DIAAAAMONDS. et al has some unintentional hilarity.
Liquid silver is an ingredient in products from Julisis, a 3-year-old German skincare company. Other Julisis products contain essences of diamonds, gold, rubies and copper.
Julius Eulberg, the company's founder, said he hit upon the idea to make products using precious metals and gemstones after reading the writings of Paracelsus, a 16th-century Swiss alchemist.
"They're very special, amazing, wonderful products," Mr. Eulberg said. "They act on a cellular level. The gold helps to strengthen every single skin cell and there are microparticles that help with glandular function."
Riiight. You can argue with me, but you can't argue with Paracelsus! Well, Paracelsus was actually a pretty great scientist, astrology and macrocosm/microcosm stuff aside, and he did totally inspire Viktor Frankenstein, so, kudos. One hopes, though, that the metal-happy Eulberg doesn't run into any problems like this.
I have managed, at great cost, to infiltrate the school at which Labs teaches and, in particular, to bug the space in which the Labs U chamber orchestra rehearses. Here's a recording of them having a go at part of the third Brandenburg Concerto, with our very own F. Labs on contrabass.
Sounds like you've got some intonation issues, Fontana. Keep it up, though; you'll be at the level of the rest of the ensemble in no time.
Professional crazy-lawyer-guy Jack Thompson is suing just about everybody (including Wikipedia) as part of his crusade against the Florida Bar Association for violating his rights eight ways from Sunday after he tried to have them declared unconstitutional and something about their pro-gay, humanist, liberal agenda, and assorted crackpottery all around the perimeter. He just added Gawker Media to the suit. I'm not a lawyer, so I don't even understand it all, but I read the whole thing nonetheless and it looks pretty funny to me.
Jack Thompson has added Gawker Media, parent company of Kotaku, to the list of parties that he is suing in a complaint against the Florida Bar. Brian Crecente has made available a .PDF of the filing, and it is one of the best things I have read all day.This was followed with other posts that Thompson should be struck with a baseball bat, shot in the face by an irate gamer, castrated and his testicles stuffed down his throat, and the exercise of other basic "constitutional" rights to advocate violence against an individual................................................ ........................Not!Yes, Thompson uses the phrase "Not!" in his court filings, along with such bon mots as "slim to none, and Slim just left town" and "human piñata" in reference to himself. I am reasonably sure that Thompson is not filled with candy.
It's a pretty entertaining read. We'll probably get sued next.
How the city that never sleeps, sleeps around.
What say you?
I spent the past weekend at the Alternative Press Expo in San Francisco, a small convention for small/weird book/comic/zine creators. I was selling some comic books that a friend and I created. My business name suggests that I'm a publisher.
So this guy comes up to my table and starts talking about the novel he's been working on, but it could also be a comic book script or a screenplay, etc., etc., and he hands me a two-page excerpt and a cover letter and takes off.
I read it on the way home from work tonight. It's... not good.
I feel obligated to send the guy a polite rejection notice. My questions:
1) Should I also advise him to use the spelling and grammar checkers in his word processor?
2) Should I also advise him to read Norman Spinrad's essay, "The Emperor Of Everything" and attempt to understand why the SF/Fantasy/Occult/Horror genres don't really need more masturbatory, misogynistic adolescent power fantasy stories?
3) Should I also advise him to see a therapist?
I have a challenge for you. First, watch Michelle Malkin.
Now come up with a theory that doesn't come down to "she's nuts" to explain it. You can do it.
It is a happy coincidence that I'm enjoying downtempo at the same time I'm discovering that background music on the ipod is less distracting than the overheard conversations drifting through my door from the hallway. I'm having success with Dabrye, Thomas Fehlmann, and, of course, the ever-pleasurable Kruder & Dorfmeister.
Recommend appropriate listening in comments. Mainly I grow tired of Roger Ebert's monstrous deformity.
ps I have become a robot plz give regards to Glenn tx.
Roger Ebert announced that, despite a number of side effects to his cancer treatment that have changed his appearance ("To paraphrase a line from 'Raging Bull,' I ain't a pretty boy no more."), he's still going to attend his annual film festival. Good for him. Much like Elizabeth Edwards, I hope this shows people that a serious illness doesn't mean you need to lock yourself away and hide for fear of making others feel uncomfortable.
I was told photos of me in this condition would attract the gossip papers. So what?
I have been very sick, am getting better and this is how it looks. I still have my brain and my typing fingers.
We spend too much time hiding illness. There is an assumption that I must always look the same. I hope to look better than I look now. But I'm not going to miss my festival.
Tom says that scientists say that you should stop worrying about the damn bees already.
The roundtable discussion featured an entomologist whose lab was conducting the largest nationwide survey of colony collapse disorder, another entomologist who he seemed to not like very much, and a guy who'd written a book about California bees and, I think, lived among them and learned their ways. A parade of well-meaning San Franciscan hybrid owners called in with every possible bee-killing grievance that you, I and the rest of the internet could think of -- electromagnetic radiation, GM crops, pesticides, the war in Iraq -- and the bee experts methodically shot down each one. "Yes, it's disconcerting," they'd say, "But it's happened in the past, long before this particular [chemical / technology / front in the global war on terror] existed."
If you have any kind of Bank of America card, you can get free admission to all kinds of museums and zoos around the country during May. A pretty good deal, considering that a trip to MoMA is normally 20 bucks a head.
Update: "Around the country" = "in the Northeast, Pennsylvania, Florida, and California"
Hey Bay Areans, there's a documentary about the quite excellent Anthology of American Folk Music showing during the SF Film Festival. I'll probably go to either the 6:15pm show on Saturday or the 8:30pm show on Monday. Let me (and the entire world) know in the comments if you'd like to sit next to me in the dark. (I suppose we could include a drink or meal on either side if there's sufficient interest to make this a mini-meetup.)
So what an enormous stroke of luck that the BBC were looking for someone to send back to that very era -- to live, dress, exercise, eat and drink like an Edwardian man of means -- to find out what it did to his girth, his arteries, his inner organs, his digestion, his mood, his very soul. Some guinea pigs might have been daunted by the prospect of four whopping meals a day, rivers of grog and hardly any fruit, vegetables or water for an entire week. But not I.
Ah, but there's always a catch, as he'll discover at the pre-gorge medical check-up. Daunted but undeterred, our faithful correspondent plows forward and the menu is pretty amazing. That's some seriously decadent gluttony. But only seven days? Dude, even Trevor made it eight.
My parents are G-d and Ayn Rand. I forget who said that but it could have been me. 50 Years ago, Atlas Shrugged was published.
If Rand was alive today she would be apoplectic over the appeasement to savages. Her treatise seemed outrageous when she published it. Today, it seems tame in comparison to what is happening in the war on Islamic jihad. But she called it. She called it all.
How brilliant, prescient Rand was. She defined my epistemology and helped to teach my how to think, question and deduce. This blog pays tribute everyday - in its very existence.
A White Bear somehow lucked out and found, floating along the sidewalk, perhaps the greatest pair of love/breakup notes ever.
"You are now disgusting in my heart C--! You never worry about the relationship by not getting birth control pills, you never want to take it in the ass (meanwhile you have done it alot before), you complain too much, you are in the air all the time, and you are just lazy in sex too much!"
That's part of the breakup. The love note includes much sweetness.
Although I may say things to you such as 'BITCH, CUNT, YUPPY, STUPID, DUMB, LAZZZY, IGNORANT, SLUTT, CLOWN, SENSITIVE, ANNOYING, NAIVE, RETARDED, INCONSIDERATE, HOAR, UGLY, GO WORKOUT, YOUR LATE, YOU HAVE NO SENSE OF DIRECTION, YOU DONT KNOW WHAT I GO THROUGH, YOU HAVE NO SENSE OF TIME, UR UNWILD,' I truly say these things because I am MADD. As a result, this shows my devilish side.
Go, and read.
Maybe some of you professors can help our reader out:
My problem is a revenge fantasy that's in danger of coming true. When I was 19, the summer after my junior year in college, I met and fell stupidly in love with G. He was 33, just finished a Ph.D. in a pretty specialized field that I knew (or maybe it's that I decided, after meeting him) that I wanted to work in. We met in a summer school class, met up the following year in the same summer school, and had a fling. Except that it was more than a fling for me, and I fell for him hard. Eventually he acted like a jerk, and worse, and did a good job of both breaking my heart and fouling up my first year in grad school (his old program, no less, which to be honest, I was attending out of crazy devotion to him). Then he did that annoying thing of acting really badly but refusing to end the relationship, so I had to be the one to do it. I harbored a LOT of hurt for a long time.
Fast forward sixteen (!) years. I finished grad school, got an awesome tenure track job, with books and articles and grants to my name. I married an amazing guy and have three great kids. Woo hoo, I'm clearly better off without the commitment-phobic bastard. He (I observed from afar) spent a decade and a half adjuncting and not publishing his dissertation.
Now (pushing 50), he's started teaching at a school where the faculty are expected to do research. Last month, he turned up at a conference I regularly attend, and came to my paper -- the first time I'd seen him in 13 years. It was freaky in a bad way. I managed to make it through the whole conference without speaking to him, but this involved actually blanking him a couple of times, and that made me feel petty and middle-schoolish.
We work in a TINY subfield, maybe a dozen of us in the whole US. Some of the others (some of whom know the ugly backstory, and some of who don't) think that since I'm now one of the more prominent people in the subfield, I should "help" him by including him on panels I organize, in journal issues I edit, and the like.
I don't want to -- the guy's poisionous, seeing him brings up all kinds of ugly old feelings, and why should I do him any favors? On the other hand, I'm so past him that I'm not even interested in revenge, high drama, blackballing, or sharing details of stupid old love affairs with academic colleagues. And yet, if I refuse to deal with him professionally, that's where I see this going. I just wish he would go away. What should I do?
Many congratulations to Yglesias on his move to The Atlantic. We're now one step closer to my oft-expressed dream that he gay marries Andrew Sullivan and then they get a Sunday morning talk show together where they trade quips like "Your policy towards Iran is completely irresponsible!" and "Irresponsible? What's irresponsible is constantly leaving your socks in the middle of the floor! How hard is it to put them in the hamper?!"
Still too busy to talk, but could New Yorkers put the names of some newish, interesting, expensive restaurants I have some hope of getting a reservation at tomorrow night so I can take my mother out for her birthday? Asian cuisines aren't a big favorite, but other than that she's adventurous. Location ideally would be between 42d and 14th Streets, but interesting options outside of there will be considered, and expensive, so long as we aren't talking ridiculous, is rather desirable than otherwise.
Following up on Ogged's "Arabs kill infidels like this, but Persians kill infidels like this" post, here's a bunch of prerevolutionary Iranian ads for Western products (via growabrain). It wasn't so long ago that sex sold products in Iran just like in civilized Christian countries. I'd point you particularly to the blood-dripping mouth of Kool-Aid, the infelicitously named Barf detergent, the nastiest drink in history, an ad for shortening that I can't even begin to decipher, and even a surprise appearance by Ogged!
On a completely unrelated note, I can't decide whether I'm more grossed out or turned on by this (safe for work) art project.
This Iranian comic doing a bit on the Iranian/Persian thing is pretty damn funny. He's excellent with the accent.
Longer clip from that performance here.
First, following what I'm pretty sure is the same impulse that makes me like gadgets, I bought a Horned Melon.
Who could resist? It does indeed taste like a cross between a kiwi and cucumber, and is kinda soupy. Soupy with seeds. You should probably skip it.
Then, I saw After the Wedding. I'm not sure what I thought of it. It's shot in Dogma 95 style, which might annoy you, and maybe it was just a well-acted soap opera starring people with interesting faces. That's ok. I enjoyed it, in a middlebrow way. You might like it.
What an interesting conference.
Highlight: getting thrown out of the headquarters of the Nation of Islam.
Radiohead's "Talk Show Host" ought to be covered by a jazz band fronted by a sultry chanteuse. They have my permission to keep what probably isn't but sounds vaguely like an electric piano, but must replace those synthy swells with bleary & smeary brass—not unlike, I guess, that featured in "Life in a Glasshouse". (Actually, if the conclusion at the end of the first section of this article is true, Norah Jones might well be a suitable coverer. But her music has always seemed anemic and uninteresting; there's no medicine to help the sugar go down. So maybe not.)
This is possibly my best demand for a cover since my sadly unheeded demand that a ska band cover the Coasters' "Charlie Brown". (NO! Ted Barlow points out that the Voodoo Glow Skulls have covered it! Great minds &c!)
There are more men in the sciences because the spirit of inquiry burns more brightly in men. Period. No. Exclamation point.
Thanks to Profgrrrrl for the link.