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Guise

Posted by Ben
on 08.25.07

(The post title, and body below, are the work of Becks; I am posting on her behalf because she can't access the site for unknown reasons.)

Heebie-Jeebie sends along a tale (via Jammies) that she describes as "It's not Modern Love, but it's a weird fucking story." I concur. (And would have more to say about were it not for technical issues but them's the breaks.)


 

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That's it

Posted by Ben
on 08.24.07

I'm moving to Hong Kong. It's true: I wouldn't be caught dead dressed up as a piece of luggage. But surely there would be some advantage to being able to write practice test questions that have exactly one right answer. (Obviously in that case the real advantage of the question lies primarily in its similarity to the actual question on the test, including the overlap in the words used in the correct answers, and the fact that "all" should be "as", and all the commas should be periods, doesn't really detract from its utility.)


 

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Trust

Posted by Becks
on 08.24.07

Do you know what never ceases to amaze me? Baggage claim. All of those bags sitting there! And you can just take one! And nobody checks which one you take! Or if you take the right number! Or if you were even on a flight!


 

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Itunes help part ii

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 08.24.07

I've got about 150g of music mostly in aif format in an itunes library on my external hard drive. A lot of this isn't on my laptop because there isn't room. But, I thought, it would be nice to have an mp3 version of the library on the laptop. The hard way of doing this is to set up an itunes library on the laptop, set the importing preferences to "mp3," and go through the big external library track by track. But surely there must be an easier way.


 

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Future Saint Teresa, w/o ecstasy

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 08.24.07

Via Althouse, this interesting account of the spiritually arid inner life of Mother Teresa:

The letters, many of them preserved against her wishes (she had requested that they be destroyed but was overruled by her church), reveal that for the last nearly half-century of her life she felt no presence of God whatsoever -- or, as the book's compiler and editor, the Rev. Brian Kolodiejchuk, writes, "neither in her heart or in the eucharist."

That absence seems to have started at almost precisely the time she began tending the poor and dying in Calcutta, and -- except for a five-week break in 1959 -- never abated.

Interesting. In other news, I'm sad to discover that aif files played through my stereo by an ipod sound not as good as the original cds. To what extent is this the fault of the ipod?


 

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Buffing Fingernails Modestly On Lapel

Posted by LizardBreath
on 08.24.07

A quarter-billion dollar win yesterday, in a case where I did a big chunk of the work on the successful motion to dismiss. Those widows and orphans will be better off finding someplace else to live, anyway.


 

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Magical Thinking: Or, How Can Opponents Of The War Be Stabbing Our Troops In The Back, When We Haven't Even Got A Knife?

Posted by LizardBreath
on 08.24.07

I posted earlier on Bush's loony speech suggesting that the real danger in Iraq is that we'll screw everything up by leaving, just like we screwed up in Vietnam by pulling out before we achieved victory, and asked if anyone really thought that about Vietnam -- that everything would have been just dandy if we'd just kept on fighting a little longer. And a couple of people corrected me, pointing out that the myth of how the hippies lost Vietnam for us wasn't so much about actually leaving Vietnam; the idea was that throughout the Vietnam war, we were fighting with one hand tied behind our backs. If we'd been really free to fight, we would have won.

Okay. Leaving to one side the question of how that actually applied to Vietnam in this reality, that makes no sense at all, whatsoever, in any way, applied to Iraq now. Bush got his surge. We've got as many troops as we're capable of sustaining in Iraq right now, but we're going to have to reduce troop levels at least by next spring, not because of opposition to the war, but because we just don't have enough soldiers. What, concretely, do people who think opposition to the Iraq war has hurt our chances of a good outcome to the war, think we'd be doing differently in the absence of opposition? I'd really like people to ask Bush, and anyone else who starts heading for the "We would have won in Iraq if it wasn't for those meddling hippies," narrative this: What tangibly changed about our Iraq policy due to opposition to the war, and how would things have been more likely to turn out well in the absence of that tangible change?


 

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Get Some Popcorn. Or Some Lube.

Posted by Becks
on 08.23.07

With Ogged gone, I can class up the place a little bit. Like with a link to Nerve's 50 Greatest Sex Scenes. With video!

[via MeFi]


 

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Place Your Bets

Posted by Becks
on 08.23.07

How long until Mr. Offline/Undisclosed Location reads this and/or comments?


 

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Plan-Free Travel

Posted by Ogged
on 08.23.07

I'm having an entrepreneurial thought: coordinate vacation travel to a location that's kept secret from the travelers until they arrive. In addition to the length of the trip, the travelers would only be told what kind of clothing and necessities to pack, and could choose from various types of trip: adventure, modern urban, third-world urban, etc. Then show up and go. People would do this, no? And it would make for a pretty cool singles mixer.

I'm thinking of this because in a little under an hour I'm off to an undisclosed (to you!) location. I'll be offline (sweet, sweet offline) until Tuesday. Try not to let the brotherhood of man break out while I'm gone.


 

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Smokin'

Posted by Becks
on 08.23.07

Armsmasher has a post up that is so Unfogged-ready that I'm just going to steal a bunch of it wholesale:

Kay Steiger points to a piece by Ari Spool in The Stranger that asks why women are never depicted smoking marijuana. Marijuana = mandom, apparently. This doesn't track whatsoever with my own observations (or Steiger's). I've never witnessed any sort of gender divide in practice when it comes to any sort of drug use, except, maybe, with regard to very coded legal drugs (cosmos, Virginia Slims, the red Mountain Dew).

Spool then interviews some real live female pot smokers, who turn out to be normal people just like you and me, but female, and high. That part of the piece is unfortunate, since I already know plenty of women who have smoked pot. I'm curious about the chicken/egg argument here: Does the media gender the drug? Or does the media depict a drug that is gendered?


 

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Coincidence? I Think Not

Posted by Ogged
on 08.22.07

Did you goobers notice that New York Groove, the Ace Frehley song that Davey Dance Blog guy was dancing to on the Brooklyn Bridge also played over the closing credits of this week's Entourage? Did you? Or do you go through life somnolescent and oblivious, flitting from one thing to another, without even a thread of memory to connect them? Well?

Anywho, I bet that the Entourage music guy got the notion from Davey Dance Dude's video. That is what I bet.


 

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Likeness

Posted by Ogged
on 08.22.07

If you're sporting, you'll try to guess who's playing Bob Dylan here before you click to find out.


 

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You blog sixteen tons and what do you get?

Posted by Apostropher
on 08.22.07

Kevin Drum's five-year anniversary of blogging is today. Mine is in January and the original Unfogged collective's is in February. I can't decide whether it feels like it couldn't possibly have been that long ago or it couldn't possibly have been that recent.


 

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Whining and Lining

Posted by Becks
on 08.22.07

I went clothes shopping for a little bit after work yesterday and, like the last three times before that, I didn't buy anything. Everything was so boring and looked exactly like stuff I already own. Memo to storeowners: the reason I'm going shopping is because I sick of the stuff I already have. I don't want to buy it again. And I'm not exactly a fashionista -- I'd just like something that's not hideous and doesn't look exactly like something I already have in my closet.

There were two shirts I would have bought had they been lined. That's one of my biggest pet peeves -- I hate that so many things come in that grey area now where it's obviously not meant to be sheer but you can see right through it. Bah.


 

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You Mean Like Showing Up?

Posted by LizardBreath
on 08.22.07

Bush Will Liken Vietnam, Iraq; Warning Democrats Not To Repeat Errors:

WASHINGTON -- President Bush, opening a new theme in support of sticking with the battle of Iraq, will today bluntly warn the Democrats against committing the errors of Vietnam -- where America's withdrawal precipitated a communist-led bloodbath.

In Kansas City, before the annual convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Mr. Bush will deliver a speech that embraces the one war most historians say America lost. Recalling the arguments of those that sought to end the war for Saigon, the speech prepared for Mr. Bush will warn, "Then as now, people argued that the real problem was America's presence and that if we would just withdraw, the killing would end," according to excerpts of the speech released last night by the White House.

I suppose it's good having these arguments being made explicitly, so they can be addressed explicitly. But is there really any sizable constitutency who thinks that our mistake in Vietnam was leaving, and that if we'd just kept on fighting, things in Vietnam would now be better than they are now? Like, is Bush really saying that if it were the 1970's, he'd have been throwing more troops in, indefinitely? I suppose that could be a popular and convincing position, but man, it doesn't seem likely.


 

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Hilarity

Posted by Ben
on 08.21.07
This document is totally non-redactable and non-segregable and cannot even be meaningfully described.

I'd like to have a document like that, especially if it had magic powers.


 

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Nice Light

Posted by Ogged
on 08.21.07

The Sartorialist is in Stockholm. I have to admit, philistine that I am, that his pictures from Milan typically made me think "Oh, give it a rest, you silly Italians," but the Swedes look really good. Of course, you think I say this because I have a thing for Swedes, but no, dear readers, my first girlfriend--the one with whom my relationship was less than pleasant--was a buxom, blonde-haired, blue-eyed by-way-of Minnesota Swede. I have no thing for Swedes. (The Swede, sweet as she was, was a happy exception.)


 

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Who Is Drowning In That Bathtub?

Posted by Ogged
on 08.21.07

The more I think about this, the more sense it makes: anti-big-government sentiment in America isn't really about the reach or size of the government as about one segment of the population not wanting to be dictated to or constrained by the other. Looked at in this light, the fervor for authoritarianism, which seems hypocritical coming from those who have historically railed against government, makes a lot of sense, given that someone on "their" side is the authority.

It's tempting to see this as anti-democratic, but my guess is that they're not so much inclined to reject democracy (they'd be happy to have a real political give and take with members of their own tribe), as to reject dialogue with weirdo liberals who have to be demonized because, after all, they won the war that's at the root of so much of the resentment behind these constructed identities.

I confess this reading of the situation appeals to me partly because it seems right and just that slavery should be the original sin from which the country can never recover.


 

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Family Values

Posted by Becks
on 08.21.07

The Republicans hate children.


 

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Breakfast

Posted by Ogged
on 08.21.07

Help a brother out. I need breakfast suggestions. The requirements are these:

-Extremely easy to prepare when it's eating time (it's fine if it takes some time to prepare beforehand)
-Proteinacious
-Filling
-Not liquidy

My current solution is a half-pound of pre-packed chicken salad from dear Whole Foods, which I have in pita. This is what elicited the "that's not breakfast" comment from a co-worker. On the contrary! It meets my requirements. However, it's also a lot of mayo, which I love, but probably shouldn't be having every single day, and it seems lame not to have made the food myself. I tried making a bunch of seasoned chicken breasts in advance and having that in pita, but a half-pound of cooked chicken seems to be approximately seventeen pounds pre-cooked and that gets expensive, in addition being a lot of work every few days. Help!


 

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Secret Ballots

Posted by Becks
on 08.21.07

Yet another electronic voting machine problem: anyone can find out how you voted, at least if you live in Ohio:

Ohio law permits anyone to walk into a county election office and obtain two crucial documents: a list of voters in the order they voted, and a time-stamped list of the actual votes. "We simply take the two pieces of paper together, merge them, and then we have which voter voted and in which way."

[Via Schneier]


 

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For Listening In The Dark

Posted by Ogged
on 08.20.07

I don't know from young Benjamin's taste in music, but the late, great Junior Kimbrough recorded some fantastic not-like-other-blues blues. Here's Stay All Night from the album All Night Long.


 

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Ancient History

Posted by Becks
on 08.20.07

My TiVo is a time capsule. I was just watching a show that I had recorded on June 20 and an ad for a loan company came on -- Get up to $5000 in 24 hours! No collateral necessary! Just your signature! Even if your credit is so bad your relatives won't lend you money!

The URL for the website is no longer in service.

And the fine print on the ad: The APR for a typical loan of $2,600 is 99.25% with 42 monthly payments of $216.55. This should be illegal.


 

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Radio—live transmission

Posted by Ben
on 08.20.07

Dave Longstreth is who Sufjan Stevens would be, if he were more willing to embrace dissonance and were a lot stranger. Reportedly those honey-voiced singers are real lookers into the bargain. Come Sep. 12 I hope to be able to experience the truth (or dread that I'll have to experience the falsity) of that claim. But really, who am I kidding? The concert's at the Bottom of the Hill—a venue I loathe—and I'll have to stand up for the duration. What, I ask you, is up with that?

But enough of my whining. Who could possibly be more interested in my senile complaints than in knowing what auditory delectables I will broadcast tomorrow (12-2pm PST)? Even if neither interests anyone a whit, the answer is still "no one". So I will tell you. Not only will there be Dirty Projectors, but there will also be Schubert, audaciously sandwhiched between a Fennesz/Ryuichi Sakamoto dealie and a Sleepytime Gorilla Museum song, DAAU, 4 Corners (to make sure I hit my monthly Ken Vandermark quota, I guess), Jozef van Wissem with Gary Lucas, Burning Star Core, Nina Nastasia, Nik Bärtsch, The Angels of Light, Create (!), and more, varied reader, a great deal more.


 

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Where Have You Gone, Ronald Wilson?

Posted by Ogged
on 08.20.07

You'll be reading this quote for the rest of your natural life, and you might as well start now. It's an entry about GW Bush from Reagan's just published diaries. Click through. Seriously.

Oh no! Hoax! Link.


 

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Report From An Outpost Of Civilization

Posted by Ogged
on 08.20.07

A middle-aged guy and I just stood at the elevator doing the "after you" routine until the elevator door started to close and we had to lunge to catch it. Then we made sweet love on the way up.


 

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Shiny and New

Posted by Becks
on 08.20.07

If you haven't been reading Brian Beutler's political commentary, you really should and his move to a new official eponymous site is the perfect time to add him to your RSS reader. And, before Labs beats me to it, I'd like to congratulate Megan McArdle for her move to The Atlantic.

These links have nothing to do with their great taste in blogrolls.


 

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Science and Islam Follow-Up

Posted by Becks
on 08.20.07

That Discover article we talked about a while back without having read it is online now.


 

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Um, Ben?

Posted by Alameida
on 08.20.07

Somebody wants this mysterious Japanese 7", right? The A-side is "Mandom Lovers of the World."


 

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LA is a wasteland

Posted by Ben
on 08.19.07

Friends,

This time next week I will be waiting impatiently for a concert featuring Meg Baird and Bert Jansch to get underway, but the day after that I'll be driving down to southern California, there to pass some time. A while back SEK solicited emails from people interested in a meetup; I sent him one, but have not heard back. The deaf are as unreliable as everyone says, even in purely textual media, it seems. However, one man's organizational failings should not stop those of us who take our planning agency seriously from arranging some sort of get-together. Wednesday through Friday, that is, the 29th through the 31st, would be best for me.

An unrelated query: Can anyone tell me why the last track on what I gather is some kind of bootleg comp of Nico performances, Walpurgisnacht: Konzerte und Raritäten, Teil II, is a performance of Der Leiermann by Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau?


 

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You Cannot Do This III

Posted by Ogged
on 08.19.07

More: This one, with someone else doing a front flip, is even more fun to watch, with the little kids sitting near the camera. "Those kids are old, maybe, did you hear 'em cuss?" And toward the end, you can see the ones he misses, one of which is a bit scary.


 

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Shwoop Doop Shwoop

Posted by Ogged
on 08.19.07

This is the graph of Google's count of returning visitors for the past month. Y'all are seriously consistent.


 

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The Naming

Posted by Ogged
on 08.19.07

Cirdan is right, Teary Ennui is a great pseudonym. I'm amused that it seems to belong to someone who comments only on Scottish soccer.


 

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New Year's Resolution

Posted by LizardBreath
on 08.19.07

Not to do anything stupid, if I know it's going to be a bad idea before I do it. I think if I could stick with that one, I'd have most of my problems solved.


 

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Distort that tart in my nub.

Posted by Apostropher
on 08.19.07

To combat the increasing slippage of standards around here, I propose that henceforth all comment threads be conducted in Dutch.


 

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How To Take A Compliment: Let's Discuss

Posted by Ogged
on 08.19.07

If there's a standard script for taking compliments, it's not widely known, and lots of people with good manners don't know how to respond to them. Sometimes a simple "Thanks!" will work, but where things are a bit more complicated, many people who are trying to be polite will opt for modesty ("Oh, this necklace? It's ok I suppose....") which is actually a bit insulting to the complimenter. Insofar as there's an etiquette rule, I think it's to say "thanks" and return the compliment, but that's not always possible (If you've just beaten someone in a competition and they say "You're really good," what do you say, "Thanks, you're not that bad"?). So, what do you do?


 

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