If you did policy debate in high school, you really should see this movie. I about fell over when they started talking about topicality and world war scenarios. And again with "NOT MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE!!!" So good. In addition to the details of policy debate, it's great with the gangly self-satisfaction of debaters.
As a coming-of-age movie, it's pretty good. It plays things more for laughs than insights, but there's some emotional weight there. And I certainly laughed a lot, and not just at debate jokes.
Remember The Year of Yes, the book Ogged got us to read about a woman who agreed to go out with anyone who asked her for a year? At the end of the book [SPOILER!], the author finds true love somewhere she didn't expect -- with an older man in the process of going through a divorce who has two young kids. Well, she's back in this week's Modern Love writing about how the kids ended up hating her and she turned into the wicked stepmother.
Lichtenberg says that
It is a fault common to all people of little talent and more reading than understanding that they hit upon ingenious rather than natural explanations, and it is in the spirit of illustrating that timeless truth that I recount the tale that follows.
A few days ago, our own Becks noted that some dude has put up several recipes—in fact about 700—that have previously appeared in such venues as Crooks Balustraded and America's Testes Kitchen. I thought that was a swell thing of him to have done and promptly wgot the lot of them, only later realizing that I then had a surfeit of recipes and no good way of searching through them. (It was only today that the dude showed up on Becks' blog and pointed out that he actually does have a "search recipes" function—the first manifestation of my weakness.) So, naturally, I thought that the best thing to do, since recipes are structured, after all, would be to index them based on recipe title, ingredients, and the like, so that one could search on that basis, rather than just going through the entire text with no subtlety.
So then after wrestling with irregularities in the HTML, and discovering that this Josh is right about Beautiful Soup except when it gives different results for the ugly and prettified HTML sometimes, and then after discovering that swish-e really is queen bitch of bitchtown, I came up with this thingy, about which I make no representations that it won't break if you do something I haven't already thought of.
Then Becks told me
I go and search the ATK website and when I find a recipe I like, I go read it from my hard drive. Ah, yes, that would work too, I suppose…
The new person started this week. I'm sure I'm imagining that she consistently gets a little too close when I'm showing her how to do something, and that she just did the laugh and light touch thing, but touched me on my belt. Right?
What struck me about this clip of a teenager somewhere in those British Isles headbutting a policeman is that the cop and the teenager, even when they're fighting, seem to relate to each other as people, rather than as ruler and ruled, which is how a lot of cop/citizen interactions go in the US (or how the cops want them to go). There's no sense that the kid's life is in danger or that he's fucked for life because he crossed the uncrossable line of messing with a cop. The response that's most charitable to American police is that the cop here is behaving unprofessionally (and he is), but that's actually part of the point. With the "War on Drugs," and the need for cops here to be heavily armed, our police are a professional, regimented, quasi military force. Add to that the fact that they seem to have internalized their own publicity as the "city's finest," and you have a group of trained, armed people who think of crimes against themselves as the worst possible transgression.
It's not hard to see why we're so keen on "law and order" here, given the relatively recent lawlessness of huge swaths of the country, and a scary enslaved-then-merely-oppressed population that could have risen up any time. But it's worth considering that if you were to try to create an armed domestic force and give it, all at once, the powers the police now have through the creep of various court rulings, no one would stand for it.
Verily, it has been too long.
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I was just talking about the trolley problem* and chopping Chuck for his organs the other day, and now this.
After a long fight with a degenerative disease, Ruben Navarro appeared close to death. So the hospital caring for him alerted the local transplant network, which rushed a team to the medical center to try to salvage the 25-year-old's organs.
But as Navarro hung on, tension mounted in the operating room of Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo, Calif. With time slipping away, one of the transplant surgeons ordered repeated doses of the narcotic morphine and the sedative Ativan, jokingly calling the drugs "candy," according to police reports. Navarro eventually died, but too late for his organs to be useful.
Horrified nurses complained, prompting multiple investigations. In July, prosecutors charged Hootan Roozrokh with trying to hasten Navarro's death, marking the first time a surgeon has faced criminal charges in a transplant case.
And lo, the standard consequentialist rejoinder comes to life:
"The greatest fear the public has when it comes to organ donation is their loved one will not receive aggressive treatment and will wind up having their death hastened because of the zeal people have to get organs," said Arthur Caplan, a University of Pennsylvania bioethicist. "You create a tremendous fear on the part of the public whenever any crossing of that line takes place."
Next: efforts to lower guard rails on trolley overpasses have prompted protests from obesity-rights groups.
*not in intro! don't get mad!
Building off of Ogged's post below about his ex-felon adventures, which online dating sites would you recommend? Or recommend against? Pros and cons? Any etiquette or warnings people should know about going in?
1. Do I want the Helio Ocean or a Treo 755p? Well? (No links, because if you have to see, you aren't in a position to advise me. That's right.) Or should I wait for something that you happen to know about?
2. Those of you who read online dating profiles, tell me if my impression is correct that if someone mentions that they're originally from Boston, they will also specify "Caucasian" as the preferred ethnicity of their mate.
3. Did someone really write "Sharp wit is sexy, a big nose is sexier"? Yes, someone did. Too bad she also says she's a convicted felon. F-Fun.
Regarding the possibility of a year-end Unfogged gathering in the District of Columbia sometime during the final week in December, we would like to gauge:
1. Potential headcounts.
2. Which dates between December 28 through New Year's Eve people could attend.
Final decision and selection criteria will remain sealed and are left to the whims of blog leadership and the planning committee.
It turns out that the period required in North Dakota for adverse possession is twenty years (ten if you've been paying property tax). Christ. Better just to fork over the seven grand.
Am I to believe that a pair of D-cup breasts weighs twenty pounds? That's like having a fat newborn on each side. Do you think they were measuring the hangy parts that we colloquially refer to as "Walid Jumblatts" or to everything that doctors call "breast tissue"? If the former, then the ladies with big bazoombas have my genuine sympathy; I can't imagine walking around supporting that much weight in such an inconvenient spot (torque-wise).
From an article in WSJ.com on unruly passengers is this tale:
Some passengers choose to fight carriers' service lapses with nonviolent means. For Greg Hansen, president of a Portland, Ore., marketing and research company, the last straw was a May 14 United flight to San Francisco that was delayed for nearly three hours because of mechanical problems. He says the carrier should have alerted him about the delay before he got to the airport, since the airline knew about it at least two hours before the scheduled departure. He complains that United agents in Portland didn't have any information about the delay.
A longtime United flier, Mr. Hansen sent numerous emails to airline officials, including Glenn Tilton, chairman and chief executive of UAL Corp., United's parent company. Mr. Hansen sent a reporter copies of many of them.
Ultimately, Mr. Hansen sent the CEO an invoice demanding immediate payment of $100,000 for "lost productivity, missed business meetings and personal activities, lack of on-time arrival, failure to deliver the promise, stress, and related damages" going back to 2004.
United offered him a $300 travel voucher, then two $300 travel vouchers, but Mr. Hansen rejected that and insists the airline owes him the equivalent of 331 more vouchers. "If it was an isolated, once-only thing, I think I would be overreacting," he says of his demands. "But this is a long-time relationship."
Compare the whimsical tone of the write up with the OMG! THE CRAZY! IT BURNS!! of his actual letters:
We live in a democracy. Granted, United Airlines is a publicly traded corporation, but it's still one where every person (i.e., customer, employee, and vendor) has a right to be heard and the corporate leaders can and should be held accountable. If they are not, then we either live in a totalitarian country or we have a right to replace these individuals with new leaders who we trust, respect, and support to improve the overall performance of the corporation.
He also pulls a "given the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, I have the right as a U.S. citizen and as a United customer to voice my opinions".
The doctor who performed the spinal surgery on Everett told Buffalo TV station WIVB on Tuesday that Everett has voluntary movement of his arms and legs and as a result he is optimistic that Everett will walk again.
It's time for a non-partisan debate about something involving scantily-clad women.
I have just the thing! Southwest has, in the past couple of weeks, tried to kick two women off their flights for being inappropriately dressed. There's a convenient slideshow of the women wearing what they were asked to "cover up" here. It seems to me that Southwest has something against torquisey green.
Actually, the stories say that the airline was responding in each case to a complaint from another passenger. These are the purity ball people y'all warned me about, aren't they?
I take public nudity laws to be the expression of a sentiment roughly like this: we have eyes and lizard brains, and we just can't handle that kind of sexual stimulation as we try to go about our days, so please give us a break. And given that naked people on the veldt still managed to get excited enough to procreate, in the background of anti-nudity laws there must be a desire precisely to sexualize that which we insist be covered: it's so much hotter to only see this at special times that we insist that you cover it at all other times.
Different cultures draw the lines in different places, obviously, with the US toward the more prudish/more exciting end of the Europeanish spectrum, but way more licentious than, for example, most Muslim countries, where guys who aren't rich enough to have visited prostitutes probably reliably faint on their wedding nights.
Judging by American standards, it seems to me that these women didn't really cross any clear line, and why the hell do you want to be known as the airline that kicks off scantily clad women anyway?
I guess I've drifted to the far left, because I don't see a damn thing wrong with MoveOn's "Betray Us" ad that has the right throwing a fit. The factual claims in the ad and the inference it draws both seem incontrovertible to me: Petraeus's statements about the war shouldn't be taken at face value, and misleading us about the state of things in Iraq is a betrayal. What's to argue with?
More broadly, you might think that Democrats should be trying to eke out narrow victories rather than trying to change the basic assumptions of political discussion in the US, but there's no reason for an activist group not to try to do that latter. Why the fuck is the military so valorized? In every controversial war, the sainthood of the soldier is used to cow the opposition (and also to justify sending more sainted soldiers to die needlessly, of course). But even great soldiers can be careerist lying sacks of shit.
That said, Yglesias is certainly right here.
In general, my view is that people shouldn't make puns.
Dahlia Lithwick has a fascinating article on the new outrageous court appointments Bush is trying to push through. Need convincing to read the whole thing? One of his nominees is on the board of directors for a foundation that nominated Rush Limbaugh for the Nobel Peace Prize.
It looks like people are paying attention to what's going with football. Someone just sent me this very good article (thanks!) which is basically a chronicle of the abuse of players, both when they're playing and after they retire and seek disability payments. I really didn't know it was this bad. You do want to read the whole thing, since it gets into the failures of the union and what people are trying to do about it.
DeMarco, with a full head of steam, was set to bury the linebacker, put a helmet between his numbers, and plant him, when someone tripped Dillon from behind. Dillon fell crosswise on the back of DeMarco's legs, pinning his knees to the turf. In slo-mo DeMarco was falling forward himself when the linebacker lowered his helmet and drove through DeMarco, knocking his chest downfield as his hips went upfield, practically cleaving him in two.
"I heard the pop in my back as I was going down and just felt this pain like I'd never felt before," says DeMarco, who had recently signed with the Cincinnati Bengals after four solid years with the Jacksonville Jaguars. "I'm at the bottom of the pile under a thousand pounds of guys, and I'm thinking, I'm never getting up. I'll never walk again."
They got him to the sideline, where the trainer and his staff laid DeMarco on the bench and tested his legs. He wasn't, in fact, paralyzed, though he couldn't sit up. And so the doctor stepped in and did what doctors have done since the banzai days of Vince Lombardi. He produced a four-inch needle, hiked the player's jersey up, and injected him several times with lidocaine. The numbness set in, DeMarco got to his feet, and, minutes after breaking off bits of spine, reentered the game. He was 27; in a few months he would be out of the sport, a young man with an old man's body.
The first time I heard of Dave Eggers, it was because noted Maroon, troll, and lawyer Ted Frank said that McSweeney's was more Lisa Pea than Lisa Pea. Who, you ask, is Lisa Pea? Well, she is, of course, a talented pornographer, but I recommend poking around her archived fan club ("Kiboan Brane Fever", "Apple Pies", and "True Life Story" are pretty good).
She appears to have a blog, like so many others these days.
She has opinions about what to name kids, is why I mention it just now.
Not because I'm planning to have a kid, but because it's fun, I've been playing with the baby name wizard again, and I've been looking for more names like Blossom and Fonda (try 'em! try 'em!). They spike, then disappear over a couple of decades. There must be a story for names like that (you can imagine that people stopped naming kids Fonda when Jane became notorious for her anti-war activism).
Another very odd thing is to look up male names like Andrew and Mark and click the button to only show girl names. I wonder if those are just an error in how things are coded, or if there really were such trends.
I don't want to be a pill about this, but as we await word on whether NFL player Kevin Everett will ever walk again, I decided to check out the NFL injury report [link updated]. Just...wow. That's after one week of play, and four teams haven't played yet. And that doesn't account for the "normal" wear and tear that causes people to be unable to walk or to lose their minds twenty years after they retire. I don't want to be a scold, hell I don't even want boxing banned, but it does seem like the league should pay more attention to the health of the players, but that's just not the direction in which the systemic pressure pushes; quite the opposite.
Update: I can't find a list that's just of week one injuries; they all include injuries sustained during the preseason too, and people marked as being IR are sometimes injured, sometimes just being kept on the squad by using a free injured reserve spot when there are no more active roster spots. I don't think that much changes the point.
"Hey, Bob. Did you see how much good publicity New York City got when it decided to give out free condoms? We should do that here in D.C."
"That's a great idea, Jim, but it sounds expensive."
"No problem. I know where we can get a deal on some really cheap condoms from China. Sure, they're in paper wrappers and you can't read the expiration date but I don't think anyone will have a problem with that."
"Of course not. Why would they?"
Some of us have taken a lot of crap from some others of us for our insufficient "nerd cred," which could have been accrued, we are given to understand, by reading superhero picture books and wetting the bed until we were twelve. But have some of us mentioned that we were policy debaters in high-school? That is unimpeachably creddy, and there's a new movie out chronicling our lives, our loves, our disappointments and our triumphs. I do believe I'll go see it.
It is the mark of a
truly intelligent single person to be moved by statistics.
I realized this afternoon that I can hush my fire alarm (which is super-sensitive and I'm always setting off) by standing on my tiptoes and pushing the little button in the middle of it with my knife sharpening steel. (Before, I used to wave a towel in front of it or pull over a chair, stand on it, and push the button with my finger.)
I cannot, however, do this without shouting "By the power of Grayskull!!"
At first it's only impressive, after a few minutes it becomes amazing, and the end defies belief.
via the bandarlog
This is good crazy.
Of course, you need to take out the power generator by air, and sneak in a couple of Tanyas to blow up the coil, then you can start the land assault. But you knew that.
I do love football, but as I sit here watching the Buffalo/Denver game that's on, looking at Kevin Everett laying on the field, not having moved a muscle since he went down, looking for all the world like his neck is broken, and thinking about great players like Earl Campbell, who can't walk anymore, I don't know, man, I'm not sure why I keep watching.