Will you never change?
And for the well-dressed contingent gathered at Steve and Cindy's house in Richmond--one of whom has never even smoked marijuana--that mystique is exactly what opium has over similar drugs they've avoided not because they're dangerous, but because they're distasteful.
"Heroin is like Wonder Bread," says Steve, who's up first. "Opium is like seven-grain."
This is a really neat post and thread at Languagehat.
I like Henry Howard the most.
God, somebody please smack Florida and Michigan and everyone involved with the election process upside the head, please.
A reader shares some drunken instant messages and email sent to a special young lady who said she'd prefer to be "just friends." He wants to know how embarrassed to be.
I should have hanelobre. Otoh
tunning a marathon. Forgiveness. I
wikk forgove thee
As long as you daye
I'm very intersedylt in ehom yoyi
Whow thays inchorenernt . let's
says that I want you to be happy. If
that means than more way ilve
meant iu :(
I'm afraid I would luck to your
kihana da says. Said. If sais want rt
be. A sa rraddow.
Wow that made no sense
whatsoever. I will be happy as long
as you know you deserve happiness!
The email (written around 4.00, sent around 8.00):
While I'm still a little drunk (okay, maybe more than a little), I feel free to say that you are an exceptional person, and I hope that you fine someone worthy of you. Assuming you want that.
I'm pretty sure you know this, but just in case...
You are a fantastic person. I feel privileged to associate with you (or.. something).
Okay, it turns out I'm still cold and drunk. So I'll try to keep it short:
Honesty is the best policy:
I think you are great (and I have a pretty good nose for such things (super power!)), but I don't see much of a reason in hiding around such things. I really can't see much of a person to be around me (nothing exceptional anyways), so I can't really argue my case.
Even though it ended up in a different situation than I would have liked, the definitiveness is reassuring (kind of). Just be happy. Honestly. (This is probably the most honest I will be for awhile, so take note!)
Sorry, I'm feeling a little sentimental.
We should have a sober talk sometime about this stuff. I do value you as a friend, and I would hate to lose that. Just give me a call. Who knows when I will wake up!!
I really don't remember what went on after our talk. I hope I wasn't too much trouble.
But I am cold, and it is pretty late.
Honestly (again), I wish I knew what was important to you, and I wish I could make everything great.
Oh well. Can't ask for too much!
[HA I I forgot to hit send! Oh well. No proofreading!]
Addendum: As long as we can talk about books and music, etc...
A couple of trains collided in Boston a few days ago and today I read this story.
Ben Papapietro, a 19-year-old sophomore at the University of Arizona, was returning to his home in Sudbury from his internship with the Red Sox. He was sitting in the rear car of the packed train when it slammed into the other train.
After the train came to a stop, Papapietro fled with scores of other passengers, fearing the train might explode. But when he heard screaming from the cars, he went back. "It was a matter of how long you could have listened to these people screaming inside the train before you did something," Papapietro said in an interview at MBTA police headquarters. "I guess my breaking point was just sooner than everyone else's."
Now that's a modest way of putting it.
When he returned to the train, he found Min Perry, 37, a portfolio manager from Wellesley, who was in the seat behind the train driver and had become trapped. She was bleeding profusely and in agony.
"She was screaming, screaming, the worst screams I've ever heard in my life," he said. "It breaks your heart."
With smoke filling the trolley and flames all around, he took his shirt off, urged her to breathe through it, and to squeeze his hand. "I didn't want this lady to die right in front of me," he said. "I'm trying to keep her going, doing everything I can, but at the same time doing nothing, because I can't do anything. It's the most helpless feeling in the world."
When firefighters and paramedics arrived, Papapietro pleaded with them to help Perry. "I looked back and I'm like, 'Hey, I'm just a person riding the train. Someone needs to help this woman.' "
Good going, man. More details here.
Hey, my college roommate (who has appeared in the comments here as Dr. Germ) is moving to DC for an exciting new education policy think tank job. Does anyone have a line on a possible roommate situation for her? (Columbia Heights would be ideal.)
Update: She's also recently developed an immunology video game, Immune Attack, available for download at the link; it's not through her new job, but it's the sort of thing she'll be working on in future. Anyone who wanted to take it out for a spin and comment on it, either on the science level or the fun level, comments would be appreciated.
Just like body piercings and tattoos have become wildly popular in the mainstream the Flair-do® is the newest rage among trendsetters! Its a personalized permanent design of the bikini area.
I look forward to an 80 year old having to explain to her doctor someday why her pubic hair is in the shape of a chili pepper.
In a truly awe-inspiring demonstration of the fairness and reliability of the judicial process, the chief judge for the Guantanamo tribunals, Marine Col. Ralph Kohlmann has just fired and replaced Col. Peter Brownback, the judge presiding over the tribunal's proceedings against Omar Khadr, a Canadian detainee, for ruling that Khadr was entitled to discovery of the evidence against him before his trial. Obviously, such conduct was completely unacceptable, and we're lucky that the judge is no longer in a position to make such patently dangerous and unpatriotic rulings.
Military prosecutors have been pressing Brownback to set a trial date, but he has repeatedly directed them first to satisfy defense requests for access to potential evidence. At a hearing earlier this month, he threatened to suspend the proceedings altogether unless the detention center provided records of Khadr's confinement.
And for that, Brownback got removed from the case. If only they could have scheduled his removal for the Fourth of July, as an expression of the ideals on which this country was founded. (Hat-tip to CharleyCarp.)
We have a photo.
"If it was a puppet, it would be a very elaborate and sophisticated puppet," said Alejandro Rojas, education director of MUFON, the Mutual UFO Network
Now that we've convincingly eliminated that crazy possibility, we move to the next most likely scenario, than an alien was peeping into a bedroom in Nebraska.
But I have a more pressing question that will likely be elementary to many of you, but to which I don't know the answer: are the "people" in the Star Wars movies human?
A plane in the Amazon made two passes over an uncontacted tribe, and the pictures are pretty striking, with the women and children having disappeared before the second pass, and the men, now painted red, pointing arrows at the plane.
Following from my previous post on private practice, something I was thinking but didn't quite manage to get said about explaining outcomes as the result of "self sorting", or of people's individual choices about what they want. I left private practice under my own power -- I wasn't fired, I went looking for other jobs. Looking at it on that level, it looks as though I'm someone who left because private practice just wasn't for me, and I decided I'd be happier elsewhere.
But that's not true. I left private practice because the people I worked for assessed me as someone who didn't suit their needs, and communicated that by not giving me the work that would be necessary for me to advance -- it wasn't my decision, it was theirs. If my superiors had liked my performance, I'd still be there gunning for partner (probably bitching about the life, but gunning for partner.) Don't get me wrong, I'm not claiming to have been done an injustice -- while the basis for the decision-making is opaque to me, presumably they know their business, and given that I'm not clear on how I fell short, I can't reasonably say that the reasons were bad ones. Still, I didn't leave BigLaw because I decided it just wasn't for me, I left them because I was given the unmistakable message that I wasn't what they wanted*.
Who made the decision that a BigLaw career wasn't for me isn't important in my individual case, but when you're looking at global patterns of how people's careers turn out, it's worth thinking about. There was an article in the Washington Post a few days ago discussing a study that purported to show that the only reason that there are so few women in elective office is that they just don't choose to run -- when they do run, they do just as well as men. But you really can't attribute the fact that there are fewer female candidates to their own personal "choice" not to run without more information, just like you can't look at my career path and validly use it as a data point to show that women aren't BigLaw partners because they'd rather work in some lower-pressure environment.
* I probably got emotionally whipsawed a little harder than most, and took more time getting the message than I should have, because my shortcomings mostly weren't in the lawyering. The combination of the consistent praise I got for my work-product with the dead-end path my career was taking had me thinking I could pull out of it for longer than I should have.
I can't wait to see this.
A video that purportedly shows a living, breathing space alien will be shown to the news media Friday in Denver.
Jeff Peckman, who is pushing a ballot initiative to create an Extraterrestrial Affairs Commission in Denver to prepare the city for close encounters of the alien kind, said the video is authentic and convinced him that aliens exist.
An instructor at the Colorado Film School in Denver scrutinized the video "very carefully" and determined it was authentic, Peckman said.
"It shows an extraterrestrial's head popping up outside of a window at night, looking in the window, that's visible through an infrared camera," he said. The alien is about 4 feet tall and can be seen blinking, Peckman said earlier this month.
"Authentic" here meaning something like "not doctored," although the relevant question might seem to be whether it's a real alien, which an instructor at the film school might not be best qualified to judge. And it's in infrared. I'm sure this will settle the matter once and for all.
I've already mentioned that my pet proposal is to make pro ball four-on-four, which would take care of a lot of problems all by itself, and I love that the NBA will be fining people next season for flopping (doing it post-game, with the benefit of replay, is exactly the right thing to do). But I also have a minor suggestion that I'm now completely in love with: instead of two shots and the ball for things you really want to discourage, change the penalty to free throws until the shooter misses, with a maximum of some number...say ten. These would happen rarely (how many flagrant 2s are there in a season?) and wouldn't much affect the stats, but they'd be fabulously exciting when they did happen, especially on the road.
Tangentially related, and also from the linked piece: it's hard not to love Rasheed Wallace.
"All that bull(bleep)-ass calls they had out there. With Mike [Callahan] and Kenny [Mauer] -- you've all seen that (bleep)," Wallace said. "You saw them calls. The cats are flopping all over the floor and they're calling that (bleep). That (bleep) ain't basketball out there. It's all (bleeping) entertainment. You all should know that (bleep). It's all (bleeping) entertainment."
Mostly because he said "the cats are flopping all over the floor."
I've been thinking about my experience as a lawyer in private practice for the last couple of months, and trying to figure out why I had such an unpleasantly unsuccessful experience at three different firms. It's embarrassing stuff to talk about, because while I think I'm a pretty fair lawyer, I was clearly a very poor law firm associate. And it's also just puzzling, because I never quite figured out (I still haven't) exactly what I was doing wrong. Unproductive self-analysis (or something - whatever it is, it's not an analysis of what's wrong with law firms) is under the fold.
While lots of people don't like private practice, my experience was a little different from the usual description of law-firm hell. My main problem was that I was underworked, rather than overworked. (Oh, I worked long hours a fair amount, partially because when I had work it was often on short deadlines, partially out of a 'work expands to fill the time allotted' inefficiency problem, and partially out of a self-perceived need to look available: a very typical evening for me would be pottering unproductively around the office until a little after seven, and then getting stuck in a long conversation with a partner, that would wrap up an hour later leaving me with a minor task that needed to be done before I left for home.) But in eight years of private practice, I doubt I billed over 2000 hours more than once or twice, and was generally well, well, below that, and I had a lot of days, particularly at my last firm, where I billed seven hours to "Office Administration," a.k.a. blogging and tidying my desk.)
And I could never figure out quite why this was. Comments on my work were generally laudatory - while my work got edited, everyone's does, and I certainly got little or no negative feedback on work I did. I procrastinate, so I have a tendency to push deadlines, but I never missed a deadline in a way that made getting the work product out the door on time a problem, and I do better with deadlines the more stuff I have to do - pressure works for me. Where I got negative comments on reviews, they tended to be vague comments about attitude: "Your work is good, but you're not showing ownership of your cases, or enough initiative," without any specifics. (Fascinatingly, that comment came in a year when I was working on only one big case for most of the year; a case big enough that the associates had been instructed not to communicate with anyone outside the firm, including co-counsel - everything had to pass through the partners. I had some fun speculating on what initiative on that case might have consisted of.)
Law firm culture (at least at the three firms I worked at), regards the assignments you get as an evaluation of your skills and capacities. The useless associate who doesn't get assignments because they're more trouble than they're worth to work with is a familiar character, and that was the pattern of the assignments (or lack of assignments) I got - while I was billing, in some years, half of what a very busy, but not really out-of-the-ordinary associate might bill, I was billing that low because that was all the work I had. By the time you're a senior associate, you should be some partner's (or some group of partners') go-to guy, and that never happened for me. (Well, annoyingly, in my last year at my last firm I was starting to get repeat work from one guy, but that didn't start happening until I was already mentally out the door, and into the interview process for my current job.) Further, I never managed to build the kind of relationship with a partner where I could reasonably have brought these concerns to them.
To the extent that I understand what happened to me, I just failed somehow to successfully project whatever attitude was necessary to convey that I was competent and available and eager to do work; doing a good job on the assignments I did get and hassling the assignment partner for more assignments was insufficient. So I ended up spending eight years terrified about how low my billing was, insulted by the implicit evaluation of my work product (and completely confused by the contradiction with the explicit evaluations of my work product), and wildly under-experienced for my chronological seniority in terms of the type of work I'd done, not just the amount. While I was in theory senior enough that I was eligible for partnership by the time I left my last firm, you would have had to be insane to make someone with my experience (let alone my billing history), a partner.
Anyway, that's water under the bridge. I'm at my new job, handling cases independently and successfully, and functioning at the level I should have been functioning at in private practice (and doing about three times as much work while spending about 75% of the hours I used to spend in the office). But I'm still kind of wrecked about the experience (which is why this long, pointlessly selfpitying post). I went into private practice planning, and expecting, to succeed and to make partner, and switched firms when I did in an attempt to stay on track. While I left my last firm in good standing - I could have worked there as much longer as I liked - I was very clearly dead-ended, and not by my own choice. I don't know if there are any lessons to draw from my experience, other than people like me on some dimension I haven't completely figured out are probably a poor fit for law firm life.
There's nothing really new here, but the symbolism is powerful: a man who was flying an outfitted military plane into Guyana to provide medical aid is now flying it into Tennessee, for the same purpose.
thanks to ian r. for the tip
People are talking about the "first concert" meme, and though of course no one is wondering, I'll tell you that my first two BIG ROCK SHOWS were Genesis (the "Invisible Touch" tour) and Jethro Tull (fluterock!).
To quote LGM's D: "If I could travel back in time to kick my own ass, I would gladly do it."
I remember the (more defensible!) program of the first orchestra concert I played: Russian Easter Overture; Caucasian Sketches; and In the Steppes of Central Asia. (In Soviet Russia, bass fingers you!)
I've been playing around with the bass guitars again, and I'm curious about something. On the upright, a good player can shift more or less anywhere without looking at the fingerboard, but on the bass guitar it seems to be a lot harder to shift without visual confirmation of where I'm going. This makes reading a lot more difficult when the music requires big jumps. (Hypothesis: the physical layout of the upright provides more tactile clues about location. Alternative hypothesis: I'm just lousy.) How do people solve this problem?
Confirming what John Emerson has known all along, CNN's Jessica Yellin, formerly of ABC, says that editors pressured her to run stories favorable to the administration in the run-up to war.
"The press corps was under enormous pressure from corporate executives, frankly, to make sure that this was a war presented in way that was consistent with the patriotic fever in the nation and the president's high approval ratings," Yellin said.
"And my own experience at the White House was that the higher the president's approval ratings, the more pressure I had from news executives--and I was not at this network at the time--but the more pressure I had from news executives to put on positive stories about the president, I think over time...."
Video at the link.
Just a note about spam: Thunderbird is only so-so at avoiding false positives and if you don't email me regularly and send me something during what's overnight in California, there's a very good chance that I'll never see it. I try to check my junk mail box during the day (such is life), but in the morning there are at least a hundred messages in there. Feel free to resend if I don't respond (I try to respond to everything (except Ari)) or just holler in the comments.
Why have all of the gas stations I've stopped at on my road trip only had Rough Rider condoms for sale in the vending machines? I mean, they're made by Lifestyles, a perfectly respectable condom company. Have they considered offering a more traditional option, too? Or is there something about a gas stations that makes people want to go for the Rough Rider?
It's in Slate, but it's by K. Anthony Appiah, who is a bona fide smart guy, so! He takes on the contention, in what seems to be an interesting book, that
...American progressives have drifted away from the values and intellectual traditions of the West, stretching from classical antiquity to the Enlightenment (this is the larger narrative). She is vexed that contemporary conservatism has staked an uncontested claim to these traditions. When George W. Bush was re-elected in 2004 (this is the more local narrative), she recalls, "I was stunned by the claim that voters chose George Bush because they cared about moral values. Either they had been bamboozled or the left had dramatically failed."
To this, Appiah replies, in part,
When it comes to using the language of good and evil, too, it's unclear to me who really needs persuading. The treatment of prisoners by American soldiers and operatives at Abu Ghraib, which she offers as one of her paradigms of evil, is not an event that progressives (or most others) have been inclined to discuss in value-neutral terms.
But I think his use of the academy as a counter-example gets at the deeper point of agreement.
But even in the academy, not to mention the world rumored to be outside it, the ideal of moral clarity seems to be faring rather well. Consider just the field of ethics in our philosophy departments. There are more "virtue ethicists"--devoted to elaborating Aristotle's ideas of the virtuous and the vicious--than you can shake a stick at. (Not that a virtuous person would do such a thing.) Many other ethicists insist on Kant's stern regard for duty and oppose those who claim that the true morality is a matter of a subtle attention to the multiple values at stake in particular cases. Along with the Aristotelian virtue ethicists and Kantian deontologists, there are a slew of Thomists, Realists, and contractualists, all of whom believe in something like the universality of moral values.
This isn't the answer; it might be the problem. First, in pragmatic political terms, it could be that the several approaches to ethics from secular theorists result in the absence of a powerful, unified/unifying message. More plausibly, what we have plenty of is meta-ethics, but not a lot of ethics; a lot of words about how to approach decisions, without grappling with decisions. In fact, Appiah's next sentence is
And that's before we have even come to discussing a single actual moral issue.
It might be that there's a tension between responsible scholarship and ideas that will be politically powerful. Good ethics is about nuance. But what about the claim that the left has ceded the moral ground? I think Appiah is right that that's not the case. The leftist critique of globalization, in particular, is almost entirely a moral critique. So why would someone like Neimann, who seems smart and fair from Appiah's brief description, think that "those whose business is to think about morality have been remiss"?
In some comment thread Cala was noting that her Bodum coffee presses keep breaking and as I was bopping around the Bodum site, I came across their line of double-walled glasses and I thought "Hey! Those are pretty nifty! Maybe I should get some for my mom." So I went to Flickr (which I use to answer all sorts of questions lately (eg., should I spend a day on the Sunshine Coast or at Whistler? Flickr says Whistler. If you want to know what a place or thing actually looks like, head to Flickr, and ignore the promotional material.)) and saw that they do, in fact, look pretty nifty.
Then it hit me, clear and unmistakable: this is stuff white people like: simple, but not without style, and the style grounded (however tenuously) in function; affordable, but slightly exclusive; like a toy, for adults.
And so I was torn, because those aren't really bad things, but I need to maintain *some* ironic distance from my whiteness. Luckily, Flickr, photo-sharing site of color, rescued me again. Cala isn't the only one breaking the Bodum. Pass.
While I think it's really unfair that they singled you out as a Crap Email From A Dude, it was probably smart that you sent it pseudonymously.
I'm having some trouble understanding this one.
A nude maid cleaned up good at a Tampa Bay area man's home. The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office says the maid stole more than $40,000 worth of jewelry from the home despite not wearing any clothes.
Sheriff's office spokeswoman Debbie Carter says the man told deputies he left the maid alone in the bedroom to clean. When the man's wife came home from vacation, she discovered the jewelry missing from their bedroom.
So he hired a nude maid and left her alone?
As you've probably seen, former White House spokesman Scott McClellan has written a book and we're all supposed to be shocked that someone has said that Bush is incurious and the White House was run in permanent campaign mode. But this, while also not new, does zero in on an explanation for "why Iraq?" in a convincing way.
In Iraq, McClellan added, Bush saw "his opportunity to create a legacy of greatness," something McClellan said Bush has said he believes is only available to wartime presidents.
The president's real motivation for the war, he said, was to transform the Middle East to ensure an enduring peace in the region. But the White House effort to sell the war as necessary due to the stated threat posed by Saddam Hussein was needed because "Bush and his advisers knew that the American people would almost certainly not support a war launched primarily for the ambitions purpose of transforming the Middle East," McClellan wrote.
Self-aggrandizement plus naive idealism; sounds like Bush to me.
"He got fouled, but I think it's a good no-call."
"It was a foul, but he didn't sell it."
"Referees are sensitive."
Bostoniangirl emailed a while back asking after a music thread with a theme, namely, music for sex; this has in fact already been done, though it's probably a topic of perennial interest. Or maybe she actually wanted people to post mixes for sex. I don't know. I'm too old to keep track of these things.
I just put this track on repeat, but for those of you who might find the children's voices distracting, your questions have been answered. (I personally found it really distracting when, after fifteen and a half minutes, the bass line changed. The piano part is occasionally a bit ivory-tinkling, but, eh.)
Let's face it, breaststroke is the sexiest stroke.
photos from here
So I managed to get a sunburn -- my first bad one in years. I've got a big red smile under my ass where my suit rode up.
It's not too terrible -- I can still sit when I need to and it's not a constant ouchy reminder. It's nowhere near the one I had in middle school, which had to be my worst. I had to quit the swim team that summer because I couldn't raise my arms over my head for three weeks.
I finally got around to reading Into The Wild, and a day later came across this story in the local paper about a guy who dropped out of grad school at Berkeley to preach and live among the homeless. Both men, with different degrees of hurt, left their families to pursue their calling, and reactions to their stories seem to range from outrage at the shirking of responsibility to total forgiveness for those who are "called." In some ways, these extreme cases are easiest to judge, because if someone is so determined to drop that far out of regular society, there's no sense in trying to keep them around, and you can only ask that they, unlike McCandless, go about it as considerately as possible. It's the less extreme cases, where someone wants to pursue a difficult, unremunerative craft, but keep their connections to the real world of shelter and family, that are much more common causes of strain, and don't admit of easy answers.
I bought these Nike Frees.
Not only that, but I got bpl to try on some Nike Frees and not only does she now own these
but she wore them out of the store.
I know a bunch of you keep asking in the comments but we're not going to blog the Emily Gould article on general principle. You'll have to make do with this.
It wouldn't be disrespectful to honor our fallen soldiers with a sizzling platter of greasy funk, would it?
Update: Memorial Day has always been an oddly abstract holiday for me. Both my grandfathers fought in WWII and one great-grandfather (that I know of) in WWI. But since I knew all three (and one's still alive), they obviously came home in one piece. Same with my uncles who are vets. In fact, I'm not sure I've ever known anybody who went on to die in combat.
Turns out that people are already driving less, despite the suspicion that demand for gas would be stable absent significantly larger price increases. And, as I was driving to my friend's place forty miles away last night, it occurred to me that if prices really to go to $12/gallon, it would cost almost $50 to go see him.
I think the game changer in the presidential election will be McCain taking public financing and Obama (or, whatever, Clinton) being able to raise unlimited funds. With that imbalance, it's all about resource allocation and making McCain have to spread his limited money around as much as possible just to not lose ground in states that he should be able to count as "safe" so that he has less to spend in actual battleground states. Every dollar he has to spend in West Virginia or Louisiana is one less that he has to spend in Pennsylvania, while every dollar McCain spends somewhere like Wisconsin, Obama can match by just raising more money.
I admit that this article doesn't rise far beyond the NYT Style Section but I have to agree: fuck the Millenials. (As a generation. There are obviously individual members that I like.)
I, for one, hail the coming intergenerational Age War.