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Get incompetent, stupid!

Posted by Ben
on 01.17.09

Do you know how to iron? To change light bulbs, or oil? Can you cut your own hair, or that of another? What about your own damn staff of life, can you make that? Does the sight of a vacuum, feather duster, or plunger fail to inspire apprehension and fear in the depths of your secret heart?

How are you with regard to food? Do you regularly demand a pound of flesh from the butcher, or must you exchange your birthright for a mess of pottage? Can you use leftovers[1], or do they feed only the trash? Can you recognize well-made clothes, or repair those made ill?

Well KNOCK IT OFF! It's bad for the economy, asshole!

Although the publishing industry might be able to make some money of its backlist of how-to books from time back way back—you know the kind, how to make soap, toothpaste, rat poison, shoe polish, all with ingredients from the dry-goods store and pharmacy.

[1] There was a recent Cook's Illustrated article that questioned why the modern cook should bother making broth from a carcass when one can just purchase some extra ground chicken, after all. It almost made me write a letter to the editor!


 

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My Prediction

Posted by Stanley
on 01.17.09

It's gonna be the Eagles and the Steelers.

While we don't talk sports here, I'm still wondering: given the Phillies' World Series win and the some-guy-told-me fact that the Flyers are, like, pretty good or something (I mean, seriously, who watches hockey?), are sports fans from Pennsylvania poised to become more annoying than sports fans from Boston and New York?

It's a legitimate question.


 

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You've got all weekend to work on it.

Posted by Apostropher
on 01.16.09

Hey look, it's the last weekend of the Bush presidency! That's got to be worth a thread of music. I'll go first.


 

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Toy Story

Posted by Stanley
on 01.16.09

It came up recently in conversation with a friend that I had a toy doll as a kid. One of those soft-body ones, with a hard plastic head, a head in which are located two magical(!) eyes that open and close as you move the head about. You know, a doll.

Moreover, it came up that this doll was a doll-based representation of a black baby girl. And recalling further, it came up that I had named it Tenisha, after the one black girl in my kindergarten class.

That I was that aware of race- and gender-specific names at the tender age of five is a bit off-putting. I'm gathering it's entirely normal, but it's still uncomfortable.

In any case, good on my sorta DFH parents for not blinking when I wanted to be-toy a doll.


 

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And then I posted on a BLAHG about it.

Posted by Stanley
on 01.15.09

I appreciate people trying to say the names of places and people near to the way the people in those places pronounce such things. Barack Obama's rendering of Pakistan is a good example. Not overwrought; no change in volume.

An NPR reporter did this today with a nice subtle "Pahkistahn". But then she proceeded to a cantankerous BAHRAHCK. She was, based on accent from the US, so it's not likely local accent breaking in (which would be understandable and totally fine).

British journalists might pronounce it similarly, but as long as the spike in volume and ethnicizing (is that a word? that's totally not a word) dramatization aren't there: I probably won't stab my ear drums out like I did today.


 

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Sour Milk

Posted by Becks
on 01.15.09

I was surprised by how interesting I found this article in the New Yorker about the evolution of society's views about breastfeeding. Perhaps it's because my new office is right next to my company's lactation room and something about that benefit has always made me a bit conflicted, although I couldn't quite put my finger on it. The article does a good job of tracing how public opinion has shifted over the last few years from "breastfeeding is best" to "breast milk is best", the rise of the Pumping Industrial Complex, and the impact of this shift on women and their children.

My liberal sensibilities are torn -- I think it's a good thing that the ability to pump breast milk has afforded women the ability to stay in the workplace after they have children but I think the ideal is guaranteed longer, paid maternity leave. Is the push to pump a step forward for equality in the workplace or just a way for corporate America to enrich itself by shafting workers on health care while wrapping itself in the flag of empowerment and feminism?


 

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Population

Posted by LizardBreath
on 01.15.09

Megan's got a post up noting that California's water problems would be greatly eased if no children in California were born from unplanned pregnancies (that is, they have statistics on the number of births resulting from unplanned pregnancies, and it's enough to make a difference to their water supply issues.)

Now, worrying about California's population problems in isolation seems goofy; if there's no water in California, people can move someplace inhabitable, like the East Coast. But I do still find myself worrying about population worldwide.

Not so much in terms of absolute numbers, which don't mean much unless you figure in resource use per person. But it'd be really, really good to make progress toward a reasonably equitable standard of living worldwide, and even better if that leveled out at something closer to the present-day American standard than the typical standard in, e.g., Bangladesh. (Not the same as the present-day American standard. But not too far off -- modern medicine, clean water, universal education, plentiful food. If we can't have lawns, it won't break my heart.)

And when you look at our resource use compared to the population of the world, the idea of leveling global inequality up rather than down looks very, very unlikely at anything like current global population. I don't know what to do about this, policy-wise. Nothing wrong with starting in California -- dropping the population one place helps everywhere else. And even thinking about the US pursuing policies intended to reduce population in poorer parts of the world makes me wildly uncomfortable.

Essentially, I'm out of ideas. Anyone else have any?


 

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The three little Neo-nazis cried, "Not by the 'staches under our nosi-nose-noses!"

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 01.14.09

Remember that couple that picked out a couple random names for their three kids, because a name doesn't mean anything, it's just a bunch of syllables strung together, and they stumbled upon the fanciful combinations of Adolph Hitler, JoyceLynn Aryan Nation, and Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie?

Then they tried to get a birthday cake for widdle Ado, and the people wouldn't write his name on the cake, and they eventually got the cake from (IIRC) Walmart, but not before landing themselves splat in the front page of the Internet? We all had a round of duck-duck-goose with them in the Internet Mushpot on that one.

Oh guess what.

I'd say, on the Unfit Scale of 1 to 10, these naming shenanigans make the parents a 7, and it takes a 9 to remove the kids from a home. So something more was probably going on. But this is a great way to get CPS to come idly knocking at your door, at least.

I'm going to go talk about Jammies about reconsidering our decision to name our baby Jesse Helms McCheney-Butt.

Via Jammies, from here.


 

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The bean curd famine of 2009

Posted by Standpipe Bridgeplate
on 01.14.09

The store has been out of tofu for at least a week, and I have been forced to make substitutions. This, I think, is a more pressing matter than what you should do with your bananus. You should eat your bananus.


 

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Inaugurachin'

Posted by Becks
on 01.13.09

Aren't you glad that I talked you all out of an Inauguration UnfoggeDCon? Just think, this weekend you could have been trying to find your way into the state of emergency we call home.

(Again, I'm all for doing some kind of east coast meetup post-January. But until then, for god's sake, STAY AWAY FROM DC! SAVE YOURSELF!)


 

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Observed?

Posted by Ben
on 01.13.09

Did Virginia Postrel concern-troll an academic panel of which she was a part? The situation is not so clear.


 

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How to slice an apple

Posted by Standpipe Bridgeplate
on 01.12.09

Imagine a circle centered on top of the apple and marking the rim of the core. To begin, make a cut with the very tip of the knife tangent to the circle. Then, for each slice, rotate the apple and make another such cut, making sure the tip of the knife just intersects the plane of the preceding slice. When you're done, you'll have n wedgical slices of apple and an attractive n-sided core.


 

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Not Dead Yet

Posted by Becks
on 01.11.09

I'd like to think that what Michael Silberman says is true: that in these days of Twitter and Facebook and blogs and increased interconnectedness, we'd notice more quickly if someone stopped pinging the grid because something happened to them, preventing the unfortunate fate of his neighbor, who died and wasn't discovered for many weeks. I fear that instead what would happen is that I wouldn't notice that person hadn't posted/tweeted/updated in a while because so many other messages are coming through the system all the time. It's hard to keep a mental log of who you have and haven't heard from in a while, especially as your numbers of contacts grow.

Maybe filtering through this information to prioritize it will be the next phase of social networking. As I get friended on Facebook by every high school and college alumni and former coworker, I do worry that the steady stream of all of their messages might keep me from noticing the more important information that might not get through.


 

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Manliness is Godliness

Posted by Stanley
on 01.11.09

helpy-chalk links, in comments, to this NYT profile of Mark Driscoll and his Seattle-based Mars Hill Church, a sort of mega-church with the trappings of indie-rock hipsterism and—no shit—Calvinist predestination theology.

At least three problems here:

  • The guy views women as chattel. Take for instance his advice on whether women should pursue men (they shouldn't) or whether one should date if one doesn't intend to marry (one shouldn't). It's a hateful view of women, and he's fucking reveling in dishing it out.

  • Calvinism? Calvinism?! Um. Yeah.

  • The hipsterism-ness of it all: he's taking on subversive airs to advance reactionary, harmful ideas. It's not cool; it's annoying.

My half-baked ideas, at least. Thanks to rob for linking.


 

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This makes a lot of good points.

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 01.11.09
Get the latest news satire and funny videos at 236.com.

Via, via Jammies.


 

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