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Tamper Proof

Posted by Becks
on 03.21.09

As many have predicted, there's now a proven case of voter fraud resulting from electronic voting machines that lack a paper trail. Here's hoping this gets more publicity and some legislation results.


 

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I'm only definitely being an asshole now because others might be assholes for the same reason in the future.

Posted by Ben
on 03.21.09

When might observing something along the lines of "if you engage in action-type A, there might be unpleasant consequences down the line" not make you a sociopath? Well, once the action has been undertaken, or even once the plan has been formed, if you think a clear line can be drawn between the two, but before it's been consummated, it might be uttered to caution the actor, or in anticipatory glee, or just as advice with a view to getting all the information on the table. And after the consequences start raining down, it might be issued in a sympathetic mood, lamenting that the world should contain such pricks.

If, on the other hand, you yourself are directly bringing about those bad consequences, you're simultaneously being actively malicious and acting as if your malice is just part of the way the world is and (presumably) not something under your direct control—a particularly egregious instance of someone not understanding how their own behavior makes what they're describing the case. (One might put it this way: the assholeness of the Jezebel person exists outside her, independently, as something alien to her, such that she can comment on its workings even as it works by means of her own body and mind[1]. We leave it open whether she is only herself when attending to animal functions.) Obviously in saying "oversharing can have consequences you don't expect" she means "oversharing should have consequences whether you expect them or not", and has decided to bring such consequences about, but adopts this infuriating pose of just letting you know how it is, don't blame her. Sociopath!

via.

[1] "Passte ich auf die Handlung meines Körpers auf, so könnte ich sagen, ein Arschloch handele mittels meines Körpers."


 

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Yeah, yeah, hit by a car. Cry me a river.

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 03.21.09

Remember this Critical Mass video?

So, last night after dinner, my group was chatting outside the restaurant. I had my back to the street, when a girl got hit by a car. It was a hit-and-run, with the car taking off. It sounded like she had been on her bike, and the bike was still being dragged by the car, but that information was gleaned from general crowd murmurings so I don't actually know if that was true.

I called 911! I've never called 911 before, and I felt a teensy bit illogically proud. While I was on the phone, about four other people also got on the phone to 911, which I mentioned to the 911 guy, and he said, "Yes, it looks like we're getting a lot of calls from your area."

She was conscious and didn't have any limbs sticking out at weird angles, and there was no blood, but she was probably pretty banged up and everyone was just keeping her lying down until the ambulance got there. They put her on the phone directly with EMS.

I left shortly thereafter. The sirens were getting close; there was a crowd, and I wasn't serving any purpose.

The thing is: I was at Mother's, in Hyde Park if you know Austin. If not, suffice it to say it's a crunchy area. The crowd had the same angry indignation as the Critical Mass crowd. And it was totally, completely justifiable - a car had hit a pedestrian and not stopped. That's clearly outrageous. And yet, the crowd's anger still seemed insincere, or fake, or something, like whatever it is that's annoying in the Critical Mass video. Several people chased after the car to get its liscense plate number, and I think someone was even successful, and that's what you should do. You should chase after the car and get it's liscense plate number. And yet when they came back and reported their varying successes running after the car, it was kind of annoying.

I think it's a Boy Crying Wolf thing. Crunchy groups of people have a reputation of caring too passionately about too many topics, without seeing any shades of gray, and the rest of the world has grown a little knee-jerk resistant and unwilling to distinguish between the many causes. And so you just automatically dial down your reaction, whenever they grab your arm for a new cause.


 

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A Fridge Full Of Elitism

Posted by Becks
on 03.20.09

Armsmasher went and bought about 10 lbs. of arugula from a local farmer, forgetting he was leaving on a trip and would be gone a week. So we've got a ridiculous amount of arugula we need to eat up before it goes bad. What should I do with pounds and pounds of arugula?


 

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One birth mother's story.

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 03.19.09

Interesting account on the emotional trauma one woman experiences on giving her baby up for adoption. Her point is that people wail and gnash about the emotional trauma that women may experience having an abortion, but that adoption can be incredibly emotionally perilous for the birth mother as well.

I think it speaks to the way in which the pro-life movement is exploiting our cultural discomfort with icky emotions. In other words, if we promote the idea that abortions are emotionally traumatic, then on-the-fencers will try to avoid abortions.

But once you're dealing with an unplanned pregnancy, (or a planned one) you may deal with traumatic emotions, period. Tethering to the emotions to abortion is just a cheap pro-life technique to divert the debate.


 

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Going Galt was never so sophisticated

Posted by Ben
on 03.18.09

Howard Roark—the chocolate bar!

I entered the Haight St. store for the first time today, saw the above-mentioned bar, and asked the counter girl who named the things. "My boss", quoth she—well, I probably could have guessed that, actually. She then confirmed: Rand fan. I bought something there anyway.

I'm still somewhat boggled by it. Note that while all the bars are of the with-stuff-in sort, the Roark is the only one that's "serious": the stuff in is just more chocolate, and it's all dark chocolate, and … and … what the fuck does Objectivism, or architecture, or modernism, or anything going on here, have to do with chocolate? This confection is, literally, insanity. Does it have more integrity than the other bars?


 

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A light bulb literally turned on over my head.

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 03.18.09

Mimi Smartypants on detested figures of speech:

My new most hated verbal tic, right up there with the misuse of literally (Idiot Girl: Oh my god you guys I literally died!) (Me [not out loud]: I literally wish you would!) has got to be the strangled phrase "it goes to show." I used to work with someone who said this all the time, and she NEVER followed up with what, exactly, it went to show. Someone would complain about something and she'd sigh sympathetically and say, "It just goes to show." As if that were a complete sentence or meant anything at all. It just goes to show what? That everything sucks? That you are the most boring person on earth who can only talk in clichés?

For me, it's "Simply put, ..." Simply put, I'm pretty sure whatever follows is going to make you sound like a blowhard. Simply put, I got sensitized to this phrase when I overused it in the teaching statement that I wrote for when I was on the job market. The phrase that most haunted me from that essay was something like, "Simply put, I strive for a teaching style that engages the student's mind." Jeez, heebie, pretentious much?

Oh! But my favorite phrase is "It's a trade-off." I have a personal game with myself to interject "It's a trade-off" into as many conversations as possible.

And you?


 

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Albums I have listened to recently that I endorse

Posted by Ben
on 03.18.09

1. Michel Doneda/Jack Wright/Tatsuya Nakatani: From Between
2. D. Rider: Mother of Curses
3. Etchingham Steam Band: s/t
4. Paolo Angeli & Hamid Drake: Uotha
5. Simon H. Fell: Composition 12.5
6. Sebkha Chott: Nagali Malidi

I invite you to tell us what you have been endorsingly listening to recently.


 

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I May Just Be Defensive Because It Takes Me An Hour And A Half To Order A Sandwich

Posted by Becks
on 03.17.09

Interesting musings about the trajectory of the romantic comedy and how such movies used to be about a man and woman realizing they love each other but now tend towards the woman "fixing" herself so that she may be loved by a man.


 

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For Ogged

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 03.17.09

I just had my first swimming workout ever. Holy mother crap, swimming is exhausting.

No seriously, holy living crap. Everyone said I'd feel so light and delightful, and it was kind of true insofar as when I got out I felt five times heavier and less delightful. I almost stumbled and fell, I was so surprised by how heavy I felt.

My goal was to swim for 20 minutes. Then as I started going, I thought that ten laps (roundtrip? Is that how you count laps?) would be something I could do. The pool is a 25 yard pool. So I swam 500 yards! All by myself. That took me 25 minutes. On each way there I did what the pros call the crawl, or the frontstroke. On each way back I did the crawl-on-your-back, or the backstroke.

Also I never did get the hang of my goggles and I drank a boatload of chlorinated water. But overall, I feel pleasantly exhausted now.


 

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Our family values will save us.

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 03.17.09

What's crazy about this is that we really are not recieving much in the way of PSAs about our local drought conditions. It comes up conversationally; "Such and such a lake is at its lowest level in years!", and when I went camping I was shocked to pass the Perdenales river and see that you could easily walk across it almost everywhere. There's been a burn ban for awhile, but there's a burn ban almost every year.

Anyway, I watch a reasonable amount of TV and listen to the radio, and haven't heard anything addressing how we should be ratcheting up individual conservation measures. (In the past, I've gotten mailers about watering my lawn, filling pools, washing cars, etc.) What the hell are we waiting for?

This state is so ass-backwards. Oh, and Rick Perry still wants to turn down $556 million of stimulus package dollars, because he wants what's best for the unemployed in Texas, like not supporting too many of them.


 

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You had me at the chin-strap beard, yo.

Posted by Stanley
on 03.16.09

Not that one can't be a conservative hip-hop artist, but it's…weird?

Like Christian punk music: a feigned subversiveness that just doesn't work. At least, I don't get it, but I don't profess to know a lot about hip hop, so I'm talking ex recto* here.

In any case, the interview dude trying to bob his head along around minute 1:50? That part's pretty great.

*recto or recta? is that new nosflow fellow around to clarify?


 

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DC Meet-Up? A Planning Thread

Posted by Stanley
on 03.15.09

This recent thread raised a general clamor for a meet-up in DC, along with the news (to me, at least) that eb is actually in DC right now but only through the end of April, and that Rah and Robust McManlyPants will be in town April third through the fifth, although possibly quite busy.

Plainly, the hour is nigh to atone for the absence of an UnfoggeDCon 3.0, and I'm thinking that hour could fall within April. Consider this thread your place to plan: dates, locations, times, who specifically will be the first to sex Mutombo, etc.
______

[To clarify, there are now two DC meet-ups. One on 3/28 and another on 4/3. Failure to attend both is highly deprecated.]

Sir Kraab, of the House of Awesome, comments: "I hereby decree that the earlier D.C. meet-up will be on Saturday, March 28th, since it means will can be there and fedward can be there before the rest of us are so drunk we won't be able to recall what he looks like.

"Solly's or Saint-Ex might work. Or isn't there a new-ish 80-gazillion beer place somewhere, maybe at Gallery Place?"

As for the 4/3 shindig: It's looking like Solly's with an expected guest count of 10-20; Becks plans to arrive around 7pm to secure a firm foothold in that likely-to-get-busy bar. Owing to work and travel, I may not get there till 8pm, but I encourage not to emulate my selfish ways and to get there early in order to to get some seats.

Don't do it for my bum. Do it for yours.


 

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Why I prefer cats; a rambling entry

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 03.15.09

When I was four, we got two dogs.

splinter.jpg

They looked like Splinter, from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. They were half-whippet and half-terrier. We let my dad name them because he didn't want them. He named them Terramycin and Acyclovir, which are jock itch and herpes medicines, respectively. We called them Terry and Ace for short.

They were very friendly dogs, but fucking hell were they stupid. We hired a trainer at one point because my brothers couldn't teach them to sit and stay, and the trainer quit after a while, saying that my brothers were doing it right, and it was just going to take a lot of repetition.

It took years to get them fully house-broken. Then they were properly house-broken for a few years until they got to be about six or seven, and then they became senile and lived for another good ten years having accidents in the house.

This was in Florida, where you spend much of the year in shorts. They would walk behind you and drag their wet noses up and down the back of your legs. That used to make me livid. Terry used to compulsively lick Ace's head, which would then dry into wiry spikes. Ace was getting lots of ear infections. So we had to muzzle Terry. Then Terry would drag his muzzle up and down the back of your leg and scrape you with the wires, which also made me livid.

The only time Terry ever rubbed his synapses together was the day he realized that if he pressed his head against the wall, he could actually get his tongue an inch outside of the muzzle, and could resume licking Ace's head. So the muzzle came off.

Plus they had that dog funk that gets on your hands when you petted them. Plus they made that dry dog mouth smacking sound, in part because we couldn't give them anything to drink indoors except right before we were about to let them out, because they'd pee.

I mean, they were very sweet-tempered dogs. They were good with kids and very loving.

Eventually Ace died. Then Terry started licking patches of the carpet, and then eventually he died, too.


 

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