I'm holed up solo with some sort of sinus-inflammation devil and a really crappy movie on broadcast television about a shark-dolphin hybrid creature and Zardoz staring me down from the Netflix envelope (movie recommended by you, the internet).
Am I missing some crappier movies? I suspect I am.
Somehow I've managed to get to this point in my adult life without navigating one of the essential rites of urban living: finding an apartment on Craigslist. I always lived on campus in college and when I got my first job, I didn't know my new city so I just I went with a cookie-cutter 1BR in a big apartment complex near my work. My following moves were always orchestrated by other people -- a friend or acquaintance had found a place with an extra room and were looking for someone to move in. As I'm starting to look at post-Flophouse housing, I realize that I don't really know what I'm doing.
I can figure most of it out (go through Craigslist, make some calls, do some tours) but I wonder if there are pitfalls I'm not thinking of. I've heard about people (even friends) being scammed off of CL in various ways -- identity theft from credit checks, landlords renting places to multiple people and then bolting with their deposits, etc. What do I need to be looking out for? Should I be taking listings at face value or is there room to negotiate these days? Are there things you'd wished you'd considered before renting a place that I might want to keep in mind?
I just managed to dump a potted plant into the dinner I had prepared. This is an embarrassing enough kitchen failure that I thought it merited sharing. WTF, me?
What do people think of the new look for the Atlantic's blogs? For me, it's complicated enough that I will probably never read any of them ever again unless a post is linked from a real blog, which is a shame because I love Ta-nehisi Coates. Something about the 'one sentence teaser, click through for the post' format is just more trouble than I'm willing to go to.
You will do it. Shuffle off. That much is guaranteed, barring some super-awesome medical advance.
This video makes me worried about my parents and their planning for, well, you know, that.
Do you weirdo internet people talk to your parents about it or what? I kind of want to broach the subject but don't know how.
I am currently listening to someone on NPR talking about Riddley Walker, and he has claimed that Riddley rediscovers the "secret" of the atomic bomb (false; it's gunpowder) and that the novel opens with a description of a bow-and-arrow hunt for boar (the boar is killed with a spear and it's unclear what the purpose of the expedition is, afaict—after all "he parbly ben the las wyld pig on the Bundel Downs"). And Riddley and the Ardship of Cambry don't actually spend all that much time together. Ah, here it is. You'd think that if he finds the first few sentences so magical he'd remember that the very first describes Riddley as being "front spear".
Unrelatedly, the health care correspondent just informed us, as near as I can tell, that the republicans and democrats were "both right" when the former said that health care premiums would go up and the latter said they'd go down under whatever the relevant version of the bill currently is. The way they end up being both right that is that the democrats were right in that for most people the premiums would go down, and the republicans were right in that for some people they premiums would go up—except those people would both get better coverage and pay less, because even though the premiums would go up some of the cost would be paid for them. So, one might think, effectively, one group was right and the other wrong.
From Contexts, an interesting bit on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome:
It turns out that only about 5% of alcoholic women give birth to babies who are later diagnosed with FAS. ... In her book, Conceiving Risk, Bearing Responsibility, Elizabeth Armstrong explains that FAS is not just related to alcohol intake, but is "highly correlated with smoking, poverty, malnutrition, high parity [i.e., having lots of children], and advanced maternal age" (p. 6). Further, there appears to be a genetic component.
(The post goes on to look at how single-mindedly various organizations go about policing the alcohol intake of pregnant women.)
I'm curious as to how FAS risk breaks down - what exactly is the statistical contribution of poverty? and malnutrition? Could you ever have FAS in the absence of alcohol? (I did not read the book, though.) I found this article, "FETAL ALCOHOL SYNDROME: THE ORIGINS OF A MORAL PANIC" which was interesting, but didn't answer my question.
Lastly I found this page, where I found the super bitter poem "Don't ask my child to fly". Ouch!
I still don't know the breakdown of risk factors for FAS.
I get overly excited when I see flora of the town I grew up in. On Sunday, they aired an episode of that at Ty Pennington house makeover show which took place in my home town. The tall pine trees with the big peeling bark flakes! Sago palms, little lantana bouquets! Things I can't name! Soil like gray, fine beach sand.
Unsurprisingly, there is a decent amount of overlap between Texas flora and north Florida flora. I think this is a big reason why Texas felt immediately more like home than Michigan had ever felt.
That would be both me and the Office of Professional Responsibility. Here's the OPR report on Yoo and Bybee's conduct relating to the torture memos -- it came out earlier this week.
I've been too slammed at work to read it yet, although I've seen the reporting that the conclusions of the final report were eviscerated by David Margolis, the final DOJ reviewer. I don't know if there's enough left to support professional discipline, including impeachment for Bybee -- anyone else read it?
It wouldn't be any more ridiculous than ice dancing or synchronized swimming.
Hong Kong-based Ania Przeplasko, the founder of the International Pole Dancing Fitness Association, the sport's fledgling supervisory body, believes Olympic recognition is only a matter of time and would be a victory for underappreciated sports worldwide.
"There will be a day when the Olympics see pole dancing as a sport," she said. "The Olympic community needs to acknowledge the number of people doing pole fitness now. We're shooting for 2012." [...]
Iina Laatikainen, one of Finland's top pole teachers, likens pole dancing to skateboarding and snowboarding, two sports that have gotten serious mainstream attention without completely abandoning their rebellious roots.
"I think getting in the Olympics would be great for the sport," she said. "I actually see a lot of similarities in what pole dancing is now for women with what skateboarding used to be for men back in the day. Pole dancing is definitely on its way to becoming a mainstream sport."
To be honest, this clip of highlights from the 2009 United States Pole Dance Federation Championships does contain some pretty impressive gymnastics.
I give you the first sentence of the preface to Schiller as Philosopher:
In 1858 in Jena, in the tavern
Die Rose, Kuno Fischer, later an eminent historian of philosophy, gave a brilliant series of lectures on Schiller's philosophy, whch he later published under the title Schiller als Philosoph (Leipzig: Fues, 1868).
More talks should be held in taverns. In fact, I believe that Chicago's own Map Room used to host talks by local academical types, though they were probably pitched at a more popular level than were Fischer's. Though again, perhaps the populace in Jena was broadly hip to Schiller. I don't know. Anyway, taverns.
Less affirmation in the comments, please. We're all rotten bastards and you know it.
When I was a youth, I asked a lot of questions. It often happened that the adult would answer my question, and I'd nod, and then they'd repeat their answer two or three more times. Depending on circumstances I'd either try to cut them off and ask my next question, or wait, pained. (Other times I was just straight-up rude, but those times weren't exasperating to me.)
Now it happens that I answer a lot of questions. And it happens, sometimes, that I see in the student's eyes that I've answered their question. Their eyelids lower from interested to polite, as I compulsively repeat my answer, again and again. It just doesn't feel like I should be done talking yet!
If you come to this country from abroad when young, then, even if you start off badly, you can recover and reset yourself on the straight and narrow. Taking a low-level job can still lead to eventual vice-presidency at the same company. Then, if you apply for citizenship, you'll be deported.
(Since Cala finds her diversions elsewhere we can speak about immigration policy in divinely untroubled ignorance.)