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Today is a beautiful day to be stomping on things

Posted by Ben
on 07.03.10

Walking home I passed a salon that had a sign out advertising "free bang trims (when available)".

I assume this means something like, you have to have bangs.


 

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Splat

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 07.02.10

Remember besplattered comedian Gallagher? He turned into a raging rightwing nutjob. Now you know.

Via Becks


 

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Clean ALL the things!

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 07.01.10

Just look at my groceries.


 

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The Science of Futility

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 07.01.10

I'm a cyclical reader of Pharyngula. Lately I've been reading, but even more lately I've been remembering why I fall off again, regularly. The rational arguments between religious people and atheists just seem so futile that I get tired of thinking about them.

In particular, using the avenue of rationality in the first place seems futile. Even though both sides seem to agree that they want to tackle these persnickety questions rationally. But reconcilliation cannot be achieved by a series of logical deductions, when one side of the argument is driven by emotional convictions.

Emotional convictions generally trump rational reasons, within any person. When I've acknowledged a clash between my emotional convictions and my rational reasons, I usually feel forced do some soul searching to get it resolved. It's personal and messy.

So to engage these religious debates on a pretext of rationality, without dealing with the underlying fears and emotions, is entertaining for a short while, but then begins to feel like pointless exercise designed to engage religious people who want to avoid dealing with their emotions. (Plenty of religious people don't spend a lot of energy around resolving science and religion. These people don't tend to take the bait, or to do the baiting. They, presumably, are calm and unconflicted on this particular matter. It's the ones who engage who seem driven to diversion.)


 

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Stalin?! He Wasn't Even Alive Then.

Posted by Stanley
on 06.30.10

I generally like my congressman, but going along with this stupidity is just crap:

BEDFORD -- Honoring the requests of residents and veterans, the Bedford County Board of Supervisors agreed Monday to take a formal stand against a controversial bust of Joseph Stalin at the National D-Day Memorial in the city of Bedford.

Supervisors voted unanimously to approve a resolution opposing the bust of the Soviet dictator that was installed at the memorial earlier this month despite much protest.

Vice Chairwoman Annie Pollard, who motioned for the resolution's approval, said Bedford would be looked upon in a negative way if the sculpture is not removed.

"I don't see where Stalin fits in," said Pollard, who mentioned the memorial's purpose is to honor D-Day veterans. "I'm just embarrassed we have gone this course ... to put him on a pedestal, I think, is this worst thing that ever happened in this county" besides the lost lives of Bedford soldiers killed in the Normandy invasion.

[...]

The foundation has already received a letter of concern from Rep. Tom Perriello, D-5th District. Perriello said in the letter he would request its removal should the memorial become part of the National Park Service, a measure that is under federal review.

What has your congressperson done lately that's silly? Or, for double points, admirable?


 

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Standardized Testy

Posted by Stanley
on 06.30.10

Witt proffers this story for Mineshaftian discussion:

A new study may revive arguments that the average test scores of black students trail those of white students not just because of economic disadvantages, but because some parts of the test result in differential scores by race for students of equal academic prowess.

The finding -- already being questioned by the College Board -- could be extremely significant as many colleges that continue to rely on the SAT may be less comfortable doing so amid allegations that it is biased against black test-takers.

Witt goes on to say: "The comments section is the usual mix of flat-out racism and interesting tangents. I am particularly struck by the one that says the Harvard Education Review is not peer-reviewed. Why do they have to charge $10 for an article, then, if it's not peer-reviewed? What are they charging for?"

The whole thing certainly seems to raise more questions than it answers. Definitely worth clicking through to read in its entirety.


 

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Don't let anybody ever tell you cooking is easy

Posted by Ben
on 06.29.10

The picture of the dish is appetizing, but I'm not all that confident of my ability to assemble the ingredients, much less follow the procedure.


 

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Ah, Chicago

Posted by Ben
on 06.29.10

You see the second joke here? Let me reproduce it for you:

The United States Association of Law Enforcement Officials is having its annual competition to determine the top law enforcement agency in the land. The finalists are the FBI, the CIA, and the Chicago Police Department. The judge says that this year, the rules are simple: use your detective skills to find one of the three pink bunnies we've released into the forest preserve, and the team that takes the shortest amount of time wins. So the three packs run off into the forest and begin their search. The CIA comes back with a pink bunny in about 10 minutes. Two minutes later, the FBI returns. Just before the hour mark, the boys in blue march out of the forest with a squirrel, beaten to a pulp, spraypainted pink, that's screaming, "Okay, okay, I'm a pink bunny!"

This seems to be the form this joke mostly takes on the internet. But the first time I heard this joke (from Ted Cohen, who apparently heard it from a Chicago cop), it was a little different. It wasn't a competition to see what agency enforced the law best (not the CIA's game, anyway), but rather an FBI agent, a CIA agent, and a Chicago police officer were applying to the Secret Service. And the task they had to complete was not to find a pink bunny, but rather, as a test of the potential Secret Serviceman's will, or something, to take this gun (here it is) into that room (over there) and shoot the person inside. And the CIA and FBI agents don't execute the task, but rather each one emerges from the room shaken, excoriating the interviewers, because the person in it is, in each case, the agent's wife, and they (the interviewers) must be pretty fucking sick. However, when the Chicago cop goes in, there is first a frustrated grunt, then the sounds of a struggle; when he emerges from the room, he too is upset with the interviewers, but this time because, as he says, the gun wasn't loaded so he had to do the job elsewise.


Isn't that a knee-slapper? Anyway, check this out. (via)


 

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Times to gush

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 06.29.10

1. When someone gets a very different haircut.
2. When someone tells you what they're going to name their baby.


 

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Milk gone off, big-time-stylee

Posted by Stanley
on 06.28.10

This video contains questionable claims about the merits of grated vs. non-grated cheese. But my appetite for both cheese and UK-based panel shows knows no bounds.


 

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Last days of little kitty-cat

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 06.28.10

I'm going to have to make a judgement call pretty soon about when to put my cat to sleep. I'm feeling sad. We have a doctor's appointment in an hour in which I suspect the doctor is going to tell us that he's not responding to treatment (for kidney failure) very well.


 

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Don't care if it's limbless, long as it has a penis.

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 06.27.10

I was at a baby shower this weekend. I definitely know many more women who explicitly say that they prefer or preferred to have a daughter than those who say they preferred a son, (of whom I can think of just two women). And I know several women who said that either sex was totally fine, when they were pregnant, and then after they had the child (of either sex) admitted that they were rooting for a girl.

I haven't had these conversations with men, so it's possible that both sexes just tend to root for their own sex. Obviously that's the rampant stereotype; I'm just saying that my own experience confirms the female side of things. Also, I'm discounting couples who wanted had a child of one sex and wanted one of the other, for balance. That seems symmetric. I'm specifically thinking of women who were rooting for a girl from the first child until they achieved it, or stopped having kids.

I'm guessing this is because 1) women value the relationship they have with their mother and want to have that bond with a daughter, 2) the idea that "a daughter's your daughter for all of your life; a son is your son until he finds a wife", and 3) preferences about being drowned in princess girl crap over army/fight 'em boy crap.

Reason (1) was very true for me. It doesn't negate the relationship a boy has with either parent; it's just saying I didn't yet experience that, and probably it's wonderful, but I really value the bond I have with my mom. Reason (2) is really true in my nuclear family, and imprinted on me in a fearful way, although I know plenty of counter-examples. So it resonates even though, intellectually, I know it shouldn't. Reason (3) wasn't hugely important to me, since I presume individual variation of kids trumps a lot of the obnoxiousness.

Anyway, the whole thing seems sexist. Of our friend set, I generally find the men as wonderful as the women. The individual ends up trumping the sex of the kid, anyway, so it's absurd to spend energy categorizing your fetus. I will stop it immediately, now that I've got my girl. (The one aspect that especially irritates me is when people say "I want a girl until puberty, and then I'd rather have a boy." That one really pisses me off.)

(I feel like there's been a string of parenting posts, but this isn't a priori a parenting post, right? Plenty of people rattle off these comments hypothetically, and plenty of us have had these conversations with other people, regardless of our situation. Also, if you haven't seen it, you should go love the song that the post title came from.)


 

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It was the high point of the evening

Posted by Ben
on 06.27.10

Tonight I attended a wedding and at one point in the part of the proceedings during which friends and relations speak to the assembled, one of the bride's sisters, who is Irish, said that she was going to say something about when the bride "was a child, and that". As you can imagine, this pleased me greatly.

I was also able to confirm once more that it takes far more effort than one might expect not to dance. (Don't worry, loyal readers. I succeeded.)


 

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