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Hivemind

Posted by Stanley
on 10.09.10

So, they solved the bee mystery:

Now, a unique partnership -- of military scientists and entomologists -- appears to have achieved a major breakthrough: identifying a new suspect, or two.

A fungus tag-teaming with a virus have apparently interacted to cause the problem, according to a paper by Army scientists in Maryland and bee experts in Montana in the online science journal PLoS One.

Exactly how that combination kills bees remains uncertain, the scientists said -- a subject for the next round of research. But there are solid clues: both the virus and the fungus proliferate in cool, damp weather, and both do their dirty work in the bee gut, suggesting that insect nutrition is somehow compromised.

Sort of solved it, that is.


 

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Speculative Government Wormies

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 10.08.10

Here, have some worms:

Computer security experts are often surprised at which stories get picked up by the mainstream media. Sometimes it makes no sense. Why this particular data breach, vulnerability, or worm and not others? Sometimes it's obvious. In the case of Stuxnet, there's a great story.
As the story goes, the Stuxnet worm was designed and released by a government--the U.S. and Israel are the most common suspects--specifically to attack the Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran. How could anyone not report that? It combines computer attacks, nuclear power, spy agencies and a country that's a pariah to much of the world. The only problem with the story is that it's almost entirely speculation.

Via Becks


 

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Ask The Mineshaft: What Time Is It?

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 10.07.10

A commenter asks:


I'm trying to figure out when I should start having kids. My husband and I are both lawyers with good jobs, but a ton of debt and a new house with a reasonable mortgage. Since Unfogged has a lot of contributers that are lawyers, I was wondering if they (and anyone else with a lot of school debt) considered paying off all their student loans before having kids. I'm already 30, so I wouldn't consider waiting past 35 regardless of the debt situation.

I remember reading at some point that carrying debt is a matter of personal anxiety, not a moral line. That some people are quite comfortable carrying 20K of debt, while others find any debt absolutely intolerable, and one is not more virtuous than the other. This perspective treats every person as this fabulously healthy, well-employed agent who is at worst debating whether or not to start their own business, so I'm not claiming that it's particularly instructive in general. But I'm reminded of it here.

On the other hand, I didn't have any school debt and I'm not a lawyer. My inclination with these sorts of decisions is that you make out a list of pros and cons, and then go with your gut, and the point of the pros and cons list is so that you'll be totally clear on which obstacles you're choosing, even if you choose the option that looks worse on paper.

So my advice is that the actual question is "When do we want to have a kid?", and then the time and energy and scrutiny is spent figuring out what it would take to make that a reality. Shaftians?


 

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I don't get all the jokes, but the ones I get are funny.

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 10.07.10

Maps of Europe.

Via Bitch


 

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And then you drive off in an RV, into the sunset of your life...unless you don't.

Posted by Stanley
on 10.07.10

Listening to a bit of today's Diane Rehm Show, which was on about retirement plans, I was struck by a remark that one of the guests made about some people erroneously considering retirement a right.

Not that I'm saying anything novel, but there's an analogy to the recent health-care debate here: for those who already have it, it's theirs to keep, and don't you dare touch it; for those who don't have it, meh, fuck 'em.


 

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Copshows

Posted by Stanley
on 10.07.10

I don't even own a TV watch television except online at this point (well, yeah, football; go Bears), but I finally got around to watching Veronica Mars, and it's great.

The Good Guys (available on Hulu!) is also good, and I'm pretty sure it's not just my abiding West Wing-based man-crush on Bradley Whitford.

So what are you watching?


 

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We're about due for one of these.

Posted by Apostropher
on 10.06.10

For some reason, nobody ever sends those Ask the Mineshaft advice questions to me. However, lw emailed me this morning about the possibility of a new mix thread, along with a link to get it started. The tracklist is under the fold there, but the succinct description that accompanied it was: "Mostly older, mostly reggae."

Gentlefolks, start your engines.

1. Desmond Dekker & The Aces - The Israelites (2:48)
2. Tony Tribe - Red Red Wine (2:57)
3. The Melodians - Rivers Of Babylon (4:16)
4. Bim Sherman - Revolution (3:38)
5. Groupies - Primitive (3:50)
6. Leroy Housen - I Die A Little Each Day (2:40)
7. Joy White - First Cut Is The Deepest (3:05)
8. Desmond Dekker And The Aces - You Can Get It If You Really Want (2:39)
9. Lee Scratch Perry - Tell Me Something Good (3:24)
10. Mikey Chung - Battle of Jericho (4:00)
11. Marvin Gaye - Trouble Man (3:48)
12. Tenor Saw - Ring The Alarm - Tenor Saw (3:06)
13. Culture - Two Sevens Clash (3:28)
14. Chosen Few - Collie Stuff (2:52)
15. Eric Donaldson - Cherry Oh Baby (2:57)
16. MacBeth - Woman Is Smarter (2:56)
17. The Maytals - 54-46 Was My Number (3:09)
18. Sly & Robbie - Rain From The Sky (2:37)
19. Taxi Gang - Unmetered Taxi (3:20)
20. The Upsetters - Soul Rebel (Dub Version) (2:44)
21. Fela Kuti & The Africa 70 - Zombie (12:25)


 

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Did I mention I'm getting my hair cut off today?

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 10.06.10

Ezra had this short post up yesterday:

You know, I keep hearing what a gift the health-care law is to the insurance industry, and then I read that they're donating tens of millions of dollars to groups trying to elect candidates pledging to repeal the legislation, and then millions and millions more to individual Republican legislators who've pledged to repeal the law. It's all very confusing.

Because they're opportunistic? They managed to make hay out of health care reform, and then the winds changed, and they have the opportunity to return to totally unchecked profits now if it were somehow repealed. Seems consistent to me, at least.


 

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Pixie cut

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 10.06.10

We never did find out how Standpipe's big day went. But I'm not nearly so cryptic. I'm cutting my hair off today! I'm mostly excited but slightly haunted by photos of myself from 6th grade - is it going to be like having those terrible bangs all over my entire head? (Probably, yes. But after a quick categorization, no one really pays that much attention to what anyone else looks like, so who cares.) I've never had short hair before.

The building administrator already teases me about getting progressively shorter hair as I've become a mom, which taps all kinds of fears and thus irritates me. What's the difference between frumpy short hair and hip short hair? I have a hypothesis but I don't want to say it and insult lovely readers whose hair may have this property.


 

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My ears!

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 10.05.10

Those biodegradable Sunchips bags were super noisy, it's true. But it's still too bad that Frito-Lay is pulling them. I'm sure this is the type of thing where I don't really want to think through the environmental impact of such a bag, and prefer to believe that when you litter one, a little flower sprouts.


 

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Like Mary Poppins' carpet bag

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 10.05.10

Someone else has been stashing their cocaine in this guy's Grandma's dirty gardening boot. I'd be mad, too.


 

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Call us a nation of Mr. Flintstones

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 10.04.10

Knecht feels strongly that we have a post about this sex study. Heebie finds this article a tad silly, beginning with the title "Survey on America's Sexual Habits: We're Getting Friskier" which is never substantiated. There's a bunch of snapshot data, but nothing in this article about longitudinal data showing that we're getting friskier.

Teen condom use was surprisingly high, with 83 percent saying they used one during their most recent encounter. Among older adults, though, condoms aren't even the norm: Only 22 percent of adult males reported condom use.

That's great about the kids. Clearly 78% of adult males are having wildly risky sex with multiple partners on beds of medical waste.

While 85 percent of men indicated that their most recent partner had reached orgasm, only 64 percent of women confirmed that inkling. And one-third of women surveyed had experienced genital discomfort during their last sexual experience, compared to a mere 5 percent of men.

This isn't rocking my preconceived notions.

But experts also note that the findings have positive implications for everyday Americans, by reassuring them that what they do with their clothes off isn't really all that freaky.

Does anyone want to be told that what they do in bed isn't all that freaky? "You thought you were hot, but you're pretty vanilla! I bet that's a relief to hear!"

Most importantly,

"Unless, like al-Qaida, you feel there's something abnormal about the American people, what these data say is, 'This is normal -- everything in there is normal,'" Dr. Dennis Fortenberry, lead author of the study's teen sex section, told The Associated Press.

You're either with sex or you're with the terrorists.


 

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They Have Their Good Points

Posted by LizardBreath
on 10.04.10

Newt and Sally (Newt more than Sally, but she did help once she came home from gallivanting around the Renaissance Faire with her best friend) made us an anniversary dinner last night; a shrimp cocktail with homemade cocktail sauce, Tangerine Beef with Scallions, a salad, and two kinds of brownies drizzled with homemade hot fudge sauce served by candlelight. I hung around nervously while the cooking went on, and did a certain amount of rescuing, actually putting things in the broiler and taking them out, but really very little -- the two of them cooked the dinner, and it was genuinely very tasty.

There's really nothing as good as watching your kids be competent. Other than randomly taking off work for a couple of days because you have the vacation days to use up and felt like taking a break, which I'm also doing. Life is pretty nice.


 

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Less is more Fewer is more difficult.

Posted by Stanley
on 10.03.10

I've had the damnedest time with this song intro's drum beat. It's the quarter notes on the hi-hat. I can play it effortlessly if they're eighth notes.

It's certainly the hardest thing I've tried to nail since this part in a Tool song, which is hemiola-rific as all get out and really fucking hard to play.


 

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