Fox contributor Michael Scheuer said, "Americans seem to be increasingly Marxist in their absolute faith in democracy for people who have never had any experience with the process."
(Via kibologists on facebook.)
You are invited to use this thread to chatter about Egypt.
Recently, the claim was made to me that French onion dip is "not a West Coast thing". I was shocked and saddened.
Anecdotal experience dictates that French onion dip is to be consumed at my grandmother's house in suburban Chicagoland with a bag of Jay's potato chips, like the good lord intended.
Could it really be true that the entire West Coast is blind to the deliciousness of sour cream, dehydrated onions, and salt (and whatever other terrible things are in there)? Surely not, I tell myself. Surely not.
From Di Kotimy: My boss sent me this article today, and I promptly sent him my thoughts:
Interesting. Thanks. I will say I find the biological determinism underlying claims that male and female brains are inherently different to be vastly overstated if even valid at all. Eg., I know plenty of men who are utterly incapable of switching off their emotions. And I know plenty of women who arae very good at compartmentalizing personal feelings. Truthfully, the top paragraph beginning "All of those perceptions..." probably comes closest to the mark: it's not necessarily a difference in how men and women think, react, or emote, so much as the way gender stereotypes (that we've all internalized as products of the culture we inhabit) color our perceptions and judgments of how men and women think, react, and emote. Confirmation bias, etc.
Perhaps fodder for some fun gender wars. Perhaps too obvious for the Unfoggy crowd.
My thoughts: this article is totally obnoxious and glib and silly, but I'm totally weirded out that Di's boss sent it to her. (Although I think Di has said before that they're friendly.)
I don't know if it's come up in the comments (don't read 'em myself) but you may have learned that some moron claimed to have infiltrated Anonymous and got his company hacked for his trouble. His computer security company. Many of whose assets were then distributed on The Pirate Bay, including what is purported to be a proposal on its part and that of two other companies to do shady shit to WikiLeaks. (Do read the Ars Technica article; it's inspiring.)
Now ThinkProgress says that the same trio of companies was solicited on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce to "develop tactics for damaging progressive groups and labor unions, in particular ThinkProgress, the labor coalition called Change to Win, the SEIU, US Chamber Watch, and StopTheChamber.com". (The Chamber rejoins that "the security firm referenced by ThinkProgress was not hired by the Chamber or by anyone else on the Chamber's behalf", but all ThinkProgress actually claims is that the firms were solicited, not hired.)
Am I totally nuts or does anyone else have this insane reaction at times? I got committed to planning a yearly conference this year. I hate it and there's no career payoff or silver lining. So I hunted around and found some other people who were interested in helping out in the future. Then I sent out a group email saying "Hey, I wanted to connect you guys with the person in charge!"
The person in charge wrote me back and said "It sounds like you're pretty busy. Would you like to be done after this year?"
YES! YES! And yet I've got a self-sabotaging urge to write back and say "No, I'd love to continue to help! Please include me!" Like I don't want to miss something great. What the hell is up with that?
In a case which is fascinating both legally and morally, a judge in the Court of Protection has ruled that a 41-year-old man with a mild learning disability did not have the mental capacity to consent to sex and should be prevented by a local council from doing so.
- X. Trapnel
My take: From the link:
Ultimately, the judge concluded that the capacity to consent to sex remains act-specific and requires an understanding and awareness of:
1. The mechanics of the act 2. That there are health risks involved, particularly the acquisition of sexually transmitted and sexually transmissible infections 3. That sex between a man and a woman may result in the woman becoming pregnant
...Alan did not therefore have the capacity to consent and engage in sexual relations. He would have to be supervised for the time being and prevented from future sexual activity by the council.
Pretty no other individual on earth is effectively prevented from having sex if they don't meet that standard, so I'm not clear on why it applies here. Life involves messy consequences, and it seems like depriving people who have super low IQs of the opportunity to create messes means they're going to miss out on a lot of fun.
On the other hand, people with caretakers have caretakers who have to deal with the messy consequences, so perhaps caretakers should have a say on which messes get created.
Life gets messy.
Heebie's student has a facebook status:
I went all the way to burger king tonight to get a burger and realized i didn't have cash or my credit card, so the guy at the window just gave me a free burger. talk about random acts of kindness :).
Says the gorgeous, leggy 18 year old. Under the comments "We need more people like him!"
I came up with what I thought might be a risible bit of stand-up-comedy material this evening about the forthcoming Valentine's Day "holiday". The gist was, if you're really putting forth your 100% only on February 14th, and I mean really, really knocking it out of the park, you're kind of an asshole the other 364 days of the year.
What are you really saying on those days? "I love you, but not like I love you on some random other day that's not today."
Boo and hiss.
Stand-up-comedian lurkers should feel free to steal that and make it an actual good joke.
I predict that ttaM and Jesus will enjoy this piece.
From Chris Y: This seems daft to me. I was regularly baby sat by 14 year olds for whole evenings, as were most people my age. How else did a 14 year old make any money? Perhaps not quite so young, but certainly pre-school.
Are teens really getting so socially deficient they can't be trusted to watch TV in somebody else's house and read a list about what to do if it catches fire, or is this another moral panic. I'm so fucking tired of moral panics.
From me: This reminds me a little of the article Becks linked to about the mom who got in trouble because she left her three year old with her twelve year old, at a mall for a few hours. I'm definitely on the side of thinking these parents are being absolutely fine. There's a gigantic range of maturity in teenagers, and there are some 10 year olds who I'd rather have watching my kid than some 18 year olds. It's dippy to place too much weight on biological age as a marker of maturity.
Preparing for an upcoming gig, I have to learn a handful of new cover songs. Conservatively, that puts at about 100 the number of cover songs I could play at the drop of a hat. If you add in originals I helped write and play for any band ever but could still play now, I'd say 150. (And if, specifically in a jazz setting, you said, "it's a twelve-bar blues" or "it's an AABA standard" or "it's 'Rhythm*' changes", I'd also coast, but those are easy for a drummer who's got the forms down.)
There must be some outer reach of memory for this sort of information, right? I'm fully willing to feel like a doofus on this question if this issue has been discussed extensively elsewhere.
*This was a typo in the original, because apparently I don't got it.
Heebie U is involved in a charity drive where different departments or groups sign up for a week during the semester. On your group's week, you provide a backpack of groceries, which then goes home with a local schoolchild whose family is having trouble providing food. I'm happy to help, but this is so depressing on so many levels.
LB linked to this discussion (by Cosma Shalizi) of the relationship between micro and macro economic theories in comment 984 of the 1000 comment thread. The link might benefit from a thread of its own.
- James B. Shearer
Smearcase is in town! Let's all smear the hell out of Wednesday night at Sazon, at 7:30. It promises to be gastronomía mexicana. Lurkers encouraged, cajoled, and practically begged. We love you.
Still haven't devised a weekly meal-planning routine that I actually manage to maintain. Here's my next attempt: I want to compile a list of meals that are the most basic building blocks possible. My goal for this list is to have meals where I can walk into the kitchen and have a meal 30 minutes later. Pre-made spaghetti sauce, microwaving potatoes - that's all fair game.
1. I can easily prepare a side vegetable, so meal ideas don't really need to include that.
2. I don't really like to prepare meat, partly because it's inconvenient for us to acquire organic meat. But not out of the question.
Mostly I want to make it as easy as possible for me to get into the habit of weekly meal planning.
So: what's your easiest homemade dinner? Besides cereal and sandwiches and frozen pizza. We've got those down pat.
Yesterday, I learned that some horse owners attempt to cure a colicky horse by inserting an onion into the horse's rectum. In the absence of any formal training, I'm trying to imagine getting to the part of the mental checklist of possible solutions where "I dunno; try stickin' an onion in its ass?" makes sense. And I just can't get there.