One Cuckoo Over the Flu Nest
I have a terrible habit of rolling my eyes at people who say the flu vaccine gave them the flu, but I hadn't actually ever looked up the side effects until this week when I got my yearly dosage of flu and eggs. I suppose that the purported having of the flu could be one or more of those side effects showing up, and thus I should be more sympathetic.
But it sure as heck wasn't the flu, right? And saying the vaccine gave you the disease is actively harmful, in that it dissuades the herd from getting the immunity.
Let's Have A Toast For The Scumbags
I really like this song. And it's a good video--being part of a movie, which I have never bothered to watch all the way through. (This clip is overly long too, the "real" song is like 6:00 max.) I probably should, since I have a weakness for story albums. I didn't think it was possible for me to like Kanye West song, or for him to be self-deprecating and humorous so, learning stuff. Opposing teams' supporters could sing this at Penn!
Husband x is kind of not happy to be leaving town right now, but I think it will be fine and he is going to have a nice time. Everybody stayed alive for 11/11/11, so it turned out M.A.D. really is just as awesome as Kissinger told me. Suicide pact is still in full motherfucking e-fizzect. Like I said, my psychiatrist was not impressed with this at all, probably because she's some kind of commie fellow-traveler. Also she said at 12 my sister was too young to sign on. Hells naw. My merc friend has also offered to take care of me while my husband is gone. Sure, that'll be great. No. Everyone with any sense tells me to stop talking to him. This is obviously right. But he's fascinatingly amoral and flies into rages unpredictably; that's so great in a guy! (Hits head on wall a few times. "Damn you, feeble brain!")
I really will be OK and I promise not to do anything stupid. I am a kind person. I am scared because I am overestimating the power of my worse self to commandeer the machinery and run it off a cliff. All it can do is say "nice job, fork grabber! Try not to cry into your pasta!" It can't get its hands on the controls.
But atypical antipsychotics save the day! I'm vain and stupid and I don't want to get fat, so I'm annoyed. God, but talk about going full robot. Just one question everybody: "do you like our owl?"
I really like this song. It fits comfortably in that genre: SWIPL-Hop. (Was there already a SWIPL thing on this issue? There must have been.)
Anyway, there are probably tons of other examples I can't think of off the top of my noggin.
Tricks of the trade
I will now share with you one of my very favorite things. When you think the chocolate syrup bottle is empty, you fill it halfway with whole milk. Put the lid on, and shake it up. Then pour it in a glass, or drink it straight from the bottle, I don't care. It will be frothy and delicious. This is how I'm currently bribing myself to overcome how much I don't feel like working on a Friday night.
It's Spanish for "the even"
I just heard something dumb on a radio morning show (shocking, I know). The hosts were talking about how it would probably be really hard to get a lottery ticket with all elevens today, because the stores would eventually stop selling them once they hit a certain number of tickets. As a result, they advised, you better buy early in the day.
Right. If you're going to take the even-more-unlikely-than-regular-lottery-betting-odds bet that the lotto comes up all elevens on 11/11/11, make sure you get in early, because a lot of other people are also taking that really stupid bet.
In your mouth
I heard yesterday that back in the day, tobacco companies would put ground up glass in their smokeless tobacco, so that the good stuff could get in to the bloodstream super quick, via microscopic nicks in your gum. Yikes.
It seems like you'd avoid the brand that created canker sores, though. BTW, gargling regularly with Pepto Bismol is a good way to cut down on canker sores if you're prone to them. Of course, remedy, ailment, not a clear choice.
In the most recent installment of my Big Glaring Cultural Blindspots, I don't think I'd heard of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion before listening to Diane Rehm's interview with Umberto Eco. What else am I missing?
When preparing a salad, I tend to create the dressing on the spot, pouring various ingredients over the salad, and then mixing it all together. Two recent tips I received, which may be commonplace knowledge to the Mineshaft's wizards of culinary magic, but which constituted wholly new information to me:
Pour the oil first, for otherwise it won't stick to all the ingredients.
Add not only some vinegar but also a touch of soy sauce.
In closing, I'm pretty sure this is not actually a vignette.
I'll Try Not to Fight With Anyone About It In Comments by Going to Sleep, How's That?
Since when does a 6'2'' man walk into a room where some older guy is raping a little kid and not just instinctively rush over there and stop it? I think often shouting "hey, stop raping that 10-year-old!" would be enough. I don't like to imagine I'd be all Schindler in Nazi Germany, but come the fuck on here. (For those not in the know, Mike McQueary at Penn State, then a 28-year-old graduate assistant, reported that he walked in on abuser Sandusky sodomizing a child, walked out, told Paterno the next day, got a sweet gig, and kept his mouth shut.) The accused serial abuser is obviously the lowest scum imaginable, having set up a foundation for kids affected by abuse, or who ended up in the foster system, and then sexually abusing them. But somehow I'm stuck on Ginger McEnabler over here. What the...? How would you not...? There's 911 in the world too, you know? The only conceivable defense is that he got raped by the same guy as a kid and just backed out in frozen horror. This is where I suddenly understand how Republicans feel about suspected terrorists, since I want him flayed and then staked out over a fire ant mound.
A friend (who moved a few years ago from NoVa/DC to BigCity, Texas) recently commented to me that chivalry seems to be very much alive in that part of the South and that, somewhat to her surprise (as a self-identified progressive on gender issues), she rather likes it.
Even with her specific examples (opening doors, pulling out chairs, and maybe something else I'm forgetting), I was a bit baffled by this conversation. Does it match the dating experience of the 'tariat?
There's this city, apparently, called Leeds. I'm asking, on behalf of a friend, what a person should do there. Answers such as "leave Leeds immediately" would be unhelpful for various reasons. I mean, "leave Leeds for the day to go and see thing x" would be fine, but not "go to London." Will there be doughty Yorkshiremen about? Killer DJs? Will my friend have to get up half an hour before he goes to sleep and drink sulfuric acid and work 29 hours a day down the mill and suchlike? Edumacate me, o ye knowers about Knifecrime Island's Southerly neighbors.
Anything interesting pass or get defeated?
I need to get back in touch with the impulse to post any trivial whim. For example, my work email logs you out after 25 minutes. How annoying is that? Why am I withholding the post? Or, in class today a student raised their hand and asked to be excused from an upcoming task because someone close to her died and the funeral isn't yet scheduled. I said "Sure! Sounds great!" What kind of lunatic am I, responding with Sounds great!? I should at least be directing that question to you all, here.
Live mic! Live mic!
The French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, described the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, as a "liar" in a private exchange with Barack Obama at last week's G20 summit in Cannes that was inadvertently broadcast to journalists.
"I cannot stand him. He's a liar," Sarkozy told Obama. The US president responded by saying: "You're fed up with him? I have to deal with him every day."
Neither leader apparently realised that microphones that had been attached for a press conference had already been switched on, allowing journalists waiting for a press conference to hear the conversation.
It would be nice if getting this out in the open would lead to Obama finally telling Netanyahu to go fuck himself. I can think of lots more productive uses for the three billion dollars a year we're spending to have him give us the finger.
Guest Post - Shearer
The NYT times today has an article today on how President Obama's Race to the Top program is being implemented in Tennessee. It doesn't sound good to me. It is a bit disturbing how divorced political debates get from practical considerations.
Teachers have it worse. Half of their assessment is based on their students' results on state test scores, a serious problem for those who teach subjects with no state test.
To solve that, the state is requiring teachers without test results to be evaluated based on the scores of teachers at their school with test results. So Emily Mitchell, a first-grade teacher at David Youree Elementary, will be evaluated using the school's fifth-grade writing scores.
- James B. Shearer
Heebie's take: Assessment makes my head hurt. This is an extremely big topic in higher ed as well.
Today I learned that aortic dissection is a common cause of acute death (that is, death that occurs suddenly) in turkeys. So that'll probably come in handy.
The People's Republic
I get to vote in City Council elections this week. Local elections please me immensely. Probably because I get to vote for the candidate who's an avowed Socialist, and he might actually win.
I don't remember when I learned that BF Skinner had successfully trained pigeons to play ping pong, but ever since I've heard about it, I thought it was awesome, both as a feat of training and as a really impressive thing for pigeons to be able to do at all. Pigeons, fluttering side to side across a ping pong table, whacking the ball at each other with their wings... just amazing.
So this morning, it occurred to me that footage of this, which I've never actually seen, must be on YouTube. I've embedded it after the fold.
That's it? No wings? No real ping pong table? Operant conditioning is bogus.