My soft spot for overly produced pop music has reached new lows. For some reason it seems even worse with this singer, because I read that she was discovered on one of those Who wants to be an idle American millionaire insulted by that snotty British dude? shows.
Which is actually an odd reaction for me to be having. Why should a talent-search show seem any less of legitimate route to pop-stardom? Really, self, get over it.
In hopes of saving the one shred of minor indie credibility I have remaining: I also really like this song.
Lifting this from the comments, where k-sky posted it.
good for illuminating the difference between "obscene," which it is not, and "NSFW", which it really is.
It's fantastically awesome to see women de-sexualize their vaginas for a joke.
I would also like to be sentenced to one month of house arrest in a Beverly Hills estate.
Quantifiers are logic words like "For every" (∀) and "there exists" (∃), which apply to a variable in a statement: "∃ X, X is commenting on Unfogged" means "At least one person is commenting right this very moment".
Nested quantifiers occur when you have two variables, like in the statement X loves Y. This is a tricky topic for students to understand, so it's helpful to use examples. For example: ∃Y, ∀X, X loves Y. In other words, Tim Tebow. Clearly!
On Friday mornings we go out for breakfast tacos. This may be the first time I've ever been a regular somewhere. I love it. It's very warm and cozy to be a regular. The server puts our orders in when we first walk in the door, and then brings us coffee and says hi to the kids.
I'm totally sick of my order of two black bean and egg breakfast tacos that I've been eating every Friday morning for the past year. I want to order something different. Specifically, migas mexicanas breakfast tacos. But then we'll lose the nice rhythm of her knowing just what we want and placing the order. What's a regular to do.
How are you supposed to deal, grammatically, with a rhetorical question which you would like read with the inflection of a declaration?
Sometimes I feel like blog's last remaining Washington Post reader, and I subscribe because it's the best paper for which I can reasonably afford home delivery. (Why no one else my age reads a print newspaper everyday perplexes me just as much as it does you, dear reader.)
Ron Paul rides in the back of a campaign van that's rolling toward the New Hampshire seacoast for a town hall meeting. He's fastidious in a dark-blue suit. He's not the standard presidential candidate -- he lacks the factory-built appearance of Mitt Romney or Rick Perry. He's thin, bony, a bantam rooster. He's 76 -- the only one in the race who was born during the Great Depression.
He doesn't wear his seat belt. "I never have," he says, and doesn't explain whether it's a matter of back-seat comfort or a deep, philosophical aversion to nanny-state meddling in our lives.
Wait, really? He really doesn't wear seat belts? What a weird dude.
Chris y sends along inflammatory links.
Basically, should anyone be denied the right to have children? One big hole in the editorial is that denying someone the right to have children is toothless, unless you get a lot more specific: are you really planning on forced sterilization? Or chemical castration? It's hard to imagine trusting any government enough to allow them to sterilize anyone.
There are certainly people for whom it's a really really bad idea for them to have a child. But as a society, all you can do is provide people with an education, and give them the best shot at developing sound decision making skills, and then plan on people making bad decisions anyway.
Clearly this thread will need a maverick willing to take up the cause, or it will not thrive. Are you that bold?
One of the M/lls nephews, 12 years old, has become very interested in chess of late and so S/r Kr@@b and I are thinking of getting him a book about chess for Christmas. Both of us know how to play, but neither of us were ever serious about it or very good, so we don't have much idea of what's available and useful. Any Unfogged people have recommendations on what would be a good book for a kid interested in improving his chess skills from his current beginning level?
And on a wider note, consider this thread an opportunity to query the impressively polymath and erudite Unfoggedetariat Hivemind regarding Holiday Season gift recommendations.
From Heebie: Yes, any recommendations of good books for kids ages 6 and 3? And light reading, age 33?
Someone knocked on the door. Jammies realized it was carolers (?!) and so I got Hawaiian Punch out of bed to go listen. We stood on the porch and about 25 people sang one of the Bethlehem songs to us. I would have felt like an idiot if I hadn't been holding a two year old, but that made it sort of nice.
Then a ten year old, dressed slightly skaterish, came up to the porch and asked if they could pray for us. We shook our heads and started to retreat. Then he said they had a present for us. We nodded. Then a re-usable grocery bag emerged, he handed to us, and they all blessed us/merry Christmased us, etc, and we went inside. The grocery bag had a religious book, a box of chocolates, a bag of clementines, and a bottle of sparkling grape juice.
It was, on the whole, utterly surprising and basically nice, although Hawaiian Punch was rattled by it and wanted to go back to bed.
There are many good things about the 90s; that should not be forgotten.
I think I've mentioned before that I lately developed a severely outdated crush on Hope Sandoval. Despite having studiously avoided intercourse with popular culture1 in my middle- and high-school years I have somehow wound up with a bunch of early/mid-90s alt-rock chyk archetypes exerting a powerful influence on me.
Why would I mention this on … the internet? I have no notion why. But I would like to share with you the following FACTS. Some time ago (others can confirm this) I encountered an issue of the campus satirical not-quite-paper-let's-call-it-a-pamphlet (headline: tuition hikes raise UC students' awareness of money); on the back was a piece purportedly written by a soi-disant manic pixie dream girl who was looking for an unremarkable boy in the midst of a quarter-life crisis.2 Most of the content was not terribly interesting. However, it ended by saying that she could be found in a record store on (prominent downtown street), flipping through the Neutral Milk Hotel vinyl.
This is—I assert—remarkable! The persistence of hip signifiers! In the Aeroplane over the Sea came out in 1998, when current freshmen were around five years old. (Not that I think the article was written by a freshman.) Shouldn't these kids be name-dropping bands I've never heard of? Isn't that how it works?
1. Your "clever" joke turning on other objects of the preposition is hereby indulgently acknowledged.
2. Later, in the real, actual campus paper, I read an editorial coming out in favor of (as the author insisted on calling it) sroad heads.
This has been extensively blogged about elsewhere, but I haven't seen mention of it on unfogged.
Here is what's odd: during these same 20 years [1992 to today], the appearance of the world (computers, TVs, telephones, and music players aside) has changed hardly at all, less than it did during any 20-year period for at least a century. The past is a foreign country, but the recent past--the 00s, the 90s, even a lot of the 80s--looks almost identical to the present. This is the First Great Paradox of Contemporary Cultural History. Think about it. Picture it. Rewind any other 20-year chunk of 20th-century time. There's no chance you would mistake a photograph or movie of Americans or an American city from 1972--giant sideburns, collars, and bell-bottoms, leisure suits and cigarettes, AMC Javelins and Matadors and Gremlins alongside Dodge Demons, Swingers, Plymouth Dusters, and Scamps--with images from 1992. Time-travel back another 20 years, before rock 'n' roll and the Pill and Vietnam, when both sexes wore hats and cars were big and bulbous with late-moderne fenders and fins--again, unmistakably different, 1952 from 1972. You can keep doing it and see that the characteristic surfaces and sounds of each historical moment are absolutely distinct from those of 20 years earlier or later: the clothes, the hair, the cars, the advertising--all of it.
While one could probably find some quibbling exceptions (trousers lost their pleats, men began combing their hair forward, fashions in eyeglasses changed), I think the observation is broadly true: if you could pluck a dozen students at random from my college class and time travel them to 2011, they wouldn't look noticeably out of place. Since the period in question corresponds almost exactly to my entire adult life, I have to recognize that I have probably benefited from the stasis in fashion, in that it has disguised my natural sartorial inertia and made it easy to keep more or less current with the trends. For a tastemaker like Kurt Anderson, the same trend probably presents as something to lament.
Heebie: This is complete nonsense. Elaine from Seinfeld would look about as goofy in today's world as the brunette (non-Loni Anderson) character from WKRP or Mary Tyler Moore from her show in the 70s, or the brunette from Gilligan's Island. Which is to say: on some days, they would basically blend in, and on other days they'd look atrocious.
Take a handful of students from any decade since 1920, and about half of them will look surprisingly modern, and about half of them will look very specific to their time-period. Fashion has some eternal styles which will look right at home in any decade - plaid flannel, slouchy v-neck sweater, certain washes and cuts of jeans - and other styles which seem horrendously ludicrous 5 years later.
Next: There has always been a version of grunge/grubby counter-culture clothes. There has always been a version of preppie. There has always been a version of bubble-gum pop. There has always been a version of extravagant nightclub garb (tends to look most ludicrous, most quickly). There has always been more timeless office wear. (And there has always been frumpy, or homemade, or unflattering clothes that are out of step with the times in every way.) These may vie for the top spot in any given decade, but there are always plenty of examples of everything. If you focus on the ludicrous nightclub wear from the 70s, the grunge of the 90s, and the hippies of the 60s, you'll get a very different picture than if you pick the officewear of the 60s, the punk scene of the 70s, and the nightclub garb of the 90s. Or whatever.
Next: We all forget about the clothes we purged, and remember the clothes we still have. So I can look at my closet and see plenty of outfits that would look equally fine in 1992 or 2012, because I've worn them in both settings. Plenty of people have items from when they were 20, unless they no longer fit. But you don't necessarily have the truly goofy shit, or maybe you didn't go for the truly goofy shit at the time.
Also, this author has an atrocious case of thinking that today's fashion is the epitome of normal. (Remember Freaks and Geeks? It aired in 1999-2000, and is supposed to take place in 1981. The fashion looks like it's circa 1999, in every possible way. It doesn't look like TV Show 1999, but it looks like actual 1999. Even the interior decorating, which has quite a lot of 1970s stuff in it, just looks like real parents' houses who hadn't updated since they'd had kids, which is to say: completely realistic. In other words, no one sees the dominance of their current fashion very clearly.)
Finally: Specifically to the claim that 1992 is indistinguishable from 2012: First off, 1992 will actually look like the late 1980s to most people. Boxy silk shirts with shoulder pads. Hair bands were about to be replaced by grunge, and Kurt Cobain was well-known, but fashion-wise that hadn't quite happened. Hair was still often teased high. Nobody yet wore sagging pants.
Right around then, the color scheme was mustard yellows, pine green, wine purple, and black. Red with a lot of blue in it and navy blue. If that helps you place it. (In other words, most colors had blue undertones. In contrast, in the early 70s, mauve, pea green, etc, all have yellow undertones.)
I think the author is actually trying to compare 1994-98 with today. The biggest difference in women's fashion is that in the 1990s, tops were tight and jeans were loose. Think bodysuits and tight, textured t-shirts. Shrunken baby tees. Pants had some pleated bagginess to it, or some outright grunge falling off. Cargo pants were coming into style. Super tight mini-skirts were totally, totally out, although people would wear 60's style A-line mini-skirts.
That's completely reversed: now tops are slouchy and drapy, and pants are tight as can be, all the way down to the ankle, (which is a completely mid-80s combination.)
I can't talk cars the way I can talk fashion, but this is completely, completely wrong with respect to fashion.
Dear Mr. Cates,
I was glad to receive your letter, since I have lately been much occupied with ways I might "strengthen our community by taking an active partnership in preserving" the mission of the University of Chicago. Certainly, what you say about the value of the education offered at the U of C is true, and my experiences there have left me well equipped to "consume and synthesize the deluge of information" in my daily life, and the sense of community I feel with my fellow graduates (I cannot say I have ever meet a fellow alumna) is real.
Your letter is vague about the precise nature of the "participation" the university seeks from its graduates, and, for that matter, what the participation is participation in (I will ignore the vulgar attachment). However, I noted with interest the way you began your letter: "Since its inception, the University of Chicago has built upon the academic and philanthropic contributions of those have come before us." (I would observe that this is especially true of the university's activities prior to the early 1980s, when all contributions were contributions by those who came before us.) As it happens I am not currently well situated to imitate my predecessors as far as philanthropic contributions (as that is ordinarily understood). However, I would be glad to, as you say, "partner with the University and help keep a UChicago education distinctive" by making an academic contribution.
I can think of no stronger investment in the U of C community than for me once again to become a full-fledged part of that community, this time not as student but as faculty member. In fact, I have already submitted an application to the Philosophy department. However, the position advertised was dependent on budgetary approval. I hope I can rely on you, now that you know of this chance to increase alumni participation in whatever it is in which you want to increase participation, to encourage the relevant deans to approve funding for the position. I am sure it would be helpful to both our causes if you additionally encouraged the search committee to look seriously at my application.
What, after all, would be a greater sign of my active involvement in the community? Certainly not writing a check. Nor can I think of a greater vote of confidence in my education. At the university I learned to value the life of the mind, which has left the life of my checkbook somewhat precarious—but at the same time, it is just that which leads me to conclude that the best way I can help the university is by proffering the services of the mind it played so great a role in forming. (I am afraid this participation could not take the requested "form of a gift", as I would expect remuneration, but my needs are few.)
Dr. Neb Nosflow, AB '04
A thing I covet.
Paul Krugman linked (apparently without thinking about it too hard) this post claiming that a cheeseburger would have been difficult to the point of impracticality to make until about a century ago, in that it would have required all sorts of refrigeration and industrialized transport and so on. And this makes no sense at all.
The blogger is defining a cheeseburger as meat patty, cheese, lettuce, tomato, and ketchup on a bun. Lettuce and tomato are both in season in late summer/early autumn, so getting them both on the same sandwich is no problem. (To the extent that his claim rests at all on tomato being a New World vegetable, fine, but not interesting.) Ketchup is a preserve, so no seasonality problem, grain for the bread isn't seasonal or hard to transport by pre-industrial means, same for cheese. So if there's any argument at all, it's that it would have been impractical to eat fresh meat in September, which there's no historical basis I've ever heard for (and he doesn't source his claim that it would have been.)
The dude seems to have gotten confused between "Wow, making cheese, and growing your own grain for bread, and slaughtering animals is complicated and intimidating for me to think about doing within a single household," and "So it would have been impractical for people to eat anything but gruel before 1900." Yes, cheesemaking requires rennet which you get from slaughtered calves. No, that doesn't mean that to make one cheeseburger, you have to slaughter two cows. People have been trading in bread and cheese and preserves for a very, very, very long time.
This is all wildly obvious -- I'm surprised at Krugman, and Brad DeLong, for passing this nonsense along. If I've missed something that makes the linked post make any sense at all (and 'people used to be too poor to eat much meat' doesn't count. Yes, that's true, but no, it didn't make a dish including meat impractical before 1900), set me straight?
This WSJ article tells how authors are bypassing publishers and selling ebooks directly through Amazon for $1-$3. In the long run I expect this to be a typical ebook price. This will eliminate a lot of middlemen of course.
James B. Shearer
Heebie: I generally approve of the democratization of producing the arts. It's nice that more people can make their stuff available. It's nice that bands can upload their music to their websites if they wish, and make it available to people, although of course there are gigantic shake-up consequences to that industry, and to the publishing industry, and probably some negative consequences too.
I hurt my back a month or so ago. That is, having just been diagnosed with arthritis in my knees, I was reluctant to squat down and so bent over at the waist to pick up a tape dispenser from the floor. SPANG. Something went very wrong and I couldn't breathe for a minute because the pain was so bad, but it subsided, mostly. Since then it has just been feeble or I keep re-injuring it by doing ordinary-seeming things. The other day I did it by sitting up off the sofa to go see the doctor about my bronchitis and sinus infection, which seemed a bit much. The doctor I saw today gave me different muscle-relaxer/painkillers than I usually take, to be alternated with the regular ones. Result: I'm actually kind of loopy, but my back doesn't hurt at all. Here's the thing: he told me to lie down flat so the muscles could rest, since in any other body position they are working to maintain you upright. I thought studies had shown this was bullshit and long periods of time lying in bed are not good for back injuries after all. Am I way off base here? I know it sounds like I'm looking for an excuse to go work even though I'm exhausted and sick, but... Manic but physically immobilized seems like it won't be fun at all, unless I write a novel. I guess I could do my Oprah child abuse homework, that shit is lotsa laughs. I pretty much decided to go for the Gränsfors Bruks hatchet/axe/splitting maul combo, although I annoyingly can't find the froe for sale. The chainsaw still tempts. But thanks Natilo!
I do not usually hear the following kind of tacky bullshit quite this often, but I've been blessed three times in quick succession this past week.
1. Last Thursday, I'm on an elliptical machine next to two students, and we're all watching FriendZone on MTV, (which is weirdly awesome), which is composed of ten minute reality-style bits where one of a best friend pair is going to admit to their best friend that they are hopelessly in love with them, and would they consider going out on a date? (Couple #1: love is found! Couple #2: This is really weird since you're my best friend, so no.) In Couple #2, an ostensibly straight girl was in love with her gay best friend, who turned her down.
The two students next to me were full of "Two girls! That's so gross!" Actually as they discussed it, their angle was even weirder: "A guy and a girl look pretty together. Two girls just don't look pretty together. It's not that I care what someone wants to do, but it just doesn't look as pretty as a guy and a girl." I shot one of them a death glare after the initial "That's so GROSS!" but basically I chickened out.
2. At a party on Saturday, this guy said that they weren't able to find a baby-sitter. I mentioned that we get baby-sitters from daycare. He said that there's one guy working at daycare, who'd mentioned that he's free to babysit, but he's gay, and so.
This time I bellowed "That's the LAMEST thing I've ever heard! What is wrong with you?" I basically raked him over the coals and demanded that he explain himself, and made him stammer.
3. At the grocery store today, Hawaiian Punch was singing to herself at the checkout counter, and the checker asked her what song she was singing, and she gave him that look of "I can't possibly read this situation and know how to respond, so I'm just going to look at you." Really, she was just singing "mememememememem" tunelessly to herself.
The bagger said, "It sounds like she's just saying "me me me me me me me", which sounds about right for a little girl!"
Here I totally froze up again, and didn't do anything, but I was absolutely furious inside.
Oh, fucking fuckwads, please grow up.
Newt's fascination with zoos is really quite uncanny.
Listening to the Velvet Underground in the store at the moment, although it does make me kind of hungry. But I realize that the song "Heroin" actually reminds me, not of doing drugs (or not only) but of long car trips with my family. Driving to Tennessee to my step-dad's childhood home, particularly. My mom and step-dad always did stress that heroin was really bad news and I should stay away from it. My mom said that it was the one thing she had never tried, because she knew she'd love it. (Checklist time, bitches!) But then again, her preferred long car drive strategy was to give all the kids valium. Even the toddler. Not a ton, like 5mg each maybe. OK 10mg when we were bigger. No fighting about who gets to sit where, just chilling out in the back seat, head leaning against the window while the trees get pulled past on a long, shiny loop of tape. And say what you like about my step-dad, he was an excellent driver. Sped like a motherfucker, but always in control of the car, great at taking limited passing opportunities on a curve. OK, there was a road rage problem. Conceivably an open container problem--but, again, he was a good drunk driver. We had a 1967 Camaro convertible, white with red interior. Sometimes after "Sunday Morning" came on he'd just flip the tape over. I've had plenty of worse times, honestly.