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Meet-up! San Francisco

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 03.10.12

Minivet writes:

Saturday, March 10th, 4PM to sometime.
At Rosamunde in the Mission.
Lurkers welcome.
Von Wafer will be our Elijah.

Moved to front.


 

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Here is a thing

Posted by Ben
on 03.09.12

Here. A thing. To me it seems neat and interesting, as it would. An independently interesting aspect.


 

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Chicken Little

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 03.09.12

How imminent is an Israeli attack on Iran? Very soon? This is one of those disorienting news stories where everyone is going around saying "Everyone knows it's very soon!" and I feel like I missed the memo, or something. It's always hard to interpret news stories that say "We've got inside knowledge that something big is about to happen!" even if all the news outlets seem to agree.

Also part of me is so mainstream American, and mainstream America is not paying any attention whatsoever.

Via Emerson


 

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Charles Murray is being sensible

Posted by Ben
on 03.08.12

No, really (by and large anyway), though he seems to be under the misapprehension that unpaid internships (as generally implemented) are currently permitted to exist by law, which, as we know here, they aren't, though they are permitted to exist by, you know, the law's representatives on earth. But also: get rid of the SAT and make it illegal to require a BA for a job.

Here is a funny thing. I subscribe to Lucky Peach, even though each successive issue has been less good than the previous one. The current, third, issue features lots of interviews with chefs, and some discussion about whether culinary school is a good idea. Almost everyone both in that discussion and in the other interviews agrees: you should just work in a kitchen for free, eventually you'll get hired on and paid. They are mostly very arrogant about this; sometimes it's an assertion of what anyone who really cared about cooking would do, and sometimes it's framed as advice to the would-be chef. Mario Batali wrote an especially choice piece mostly in praise of himself, but also containing the following:

… that's not to say there aren't a lot of great cooks out there who definitely want to go spend time in Italy for to years, and who are willing to earn no money and work double shifts. In America, that's like kissing the devil. "You want me to work a double? Lunch and dinner? When do I get to go home?"

When I tell them they got to take a half hour nap on the back of the tomato boxes downstairs with an "Isn't that great?" look on my face, they don't comprehend. Everyone works like that in Europe, except the French who now work three days a week—which is why the gastronomy in that country is going to hell.

Yeah, you know, you should be working out of passion for food, not greed of gain: time enough for that once you've made it.

Below the fold, two more moronic Batali quotations.

First: "Well, now, as opposed to trying to compete with China in plastics, let's make great furniture by hand and sell it to the luxury market. We kind of gave up and forgot about the craftsmanship that made American cars so cool in the '50s, '60s, and '70s. And now the hand is coming back … Hand-making this stuff is going to be the key to our success, to making us better. So cooks knowing the craft—even if they're not famous—trickles down to have a much larger effect on our society."

Second: "… you overlooked his inability to communicate properly without trying to hurt you. That was just part of those times. It's no longer like that. The litigious nature of our society is such that if, say, you tell someone they look like a cock (meaning a fully bloomed chicken [sic] in his maximum capacity), they think it means male genitalia and suddenly you have to talk to the HR department about what you meant when you sexually harassed this poor character. So we've lost a little of the art of it …" (This quotation is somewhat uncharitably curtailed, TBH.)


 

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Dirty Laundry

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 03.08.12

My first semester at college, I took a conversational Spanish class. One week the assignment was to act out some sort of scene, and my group did the OJ trial, and I was Judge Ito.

I stood behind a table, and everything I did got laughs, so I kept hamming it up. Until this point, I'd been irritated by the class, because it was full of sorority girls and frat boys. I didn't like them, and I resented that they didn't like me either. But now they were on board, and all of a sudden I was having fun.

After class, a girl came up to me, and said something like "You should know something," and pointed down. I had a pair of underpants splayed out over my boot. The waistband was wedged between the cuff of my jeans and my boot, and the underpants were draped ever so nicely all over my shoe.

I think that's the most embarrassed I've ever been.

(Actually, that's not ever true.
1. Part of me couldn't stop laughing at the utter absurdity, even though the rest of me wanted to cry. What happened is that I put on jeans I'd worn the day before, and yesterday's underpants were tucked inside the leg of the jeans.

2. The most acutely embarrassed I ever have been is a terribly dull story, and it's really just a story about how unhinged your emotions are when you're 13 years old. I believed that a friend had invited me to spend the night after a school play, and so I showed up to the play with my overnight bag. It became clear that she hadn't, but was too embarrassed to say so. So she played along, and I was dying from discomfort. The worst part was when I followed her to her mom's car, and listened to her try to clue her mother in, without embarrassing me.)

It's time to tell your embarrassing story. You'll feel better after we all laugh at you.

(I'm quite sure you all will hang me out to dry, but who cares. The Judge Ito story is funny.)


 

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Spring Ahead

Posted by LizardBreath
on 03.07.12

The clocks change this weekend, which means I'm taking my bike into the shop for a tuneup tomorrow - I'll ride in, leave it at the shop overnight, and ride home Friday. First commute of the season!

(I do feel like a clod not being comfortable maintaining my own bike, but it's weird and foldy. Not that I'm much on full-sized bike maintenance, but it looks more straightforward.)


 

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Do I have to write back?

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 03.07.12

Someone I don't know emailed me to ask about publishing a kids book. I related my experience, which is close to nothing, but not nothing. I asked her what her book was about.

She responded with

Its about a [short summary]. How important is publishing it? What are the advantages/ dissadvantages? Mine is pretty simple and I am pretty set on board book style. Thanks for your input!

What on earth. How important is publishing it? Well, zero, to me. You may feel differently.


 

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Please don't throw me in that briar patch!

Posted by Apostropher
on 03.07.12

I've been totally swamped at work and so haven't been around much recently. Accordingly, it may have already been linked in the comments somewhere, but this Dr. Mrs. Instapundit post and the attached comment thread about how evil Sandra Fluke is victimizing poor Rush Limbaugh with her insatiable, taxpayer-subsidized, Alinskyite vagina are really something.

There are many conservatives who unfortunately allow the left to take their morality and use it to stifle their dissent. Limbaugh should have gone on the attack. He should have said "no apology" and exposed her for the partisan hack that she is. Do I care if Fluke fucks 50 guys? No, but I do care if she uses her position to gang up with other mean girls (and guys) to ram a political mandate down the throats of companies who do not believe in what she is peddling.

Standing up to mean girls is hard.

A parade of Olympic-caliber missing the point follows on from there. Honestly, I can't quite believe that the right wing keeps doubling down on this, but I sure hope they keep doing it. (via alicublog)


 

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College admissions

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 03.07.12

Walk me through the consequences: if the Supreme court outlaws using race as a factor in college admissions, and colleges switch to being race-blind and using socio-economic status instead. What would this do to the student demographics? What would be the unintended incentives?

(The UT system uses a top 10% rule, which has generally been considered successful at being race-blind but maintaining diversity. The top 10% of every high school class is guaranteed admission to a school in the UT system, and you can transfer to UT-Austin after two years if you weren't originally admitted there.

Of course, it only works if your high schools are highly segregated. Interesting quote from the wiki page:

A study by Julie Berry Cullen et al. (2011) found that the law created a perverse incentive for students to transfer to a high school with lower-achieving peers, in order to graduate in that school's top percent.[3]
)


 

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Scholastic questions

Posted by Ben
on 03.06.12

Elizabeth Anscombe famously fulminated against utilitarianism thus (in Modern Moral Philosophy): But if someone really thinks, in advance, that it is open to question whether such an action as procuring the judicial execution of the innocent should be quite excluded from consideration—I do not want to argue with him; he shows a corrupt mind.

Eric Holder recently argued, or anyway stated, the following:

Now, it is an unfortunate but undeniable fact that some of the threats we face come from a small number of United States citizens who have decided to commit violent attacks against their own country from abroad. Based on generations-old legal principles and Supreme Court decisions handed down during World War II, as well as during this current conflict, it's clear that United States citizenship alone does not make such individuals immune from being targeted [for killing] … the Constitution does not require the President to delay action until some theoretical end-stage of planning - when the precise time, place, and manner of an attack become clear. Such a requirement would create an unacceptably high risk that our efforts would fail, and that Americans would be killed … "Due process" and "judicial process" are not one and the same, particularly when it comes to national security. The Constitution guarantees due process, not judicial process.

The question is, Does Eric Holder show a corrupt mind? He makes clear that he's not talking about judicial killings, but rather about extrajudicial killings. This might, perversely, be thought to benefit him. On the other hand, Anscombe only says such an action as. It might on moreover be thought that he is not talking about procuring the killings of innocents. (An individual's interest in making sure that the government does not target him erroneously could not be more significant.) But it's not as if they're ever tried—that's the point—and one is not inclined to trust the government to privately determine these things, especially since there is not much appeal.

The whole balancing approach he describes the Supreme Court prescribing seems transparently laughable to me, but then, what do I know?


 

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Super Tuesday!

Posted by Stanley
on 03.06.12

Yeah, whatever.


 

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Sexcise Tax

Posted by Stanley
on 03.05.12

A reader writes in to this sports blog with a question:

What would happen if you had to pay to jerk off? For the sake of this hypothetical, we'll assume all money collected is going toward reducing the national deficit. How much would you be willing to pay to spank it? I think I would be OK with $3 each time, but nothing more. Either that, or I would have to reduce my frequency.

How vulgar. I figured it was right up your alley, you reprobates.


 

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You will have demos coming out ur demos.

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 03.05.12

Amber Tamblyn is from Joan of Arcadia and Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants. R&B singer Tyrese mistakenly emailed her, thinking she was Amber Rose, ex-girlfriend of Kanye West.

They had a conversation, and Amber dropped some beats.

(Probably the whole thing is stupid, but it cracked me up. Especially the last track)

Note: top photo at the link is NSFW, but you can scroll past it pretty easily. Or stare all you want, if you're not at work.

Via Jammies


 

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Also "A high regard for Unites States Sovereignty."

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 03.05.12

This is just so delightful.

Before you can join the Laurens County Republican Party in South Carolina and get on the primary ballot, they ask that you pledge that you've never ever had pre-marital sex -- and that you will never ever look at porn again.
Last Tuesday, the LCGOP unanimously adopted a resolution that would ask all candidates who want to get on the primary ballot to sign a pledge with 28 principles, because the party "does not want to associate with candidates who do not act and speak in a manner that is consistent with the SC Republican Party Platform."

Here are a bunch of the pledges. Good luck with everything, porn-free virgins. Try not to lust.


 

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Fill Harmonic

Posted by Stanley
on 03.04.12

This test of matching drum fills to albums is hard. Took me fifteen attempts.


 

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Clear Eyes, Full Hearts

Posted by Stanley
on 03.04.12

Observing a horse show yesterday, I was particularly intrigued by the coaches. Specifically, the bad ones. Holy crap, are there some bad ones, just as there are in any organized sport I've played.

My favorite maneuver was by a repeat-offender coach who would react to his riders' mistakes by throwing his arms up in the air in a huff, walking away from the arena in disgust, and then berating the riders when they came off. Real positive stuff there, Coach Taylor.

It made me appreciate the good interactions I've had with coaches in my admittedly limited athletic endeavors.


 

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