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America's energy crisis

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 04.27.12

This video is exactly the speech that Giuliani gave, a month ago. Exactly.

It's either the plate of shrimp phenomenon, or this will be the premise for the Republican campaign. Or maybe it's just earth day nonsense.


 

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On Marks, or, The Diacritical Enlightenment

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 04.27.12

Guest post by K-sky

1. In a blog post that was surely written as a Christmas gift to the Unfoggedtariat, the New Yorker explains their allegiance to diaeresis with an example that can only have been written as a holy offering to the Unfoggedtariat:

The fact is that, absent the two dots, most people would not trip over the "coop" in "cooperate" or the "reel" in "reelect" (though they might pronounce the "zoo" in "zoological," a potential application of the diaeresis that we get no credit for resisting). And yet we use the diaeresis for the same reason that we use the hyphen: to keep the cow out of co-workers.

2. At Back to the World, Carl Wilson discovers Adorno's essay, "Punctuation Marks"

The ellipsis, a favorite way of leaving sentences meaningfully open during the period when Impressionism became a commercialized mood, suggests an infinitude of thoughts and associations, something the hack journalist does not have; he must depend on typography to simulate them.

So much more at the link (pdf)

Heebie's take:

...··......··...


 

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Farewell Intercourse

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 04.27.12
Egypt's new Islamist-dominated parliament is preparing to introduce a controversial law that would allow husbands to have sex with their deceased wives up to six hours after death.
Known as the "farewell Intercourse" law, the measure is being championed as part of a raft of reforms introduced by the parliament that will also see the minimum age of marriage lowered to 14 for girls.

Whoa.

You know, if your government is rolling back women's rights and freedoms, this is probably the least important one to fight for. But by the same token, what kind of person would really fight to see this codified into law?!?


 

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Garblahnzo

Posted by Stanley
on 04.26.12

I would like to register a complaint about store-bought hummus. Recently, I've detected a trend whereby an increasing number of hummus manufacturers seem to be emulating Sabra-brand hummus.

To be sure, someone in the world must enjoy Sabra hummus. But I am not that person, and for two reasons:

1) It's overly smoove. I need a little bit of grit in my chickpea spread, and Sabra just ain't bringing it.

2) They put a bunch of bullshit in the middle. Like chopped up olives or whatever. Again, someone probably likes this feature. But I find it totally fucking unnecessary and gross. (Not that I was going to eat your bullshit smoove hummus in the first place, Sabra, but you really sealed the deal with those pickled pieces of spinach.)

For a time, this situation was manageable: just don't buy Sabra; buy some other non-smoove, non-bullshit-containing brand. But increasingly I can't even find a hummus that isn't overly smoove or bullshit-having or both. Previously good (to me) brands have reformulated their recipes away from my palate, and I'm distraught.

Of course, one solution is to simply make my own. And I've started doing so. (I'm batting .500 right now; one batch was awesome, the other one, kinda gross for some reason.) But is it really too much to ask for there to be one non-smoove, non-bullshit-having hummus on my local store shelves? Hummus manufacturers of the world, I implore you: meet my unmet market need!


 

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Cooties

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 04.25.12

Is it in poor taste to have a thread where people can volunteer which diseases they have? After a lurker recently de-lurked to celebrate Crohn's disease, it seemed like it might be interesting.

Please only come forth if you don't mind people asking nosy follow-up questions. And you're not obligated to answer the nosy question, but just not to be thrown by the fact that it was asked.

I don't have any diseases, I think. I had Fifth's Disease as a tot, which somehow seems old-fashioned of me. (Has anyone had the vapors?) I do have a genetic mutation - BRCA1 - but we've discussed that here already.


 

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ttaM and the snainotsoB

Posted by Ben
on 04.25.12

A puteem-planning post.

Bumped up. I think this shindig is tomorrow, so get gnikcarc, xlof.


 

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Fashion tidbits

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 04.25.12

From lw:
Fashion snark. It would be extremely rude, but I'm seriously tempted to loiter in fancy places and look at who actually pays over $100 for jeans. Does anyone here do that (pay for fun, not loiter)? The most I have ever spent on jeans is $47.

From Heebie:
1. I rather like the panda bear shoes, as an homage to Flea's famous pants from Higher Ground, (or Lady Gaga's Kermit the Frog dress). Or even just serious-silly, like when Andre 3000 adds a gray fox tail to an otherwise dapper outfit.

2. When I was in middle school, I carefully tucked my shirt in and then pulled it mostly out, so that it bloused, because that was the style of the day. Since then, I've mostly not tucked my shirt in.

Not tucking your shirt in seems pretty stable, as a choice. For anything not informal, tucking your shirt in is pretty stable. However, for informal fashion, tucking your shirt in has a weird life of its own, related to t-shirt length and how high up pants are sitting and whether waists are the body part to highlight of the season.

I don't think it's in, at the moment, although it's not a crime, either.


 

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Smell You Ungulater, Nelson.

Posted by Stanley
on 04.25.12

When life affords one the opportunity to spend the day riding along with an ambulatory veterinarian, it is imperative that one jump at the chance. Here are a few tidbits of knowledge I picked up along the way:

  1. Grass is bad for horses. No, really. Nearly all the horses we saw were experiencing some form of laminitis, most likely caused by over-consuming the currently abundant carb-rich spring grass. This seems totally counterintuitive to me. You can't feed horses grass? What a rip-off.
  2. Thrush smells horrible. Take my word for it.
  3. "Beeturia" is a real word. Came up in a discussion with a human doctor, but it was on the same day as the ride-along, so it vaguely fits the theme.

I also learned my new favorite local place name: Chicken Mountain! Sorry, Locust Grove. Your hospitable crop-consuming swarms nestled amongst the trees can't hold a candle to a volume of chickens so great they comprise an entire fucking mountain.


 

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Only the unimaginative find things unimaginable

Posted by Ben
on 04.24.12

One bright morning in the middle of the night,

[North of the arctic circle, in the summer, the sun shines at all hours, even, say, at 12:30am]

Two dead boys got up to fight.

[They are vampires, or zombies, or the like. Alternatively, "dead" is being used proleptically.]

Back to back they faced each other,

[They're contortionists.]

Drew their swords and shot each other.

[Not even prima facie challenging.]

A deaf policeman who heard the noise

[He's like Evelyn Glennie; he senses the vibrations through his bare feet rather than on his eardrums, so that while deaf in one sense, he can also, in another sense, hear things, though presumably only fairly loud things.]

Came and shot those two dead boys.

[The prolepsis achieved. One might also have written "came and shot those two thereby-dead boys".]

If you don't believe this lie is true,

[Again, this doesn't really pose a challenge; we aren't required, here, to believe in a "true lie", only, at most, in a foolish liar. Alternately, "this lie" could be understood to be said from the perspective of the disbeliever: "if you don't believe that what you would characterize as "this lie" is true…"]

Ask the blind man—he saw it too.

[Same deal as the cop. The blind man uses a tactile-visual substitution system.]


 

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Tell me about Science! - Gut Edition

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 04.24.12

I'm always fascinated by scientific articles that assert that the gut is our second brain and involved in decision-making and things like that. And then also there's a lot of stuff out there about the complex florae of the gut, and how it's being demolished by all the antibiotics we take or our cows take. And there's a serious explosion in public awareness about IBS and Crohn's disease and gluten-intolerance, and at least my impression is that the diseases themselves are actually on the rise.

I want you all to weigh in and tell me how all this fits together. Or related interesting information.


 

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Ask The Mineshaft: Kiss Off

Posted by LizardBreath
on 04.24.12

Dear Mineshaft:

I submit to the great and glorious wisdom of The Mineshaft the following conundrum:
My partner no longer likes kissing. I find this somewhat frustrating. She says that when she was younger she enjoyed it because other physical activities were constrained, but being in a long term relationship if she has interest in physical affection she prefers other activities. She also says it's not that she doesn't like kissing me, but that she doesn't like kissing at all and wouldn't be interested with anyone else either, with the exception that if she were in an early relationship again where more advanced activities were not yet available she would consider it. Side dispute: whether many other married/committed couples really kiss that much either.
The following solutions have been proposed:
1) If I need 5 minutes of making out on the couch each day to be happy in our relationship, she will oblige. However, it's obviously not the same when one party sees it as a chore.
2) As an alternative she is willing to increase the frequency of other activities. I did not understand this, as if one can get revved up for other activities surely one can get interested in some kissing. I viewed them as points along a continuum, she described them as different branches in a tree.
3) In jest (I assume) she asked if there's anyone else I could think of kissing to fulfill my requirements. Obviously this would be... awkward. (Did somebody say Colombian prostitutes?)
4) If I can find other techniques to revive her interest in smooching she is willing to try them.
Therefore I submit #4 for suggestions while providing the others for your collective discussion and/or amusement.

-Bill Clinton

Dear Bill:

If she's up for other activities, do you smoke cigars?

In terms of actual advice -- huh. First thing I'd be wondering about is how accurate the statement of the problem is: is it really just about kissing, or is she less interested in any kind of physical affection with you (and how long have you guys been together)? If the latter, that's a bigger issue. But say it's the former, and it's really about kissing.

If the issue is really literal kissing, you can still break it down further. What doesn't she like about it: the physical sensations of kissing generally? something about kissing you specifically that she doesn't want to hurt your feelings by explaining to you (technique, foul breath, painful facial hair)? the idea of spending time doing something that's sexual but not about to progress immediately to sex? If the problem's kissing generally, would you be happy substituting in cuddling/fondling; the sort of thing you'd be doing while making out, just leaving out the kissing part of it? If it's something about you or your technique, can you do some soulsearching to figure out if there's any feedback she's been giving you that you've been overlooking (yelps of pain when you bruise her lip; painful looking beard burn; murmurs of "Jesus Christ, have a mint") that you could do something about (and of course you could ask her to be honest). If she doesn't actually mind kissing you, she's just not really into it, but she's still really into sex, you could withhold sex until she makes out with you, and see if you can build up the association between kissing and getting laid? You could ask her to completely take the lead, and kiss you any way that seems as if it would be fun for her, and do what you can to pick up how she likes it?

Or, of course, you could set up one of these on your front lawn. I dunno, Mineshaft, any ideas?

LB


 

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You humanities types sicken me

Posted by Ben
on 04.23.12

Look at that test, I mean Jesus, look at you people talking about the test, you can't even decide whether there's a right answer to the question or several wrong answers or no answer or whether there's a way to tell at all or what, it's absurd, I mean, sure, interpretation is important and difficult and creativity is involved, fine, I'm willing to grant all that, I'm broad-minded, but you know how it is, there's being open-minded and there's having your goddamn brain fall out, and I've got to say I'm pretty proud of myself for staying firmly on one side of that division, and I don't mean the side where your brain falls out, which, I mean, that should be obvious even to you heroes of hermeneutics, why would I mention something like that if I meant that my brain had fallen out, clearly I think yours have, all that puzzling over "texts" or whatever, "close readings", you lose more than just your eyesight doing that, all sense of discernment whatsoever goes out the window, and I don't just mean visual acuity, clearly, "what does it mean to say the pineapple has no sleeves", my God, what kind of idiotic question is that, it's enough to make you a positivist, a caricature of a positivist, just so you could say to yourself "well it probably has some non-cognitive purpose" when as it stands you—I—can't even figure out what that might be, it's ridiculous the knots you people twist yourselves into trying to diagnose what if anything is wrong with some one particular question on a test when probably they're all more or less equally inane, I mean, anyway, how could you even tell, how would you know what a fucking talking moose might have meant when he denied or suggested or said or imputed or insinuated or allowed it to be thought or doubted or expressed skepticism or whatevered that a talking pineapple had anything up its sleeves, hell, if there's a talking pineapple how certain can we be that pineapples don't wear shirts and store things up their sleeves, there's no profit in this kind of dispute, no, far better, I mean, you can actually get somewhere if you focus on science tests, at least when those are idiotically written you can establish that.


 

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The animals ate the pineapple most likely because they were...

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 04.23.12

Sir Kraab asserts that # 7 does not have a correct answer.


 

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Guest Post - Mr. Smearcase

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 04.23.12

Smearcase writes:
Here's a piece from the Times, written in the untranslatable dialect of the Upper West Side (where there is no word for "Iowa" but they have twenty distinct morphemes meaning "let's get take-out!") I find it provocative because it rejects an orthodoxy of how patients and practitioners often regard therapy in a way that is satisfying on a gut level but perhaps irresponsibly reductive.

The me of ten years ago (who wanted to be a therapist) says "but you're ignoring the complex and intransigent roots of all but the most straightforward problems!" The me of the now says "yeah, but." And finds the examples of what might almost be termed goal-averse therapy troubling, and imagines they're pretty common. I have more thoughts about it but will wait to see if it's a topic of general interest.

From Heebie:
The article asserts that therapy is either going to work or not, and it's not helpful to get lodged in eternal therapy sessions. Get in, get help, and get out.

I mostly agree, except 10-12 therapy sessions seems really short. I worked with my therapist for about 15 months to get to a spot where I felt stable and happy. Three months deep I was in total turmoil.

Many patients need an aggressive therapist who prods them to face what they find uncomfortable: change. They need a therapist's opinion, advice and structured action plans. They don't need to talk endlessly about how they feel or about childhood memories. A recent study by the National Institute for Health and Welfare in Finland found that "active, engaging and extroverted therapists" helped patients more quickly in the short term than "cautious, nonintrusive therapists."

That totally resonates with me.


 

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Bitches gotta eat

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 04.22.12

Bitchesgottaeat is just really, terribly funny, and I've been reading the archives all weekend. The obvious post for Unfogged's pleasure is this one, because we love debating whether or not our collective whiteness is obnoxious or lovable and we hope for the latter but prepare for the former.

I keep trying to quote lines from different posts, but I end up grabbing bigger and bigger excerpts, because her writing doesn't lend itself to 144 character tweets. It's just got a very funny rhythm and occasional lines that make me pee myself laughing.

Okay one sample:

do you get sex do-overs in real life? here's the thing: I AM PRETTY TERRIBLE AT SEX. i bore easily, my fetishes are gross and awkward to talk about, this surgically-enhanced butthole means i'd probably shit on any penis that crossed its threshold, i laugh inappropriately, the list goes on. i'll do pretty much anything asked, but for no more than twenty minutes. i'm not kidding, son. i set a motherfucking timer. "listen, bro. your have until 9:26 to pour battery acid in my eye while i fellate an eggplant or whatever it is you said you wanted, and then i'm putting my clothes back on so we can eat some nachos and watch the end of this mavericks game." i would much rather have phone sex twice a week and maybe mutually masturbate every once in a while if i'm in a good mood....seriously though, i don't know that i've ever been sitting in bed scoffing at how much funnier saturday night live would be if i got a chance to write that shit and thought to myself, "hey girl, remember that one guy who got up and left right in the middle of that godawful handjob we gave him? omg, i wonder if he's awake right now?!"


It's possibly not for everyone.


 

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America is not a first-world country, episode #437

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 04.22.12

A link about a long chain of EPA officials and the amount of lead left in the soil after old smelting plants shut down: lots of it. So the EPA and various government agencies all learn of the elevated lead levels over the past ~10 years, and they all shuffle a lot of paper work and never let anybody know, and a lot of kids are exposed to a lot of lead. Thorn writes:

this USA Today (gawdhelpus, I know) article is getting a lot of local play since my town is one of several implicated. I'm just curious how other people (I don't think any other parents have said their kids were lead-exposed) deal with the whole cost/benefit analysis for their kids and how unfogged at large thinks remediation and so on should be addressed.

Actually, this somewhat came up in an ATM a few years ago, IIRC. A commenter had lead-based paint in their rental apartment, in Boston. Which was largely a different situation, though.

How do I think remediation should be addressed? By the government, in the form of academic and medical support, and as well as the clean up costs. To what extent do I think anything will get done? Excuse me while I go have a coughing/laughing/crying fit.


 

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