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Scholastic questions II

Posted by Ben
on 08.11.12

The NY Times' obituary for the late Colin Fletcher begins thus:

Colin Fletcher, whose ornate prose and prosaic tips on subjects like choosing the right hiking boots helped start the modern backpacking movement, died June 12 in Monterey, Calif. He was 85.

If the prose is ornate, and the tips prosaic, does that mean the tips are ornate?


 

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Chatroulette "Call Me Maybe"

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 08.10.12

If I may quote AWB:

Watch as the people on the left either become incredibly appealing or not as they react to this dance.

(Can be watched without sound, which is just "Call Me Maybe" playing.) It really does feel like you're getting a brief, meaningful glimpse into how kind or rude a person each viewer is.


 

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I May Be Willing to Holla For a Dolla, Under Certain Circumstances

Posted by Alameida
on 08.10.12

N.B. I completed the post I actually really though! passed out on last night, it's down below. I think I pressed post by mashing my face against the keyboard. It was like I ass-dialled all of y'all.

Honey Boo Boo Chile with the Go Go Juice and all? She has her own reality show now. Obviously it's about her family and some bogus etiquette coach drafted in to ready the 6-year-old for her next beauty pageant and the rhinestone tiara she longs for. But equally obviously the show is already the tiara. The family includes the mother June, her "baby daddy" Mike (aka "Sugar Bear") and daughters Alana [the pageant competitor], Pumpkin (Lauryn, 12), Chubbs (Jessica, 15) and Chickadee (Anna, 17 and pregnant). I am feeling sad about Chickadee now.

The most awesome knowledge is dropped by mom: "Her explanation of why she refers to female genitalia as 'biscuits' is sensational (ultimately, if a biscuit is 'cooked right,' like those 'from Hardee's,' it looks like a vulva)." Right now my brain is doing one of those duck/rabbit things where I see "cooked right" and then I see "like from Hardee's" and then the toggle just goes back and forth till I get a mutated duck. Because the duck/rabbit has never been a very convincing illusion and philosophers should have chosen the 'lovely lady/crone' one. Or maybe the 'profiles/vase.' But then I must reveal my hidden shame: I would eat a Hardee's biscuit no problem. They aren't terrible or nothing. No, they can be all right sometimes, on the highway, if you were driving all night. But as an exemplar, like, what your mind would go to when it sought out a well-cooked biscuit? (This is all separate from the analogy to the pudenda, which is sound, and now I'm probably going to laugh at biscuits all the time.) When an ample lady like that from McIntryre, GA thinks that's how you go around life, eating Hardee's biscuits and thinking you can't get any better, then I really do think our nation is rudderless and shit is fucked up an' bullshit. Of all the people in the damn country, that lady should be able to make good biscuits. Just look at her! I can just imagine her handing you a big basket with two clean dish towels in there full of biscuits. That she bought at Hardee's?!?1!? We live in a fallen world.


Alameida's BiscuitsFine, Y'All Think of Something Y'Alls Own Selves

4 c all-purpose flour*

4 heaping teaspoon baking powder

2 t salt (scant)

8 heaping tablespoons Crisco yeah you read that right

2 c buttermilk, but you may not need all. You can use normal milk and put 1 t white vinegar (or lemon juice) in it 1/2 hour or so before cooking.

Preheat oven to 500. Mix dry ingredients together with a fork. Add the Crisco, and using two knives, cut the fat into the flour until it resembles dry meal. Add most of milk but not all and stir gently with fork. If it comes together just leave out the rest of the milk. Use flour on the counter, roll the dough out 2 inches thick. Cut with a biscuit cutter! Your wine glasses are too big. Place all biscuits on dry pan, edges just touching. Ideally cover them with a clean towel and let them sit on top of the stove for a short time or next to the stove while you finish up vegetables. Cook for 12-16 minutes, till brown. Follow the siren call of the South: take two, and butter them while they're hot.

Only the outside rows of biscuits cooked in this wise will separate into the visible layers June alludes to; the interior ones, touching one another, will be extra white and soft, the goal both of every Southern baker and, no doubt, dudes on KKK dating sites.

*If you live in the South you can get White Lily, but normal is fine. If you live outside the South use 3/4c all-purpose to 1/4c cake flour. The "all-purpose" mixes are different in different parts of America. So people outside America can probably split bread and cake half and half, if those are their choices.

'Al, surely that's some more useful amount of Crisco?' Yes, but it's 1 c, 1 heaping t, 1/2 t, 2 heaping T, 1/2 c ad infinitum. 'Couldn't I use unsalted butter? Crisco seems kind of gross?' NO. Make these, slather them with unsalted butter and get back to me. The butter is to go ON the biscuits. 'Couldn't I render my own leaf lard,--' STFU neB. Just use Crisco like a normal person. Crisco is like the most paleo food ever. Our ancestors scooped it from the bones of their still warm enemies, and used it to make hash browns.


 

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Baking

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 08.09.12

I assume there's probably a chemical reason why you boil the water and then plunge the noodles or whatever into it, as opposed to putting the frog noodles in the water and heating up the whole thing, (although I'm not sure I could taste the difference). Is there a chemical reason to preheat the oven, as opposed to just sticking the Baked Ziti in the cold oven? I know it makes sense for recipes to stick with convention, but if you're improvising, would it matter?


 

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Isn't it tautological that I'm wearing Mom Jeans?

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 08.09.12

This has been making the rounds, although not necessarily your rounds*: Gap and Old Navy Make Mom Jeans. Full of photographic evidence.

The post is just horrible. I do like clothes and fashion, but this is not that. This is about elevating the magnification on the angst you are supposed to have over the display of your body. All those mainstream jeans that you thought passed muster? You've been walking around looking awful. It's a depressing Overton Window shift on butt-scrutiny.

(For their post explaining what distinguishes Mom Jeans, see here. In this link, they ham it up a bit more, which seems less cruel.)

* Pinterest, mostly. A little on facebook.


 

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Guest Post - Parenthetical

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 08.09.12

(() writes): I was going to link an article in the Paleadvice thread, but as the conversation has completely moved away from the Paleo diet, I thought it might be be fodder for a post (if it hasn't already been linked at some point): "Human Ancestors Were Nearly All Vegetarians"

One case made by a biologist that it doesn't make much sense to look solely at Homo sapiens and the last 100,000 years when considering the paleo diet. Rather:

"if we want to return to the diet our guts and bodies evolved to deal with, perhaps we should also be looking our earlier ancestors. In addition to understanding early humans and other hominids, we need to understand the diet of our ancestors during the times when the main features of our guts, and their magical abilities to turn food into life, evolved. The closest (albeit imperfect) proxies for our ancestral guts are to be found coiled inside the living bodies of monkeys and apes.

And of course, they're all vegetarians, with exceptions for occasional meat eating (as with chimpanzees). (Anecdotal aside: I know no fat vegetarians, although I am sure they exist.)


 

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Broke Olympians

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 08.09.12

From Minivet: Should we subsidize the Olympics?

From Heebie: Yes. I want to live in a country where we subsidize arts, science, athletics in areas where they are not profitable.

Also, I think it's really stupid to enforce non-professional status for NCAA female gymnastics. Is it the only sport where you peak before college? They've got a very few short years to cash in on all their hard work, and by the time they're college-age, they won't be Olympic caliber anymore, anyway.


 

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Mo'Money, a Higher Number of Problems

Posted by Alameida
on 08.09.12

LOL! I fell asleep on my keyboard, on the bed tray with my dinner on it. I didn't realize I had published this till now.

A lot of people owe me money. My business partner just paid me off three months ago from about two years ago when I paid off all her credit card debt. (OK, about 8K, you were wondering.) Because interest-free loans are really preferable to the usurious type they have here in Narnia. And I am maybe being someone's bailor soon but they just use that money to jerk you around and then give it back. Mostly.

As many of you recall, a while back I gave $150 to a friend, said friend used the money to buy the drugs with which she overdosed that night, with the help of her (now let's imagine a truly epic, unimaginable series of epithets) boyfriend. You might think that would stop me from at least giving money to my sponsees in 12-step programs. It says, right in that literature, "we are not bankers...etc." Next sponsee after dead one: owes me $1200, relapsed after running off to Thailand, went into rehab in Thailand, then no one knows where's she's at. Following sponsee: sober, not my sponsee for various reasons but we are still close, owes me...shit, I don't even know. 2K? Am about to be bailor, potentially.

She said to me, "everyone you know owes you money, but I wanted to be that one person who didn't." She enjoyed feeling superior to them. So first she borrowed $1000 just because the wolves were really at the door. But later she pulled a maneuver I hate so bad, and the reason I hate it so bad is I have pulled this bullshit on my dad. She showed up at my house when I was deathly ill, at night, on the 31st, and I had to give her $1600 right then or she would get kicked out and her phone and get her cable/internet turned off. OK, she owes me 3K then. I sent her to the bank with my cash card and my PIN, because I was too sick to get out of bed. Maybe I didn't want to get my husband to do it? Maybe he might say, why the fuck are you the financier of every goddamn body you know? And you either trust the person or you don't.

The reason I do this is that I have ever been broke? That I can, absolutely speaking, afford it? I am a soft touch? (Don't all y'all email me for money! Except Natilo. Motherfucker deserves some money.) I feel guilty about inheriting money and being shiftless? I'm not even, though, I started my own business and work incredibly hard at it. Whatever made me used to buy cigarettes for bums on my street. I knew their brands. You haven't seen a man's face light up till you've handed him a full pack of Salems. Fuck buying guys food. I would buy them beer. Because I took a whole pile of money and burnt it up and breathed it in to get high? Not so much more wasteful than another year of graduate school. Some hard-working friend of mine is in a hole, I'm not going to say no? But even more, somebody needs bailing out, I will never say no. That's my girl right there! I'm not going to let her get sent over to prison. And fuck being innocent of the charges. That's not the point.

I like to make people happy. But in the end they resent me, even after they pay me back. They dislike me and disappear. They sneer at me for being lazy and not understanding hard work. I thought once my business partner had paid me back it would be better but it's worse, if anything. She doesn't like it that people pay so much attention to me, that I always overshadow her, I am too sparkly. What am I supposed to do about that?


 

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Cityscapes

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 08.08.12

People should live to the east of where they work. That way the sun would always be in your rearview mirror on your commute.

I heard once that cities tend to grow in a way that forms a 7 of developed, happening areas, but I don't know why that would be true. Every city that I've lived in, it's been either the west or the north (or both) that was the wealthier developing side, and the south and/or east that were poorer. I don't know why any of these things would be intrinsic, but it's a cliche that south and east are poor, no?


 

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Help me understand.

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 08.08.12

Why exactly do I consistently hate John Irving? I'm halfway through In One Person, and I can't put my finger on what's so irritating.


 

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Unbeketchupped

Posted by Stanley
on 08.07.12

In the latest from the front of hanging out with be-childed when you yourself are without the burden of an extra human's excrement, I tried the thing where I proposed bringing a six pack/bottle of wine/game of cards over to my breeder friends' house. And it was great.

Wonderful adult conversations about a myriad of topics (several of which had come up here—thanks, fellow time-wasters). I was grateful to have a chance to hang out with them. It's likely to become a weekly or bi-weekly thing.

Socializing: it takes effort.


 

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Paleadvice

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 08.07.12

From Sir Kraab: They came for the cavemen and I said nothing because I was not a caveman.

Heebie's take: It does seem like he should be able to just put a disclaimer up on his site, ie "I am not a licensed advice-giver and eat like me at your own risk" so that he's not mis-representing himself.

It's unclear if he's being paid or not:

About a week after they talked, Ms. Burill sent Mr. Cooksey pages from his site liberally annotated in red ink. She said that "writing a blog on your beliefs" was fine. But Mr. Cooksey's Dear Abby-style advice column was unlawful. So was a paid life-coaching service.
"You are no longer just providing information when you do this," she wrote of the column and the service. "You are assessing and counseling, both of which require a license."

Life-coaches require licensing in North Carolina? From what, the School of Hard Knocks?



 

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Advice from my dad

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 08.07.12

At the recent Austin meet-up, I told this story:

The summer after my first year in college, my roommate called me and asked for $800 (I think). I obviously did not have it, and did not know what to do, so I asked my parents what I should do.

My dad said this: "Lend people money the first time they ask (provided you have it). Don't expect them to repay it - the money is gone. Then either they'll pay it back, in which case great, or they won't. And if they don't, then they won't come to you next time, when they need the big money."

My parents gave me the money to lend my friend, and that was that.


 

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Icky sticky rhymes

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 08.06.12

I still love Garfunkel and Oates a lot:


 

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Context of mass killers

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 08.06.12

Interesting article about the social constructions around who is a killer, and why:

As I joked on Facebook, killings by blacks are ghetto warfare, killings by Latinos are related to drug cartels, but killings by whites are individual acts of mental illness (note how Brooks goes digging for a non-white case). And for those of us who have seen Tough Guise, we already know that when women kill, then it's all feminism's fault, unless the killers are obviously non-feminist women (Andrea Yates), in which case, they're obviously crazy (rather than committing in Yates's case religiously-based violence). Different social categories, different conceptualization and categorization of the same type of action.

Written before the shooting at the Sikh temple, but obviously applicable there.


 

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Plus, I am a doctor myself.

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 08.06.12

I definitely edit what the I think the doctor or clinic needs to know, when they ask my history. I know this is a no-no, and there are all sorts of oddball diseases where if I don't tell them about my family's history of STDs then they won't be able to diagnose these two lumps on my chest.

Anyway, it's not stuff like that - what I edit is more like I invent a family history that has more of a breast cancer incidence, so that I don't have to go into detail. Or I decide that they don't need to know whether or not I've had an abortion. Or that what a grandparent died of is irrelevant and need not muck everything up. (I'm more honest when chatting with a doctor in person.)

But seriously, I'm sure that the pre-visit paperwork is bunk and that they don't trust patient self-histories anyway.


 

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Smash/bang fusion

Posted by Ben
on 08.05.12

If I am not mistaken, this hasn't come up at unfogged until now:


 

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Red Rover

Posted by Stanley
on 08.05.12

After an eight-month journey through space, Curiosity will be hitting the Martian soil at around 1:31 AM (EDT).

I confess my inner sci-fi fan is rather taken with the idea of a Sky Crane.


 

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Gait Marriage

Posted by Stanley
on 08.05.12

I encountered an evolutionary biologist and peppered him with Unfogged-inspired questions!

Okay, that didn't happen. But I did host a friend from college over the weekend, and he does study various veldt-y things about evolution and biology and anthropology.

Probably the best thing I got out of him was when I asked about the evolutionary strengths of Homo sapiens. Over tens of thousands of years of evolution, what had our bodies gotten really good at doing?

His answer without hesitation: "Walking and fucking."


 

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