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Also, I hope it's not about zombies.

Posted by Stanley
on 10.20.12

A new neighbor came by today to introduce himself. He just bought the house next door and has been gutting it. Then he's going to rehab it and sell it.

Anyway, he was letting us know that his friends would be over this evening to film part of their horror film. So, you know, just a heads up things might look a bit weird over there.

That's an aspect of a shooting a lower-budget horror film I'd never thought of. Avoiding getting the cops called on you probably figures pretty heavily into your planning.


 

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Agelessness

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 10.19.12

Most people are terrible at estimating the age of a person, when that person is from a race from which they haven't had much exposure. Can we say that confidently? Is this true across the board? Or are there some racial populations whose age is revealed more readily to a viewer who hasn't had much exposure to the race, and some groups that look more ageless to everybody?

The is precariously close to the question "No really, all [X] do really look alike if we adopt a scholarly tone, do they not?" I swear I'm not asking that. Maybe I'm not asking anything more interesting than that, though. (Agelessness is so very much the kind of trait that Stephen King uses to describe his Magical Negro.)(OTOH, Rebecca Romijn has seriously not aged in the last thirty years. She's who prompted this line of thought originally.)


 

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We Don't Actually Have To Go To Fresh Salt, There Are Other Bars

Posted by LizardBreath
on 10.19.12

But wherever we end up, Josh will be in NYC on November 2d, and has suggested drinks. Anyone cripplingly bored with FS can make suggestions, otherwise FS at the usual 6:30/7ish is a plan.

Who's in? Lurkers, as always, welcome.


 

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Presidential Guest Post!

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 10.18.12

B. F. Skinner writes:
People can take this quiz! If they have ever seen any of these questions before, you can't play. Otherwise, write down your answers to these questions, and then below the fold you can read about how to score it and what your score (allegedly) means:

1. A bat and a ball cost $1.10 in total. The bat costs $1.00 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?
2. If it takes 5 machines 5 minutes to make 5 widgets, how long would it take 100 machines to make 100 widgets?
3. In a lake, there is a patch of lily pads. Every day, the patch doubles in size. If it takes 48 days for the patch to cover the entire lake, how long would it take for the patch to cover half of the lake?

If you answered 5 cents for question one, you get a point. If you answered 5 minutes for question 2, you get a point. If you answered 47 days for question 3, you get a point. This is called the "cognitive reflection test" and it is supposed to measure how good you are at restraining your immediate, intuitive answer and thinking more deeply about the question. If you scored zero or one, you are supposedly more likely to be religious as an adult, more likely to have an unjustified belief that you know how things (toilets, helicopters, cap-and-trade) work, less patient, worse at judging risk, more likely to buy products based on shallow, uninformative descriptions of their benefits, and more likely to be politically extreme. See more and more and more and more and more.

Heebie's take: I've seen all these questions before, which basically means I'm brilliant.


 

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Text has made a post

Posted by Ben
on 10.18.12

This is the post that text has made:

Text makes a post.


Due to new and exciting family responsibilities, I have been getting up much earlier than I used to. One of the things I like to do when I am up early is to flip through a book of Raymond Carver stories, Will You Please Be Quiet, Please, and choose a random paragraph. It must be the first paragraph I see when I look down at a page. And I try to formulate a lesson for myself arising from that paragraph. I ask myself, what does this paragraph have to say for me today? It's a fun exercise for the imagination and I recommend it to anyone else who is up early or who lives on the East Coast and is up at a normal time.


Today I flipped to this paragraph (from Nobody Said Anything):


I made some more casts, and then I guessed it must be two or three o'clock. I thought I had better move down to the bridge. I thought I would fish below the bridge awhile before I started home. And I decided I would wait until night before I thought about the woman again. But right away I got a boner thinking about the boner I would get that night. Then I thought I had better stop doing it so much. About a month back, a Saturday when they were all gone, I had picked up the Bible right after and promised and swore I wouldn't do it again. But I got jism on the Bible, and the promising and swearing lasted only a day or two, until I was by myself again.


Here is my interpreted lesson for myself. Casts relates to present and former members of Saturday Night Live, of which there are many who I would make. Two or three o'clock is also figurative. The key here is to figure out what the pronoun "it" really stands for. It can't be casts, because that's plural. "It" must be the act of making. After that, the rest of the sentence falls into place. The bridge is an actual bridge, of course. Fishing means fishing for compliments, and so it looks like I'm going to keep doing that awhile. Sometimes a boner is just a boner. Now we come again to the tricky pronoun "it." Has anything changed, to make "it," not the act of making? Of course not. The lesson is clear. If I don't make a post right away, there's going to be an awful sacrilegious mess. I am not one for sacrilege so I hope this goes up soon.


Now it's your turn!


 

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Totally twinsies

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 10.18.12

One of my first semesters teaching, I had a pair of identical twins who were really invested in being completely identical. They dressed similarly every day, same haircut, sat next to each other, etc. At the beginning of the semester I asked them if there was some good way for me to tell them apart, and they sort of shrugged and smiled.

This really bothered me, because a good teacher ought to know her students individually, and I mentioned it to my therapist, who said "Why is it your job to individuate them? It's not. You asked, they declined, and so they're not distinguishable." She went on to say that it was their parents' job to help them individuate, and for whatever reason that hasn't happened yet.

Since then it's actually happened a number of times: it's not rare for identical twins entering college to look and dress the same, to pick out the same class schedule, and (I assume) go through their life functioning as half of a duo. Obviously this won't last much longer - even if they pick the same major and manage to stick together throughout college, they'll have separate jobs at some point and be treated as individuals.

Is it actually unhealthy for twins to semi-combine into one personality? My therapist certainly implied that it was, and I can see how it might be. But maybe not.


 

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Guest Post - noontime drink

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 10.18.12

Minivet writes:
If you work with cow-orkers, how acceptable is it to drink at lunchtime there? Do you have tacit rules, like no more than one, or only with schmoozees? (Let's leave out secret drinking.)

Obviously it's gotten less common over the years, but what I'd like to know is by how much. I imagine there's sectoral variation. The closest I've come to is a 3:30 meeting being combined with happy hour.

Heebie's take:
Interesting! I bet it does vary enormously. While I personally wouldn't give a shit, it would be pretty unexpected if a colleague ordered a beer with lunch, unless we were all travelling for a conference or something.

(Dinner of course is completely different.)


 

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Fits and Starts of Technology

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 10.17.12

It struck me today that technology from when my parents grew up and when I grew up was essentially unchanged. Especially with regards to technology in one's daily life - the phone was basically the same, the TV was the same, I didn't really use a computer until high school, and then it was primarily as a word processor, etc.

I also think it's interesting that if I woke up and joined my grandmother in her youth, say 1925 in Brooklyn, everything would be basically familiar-ish. My understanding is that she grew up with cars, electricity, indoor plumbing. Yet if either of us went back another thirty years life would seem radically different.

Neither of these are super insightful, but listen: my day today is unusually grueling, so let's just be glad I had any weak sauce to throw up there.


 

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Have at it.

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 10.16.12

Yet another debate. Luck be a btocked lady who wants her birth control pills covered tonight.


 

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Great writing utensils

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 10.16.12

In grad school it was something of a thing for math students to have high end pens and mechanical pencils, and I rolled my eyes at them because I don't even have a pretentious urge. Recently a student left one of these in my office, and I've been using it, and it's a great goddamn pen. I was all set to retract my anti-pretentiousness. Then I googled how much they cost, and they cost about $2+ for two, and so my reverse-snobbery is still intact. Phew.


 

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"You could always do a liberal freakout thread"

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 10.16.12

Says Knecht, who wants to make you cry. (Nate Silver and Electoral-vote aren't quite as dire, Knecht. Stop being mean.)


 

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Parents of the Year

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 10.15.12

I'll just go ahead and put the story under the jump.

Yesterday at Austin City Limits, Jammies and I and the kids saw Die Antwoord. The very first thing they did when they came on stage was spend about two minutes screaming "FUCK YOU IN THE ASSSSS! FUCK YOU IN THE ASSSSS! FUCK YOU IN THE ASSSS! FUCK YOU IN THE ASSSS!" Really, for about two full minutes.

It was so over the top that it was hard to care that we were being bad parents or something. (Hawaiian Punch did ask me what "inniya" meant. You know, the singular of inniyas.) The show was a lot of fun.


 

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How to vacuum your junk

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 10.14.12

The author has been using this method for forty years.

1. Use this method sparingly, once a week or less.
2. Never insert any body parts directly into the body of the vacuum or directly in the hose of the vacuum. Always use an insertion tube as a hose attachment to insure you do not come in contact with any moving parts (fan blades) or bacteria from the hose.
3. Always have the off switch in easy reach.
4. High suction is not needed to get off. Keep the power low and use a flow control to keep the suction well below the level that will cause injury.
...
10. Hearing protection is also advised.

Via Tweety, who claims he was merely googling "is it okay to hose off fans"


 

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