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I'm coming for you, WCW

Posted by Ben
on 01.26.13

Gere tum aureum horologium si quod eam commovebit;
si mori meminisse potes, pro eam quoque morere,
dum clamaret "amator, horologium gerens moriture amator,
mihi tempus sciendum est!"


 

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It has a special purpose!

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 01.26.13

Most of these 10 Interesting Lessons from Creationist-Inspired School Books are what you'd expect, but holy shit to #7:

The Trail of Tears had a special purpose. "God used the 'Trail of Tears' to bring many Indians to Christ," says one text. And vaguely related: "Through the Negro spiritual, slaves developed patience to wait on the Lord and discovered that the truest freedom is freedom from the bondage of sin."

Wow, that's so gross.


 

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Get ready to be surprised

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 01.25.13

I just got three separate notifications (2 email, 1 text) that Heebie U will be conducting fire drills today. That seems to defeat the purpose, no?


 

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The Sphincts

Posted by Stanley
on 01.25.13

I'm late to the party on this one, but I only just the other day listened to the TAL episode about pork bung. In case you missed the excitement, the reporter demonstrates that it's at least plausible that a cost-conscious chef could replace fried calamari with fried pork rectum. Whether anyone anywhere has ever done so remains unproven.

Ever since listening to the story, I've been tempted to tell everyone about it whenever calamari comes up (which, it turns out, is more often than I'd realized). But obviously telling other people they might—maybe, possibly—be eating hog rectum isn't a very pleasant thing to do. Especially without any demonstrable evidence that it's ever happened anywhere.

But I'm still very curious about people's reactions to the idea. Having heard the TAL story, will you be modifying your eating habits with regard to fried calamari?


 

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Pro-something, anyhow.

Posted by Apostropher
on 01.24.13

Catholic Health Initiatives:

"Unborn children are people, and no court can force us to violate our deeply held beliefs in the sanct... Wait, how much money? Give us a second here."

[huddle]

"Golly no, those unborn children weren't people. They were just fetuses! Please direct all further questions to our lawyers."


 

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Reasonably attractive

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 01.24.13

Thorn writes: I'm curious what people think constitutes Halford's "has taken reasonable steps to maintain physical attractiveness" as a descriptor of what a person should do.

Heebie's take: First off, a better blogger than I would locate and link to the comment. The original context was a lecture about QUASARS, for attractive adults to mill around with martinis in their hands.

In general, the answer is going to be nearly completely context-dependent, some manifestations of which are fair and some of which are unfair. But that would make a boring thread.

Let's invert the question: at what level of polish would you start to feel awkward and self-conscious? For me, it's business class: if the women were all wearing heels, business suits, and had manicures, I would be self-conscious and feel like I stuck out. Fortunately that never comes up.


 

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Yes, yes, I'm privileged.

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 01.24.13

This is embarrassing, but I'm going to go ahead with it anyway. It was revealed in a conversation on Monday that in practice, I didn't think there was a difference between being working class and being poor. In other words, I described a mutual acquaintance as being poor, and my friend squawked "What?! She's not poor!" and then we started down this path.

What made me (unthinkingly) classify her as poor is that she's got two shit jobs - cleaning houses and being a lunch lady, and they live in several stuck-together trailer houses (although I think they own the land. Not in a trailer park.) Her husband's job doesn't strike me as a shit job necessarily - he's a handy-man of sorts - but he doesn't speak much English so I have no idea how steady work is, during (say) a housing recession.

What made my friend classify them as working class is that they've got two basically stable incomes and stable housing. She said, with a bit of outrage, that under my definition she'd grown up poor, and in fact she hadn't.

Intellectually I've long distinguished working between being working class and being poor, but in practice I've lumped actual individuals all together into poor, basically if they had jobs that I think would basically suck. (So pink-collar jobs seemed working class to me, especially if there is a second family income, but custodial and retail seem poor. Not ALL retail but you get the idea.)


 

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Chappelle-off

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 01.23.13

From Von Wafer.

A Battle for the Best Chappelle's Show Sketch Ever Sixty-four sketches. One winner. Ten years later, we determine the champ.

Heebie's take: I really ought to like the Chappelle Show because I'm hilarious and a nonstop riot, and because he's a tragic, sympathetic likable person. But I've never been able to get why it's funny. It's funny?


 

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Insomnia

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 01.23.13

Melatonin is amazing. I haven't had insomnia once since I started taking it two weeks ago. I still wake up fifty times a night, but I can roll over and easily fall back asleep. All the studies are inconclusive, so my theory is that:
1. either there are too many causes of insomnia for melatonin to make a conclusive difference, but it happens to be exactly what my deficiency is, or
2. placebo effect. It really seems real, but who knows. (In my heart of hearts, I know it's working.)


 

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As Much As The Rest Of The World Put Together, Apparently

Posted by LizardBreath
on 01.23.13

Jill Lepore has an article in the New Yorker asking how large the US military really needs to be:

The United States spends more on defense than all the other nations of the world combined. Between 1998 and 2011, military spending doubled, reaching more than seven hundred billion dollars a year--more, in adjusted dollars, than at any time since the Allies were fighting the Axis. The 2011 Budget Control Act, which raised the debt ceiling and created both the fiscal cliff and a Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, which was supposed to find a way to steer clear of it, required four hundred and eighty-seven billion dollars in cuts to military spending, spread over the next ten years. The cliff-fall mandates an additional defense-budget reduction of fifty-five billion dollars annually. None of these cuts have gone into effect. McKeon has been maneuvering to hold the line.

This is one of those conversations like gun control, where people who favor insane amounts of military spending treat anyone who disagrees as too hopelessly ignorant to engage with. I've never been able to understand what the giant military is supposed to be doing that does the country any tangible good -- it gives us more foreign policy options, I suppose, but not ones that turn out well. But in any public discussion of the issue, that sort of question gets dismissed as hopelessly naive. (Thanks to Von Wafer to pointing me to the article.)


 

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Guest Post - 40th anniversary of Roe v Wade

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 01.22.13

Will writes: What?!?!??! No Roe v. Wade thread?? 40th Anniversary.

Planned Parenthood and NARAL are corporate entities. Their interests are not always aligned with the independent clinics. In fact, they have opened clinics that compete with the little guys.

I am here to suggest that maybe your dollars would be better spent on other reproductive rights organizations.

The Center for Reproductive Rights. Bad ass lawyers fighting for reproductive rights. They are the organizations that represents the independent clinics on the forefront of the reproductive rights battles.

"The Center for Reproductive Rights uses the law to advance reproductive freedom as a fundamental human right that all governments are legally obligated to protect, respect, and fulfill."

Great place for information distribution.

They are loud and they are not afraid to stir it up:

The Richmond Reproductive Freedom Project seeks to further reproductive justice by providing practical and financial support for abortion services in Virginia and surrounding communities. RRFP strives to be a resource to the community by engaging in grassroots advocacy for the full spectrum of reproductive rights.

Heebie's take: I am properly chagrined.


 

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Guest Post - a mandible, a plant, a candle: eldnacplantnamible!

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 01.22.13

K-Sky writes: Four scotch and seven yeomen ago our faults brought forth on this contortion a new natter, conceived in licence, and dedicated to the prosecution that all mandates are created equal.


 

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Two bits

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 01.22.13

I find myself unable to share anything from the "I fucking love science" feed on FB because that name annoys me so deeply.

This guy covertly filmed an entire movie at Disney.

Update: Make that three bits. That has got to be one of the goofiest accents I've ever heard in my life, coming from a student just now. I'm betting Beaumont.


 

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the drum major instinct

Posted by Ben
on 01.21.13

Per tradition.


 

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Are you better off than your parents?

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 01.21.13

I was trying to analyze Hawaii's and Hokey Pokey's degree of financial luxury, compared to my own childhood. Most notably, my parents sent us to private school periodically when they became unsatisfied with the public schools (in elementary school) and that would be a big strain on Jammies and me. Secondarily, I grew up in a bigger house with a bigger yard around it, although in other ways the neighborhoods and towns are similar. OTOH, Jammies and I eat out at restaurants somewhat more than they did. (They don't like cheap restaurants, though, and we do.) Vacation-wise, we stack up about the same, insofar as most of our family vacation is dominated by travelling to see family strewn across long distances. On the whole, I think I'm mostly at the same level as they were at this stage of life.


 

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Belts

Posted by Ben
on 01.20.13

The war became total, and patriotic citizenry in belted uniforms provided the fodder for cannons. In this sense, the belted trousers were inevitable. They are the very essence of modernity, crowning 300 years of advanced political thought.


 

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Unfoggedydodocon

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 01.20.13

The house is booked! For May 24-27. Email me (use heebie dot geebie at gmail) and I'll send you the VRBO listing. We're going to Washington DC.

Poll results:
I would be 80% likely to attend a meet-up in Washington DC
50 said Yes
25 said No

I would be 80% likely to attend a meet-up in Baltimore
44 said Yes
30 said No

I would be 80% likely to attend a meet-up in Pittsburgh
43 said Yes
30 said No

Memorial Day Weekend is fine with me.
68 said Yes
8 said No

Of course, what we need to know is how those 8 Nos affected the city rankings above...

Minus the 8 people who can't attend that weekend anyway:

I would be 80% likely to attend a meet-up in Washington DC
43 said Yes
24 said No

I would be 80% likely to attend a meet-up in Baltimore
38 said Yes
28 said No

I would be 80% likely to attend a meet-up in Pittsburgh
39 said Yes
26 said No

(...I really did fret over this, because the margins are so small and Pittsburgh is cheaper and really nice commenters offered to open up their houses and accomodate people. But in the end, I decided that you live by the survey, you die by the survey, and not to second-guess it.)


 

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Nomenclature

Posted by Ben
on 01.20.13

As is well known, in America the spelling "gray" is favored, whereas abroad the spelling "grey" is favored. As is perhaps less well known, some people (I count myself among them) ignore national barriers and use both spellings, favoring "grey" for some determinates of the determinable and "gray" for other ds. of the d. (Languagehat somewhere objected to this practice, I think, which is something that, had another done it, I suspect he would have decried.) As is almost certainly not all that well known, certain metal bands, I gather mostly in the pacific northwest metal scene (maybe in the pacific northwest "enviro-metal" (ha ha) scene that brought us Ash Borer and Wolves in the Throne Room?) have taken to calling themselves "grey metal". I am aware of two (2) different local-press articles about this phenomenon, but I have read neither of them, preferring to determine from first principles and immediate intuition what bands make grey metal—and also, what bands make gray metal.

Thus:

Grey metal: Alcest; Lifelover; Lurker of Chalice; Danishmendt
Gray metal: Grief No Absolution; Wrnlrd; Fell Voices; Locrian

Now you know.

Lifelover's Sjukdom is a good album.


 

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The Reminiscence Bump

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 01.20.13

The way I've always thought about this phenomenon is that your twenties make for the best (read: most popular) content for TV, movies and music. In contrast, having small children makes for the absolute worst content for popular media. You just cannot have an interesting story line and a toddler with any significant screen time. (Witness the slow death of my personal blog.)

So maybe there's something more biological going on, but I doubt it. I think your twenties are just the typical time for 1) the novelty of adulthood to be fresh, and 2) the dreariness of parenting to provide a sharp contrast in many people's memories. Oh, and 3) everyone's still good-looking.


 

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