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Happy Valentine's Day!

Posted by Ben
on 02.14.15

Last night without sight of you my brain was ablaze.
My tears trickled and fell plip on the ground. That I with
sighing might bring my life to a close they would name
you and again and again speak your name till
with night's coming all eyes closed save mine whose every
hair pierced my scalp like a lancet. That was
not wine I drank far from your sight but my heart's
blood gushing into the cup. Wall and door wherever
I turned my eyes scored and decorated with shapes
of you. To dream of Laila Majnun prayed for
sleep. My senses came and went but neither your
face saw I nor would your fantom go from me.
Now like aloes my heart burned, now smoked as a censer.
Where was the morning gone that used on other nights
to breathe till the horizon paled? Sa'di!
Has then the chain of the Pleiades broken
tonight that every night is hung on the sky's neck?


 

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V Day

Posted by Ogged
on 02.14.15

It's almost a shame to post something so juicy on a weekend, but it is Valentine's Day.

Follow-up. And the questions.


 

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Messiness

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 02.14.15

One of our commenters sends in The Stanford Undergrad and the Mentor. I've got no idea what to make of it. Dysfunctional relationship varies wildly between the two accounts? I've got no way to resolve the gap between the two versions, so I've got nothing.


 

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Energy

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 02.13.15

I just remembered something - a doctor's appointment I had in the fall of 2013. Kid #3 was a baby, it was midsemester, and I was so chronically exhausted that I made a doctor's appointment, as sort of a hail mary. I was hoping for a thyroid condition or something, I don't know what.

I believe they did test my thyroid levels, but mostly the doctor said, "I'll indulge you if it makes you feel better, but really, welcome to life with three kids." Nothing came of it.

1. During the next pregnancy, my iron/B12 levels were fine at the beginning*, but low about halfway through. So I've been on supplements for that ever since.
2. Around the time #4 was born, I started eating mostly paleo.
3. Right now I've been doing strength training for a year and a half. Back in the fall of 2013, it had been about 3 months.

I don't know how to parse those three factors, but I feel like a completely different person, energy-wise, from when I made that doctor's appointment. God, energy level is such a crucial part of your quality of life.

(Also, I'm a little irritated that the doctor was so cheerfully resigned to my plight back in 2013, even though I don't know what she should have done. But I'm not a doctor, so how would I know? Mostly I would have liked to have been taken a little more seriously.)

*I question whether or not these levels were fine at the beginning, for the record. That seems like the most obvious thing that might have been off, in 2013.


 

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Guest Post - What would it take?

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 02.13.15

Sir Kraab writes: What would it take, militarily, to defeat ISIS/ISIL? I'm putting aside for a moment 1) the long-term blowback of different scenarios and 2) whether there is the political will in any particular country.

So what would it take, semi-realistically? (E.g., Jordan isn't going to send its entire air force to one place, Japan isn't going to reduce its military capability in some disputed areas, South American countries that don't see anything at stake for themselves aren't suddenly going to jump into the fray.)

Could Iran and Jordan do it together? (I'm picking those two out of the air.) Is Turkey crucial because of its proximity? Would arming the populations toward which ISIS is advancing make a meaningful difference? Does there need to be significant U.S. and/or Western European participation? Etc.

This isn't specifically in response to Obama requesting war powers; it's something I've been wondering about for a while.

Heebie's take: I have no idea! I've fully come around to Apostropher's isolationist philosophy. Mostly because we can't meddle without causing more damage that we are supposedly alleviating.


 

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Doomed

Posted by Ogged
on 02.12.15

Doooooomed.

Here's a handy summary.

"Even when selecting for the worst megadrought-dominated period, the 21st century projections make the megadroughts seem like quaint walks through the Garden of Eden."


 

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Athletic feats

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 02.12.15

This video of Sergei Polunin dancing to Take Me to Church has been all over my Facebook feed, so I finally watched it. He's incredibly athletic, but the heavy-emotion-ballet combo doesn't itself knock me out.

BUT. There is one move at 2:18 or so that does knock me out. He gets a running start for a few steps, and then puts one foot toes down - ie toenails against the floor but still standing upright, on that one foot - and glides like that for a few feet. It's basically the full-body equivalent of a glissando on the piano. Unreal.


 

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Vamlumtimes Day

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 02.12.15

Oh, I know you guys hate over-generalized statistics applied as how-to-live articles. But I like the first half of this post:

Dissatisfied single people should actually consider themselves in a neutral, fairly hopeful position, compared to what their situation could be. A single person who would like to find a great relationship is one step away from it, with their to-do list reading, "1) Find a great relationship." People in unhappy relationships, on the other hand, are three leaps away, with a to-do list of "1) Go through a soul-crushing break-up. 2) Emotionally recover. 3) Find a great relationship." Not as bad when you look at it that way, right?

which we've discussed here before, and:

So when you take a bunch of people who aren't that good at knowing what they want in a relationship, surround them with a society that tells them they have to find a life partner but that they should under-think, under-explore, and hurry up, and combine that with biology that drugs us as we try to figure it out and promises to stop producing children before too long, what do you get? A frenzy of big decisions for bad reasons and a lot of people messing up the most important decision of their life.

The second half of the post isn't as compelling to me, where they describe typical patterns of failing relationships.

Maybe we can all dissect our failed relationships here. Then they all have a happy ending: we broke up!


 

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Look like us!

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 02.12.15

I looked up an old acquaintance last night. Last I heard, circa 2005, she had opened a successful clothing boutique on the LES of Manhattan with another friend. Since then, they built a website for the store, but then let the website die. (I think the bricks and mortar store is still open.)

At the website, this is what it says under "fit":

R/uby (curly hair) bust 34 waist 28 hips 34 height 5'8" weight 132 on a good day.
S/ummer (the other one) bust 34 waist 27 height 5'3" weight 125 last time I was on a scale
Typically our products fit ranges between sizes 2 - 8, with the smallest point being the waist. We try to use elastic or ties when possible to allow for a varied fit.

Apparently, their business model is to sew clothes, individually unique items, using themselves for sizing, and so you can shop with them only if you can fit into clothes that fit them.

I find this irritating, but maybe I shouldn't. They seem to do well enough to stay in business. Is this capitalism at its finest and I'm just having petty old jealousy? Or is it obnoxious of them, given that they are both extremely slender and exclusive, high end clothes tend to be limited to very slender people? Probably somewhere in between.


 

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Stairwell Cop Indicted

Posted by LizardBreath
on 02.11.15

Remember the NYPD officer who accidentally killed a guy in a NYC Housing Authority stairwell? I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, of the news events where police officers killed people last year, Liang is probably, I would think, the least bad person -- it appears that he genuinely shot Gurley accidentally. So there's something weird about this being the one cop who gets indicted, and for second-degree manslaughter yet.

On the other hand, it's probably a good case for genuinely changing NY police culture in a concretely productive way. Gurley seems to have died because Liang was prowling around with his gun out for no good reason (and then pulled the trigger for no reason at all), and communicating that behaving stupidly and recklessly (as opposed to intentionally aggressively) with your gun will get you hung out to dry, seems like it might effectively encourage better behavior from the rest of the force. On this specific point, it's plausible that there's not a lot of emotional investment from police generally in their right to handle their guns carelessly and incompetently.


 

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In Other News

Posted by Ogged
on 02.11.15

"Anti-theist" shitbag in North Carolina executes three young adults who happen to be Muslim.


 

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Fog

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 02.11.15

Super dense fog sure is scary to drive in. Not today, but twice it's been so bad on my way to work that I couldn't see any lines on the road, and was at a loss for what to do. Both times I inched along and eventually drove out of the worst of it.


 

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Marquette University

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 02.10.15

Professor gets his tenure revoked over a blog post. Basically, an ornery undergrad gets into it with their TA over gay marriage, and surreptitiously records the conversation. The undergrad then talks to a professor, who then writes a blog post that whole-heartedly supports the student and not the grad student. The professor then has their tenure revoked.

The whole things feels like wildly many details are being left out. Except for one part, which is why I'm posting it: omg that transcript of the student and grad student discussing gay marriage makes me want to run screaming from the room, and that is why I try to only discuss political with people who agree with me 95%.


 

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Loyalty

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 02.10.15

I have a treatise on loyalty I've been meaning to write for a while, but I can't quite figure it out. Something about how, over the past decade, it's become much more important to me to bide time with an acquaintance for much longer before deciding if they're worth being close friends with. Along with this is that I finally see loyalty as a virtue - before I considered it only to be that unquestioning military devotion to authority, but now I see it differently in certain contexts. Within friends, "loyalty" now means to me "you've earned a status where I'm going to be extra thoughtful and give you more TLC than I'd give to just any old person."

The kind of person I now exclude from the inner circle (and used to include) is the super-charismatic people who momentarily become your best friend. I now have exceedingly little patience for that kind of charm, but I used to love it, because it seemed so special to be on the receiving end - like their attention was a scarce resource and they were spending it on me. I also envied it, because it seemed like a kind of power.

(It turns out that there are charismatic friends who are not assholes, which is nice, and also plain old nice friends who aren't necessarily charismatic.)


 

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Research

Posted by Ogged
on 02.09.15

Two results that might be interesting, though who can tell from the coverage.

--Here's a paper on the emergence of "norms" and those of you who have access to the paper might be able to tell us the details, because the journalists keep talking about how names become popular, even though that's an instance where many people are trying not to conform to a norm.

--The author of this next one has all his degrees from the U of C, including law and economics, so this is probably lies, all lies, but in trying to understand why the prison population has gone up, he says the data points at one thing above others.

What appears to happen during this time--the years I look at are 1994 to 2008, just based on the data that's available--is that the probability that a district attorneys file a felony charge against an arrestee goes from about 1 in 3, to 2 in 3. So over the course of the '90s and 2000s, district attorneys just got much more aggressive in how they filed charges. Defendants who they would not have filed felony charges against before, they now are charging with felonies. I can't tell you why they're doing that. No one's really got an answer to that yet. But it does seem that the number of felony cases filed shoots up very strongly, even as the number of arrests goes down.

 

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Return of SWPL

Posted by Ogged
on 02.09.15

Why, as stoves get fancier, do they get wider instead of deeper? Don't you most often find that your large pan keeps you from putting something non-tiny on the burner behind it? On a standard 21" deep, four-burner stove, a 12" frying pan effectively occupies two burners, unless what you want to put behind it is tiny. (This paragraph sounds like a dirty joke I can't finish.)

The good folks at Thermador are here to help with their "commercial depth" range. But if you own that stove and aren't running a catering business out of your home, there's a 99% chance that you're a bad person.

Similarly, you could mix and match these modular burners to your satisfaction, but...same problem.

What, cooks of Unfogged, do you do?


 

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Brazilians

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 02.08.15

Women's prison mass jail break after inmates in dominatrix gear handcuff male guards expecting 'mass orgy'.

Twenty-eight inmates escaped from a Brazilian jail after three women in fantasy police costumes "seduced" prison wardens, it was reported today. Police found three wardens naked and handcuffed inside the Nova Mutum public jail, near Cuiaba, central Brazil, the morning after the mass break-out.

On the one hand, maybe the women were fantastically convincing. On the other hand, maybe the guards were amazingly egotistical when considering what might motivate a prisoner. Either way, I'm glad it happened.

Via Jammies


 

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