August 26, 2012
AT AMAZON, Digital Deals.
AT AMAZON, Digital Deals.
DIVORCE: Worse for children than the death of a parent?
OOPS, I NEARLY FORGOT: Happy Birthday to Todd Steed!
HMM: Box office shocker. 2016 Obama’s America at #3? “This film only cost $2.5M to make and it looks like it’s going to have taken in nearly four times that amount by the time the convention kicks off. It’s a fairly remarkable story.”
80% of life, and 100% of politics, is showing up. This is more evidence of who’s showing up this year.
UPDATE: Reader Michael Ubaldi writes: “I saw it with a friend this afternoon. The theater was easily three-quarters full. We were among a handful without gray hair, but for me, the D’Souza film matters in the same way the Chick-fil-A support day did: unanticipated conservative turnout.”
21ST CENTURY RELATIONSHIPS: Help! My Boyfriend Doesn’t Think It’s OK for Me To Be Kinky Just Because I’m a Mom. I don’t think the Ayn Rand reference fits here, though . . . .
AT AMAZON, warehouse deals on Kitchen Tools & Gadgets.
Also, today only: Cuisinart All-Foods 12,000-BTU Tabletop Propane Gas Grill, $119.
THE FIVE KEYS TO FACULTY JOB-SATISFACTION. I’ll add one more: Outside income. When I first got tenure, I talked to the older guys who seemed happy in their positions to try to figure out what worked, and all of them mentioned that. It doesn’t have to be a lot — a few thousand bucks a year is enough, really — the key is to feel sufficiently independent that you don’t become one of those people who obsess over whether this year’s raise is two percent or two-and-a-half. And yes, such people exist. They’re not among the happy faculty, though. . . .
AT AMAZON, most popular coupon deals.
WHERE SHOULD THE GOP GO? JOIN THE CONVERSATION.
FIGHTING WRINKLES with snake venom.
BRENDAN LOY KEEPS BLOGGING ON ISAAC: New Orleans under Hurricane Warning, but plans to “shelter in place.” “New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu did his best Ray Nagin impression Sunday, announcing a no-evacuation, ‘shelter in place’ plan that suggests a stunning level of confidence that a worst-case scenario won’t happen, at a time when it remains, meteorologically speaking, very much in play.”
WE KEEP RUNNING INTO THIS PROBLEM: NIH superbug outbreak highlights lack of new antibiotics. “Experts point to three reasons pharmaceutical companies have pulled back from antibiotics despite two decades of screaming alarms from the public health community: There is not much money in it; inventing new antibiotics is technically challenging; and, in light of drug safety concerns, the FDA has made it difficult for companies to get new antibiotics approved.”
But the story spins it as a failure of capitalism. Excuse me?
HOW TO START LUCID DREAMING.
FASTER PLEASE: Smart Sutures That Detect Infections. “Plastic or silk threads covered with temperature sensors and micro-heaters could keep tabs on infections and provide therapy.”
NEWS YOU CAN USE: 7 Signs You’re An Overbearing Girlfriend.
THE QUIET HELL of extreme meditation.
REAL LIFE SLEEPING BEAUTIES: “An art installation in Kiev features five real-life sleeping beauties – who have to marry a man who kisses them if they open their eyes. The women are to lie ‘sleeping’ for three days as part of artist Taras Polataiko’s installation in the National Art Museum of Ukraine. As they sleep, men survey and kiss the women, trying to wake them, reports the Daily Telegraph. If the sleeping beauties open their eyes, both man and woman are contractually obliged to tie the knot.”
THE NEW CRASH TEST that will change your next car.
NEWS YOU CAN USE: 10 Dirty Negotiation Tactics And How To Beat Them.
NATURE’S ANTIDEPRESSANT: A controversial new study finds that women who regularly have unprotected sex are healthier, happier, and generally sleep better than women who don’t. “Apparently, semen is rich in chemicals that help increase a partner’s happiness, mood, and even quality of sleep.” This hypothesis isn’t really new.
IN THE MAIL: From Quent Cordair, Lunch Break: Short Stories & Poems.
STANDING UP AGAINST SEXISM IN THE NEW YORK TIMES.
Related: Anti-Mormon Obama Supporter Threatens Yours Truly. “Threatening legal action against bloggers is par for the course for folks who feel they’ve been exposed.” Yep.
READER PATRICK CARROLL EMAILS ON FOOD PRICES:
I’m the cook for my family, always have been. My wife refused to learn how to cook, while I was taught by a Cypriot Greek when I came to the US to work on my summer vacations while going to university in Ireland.
While working for Sophocles (yes, that was his name), I learned how to cook for large groups of people. Working for Sophocles, the typical recipe started with “Render two sheep into one inch cubes……” This serves me well today, as I make meals for a family. Typically, I cook “by the vat.” I cook a load of food of a single type, and we live off it for the week. Then I do something else. This weekend I was getting ready to cook my vat, so I went to Publix looking for deals. There were great deals on pasta and pasta sauces, so pasta it is for this week. Normally I take the shop pasta sauces and augment them with garlic, mushrooms, onions, other herbs, and ground beef. Weekends are a good time to buy ground beef because you can get the ground beef that’s about to go out of date for a decent price. I’m cooking for a group. Price is a consideration.
This weekend, I found the on-sale (i.e., about to go out of date) ground beef at over $5.00 per pound. This is about 60% over the normal price. I’m buying about half the normal amount of beef and adding more veg (ok, onion) to compensate.
The press may not talk about inflation in food prices, but it’s happening.
Yes, I do our grocery shopping and I’m frequently appalled. The other thing that appalls me is how surreally low the interest rates banks are touting have gotten — 0.5% on a CD! Woohoo! If we had a Republican president, the press would be full of tear-jerking reports about senior citizens being squeezed between rising food prices and rock-bottom interest rates as a result of his horrible economic policies. But since we have a Democrat in the White House, it’s just one of those things that happen, waddyagonnado?
UPDATE: Reader Chris Fox writes: “If you think food prices are high now, wait until you see meat prices next year. We actually expect beef prices to drop as ranchers liquidate their herds this summer after running out of pasture. Corn prices are just too high to profitably feed the cattle and sell them at current beef prices. You’ll get a drop in prices this year, and a spike next year, as the beef glut turns into a shortage. We in the financial industry have been talking about this for months. I’m starting to see articles in the regular papers discussing same.”
Fill your freezer when prices drop. And I guess this is a good time to post that Strategic Shopping link again.
MORE ON ISAAC from Brendan Loy.
Funny, not long ago Crist was predicting a Carteresque loss for Obama this year.
ROMNEY: Obama Not Even Trying Any More.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney accused President Obama on Saturday of giving up on trying to fix the economy, saying he had “admitted defeat.”
In his weekly podcast, Romney pounced on a recent government report, which found that the unemployment rate rose in 44 states last month.
He accused Obama of blaming the “stalemate in Washington” instead of working to boost job creation.
“With millions of Americans hurting like never before, the President has admitted defeat. With five months to go before his term his up, he’s saying he won’t even try anymore,” Romney claimed.
I think that’s a base calumny. Obama is trying just as hard now as he ever has.
JOHN LUCAS IS walking across Switzerland.
PICADOR STRATEGY UPDATE: Tell It To The Ear. “There is a possibility that Barack Obama, know affectionately in some circles as the JEF, or Jug-Eared, uhh, Flop, is a bit sensitive about his cranial protuberances. Since Obama is laughably thin-skinned, commenter bgates has suggested the following speech for Romney.”
ED DRISCOLL WANTS TO BELIEVE, but warns don’t get cocky.
SHOCKER: Democrat Men For Romney.
PROPOSED GOP PLATFORM includes Internet freedom language.
N.Y. TIMES OMBUDSMAN: Say, we’re just a bunch of lefty shills, aren’t we?
JIM TREACHER MOCKS MOVEON AND THEIR “AMERICA IS BETTER THEN BIRTHERISM” BANNER.
Hey, don’t knock it. I hear it was a big hit in Oiho.
RAND SIMBERG on Neil Armstrong.
ILYA SOMIN: Would the North be better off without the South? “Whether Thompson’s argument is correct depends in part on your political ideology. If your overriding objective is to have a more left-wing federal government, it’s hard to deny that southern secession would accomplish that goal for the remainder of the United States. The nonsouthern electorate is significantly to the left of the present total US voting population (which of course includes the South). Otherwise, Thompson’s position is dubious at best. In recent decades, the southern states have had higher economic growth and income growth than the North, and many northerners – including even many African-Americans – have voted with their feet for the South because of its greater economic opportunities, lower taxes and regulations, and much cheaper home prices (caused in large part by looser zoning restrictions in southern cities). Without the South, the US would lose a great deal of its economic dynamism.”
IS ANYTHING THESE PEOPLE ARE FLOATING TRUE? NY Times – Romney Has Been Paying Federal Taxes For Last Decade. But here’s the key bit: “Meanwhile, Harry Reid’s office maintains its devastating silence on his alleged pedophilia.”
It happens all the time in talk radio: a caller will say that he is a lifelong Republican, and will recall fondly how he voted for Ronald Reagan. Then he says that today’s Republicans have gone too far, and for the first time ever he is voting for a Democrat! These callers are nearly always lying. If you look them up, you likely will find that they are Democratic Party precinct chairmen.
The Obama campaign is trying to perpetrate the same deception. It has just released a video called Republican Women For Obama, which features four or five women who claim to be Republicans, or to have been Republicans until recently. But, of course, they are appalled by Mitt Romney–it is hard to say why, apart from a couple of discreet references to abortion, but did they really just now figure out that the Republican Party is pro-life? The ad is surprisingly ineffective, but it is also dishonest.
That makes sense. If 2008 was “Hope and change,” then the hallmark of 2012 is “Surprisingly ineffective, but dishonest.”
YESTERDAY I NOTED THE PAUL RYAN “MATH” T-SHIRT. Today, a reader sends this picture from the Minnesota State Fair:
DO LAW SCHOOLS CONSIDER APPLICANTS “HOLISTICALLY?” No. “I really don’t know how Dorf and his co-authors can claim this. It’s common knowledge that law school admissions at the vast majority of law schools comes down almost entirely to GPA and LSATs, with allowances for affirmative action preferences, relatives of generous alumni, and, at state universities, for politically connected applicants. This was largely true even when I went to law school over twenty years ago, but concern over U.S. News rankings, which heavily weight GPA and LSAT, have made it even more so. . . . In any event, the AALS brief describes an idealized law school admissions process that exists at few if any law schools (Yale, I think, has so many hyper-qualified applicants to choose from for its small class, and such an idiosyncratic process with significant faculty input, that it may come close). Not surprisingly, the brief fails to cite any studies or data showing that law schools do, in fact, consider ‘each applicant’s record holistically,’ and I’m surprised that the AALS would put forth this idealized process as it were standard practice.”
PAUL RYAN’S LIFE, BELIEFS, AND JOB AT MICKEY D’S: Beldar: “There’s nothing exotic about Paul Ryan’s past. There’s nothing radical or strange about his background. Paul Ryan’s personal history is typically American — and it is one that will resonate as strongly with black or Latino families as with whites.”
MORE NEWS YOU CAN USE: Ask A Tattoo Artist: What You Should Know Before You Get An Anal Tattoo.
THE DISCOVERY PROCESS SHOULD BE INTERESTING: Michael “Hockey Stick” Mann Threatens to File Suit Against His Critics.
NEWS YOU CAN USE: How to License Your Instagram Photos on Creative Commons.
AT AMAZON, markdowns on Men’s & Women’s Shoes.
WHITHER ISAAC? We Still Don’t Know.
LAYERS OF EDITORS AND FACT-CHECKERS: NBC Reports On Death of Astronaut Neil Young.
UPDATE: A pic.
21ST CENTURY RELATIONSHIPS: “My Boyfriend is having a Baby with Another Woman.”
NEIL ARMSTRONG has died.
BOOST YOUR MEMORY by spacing out for a bit.
WOULD SOMEBODY EXPLAIN TO THE OBAMA-BIDEN CAMPAIGN the difference between “then” and “than.” Please?
But remember, they’re supposed to be the intellectuals. . . .
BOND WITH A SUPERHERO, get a more confident body image. “What’s more, those who identified with a particular superhero, and saw the muscular version of the character, exhibited greater strength on the hand-grip test than their fellow devotees who either (a) viewed the non-muscular image, or (b) viewed the muscular image of the alternate hero. Seeing the figure they identify with as strapping inspired them to their own feat of strength.”
ORIGINAL LOCATIONS of some classic fast-food chains.
IN THE MAIL: From Michael Williamson, When Diplomacy Fails.
NOBODY TELL ANDREW SULLIVAN: American Academy of Pediatrics Endorses Circumcision.
YOU DON’T NEED A WEATHERMAN TO SEE WHICH WAY THE WIND BLOWS: Hollywood bailing on President Obama and the Democratic National Convention.
Also, today only: Up to 70% Off eBooks for College Students.
THE FOLKS AT REDSTATE HAVE RELAUNCHED FOR THEIR 8TH YEAR.
IF AN ARMED CITIZEN HAD DONE THIS, BLOOMBERG WOULD BE SQUEALING IN OUTRAGE: Police Decision To Shoot In Midtown Left 9 Wounded. “As the two officers confronted a gunman in front of the Empire State Building on a busy Friday morning, they had to make a snap decision: Do they open fire in the middle of Midtown? From a distance of less than 10 feet, the officers, Craig Matthews and Robert Sinishtaj, answered in unison; one shot nine times and the other seven. Investigators believe at least 7 of those 16 bullets struck the gunman, said Paul J. Browne, the Police Department’s chief spokesman. But the officers also struck some, if not all, of the nine bystanders who were wounded.”
I’m not saying they did the wrong thing, because I don’t think they did. I’m just saying that if it had been a private citizen, rather than a pair of government employees with government guns, this would be treated very differently by Bloomberg and the press.
UPDATE: I’m getting a lot of email here suggesting that NYPD can’t shoot. That may or may not be true, but I don’t think this incident proves anything. From a distance of “less than 10 feet” (the NYT story says 8 feet, but it’s not like anyone was measuring) I can put 16 out of 16 rounds into the x-ring pretty much every time, even one-handed with my left hand. But that’s at the range, with nobody shooting at me. Being out and about, with your blood pumping, and facing someone else who’s pointing a gun at you, it’s a whole different story.
That said, I’ve seen a fair number of “trained law enforcement professionals” shoot, and generally speaking their skills aren’t particularly impressive.
I GUESS HE DIDN’T GET THE WORD THAT PRESIDENT OBAMA SAYS CANDIDATES’ KIDS ARE OFF LIMITS: Nathan Lane Insults Romney’s Kids. Quoth Lane: “She can’t get through the day without Vicodin, Adderall, Percocet, Xanax and Oxycodone—which, oddly enough, also happens to be the names of Mitt Romney’s five children.” Worse than tasteless, that joke isn’t even funny. But, of course, any slap at a Republican will get laughs from a Dem audience, funny or not. That makes ‘em lazy.
FAIRLY: How Unsettling Is it That Doctors Wear Scrubs to Whole Foods? “Not that it matters particularly that they’re scrubs; it’s more the fact that they didn’t change out of what they wore when they were around sick people and contaminated things. They have to be bringing some infectious organisms with them a fair amount of the time.”
UPDATE: Reader Jeffrey Lang writes: “Presumably they are clean scrubs. I wear them at work and might change them 3 times during the day if they get dirty. If I was to wear them home, I grab new ones on my way out. There are huge piles of clean laundered scrubs to choose from. Doctors and nurses are surprisingly hygienic. Sometimes they even wash their hands! Labcoats on the other hand are a different story……..” Well, that’s not what the linked story says, but your results may vary.
PUNCHING BACK: David Koch: Speaking Your Piece: A Civic Duty.
POLL: Scott Brown surges ahead of Elizabeth Warren, who’s looking more and more like Martha Coakley. “All in all, there is a sense in the air that resembles what took place in early January 2010 when the political world collectively came to the realization that the Democrats had nominated a seriously flawed candidate, and were up against a guy with a unique political talent and ability to connect with the folks. Make no mistake, Warren’s bizarre handling of her false claim to Native American ancestry has compounded if not caused the problem, as it revealed a personality defect which is not very becoming.”
HOW THE TEA PARTY may boost Romney’s ground game.
AT THE HUFFINGTON POST, TAKING A STAND: In Defense of Anal Tattoos. “Frankly, I’m a little envious of Maria’s comfort with who she is, what she’s done, and where she’s done it. Not only is she talking about her anus out loud; she’s talking about what she’s done with it. . . . You go, girl! Inhibitions, insecurities, and self-consciousness rob too many of us of the joy of living fully and doing what we want, whether or not what we want includes inking up an orifice.”
JOHN STEELE GORDON ON WHY OBAMA HASN’T BEEN ABLE TO DEMONIZE ROMNEY AND OPEN UP A LEAD: “Since the so-called recovery began in June 2009, the median household income has fallen by 4.8 percent. That’s more than it fell during the recession (2.6 percent). . . . It’s tough to get people to vote for a president whose economic policies have produced only ‘an unprecedented period of economic stagnation.’” At best.
21st CENTURY RELATIONSHPS: Just because you’re an adult-film actress doesn’t mean you can’t be a terrific mom..
AT AMAZON, warehouse deals in sporting goods.
THE RISE OF printable guns.
THAT’S OKAY, THEY’LL STILL CAST BALLOTS FOR HIM IN NOVEMBER: Obama has millions of fake Twitter followers.
CATHY YOUNG: What Liberals Don’t Understand About Ayn Rand. “One major misconception is that Rand worshipped the rich and saw moneymaking as life’s highest goal. In fact, most wealthy characters in her novels are pathetic, repulsive, or both: businessmen fattened on shady deals or government perks, society people who fill their empty lives with luxury. (There are also sympathetic poor and working-class characters.) . . . .To Rand, being ‘selfish’ meant being true to oneself, neither sacrificing one’s own desires nor trampling on others. Likewise, Rand’s stance against altruism was not an assault on compassion so much as a critique of doctrines that subordinate the individual to a collective—state, church, community, or family.”
AT AMAZON, bestsellers in Biographies & Memoirs.
THE PRESS DOESN’T CARE MUCH NOW THAT WE’VE GOT A DEMOCRAT IN THE WHITE HOUSE, but people are still being killed and wounded in Afghanistan. If you’d like to help, support Project Valour-IT.
MORE SAD FALLOUT FROM THE OBAMA ECONOMY: Laid-off Employee in Mass Shooting At Empire State Building. #HowitwouldplayifObamawereGOP
WHAT THE PLANET HAS BEEN CLAMORING FOR: Sustainable Surfing.