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Jazz and Cocktails

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012 - by Stephen Green

It starts around one minute in, but watch the whole thing for the setup. And it’s amazing. Ella Fitzgerald and Mel Tormé presenting together at the 1976 Grammy Awards, but performing a scat duet of “Lady Be Good.”

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A couple years later, Tormé would record this number with Buddy Rich, with the lyric re-written as “Ella Be Good.” What an amazing record.

But this live performance? I can’t put it any better than one of the YouTube commenters, who wrote, “OH MY GOD. My face hurts from smiling SO HARD.” Yeah. That. The best part is, every single person in that auditorium, including that year’s winner, knew they just got absolutely schooled by two of the finest vocal performers in all of jazz history. And the ones who didn’t know it? They didn’t deserve to be at the Grammys.

To drink, we need something smooth, sophisticated, and sweet enough to match all the smiles.

Only — only — a Manhattan will do.

You’ll need:

2.5 ounces bourbon
1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
1 maraschino cherry (preferably with the stem still on, but my jar didn’t have any like that)
A cocktail shaker
Plenty of ice

Fill the shaker halfway with ice, then pour in your bourbon and vermouth. I happen to like Maker’s Mark for my Manhattans — anything fancier tends to get lost in the vermouth, so why bother?

Stir slowly and gently for ten seconds. Thou shalt not count to 11, nor count to nine, excepting as to then proceed to ten.

Do not break or chip the ice.

Strain into a martini glass and garnish with a single cherry.

Now rewind the video and play it again with your Manhattan. You’ll find both are improved immeasurably, along with your attitude.

Here’s the one I just made.

Cheers.

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Classic Rock and Jack Daniels: The ‘Stairway to Heaven’ Leads to the Kennedy Center Gala

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012 - by Myra Adams

What is it lately with Washington types obsessing over Led Zeppelin?

The Zep boys at their peak.

First it was Congressman/VP candidate Paul Ryan exclaiming that his iPod playlist “ends with Led Zeppelin” during his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention (RNC). This revelation caused a mini-ruckus and inspired the house-band to play the lamest version of the Led Zeppelin song “Rock and Roll” that I have ever heard.

Then, just last week the Kennedy Center announced the honorees for their upcoming Honors gala. This event (which I must admit I have attended several times, decades ago) affords the opportunity for Washington’s power elite to slobber all over A-list Hollywood types.

Washington Post reports:

The award is the nation’s highest honor for those who have influenced American culture through the arts. It comes with a dinner with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and a reception hosted by President Barack Obama.

So this year, honored in a group that includes Dustin Hoffman and David Letterman will be “the surviving members of the rock band Led Zeppelin.”

Washington Post continues:

The three surviving members of the Britain’s Led Zeppelin — John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant — are being honored for transforming the sound of rock and roll. They influenced many other bands with their innovative, blues-infused hits such as “Good Times Bad Times,” ‘’Immigrant Song,” ‘’Kashmir” and “Stairway to Heaven.”  The band, which has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, issued a joint statement saying America was the first place to embrace their music.

Led Zeppelin at the Kennedy Center Honors? I bet this band really did issue a “joint statement.”

These are the guys who practically invented the concept of sex, drugs and rock and roll – or at least elevated it to legendary new heights, while, along the way trashing hotel rooms and spawning several books on groupie exploits.

Does anyone remember the shark story? Now I am even more amazed to find a Wiki reference to this sordid tale.

Notice how the Washington Post mentions “three surviving members” of the band. Let’s take a moment now to remember drummer John Bonham who infamously died choking on his own vomit after 40 shots of vodka.

John Bonham at the drums.

Regular readers of this semi-absurd weekly series are now fully aware of my personal devotion (obsession?) with Led Zeppelin. But what is really getting weird is how the “universe” continues to place Led Zeppelin directly in my path.  (I know this all sounds totally “New Age” crazy but please hear me out!)

It all started while I was leaving for the RNC in Tampa and had finished writing (but had not yet sent to the editor) what was the third installment of this new series — a piece about the first Led Zeppelin album and its profound effects on the teen-age me in 1969.

Then mid-week after Paul Ryan mentioned Zeppelin during his RNC speech, the crowd went nuts, so I renamed the column and changed the ending.

Now, you could just chock that up to good timing, but stay with me here for this goes much deeper.

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Steven Crowder Has Sex

Friday, September 21st, 2012 - by Andrew Klavan

Scientists working in a secret laboratory around the clock have created an amazingly realistic female android programmed to show life-long affection for conservative comedian Steven Crowder. No other narrative is sufficient to explain the photograph above in which a young woman of breathtaking beauty seems for all the world actually to be marrying the guy. Believe me, Steven is a friend of mine and I can tell you from personal experience: There is absolutely no other way he scores a babe like that.

Now normally if a thought about Crowder’s sex life entered my mind I would naturally try to put out my eyes and pour boric acid into my ears in an attempt to clean out my brain. But hey, he started it. Writing at the Fox News Opinion blog (where apparently they let just anybody weigh in), Steven produced this provocative and extremely interesting post-marriage column called “Waiting for the Wedding Night — Getting Married the Right Way.”

Steven begins by confirming that, yes, he and his new missus waited to have sex until they were married — and then goes on to say that this is the right thing to do, as opposed to, you know, the wrong thing to do:

Feeling judged? I couldn’t care less. You know why? Because my wife and I were judged all throughout our relationship. People laughed, scoffed and poked fun at the young, celibate, naive Christian couple.

We’d certainly never make it to the wedding without schtupping, and if we did, our “wedding night would be awkward and terrible,” they said.

Turns out that people couldn’t have been more wrong. Looking back, I think that the women saying those things felt like the floozies they ultimately were, and the men, with their fickle manhood tied to their pathetic sexual conquests, felt threatened.

The column is worth reading in itself, but even more fascinating is the predictable reaction: the filth, hatred, and rage with which floozies and fickle manhood men have been responding in comments, blogs and on the entertaining @scrowder Twitter feed.

Obviously, such reactions tend to confirm Crowder’s outlook. Why hate on the guy if you don’t secretly feel ashamed of yourself?

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Walmart Pulls the Amazon Kindle ‘Trojan Horse’ From Shelves

Friday, September 21st, 2012 - by PJ Lifestyle Tech

via Wal-Mart stops selling Amazon Kindles | Reuters.

(Reuters) – Wal-Mart Stores Inc will no longer sell Amazon.com Inc’s Kindle eReaders and tablets, severing its relationship with a major competitor and placing a bet that consumers are more interested in Apple’s iPad and other gadgets.

The world’s largest retailer, which has been trying to catch up to Amazon in online sales, said the decision was consistent with its overall merchandising strategy.

Owners of Kindle tablets such as the new Kindle Fire HD can shop on the devices for millions of items beyond digital books. This allows Amazon to compete with stores on more lines of merchandise. This spring, Target Corp stopped selling the products.

Amazon has already tested physical stores for other goods. Now, with two large chains no longer selling Kindle, speculation has grown that the dominant online retailer could open its stores where shoppers could try out and buy Kindles.

Amazon “is a little bit of a Trojan horse” when the Kindle is sold in other stores, said Sucharita Mulpuru, retail analyst at Forrester Research. “They should have made this decision to not carry the Kindle a long time ago.”

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More technology on PJ Lifestyle:

‘What if Blowing One’s Nose into Soft Disposable Paper Were Owned by Kleenex?’

The 5 Most Fantastic Technical Advances Coming in Our Future of Abundance

89% of Kenyans Use Cell Phones

The Future of Computers: Goodbye Mouse and Keyboard, Hello Leap Motion


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Are Clint Eastwood’s Not-Trying-Too-Hard Movies Actually Better than His Oscar Films?

Friday, September 21st, 2012 - by John Boot

Clint Eastwood’s best picture since Gran Torino (zero Oscar nominations) is Trouble with the Curve, on the surface a baseball movie but really a defense of a kind of cultural conservatism that is quintessentially Clint. Eastwood plays Gus, a longtime talent scout whose prostate and eyesight are failing at roughly the same rate. By the end of the movie, he hasn’t done anything about these but he has shown some young hotshots a thing or two about experience, wisdom, and age.

Gus, a widower whose wife’s tombstone is inscribed “May the Lord grant you extra innings,” is in danger of losing his job (a fellow scout, played by John Goodman, even suggests this might be a good moment to retire) while in the process of scouting an arrogant small-town slugger (played to perfection by Joe Massingill) who figures to be a first-round draft pick.

Decrying the way that number-crunching knuckleheads like a younger competitor have no feel for the aspects of the game that don’t show up in statistics, Gus believes the human factor is the reason a young protegé is in a slump. So he arranges for the kid’s parents to come see him, and the problem is fixed. Standing in for every young spreadsheet geek (and, without being mentioned, Moneyball) is a rival scout played by Matthew Lillard of The Descendants, who can now boast of playing the sworn enemy of both Eastwood and George Clooney within the space of a year. Lillard’s character believes you can learn everything there is to know about a player without ever attending a ballgame. As Sam Kinison used to say: Is he right? Hint: Gus says things like, “Anybody who uses computers doesn’t know a damn thing about this game!”

Gus has a daughter who has become a big success as a lawyer in Atlanta, but though she grew up talking baseball with her dad, something isn’t right between them. Also, she is working on a case that will determine whether she makes partner, but worrying about what will happen to her dad if he is forced out to pasture, she agrees to come along on his road trip to contribute her considerable baseball acumen and make sure he doesn’t drive too much. He complains that the reason his ‘65 Mustang is looking a little banged-up is because his garage suddenly got smaller.


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A Dog Wearing an AT-AT Walker Costume From Empire Strikes Back

Thursday, September 20th, 2012 - by PJ Lifestyle Cute Animal Videos

Hat tip: The Mary Jane

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More on pets and Star Wars at PJ Lifestyle:

7 Pictures of An Adorable Siberian Husky Puppy’s First Beach Vacation

Islam vs. Man’s Best Friend? 

Is the Dark Knight Trilogy This Generation’s Star Wars?

George Lucas Confirms It: The Star Wars We Loved Never Existed

5 Reasons Star Wars Actually Sucks

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The Difference Between Sexy Bikinis and Slutty Thongs — And Why Little Girls Should Wear Neither

Thursday, September 20th, 2012 - by Dave Swindle

As Barry Rubin wrote about this week at his blog, we’ve reached an age where to state what used to be common sense about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will get you labeled a bigot. To acknowledge that the Palestinians do not want peace with Israel and have rejected every very generous deal put in front of them means you’re “racist against Muslims.”

But just as cultural Marxists invested decades in obscuring the reality of Palestinian intransigence, they also worked to confuse people about the sordid reality of unrestrained male sexual nature. State what used to be common sense for women to avoid sleazy men and all of a sudden you’re the American Taliban blaming women for provoking their rapists.

In my blog post yesterday – What Father Would Permit His Young Daughter to Wear a Bikini? — I knew what paragraph would provoke the most anger and confusion, the one that simply restated the conventional wisdom we all know to be true but don’t like to acknowledge:

But let me spell it out for those who want to deny it: when a woman wears a skimpy swimsuit, she is sending off the signal to every man and boy that she is a self-proclaimed slut and the most interesting thing about her is her body. If a woman didn’t want a man to look at her breasts, if she did not want to use them to attract the kind of men who have no self-control, she would not flash them around.

This provoked a worried reaction from Vesta Vayne, the blogger I appreciate whose post had inspired mine. She feared I was an insane prude who was calling all women who ever wear bikinis sluts:

I find this statement to be a huge over generalization, to put it kindly. Look, I am married, in my 30s, educated, and I wear a bikini. I’m not a slut, and I don’t think my choice of swimwear projects that to anyone. Bikinis are worn all over the world, by all sorts of women. I doubt all of us believe the most interesting thing about ourselves is our body. I certainly don’t.

I responded:

In the passage you quote I didn’t say “bikini” I said “skimpy swimsuit.” Not every bikini is going to make the woman wearing it look like she’s offering herself up for the world. I’m not saying that every time a woman wears a bikini she’s telling the world she’s a slut. That would be nuts.

Don’t some bikinis scream “I’m a tramp looking for attention from the wrong kind of men” more than others? As a man I certainly see the ones that do versus those that are tasteful. For little girls though I don’t think they should be wearing 2 piece swimsuits at all, though, but maybe I’m being too harsh?

[... A second comment from me later following up...]

And further:
“she is sending off the signal to every man and boy”

I am not saying that you or anyone who wears a bikini is a slut. What I am saying is that when a woman wears a sexy, skimpy swimsuit she is giving off the hint to the men around her that she is more sexually liberated than a woman who is not showing off her body. Again: I’m not making a moral judgment with the observation here, just stating what should be common sense. Wear a sexy swimsuit, and men will think that you’re more interested in sex than a woman who wears a modest swimsuit. Girls need to know that when picking their swim wear.

Vesta could tell that I had a moral objection to promiscuity hiding behind my argument, but the point I was trying to make remained out of view when she responded. She was still thinking about the real world — instead of the male world.

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The Poor Get Poorer: 3 Character Traits That Undermine Prosperity

Thursday, September 20th, 2012 - by Kathy Shaidle

“Times have changed and now the poor get fat.”
- Elton John, “The Bitch Is Back”

PJ Media’s John Hawkins recently posted a thoughtful piece called “Golden Chains: 5 Ways America’s Wealth Undermines Our Character.”

Hawkins said things that many patriotic conservatives and libertarians might not like to hear:

America is running on fumes. We can sometimes be like the kid who gets the run of his family’s big house while mom and dad are away and forgets how that fridge got so full (and that someone had to invent the fridge in the first place).

Throughout the West, many of us (right and left) are wasteful, indulgent, and entitled, with no sense of history and no thought for the future.

All very true.

However, it’s equally true that our “character undermines our wealth.”

That is – to turn Hawkins’ telescope the other way around – the way many Westerners live keeps them “poor.”


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Independent Women’s Forum: Interview on Men ‘Going Galt’ and the War on Men

Thursday, September 20th, 2012 - by Helen Smith

I was interviewed for a piece by the Independent Women’s Forum on my new book, the war on men and why men are “Going Galt.” Here are a few highlights:

Smith has a book coming out from Encounter Books entitled Male Strike: Society’s War on Men. The thesis of the book is that the deck is so stacked against men that they are “going Galt,” as Smith puts it. The term comes from Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged in which society’s productive members went on strike—led by John Galt—because they were being exploited.

“In the case of men, the government and the politicians work in cahoots with women to extract money from men,” Smith says.” And then men aren’t entitled to a lot of the benefits, such as WIC (Women, Infants and Children Program) or a lot of welfare.”

The male strike can take the form of not marrying, not going to college or working at low-paying jobs and taking up hobbies to avoid paying into a system that uses state and federal programs to transfer men’s taxes to women. And taxpayer money doesn’t just go to what we regard as traditional welfare programs. Smith cites the Violence Against Women Act, which funnels taxpayer dollars to organizations staffed by activist women.

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‘A Mole, a Tree, and a Weasel:’ RIP Steve Sabol of NFL Films

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012 - by Ed Driscoll
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Steve Sabol, the scion of the founder of NFL Films, passed away yesterday at 69 of a brain tumor, an age that’s far too young to die these days. I grew up about 20 minutes from the NFL Films offices in Mt. Laurel, NJ* and in 2003, took a tour of their ultra high-tech facilities — which make the Bridge of the Starship Enterprise seem laughably antediluvian in comparison — as part of the research that wound-up doing double-duty at the start of the following year for articles in Videomaker magazine and Tech Central Station. The other half of my prep work for those two articles involved interviewing Sabol on the phone. As he told me at the start of our conversation:

Steve Sabol: There’s an old Indian proverb that I’ve always believed in, and that’s ‘tell me a fact, and I’ll learn. Tell me a truth, and I’ll believe. Tell me a story, and it will live in my heart forever’.

And that’s been one of our mottos, is telling a story. And the story telling is basically done through the editing. It’s the cameraman’s job to come back with as much material—story telling shots, action shots—as he possibly can. Then it’s up to the editor to tame and to shape the raw vision of the cameraman.

I started out as an editor, and then became a cameraman. But that’s really job of the editor. It’s so critical, and it’s one of the most overlooked artforms or disciplines in filmmaking. Most people don’t understand about editing; they understand writing, they understand music, they understand cinematography. But when it comes to editing and the selection and order of the shots, that’s the key to storytelling.

Driscoll: Did being an editor first influence you when you became a cameraman?

Sabol: When I started out as an editor, and tried to tell stories, I realized that there were certain gaps; that you couldn’t tell a story with just action shots. You needed shots that showed the passage of time, the sun shining through the portals of the stadium. You needed close-ups to show the reaction of the players to the game. You needed shots of the audience and the fans. You needed locator shots as well call them, that set the scene. What’s the stadium look like? Is it a full stadium? Is it an empty stadium? And you need shots that can move the story along. It might be a pair of bloody hands. It could be cleat marks in the mud. It could be a crushed water bottle on the sidelines. It could be a flag whipping in the wind. These were all things that were in important.

I was an art major in college, and Paul Cézanne, the famous French impressionistic painter, once said that “all art is selected detail.” And I felt that that was one thing that was missing in sports films were the details. And when I began as a cameraman, that was all I shot, was the details. I filmed the first 15 Super Bowls, and never saw a play. But I could tell you what kind of hat Tom Landry was wearing, how Vince Lombardi was standing in the fourth quarter, if Bob Lilly had a cut on the bridge of his nose. Those were the things that I remember in the Super Bowl. I don’t remember any of the plays. I was just what we call a weasel.

Driscoll: What is a weasel?

Sabol: Well, we have three types of cameramen: we have a tree, a mole, and a weasel. A tree is the top camera. He’s on a tripod rooted into a position on the 50 yard line, and he doesn’t move. A mole is a handheld, mobile, ground cameraman, with a 12 to 240 lens, and he moves all around the field, and he gives you the eyeball-to-eyeball perspective. A weasel is the cameraman who pops up in unexpected places, to get you the telling storytelling shot—the bench, the crowd, all the details.

So those are the three elements. When you blend them together you get the NFL Films visual signature—when you blend together a mole, a tree and a weasel.

You have infinitely more than that of course – NFL Films revolutionized how sports are covered by film and television, and transformed the National Football League in America’s leading sport. And as Sabol told AP when his father was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame, “We see the game as art as much as sport. That helped us nurture not only the game’s traditions but to develop its mythology: America’s Team, The Catch, The Frozen Tundra:”

When Ed Sabol founded NFL Films, his son was there working beside him as a cinematographer right from the start in 1964. They introduced a series of innovations taken for granted today, from super slow-motion replays to blooper reels to sticking microphones on coaches and players. And they hired the ”Voice of God,” John Facenda, to read lyrical descriptions in solemn tones.

Until he landed the rights to chronicle the 1962 NFL championship game, Ed Sabol’s only experience filming sports was recording the action at Steve’s high school football games in Philadelphia.

* * * * *

He was the perfect fit for the job: an all-Rocky Mountain Conference running back at Colorado College majoring in art history. It was Sabol who later wrote of the Raiders, ”The autumn wind is a pirate, blustering in from sea,” words immortalized by Facenda.

The Sabols’ advances included everything from reverse angle replays to filming pregame locker room speeches to setting highlights to pop music.

”Today of course those techniques are so common it’s hard to imagine just how radical they once were,” Steve told the AP last year. ”Believe me, it wasn’t always easy getting people to accept them, but I think it was worth the effort.”

Indeed it was. RIP, Steve Sabol.

* But then, all of South Jersey is 20 minutes away from the rest of South Jersey.

(Cross-posted at Ed Driscoll.com.)

 

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VIDEO: New Hobbit Trailer

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012 - by PJ Lifestyle News




hat tip: Buzzfeed

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Related at PJ Lifestyle:

Why James Bond Fans Are Better Than Sci-Fi Geeks

Superman and Wonder Woman: The New DC Comics Power Couple 

6 Punches Director Zack Snyder Must Land in Man of Steel

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Why The Mainstream Media Wishes Jesus Had a Wife

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012 - by Dave Swindle

via ‘Jesus Said to Them, “My Wife…”‘ | Christianity Today.

A newly revealed piece of papyrus offers evidence that some early Christians believed Jesus was married, according to a Harvard Divinity School professor.

A fourth-century codex in Coptic quotes Jesus referring to “my wife,” Karen King, a scholar of early Christianity, said on Tuesday. It is the only extant text in which Jesus is explicitly portrayed as betrothed, according to King.

King is calling the receipt-sized slip of papyrus “The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife.” She believes it was originally written in Greek, and later translated into Coptic, an Egyptian language.

The fragment says, “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife…,’” according to King. The rest of the sentence is cut off. Another segment says, “As for me, I dwell with her in order to…” The speaker is not named.

The fragment contains just 33 words spread across 14 incomplete lines—less a full-fledged gospel than an ancient crossword puzzle.

“Christian tradition has long held that Jesus was not married, even though no reliable historical evidence exists to support that claim,” King said in a statement released Tuesday by Harvard. “This new gospel doesn’t prove that Jesus was married, but it tells us that the whole question only came up as part of vociferous debates about sexuality and marriage.”

Tuesday’s surprise announcement seemed ripped from the pages of Brown’s 2003 novel, The Da Vinci Code, which sold millions of copies—and irked the Vatican—by suggesting that Catholic leaders had covered up Jesus’ marriage to Mary Magdalene. King said that she does not believe that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene. “At least, don’t say this proves Dan Brown was right,” she told The New York Times.

This non-story really has no business receiving the high level of attention the mainstream media has given it. The Gnostic heresy that Jesus married is already widely known and this scrap provides no new information as to the claim’s historicity.

The reason why secularists are so eager for even the most feeble evidence hinting at the existence of Hubby Christ is because such a revelation would demonstrate more or less conclusively that Jesus was not divine and that my Christian friends are all a bunch of idiots for having faith in Him as their Savior. If Jesus’s crucifiction really was about what Christians say it was — and Jesus knew he was God — then he would never have married. It would have been cruel of him to do so. You marry a woman and have kids — the purpose of marriage originally — and then you abandon them to a life of loneliness and poverty without you just because you’ve got to go die for the sin of the world?

Talk about the ultimate deadbeat dad: “Sorry I couldn’t make child support this month, honey. I’ve been a little busy paying off the debt for the collective evil of all humanity by letting Roman soldiers pound giant nails into my body.”

If Saturday Night Live didn’t make a sketch like that during the height of the Da Vinci Code‘s popularity then don’t be surprised if one’s on the agenda for this week.



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Related at PJ Lifestyle on Christianity:

Atheist Lawsuit Against World Trade Center Cross Makes Me Want to Scream

The Shroud of Turin: The Mystery that Science and Technology Will Someday Solve

A Divine Miracle For Skeptics Who Do Not Believe In Miracles

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What Father Would Permit His Young Daughter to Wear a Bikini?

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012 - by Dave Swindle

From Vesta Vayne at her must-read blog The Cowardly Feminist, “Itsy bitsy bikini”:

Did you guys read about Elizabeth Hurley’s line of sexy kiddie bikinis?

Much like the author of the article, for me, the problem is a combination of two things – the bikini itself and the child model’s pose or, I should say, the pose she was instructed to do by someone. If she had floaties on her arms and was building a sandcastle, I might not have focused as much on the pint-sized string bikini. What really bothered me, however, was the wording that apparently went along with the pictures on Hurley’s site, such as a caption next to a bikini for the 8-13 age range, which said “great for girls who want to look grown up”. I checked out her site, elizabethhurley.com, to see for myself, and received an error message. I can only assume her reps are doing some damage control with regards to either the pictures or the descriptions.

It’s even worse when you go to Hurley’s website — which is still very much up. Here’s a screenshot from the UNDER 8 page which I’m not all that happy about posting here, but which seems necessary to preserve as evidence:

Vesta poses the usual questions to stir up debate about whether it’s better for young girls to wear very adult swimwear.

Here are a few questions that were on my mind: how do the fathers of the girls wearing these swimsuits look at themselves in the mirror in the morning? Do these men actually feel comfortable taking their girls in public with strangers seeing them dressed like this? Are they in denial about the damage done to an 8-year-old girl training to be “sexy” or do they not care? Or would most fathers today be proud of daughters growing up to be underwear models and porn stars?

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5 Reasons Why Being Immortal Would Suck

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012 - by John Hawkins

Remember the final refrain of the classic Queen song “Who Wants To Live Forever?”

Who wants to live forever?
Who wants to live forever?
Forever is our today
Who has forever anyway…

If you’re like most people, you probably answered that in your head with “ME! I want to live forever!” It does sound appealing, doesn’t it? The idea that you would never die as long as you kept your head was what really captured people’s imagination about Highlander. The same goes for vampires. The big difference between vampires and other much more boring supernatural creatures like goblins, ghouls, ogres, and pixies is that they can live for thousands of years…. like God. Just imagine what you could do, learn, and become if you had thousands of years to do it! Unfortunately, there may be a few downsides people haven’t considered…

1) Sometimes, death is a mercy.

We get this when it comes to animals. When a pet’s whole life becomes misery, we put it down. Even though we don’t do the same with other humans because of political and cultural reasons, we understand it. But, if you were immortal and healthy, why would you ever WANT to die?

In Greek mythology, the immortal Prometheus was chained on a mountain, and each night a vulture came to rip out his liver and eat it.

In Ninja Scroll, the immortal Lord Himuro Gemma is washed into the sea by a wave of boiling gold, which hardens, traps him, and takes him to the bottom.

In the TV show Angel, the main character, who is a vampire, is sealed in a metal box and dropped to the bottom of the ocean.

In the TV show Supernatural, the unkillable Doc Benton is chained in a refrigerator and buried alive.

Imagine being caught in a landslide, being trapped in a plane that goes down over the ocean, or even being captured and experimented on by a government trying to learn the secrets of your immortality. There are times when dying beats all the other options.

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Is the Toilet the Only Place a Man Can Get Some Peace and Quiet?

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012 - by Helen Smith

Cassy Fiano has a post here at PJ Lifestyle entitled “Five Things Men Do That Secretly Annoy Women.” I have to say that I read it with amusement, especially when Fiano’s main question seems to be “What’s the deal with all the toilet time?”:

…what is it about men and taking forever in the bathroom? Now that there are smart phones and tablets, the problem’s even worse. There are endless forms of bathroom entertainment nowadays for men to take advantage of, which means that men have an excuse to take even longer to spend an hour doing something that really, should only take two minutes. And why is that? Sure, you can sit in there and play Angry Birds to your heart’s content. But couldn’t you just do that, I don’t know, on the couch or something?

When I was researching my forthcoming book called “Male Strike:”  Society’s War on Men,” I wrote a section on the decline of male space, even in their own home. Brett McKay, the author of  The Art of Manliness: Classic Skills and Manners for the Modern Man had this to say about a man’s lowly position in their own house in modern times:

The rise of suburban culture with its emphasis on creating a domestic nest, usually meant sacrificing male space for the good of the family. Home designs in the 1950s exchanged the numerous, smaller rooms of the Victorian home for fewer, larger rooms. The goal was to create more open space where families could congregate together and bond while watching the Honeymooners on TV.

With no room to call their own, men were forced to build their male sanctuaries in the most uninhabitable parts of a home. Garages, attics, and basements quickly became the designated space for men, while the women and children had free reign over the rest of the house.

Commenters to Fiano’s post on all that bathroom time reiterated what many men feel, they have no space at home of their own so they have taken to using the toilet as a sanctuary:

Larry J
I heard one older guy claim that his wife had completely taken over the rest of the house so the bathroom was the only place he felt was his own.

Jeff states:
I remember my grand dad– when he got home from work, he’d have a glass of bourbon and read the paper. Today… if a man ever sits down in the presence of his wife, she’ll (a) complain about how tough her life is, (b) start a fight about something, or (c) iterate through the “honey do” list.

So men have made the toilet into their sanctuary. Maybe asking why these “annoying” men spend so much time in the toilet is the wrong question and the right one is: why don’t men have anywhere else in the house to go to get some peace and quiet?

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Rainbow After the Flood: Darren Aronofsky Tweets Pics From the Set of Bible Epic Noah

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012 - by Dave Swindle

Twelve years ago as a high school junior I sat breathless in my seat at Indianapolis’s art house movie theater as Requiem for a Dream finished kicking me in the gut with its punishing climax. The dark, unrated indie drama starring Jennifer Connelly, Jared Leto, an Oscar-nominated Ellen Burstyn, and Marlon Wayans would become my favorite film of the year — and, eventually of all time. And in my movie review column in the high school paper, come award time I would grumble as Burstyn was passed over for Julia Roberts and Requiem was of course too dark for best picture consideration at all. Instead all the attention went to Russell Crowe and Gladiator. I was of course very annoyed that the most unique film of the year revealing the most promising filmmaking career of his generation failed to get the attention it warranted. And I’ve always carried a bit of an irrational grudge against both Crowe and the film that fully launched his career as a result.

And now everything is at it should be and I can perhaps bury my anti-Crowe vendetta: Aronofsky’s artistic vision united with Crowe’s starpower to enable the bankrolling of Noah, the kind of epic that could have been made with 2006′s The Fountain had Brad Pitt not abandoned the project.

AND ARONOFSKY IS TWEETING PICTURES FROM THE SET!

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More on movies at PJ Lifestyle:

The 10 Most Damaging Chick Flicks Ever Made

The 7 Most Overrated Blockbuster Movies of the Last 20 Years

The Case for Cinematic Violence

The 3 Most Poisonous Movie Clichés of the 60s and 70s

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Lady Gaga Fashion Randomness: A Burqa with Raccoon Tails And Pink ‘C-Word’ Purse in London

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012 - by PJ Lifestyle Celebrity Gossip

via Lady Gaga offends with burqa at Phillip Treacy LFW show | Gigwise.

Lady Gaga went all out to shock at the Phillip Treacy show at London Fashion Week when she arrived at the event dressed in a burqa covered in raccoon tails. She later swapped the outfit for a floral headress. Check out the photos.

The once anti-fur star has once again shocked with her fondness for animal skins, having previously been seen wearing fur while on tour in Bulgaria. During her visit to London Fashion Week over the weekend, Lady Gaga was spotted wearing a cream-coloured burqa with raccoon tails, a pink sheet and a floral headdress.

When she was previously spotted wearing fur, Animal rights group PETA compared her a ‘mindless Kim Kardashian’ before Gaga later attempted to defend her choice to dress in animal skin.

“You see a carcass, I see a museum pièce de résistance,” she wrote in an official statement on her choice to wear fur.

via Lady Gaga | Burka-wearing Lady Gaga Steals The Attention At London Fashion Week | Contactmusic.com.

There have been Lady Gaga burka wearing scandals before of course, but nevertheless the sight of the 26 year-old wearing yet another one at the London Fashion Week has had the media talking once again. The Born This Way star can often flash the flesh as much as cover up, but it was latter she opted for this time out as she wore a burka-style outfit adorned with racoon tails, having modelled at the PHILIP TREACY Fashion Week Show.

Gaga – being Gaga – decided to up the controversy levels one step further though, and accessorised the look with a bright pink and yellow bag, with diamantes that spelt out the word c***. Oh Gaga. It was one of a few odd outfits worn by the pop star during the course of the day: earlier on, The Sun had spotted her wearing black leggings and a white jacket topped off with a pair of Mickey Mouse ears.

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Related at PJ Lifestyle:

Lady Gaga Strikes Back at ‘Abusive, Childish’ PETA

Hey Lady Gaga, Kids Have a Time-Tested Answer for Bullies: Punch Them in the Mouth

Why High Fashion Was So Much Better in the 1950s

7 Laws for Public Decency When I Rule the World

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The Designer Family: Putting a Dollar Value on a Little Girl

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012 - by Cassy Fiano

Over at Acculturated this week  editor Emily Esfahani Smith highlights a disturbing development, the rise of services that help couples choose the gender of their baby. Couples are paying tens of thousands of dollars to make sure they have girls (the reverse of what we commonly see in China and India), and are heartbroken when they end up with a boy:

Simpson was inseminated with the slower sperm that same day. Fifteen weeks later, she asked a colleague at the hospital to sneak in an after-hours ultrasound. The results felt like a brick landing on her stomach: another boy.

“I lay in bed and cried for weeks,” said Simpson, now 36, whose name has been changed to protect her privacy. She took a job in the operating room so she would no longer have to work with women who were giving birth to girls.

Even more disturbing is her reaction when she finally did get her baby girl:

“My husband and I stared at our daughter for that first year. She was worth every cent. Better than a new car, or a kitchen reno.”

Aside from the obvious hints at eugenics that can be seen here, what does this say about how we view children? From the high rates of abortions of babies with Down syndrome or other disabilities to choosing the sex of our babies, are we beginning to view our kids as accessories? As “things” meant to bring us happiness? When parents are paying to make sure the baby they have is the one they want, it really is like buying a new car or renovating a kitchen. It’s a purchase. It puts the child on the same level as the little chihuahua Paris Hilton carried around in her purse: a designer object meant to be used as a status symbol or to make the parent feel good.

And where do we go from here? What if we could choose our children’s eye color, hair color, height? Would we? The reason this is disturbing is because it allows parents to play God… to engineer perfect children, and toss out the not-so-perfect ones. Along the way, would we lose our humanity as well?

Science may allow us to create designer babies, but that doesn’t mean we should.




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Related at PJ Lifestyle:

Tax-Funded Sterilizations for Teenagers (No Parental Consent Required?)

Is It Time We Stopped Saying ‘Feminist’ and Started Saying ‘Eugenicist’?

The Sex Bots Have Arrived

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5 Things Men Do that Secretly Annoy Women

Monday, September 17th, 2012 - by Cassy Fiano

So, guys: your girl drives you crazy sometimes, huh? Hey, deep down, we get it. We know that it’s a lot to ask of you to keep the toilet seat up, read our minds, and talk to us. But guess what, fellas? It kinda goes both ways. And I’m not talking about the obvious, like… well, keeping the toilet seat up, or your inability to listen. We love you, but sometimes you just drive us crazy. Not only do these things drive us crazy, but we just can’t understand them. We just can’t understand why you do things like…

Act Like Babies When You’re Sick

Why is it that when men get sick, they act as if they’ve just been diagnosed with terminal cancer? Women get the flu, and we don’t really have the luxury of wallowing around in bed, moaning for someone to come baby us. We still have to buck up and take care of the kids, keep the house clean, and get dinner on the table. Sure, our head is pounding, our nose is running, and we feel like crap. But stuff still needs to get done.

Men, on the other hand… you get a cold, and it’s like you’re literally dying. You basically become five year olds crying for mommy. And who gets to play mommy? That’s right, we do. We’ve got to cuddle you, cater to your every need, and basically treat you like you’ve magically turned into one of our children. It’s somewhat amusing, but mostly aggravating, because, hey, we get it — being sick sucks. But is it that hard to suck it up and deal with it? And we know, we know. You’d return the favor for us. But the thing is, women don’t turn into crying, sniveling babies when we get sick. Why is it that the person who’s supposed to be the tougher one in the relationship always does just that?

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A Happy Rosh Hashanah To Our Jewish Friends

Monday, September 17th, 2012 - by PJ Lifestyle Spirit

 

via Why do we dip an apple into honey on Rosh Hashanah? – holidays rosh hashanah laws and customs.

On a practical level, we take an apple which is sweet not a green, tart tasting apple and dip it into sweet honey, as a tangible reflection of our trust and prayers that G-d will grant us all a sweet year.Why specifically an apple? There is also symbolism implicit in the apple. Solomon writes, referring to the romance between G-d and the Jewish people, Song of Songs 8:5, “Beneath the apple tree I aroused you[r love].” On Rosh Hashanah we try to, once again, remind G-d of our mutual love.

Yesterday via Days of Reflection and Rededication « Commentary Magazine.

Sundown tonight marks the start of the Jewish New Year that begins with the celebration of Rosh Hashanah. The ten days from the start of this holiday until the end of Yom Kippur next week are known in Judaism as the Days of Awe. During this time, Jews are asked to reflect on their deeds in the past year and seek to account for them to their Creator as well as their fellow human beings. This period of introspection should cause all of us to think about what we have done or not done and to contemplate what can be done to do better. Indeed, as Americans contemplate the final weeks of the presidential campaign it is an apt moment for all of us to look at the issues facing the nation in a sober and honest manner.

And a video via Adam Levick at CIF Watch:




Aussie Dave at Israelly Cool also collects a variety of Rosh Hashanah greetings and videos, here are three of them, make a point to visit him for more:






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The Hygiene Hypothesis: With Fewer Germs to Fight Does the Body Attack Itself?

Monday, September 17th, 2012 - by Dr. Peter Weiss

I devour good books, and have no problem putting down a bad one after 30 pages and never picking it up again. If it’s not good, why waste my time? If it’s good, I don’t want to stop. This one is a hell of a read! So was the The Andromeda Strain.

I read Moises Velasquez-Manoff’s  An Epidemic of Absence in one sitting. This was Michael Crichton with Hookworms. The premise is fascinating, although heavy with anecdote and less on peer reviewed clinical data, even with his 307 footnotes. Definitive science should never get in the way of a good read.

I was hooked, pun intended. Remember, I am Western-trained but still consider myself very open minded.

What Velasquez-Mannoff suggests is that maybe we are a little carried away with the pure benefits of hygiene. Does using Purell at every turn really benefit us in the long run, or will we end up dying from a dirty finger nail because of it? This puts credence in what I always believed…”The 10 second rule”. You know, if it’s on the floor less than 10 seconds you can still eat it.

His adventure begins with searching to cure his premature baldness. Okay, I’m a little hard on him here. He’s really looking into an area of medicine that has not been brought to light until now, and he was really looking for a treatment for Irritable Bowel disease and MS. Every action in medicine and in life has an unintended side reaction. We are all intertwined. We, meaning every organism that is in touch within our body. We don’t need to treat everything! Not all bacteria are bad. Our intestines, mouth, and nose are lined with millions of organisms that actually are our allies in keeping us healthy. I think we all know that.

The problem as I see it, which he does not address is deeper. I’ll explain in a moment.

First, physicians have 2 main edicts that we should follow

1) Above all, physician do no harm
2) Alleviate pain and suffering

Our job is not to make people live longer. That’s just a by product of the 2 edicts.

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When Is a Religion not a Religion?

Sunday, September 16th, 2012 - by Michael Rulle

Hillary Clinton has managed to stay out of the limelight these last four years. Her image and approval rating had been pretty high. The media and most of the public have assumed she has been doing a good job. It is not clear why, as it is difficult to state what she has accomplished. It is just a mantra that is regurgitated. The too-clever-by-half people even accorded to her extra political gamesmanship and skill for not being overly linked with any of the more controversial Obama proposals. Many believed she could be a serious candidate for president in 2016.

The woman who warned about the 3 a.m. call in her critique of Obama in 2008 has succumbed to a complete intellectual breakdown, oddly enough at about 3 a.m. At least she actually seems to feel a certain moral responsibility for what is happening in the Middle East, even as she insanely deflects blame to a publicly released opinion video by a single U.S. citizen. As if tens of millions of people did not at least empathize with his views. Her facial expressions reveal shock and cognitive dissonance; she appears truly dazed and confused.

Obama, on the other hand, can hardly take the effort to fake concern. Nor does he have enough knowledge to even fake having knowledge about what is going on. On the other hand, he seems genuinely excited about his road show and money-raising activities. This has always been what turns him on. Great practice for his post-presidency (I predict he becomes the first ex-president billionaire). The man who would be king, but cannot even submit budgets, clearly has no calling for governance or learning the details about who wants to destroy the U.S. Even his ever-repeated and absurd self-promotion over the Osama bin laden killing has all the appearance of a bad Wizard of Oz production. That picture of him sitting in the back of the room, intently watching as if it had been a post-production review of the Last House on Main Street 8, makes him look like a director’s assistant who received a last-second invitation. That is the best picture they have of him “leading” the charge? I assume it must be.

Back to now. With the exception of Kirsten Powers, I cannot think of one media liberal who does not see how utterly delusional the administration’s response to these riots has been. This may be going out on a limb, but my guess is this had been in the planning for a long time. I wonder what other Muslim deaths movie man was responsible for in the last week? How about the 92 people killed in 13 separate bombings in Iraq on the conviction in absentia of former VP Tarique Hashemi; or the 12 people killed in a car bombing in a public market in Pakistan near the Afghan border; or the assassination attempt on 9/11 of the Yemeni foreign minister which killed about 12; or, on his second day in office, the suicide bombers’ killing of 12 while failing to assassinate Somalia’s new president; or perhaps the suicide bombers’ attempt to blow up a police station in Istanbul?

Besides an incomprehensible lack of normal human common sense, the core of this administration’s failure is one of semantical confusion, particularly in the use of the term “religion” to describe various movements within the Middle East. When is a religion not a religion? When it is a political movement?

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Why the Negative Titles for Books on Men?

Saturday, September 15th, 2012 - by Helen Smith

I saw that Hanna Rosin has a new book out entitled The End of Men: And the Rise of Women. I have to say that I really dislike and find distasteful the derogatory titles that these new books on men seem to find acceptable. Do authors lately ever have a title that makes men sound good, or decent or even likable? Are there any that don’t include women in the title or refer to how men relate to women? Just asking.

Seriously, titles like Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Has Turned Men into Boys or Save the Males: Why Men Matter Why Women Should Care or even Why Boys Fail: Saving Our Sons from an Educational System That’s Leaving Them Behind give the reader negative images of men that lead them to believe that men have no agency — that is, they are not autonomous, independent beings who deserve better, but rather immature characters who can’t hack it in the current system.

I am sick of these titles and wonder why anyone would buy a book that is geared toward men as failures. Certainly, few men are reading these books as most publishers only want books about men for women and therefore, take those books that make women feel good and make men look like losers for their female customers only.

If male, would you buy a book  entitled The End of Men?

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Related at PJ Lifestyle on Rosin:

‘Feminist Progress Right Now Largely Depends on the Existence of the Hookup Culture.’

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Just One of Those Days

Saturday, September 15th, 2012 - by Pamela Weiss

Have you ever had “just one of those days”? If you’re old enough to be reading this, then of course you have unless you are a complete oddity of life.

I recently had one of those days, and it turned out to be one of the roughest twenty four hours I’ve survived. It started off with the fruit platter I was making to take to my parent’s house. I went to the store to buy various fruit. It was pretty uneventful until trying to pick the perfect watermelon. I had everything else I needed, the watermelon was the last thing on my list. I picked up a watermelon and thumped it. Hmmmm, questionable so I returned it to the watermelon pile and picked another. I performed the thump test again and determined that this was a ripe, sweet juicy watermelon, so I placed it into the grocery cart. As I walked away from the watermelon display, the watermelons started rolling. By the time I was able to stop them, three watermelons had already crashed to the floor splattering the fruit and its juice all over the floor and all over me. My legs and feet were covered in watermelon so I couldn’t even pretend that I knew nothing about the avalanche which had just occurred. Besides, just about everybody on that side of the store had stopped and turned to look with hopes of discovering from where the ear piercing scream had come. Ugh! Caught red-footed. As the announcement came over the loud speaker “massive clean up needed in produce”, I stood there apologizing to every employee who came over to take care of that “massive clean up.”

I was finally able to leave the produce department slipping only once, hoping that no one in the check out lines would recognize me as the “watermelon lady” while wearing my oversized sunglasses. Clever, huh? I loaded the groceries into the trunk of my car, loaded myself into the driver’s seat and headed home.

Once home, I unloaded the groceries and set about making my fruit platter. As I sliced the watermelon, I could envision how beautiful this platter was going to look. The watermelon slices as flower petals, cherries, cantaloupe and kiwi placed in the centers of those flower petals to create the illusion of various flowers. Sigh. My eyes were getting watery at this picture dancing in my head… Or was it because I had just sliced my finger nearly taking off the top. Blood was running everywhere, so I guess it was a good thing that I was cutting watermelon — it wouldn’t show. I wrapped up my finger and continued working while trying to decide if I had time to get the top of my finger reattached. I figured my finger could wait until the next day and if still bleeding, I would take care of it then, maybe a little super glue. I finished my fruit platter and although it resembled melted crayon blobs more than flowers, I was happy it was done.

The next morning I awoke knowing that it was going to be a great day. Naturally I hit my wounded finger on the first thing I walked past causing the bleeding to start again. Oh well, I needed to get going and get that oh-so-beautiful platter to my parent’s home. I put the fruit into the back of my SUV and hit the road. I cranked up the music as Bob Dylan, one of my favorite songwriters, voice came through the speakers. I continued along a street which I drive daily, but I’m really not sure when that curb which juts out into the road was added. Hitting that curb not only brought me out of my reverie, but broke a tire rim along with the tire, and caused the destruction of my beautiful fruit design. Okay, maybe that looked better.

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