The Rat
Saturday, February 08, 2014
      ( 3:56 PM ) The Rat  
WHETHER OR NOT YOU'RE FOLLOWING the Woody Allen thing, this is one of the best things I've ever read on the subject of childhood sexual abuse.

In America, we are prone to theatrics. Fox News loves a good sociopathic pedophile story. Nancy Grace goes rabid Bride of Frankenstein for it, snarling updates every five minutes until some ghastly fucking shell of a man lays dead in a hailstorm of Amber Alerts and SWAT team bullets. The kids survive, and I imagine Nancy sighing with relief, stroking her ego to sleep, reassuring it there will be follow-up stories and voyeuristic interviews for years to come.

This works on television because it reinforces the notion that the sociopath pedophile is not like you or me. We watch and wonder who would be so obtuse as to let him anywhere near so much as a pet rock, let alone a child. Without fail, there is a curious aspect of elitism in the spectacle. I can't say Rupert Murdoch calls in the script himself, but I've noticed how effectively these tabloid abuse stories often provoke the smug pity of the educated urban intelligentsia as they watch the catastrophically bad judgment of their poor under-educated brethren.

The problem is, this has next to nothing to do with the sexual abuse that happens in homes.

Those of us who were abused by a family member, or a family friend, have shared banal time and space with the sort of people who molest kids. We have sat in their cars in traffic and gone to diners with them, watched them scarf cheeseburgers or try to quit smoking, need an aspirin. And mostly, they are not utter sociopaths or sadists.

We are in the paradoxical situation of being subject to pure evil and knowing from experience that its representatives are rarely pure evil themselves. No one is. We have almost certainly seen at least a flicker of innocent joy or generosity in their face. We have puzzled over this person who hurt us, and considered the fact that they too were children once. And we know that many of them were also sexually abused as children. At some point in healing, we just know that there will never be, could never be enough jails to contain this—that it would never work anyway...

# Posted by The Rat @ 3:56 PM



Thursday, January 23, 2014
      ( 8:08 PM ) The Rat  
BATH TIME FOR BABY SLOTHS. Just broke my cuteness meter.

# Posted by The Rat @ 8:08 PM



Wednesday, January 15, 2014
      ( 4:23 PM ) The Rat  
OUCH.

# Posted by The Rat @ 4:23 PM



Thursday, January 09, 2014
      ( 11:50 AM ) The Rat  
TODAY WOULD APPEAR TO BE an even weirder day than usual to be Cormac McCarthy.

# Posted by The Rat @ 11:50 AM



Wednesday, January 01, 2014
      ( 3:49 PM ) The Rat  
"AFTER SIX WEEKS, THE RESEARCHERS INTENTIONALLY FREAKED OUT ALL THE MICE..."

# Posted by The Rat @ 3:49 PM



Monday, December 23, 2013
      ( 7:16 AM ) The Rat  
The movement is in sonata form. It begins with a slow introduction, launched by a dark melody played by a baritone horn. The accompanimental rhythm was said to have come to Mahler whilst rowing on the lake at Maiernigg after a period of compositional drought. A climax emerges from various members of the woodwind and brass. The principal trumpet in the orchestra for the work's première even confronted Mahler, saying "I'd just like to know what's beautiful about blowing away at a trumpet stopped up to high C-sharp." Mahler had no answer, but later pointed out to Alma that the man did not understand the agony of his own existence.
Wiki for Mahler's Seventh

# Posted by The Rat @ 7:16 AM



Thursday, December 05, 2013
      ( 3:55 PM ) The Rat  
ORCHID MANTIS!

# Posted by The Rat @ 3:55 PM



Sunday, October 27, 2013
      ( 2:14 PM ) The Rat  
NEW YORK MAN OWES LIFE TO BLOOD DONORS FOLLOWING HORRIFIC ACCIDENT. I wish more blood banks would do this kind of outreach—without it, donation can seem so abstract as to seem pointless, if you've never donated previously.

# Posted by The Rat @ 2:14 PM



Tuesday, October 22, 2013
      ( 2:03 PM ) The Rat  
CAN BEAUTIFUL MUSIC BE THE CURE FOR OUR ILLS? From last month.

In the experiments, immunological rejection caused the transplanted hearts in the mice to fail on average after just eight days. However, by playing Verdi's La Traviata to the mice, their transplanted hearts reportedly continued to function for as long as 26.5 days on average. Works by Mozart also worked well, keeping their hearts ticking for 20 days on average...

# Posted by The Rat @ 2:03 PM



Friday, September 27, 2013
      ( 10:12 PM ) The Rat  
NIPPING NARCISSISM IN THE BUD, via KK.

# Posted by The Rat @ 10:12 PM



Wednesday, September 25, 2013
      ( 6:11 PM ) The Rat  
ZING!

# Posted by The Rat @ 6:11 PM



Sunday, September 22, 2013
      ( 5:12 PM ) The Rat  
REVEALED: THE VIOLENT, THUGGISH WORLD OF THE YOUNG J.S. BACH, via MC.

# Posted by The Rat @ 5:12 PM


      ( 9:46 AM ) The Rat  
TUNISIAN GIRLS ARE COMING HOME PREGNANT AFTER PERFORMING 'SEXUAL JIHAD' IN SYRIA. Yikes.

# Posted by The Rat @ 9:46 AM



Saturday, September 21, 2013
      ( 2:30 PM ) The Rat  
SISTERS MAKE MALE RATS LESS SEXY. Heh.

# Posted by The Rat @ 2:30 PM



Friday, September 20, 2013
      ( 2:34 PM ) The Rat  
HOW TO RECOGNIZE THE ARTISTS OF PAINTINGS, via KW. Last one's the best.

# Posted by The Rat @ 2:34 PM



Wednesday, September 18, 2013
      ( 4:48 PM ) The Rat  
YOU AND I WERE CUT FROM THE SAME CLOTH, via The Oatmeal.

# Posted by The Rat @ 4:48 PM


      ( 10:05 AM ) The Rat  
"'THE SCARECROW' IS NOT ADVERTISING. IT IS A NARRATIVE."

# Posted by The Rat @ 10:05 AM



Monday, September 16, 2013
      ( 10:47 AM ) The Rat  
MODERN ART WAS CIA 'WEAPON,' via WC.

# Posted by The Rat @ 10:47 AM



Wednesday, September 11, 2013
      ( 10:09 AM ) The Rat  
'SEMI-ERECT' PENSIONER CAUGHT SHAMPOOING HIS GENITALS ON A BUS CLAIMS HE'S 'NO HARDENED CRIMINAL.'

# Posted by The Rat @ 10:09 AM



Monday, September 09, 2013
      ( 6:51 PM ) The Rat  
THE MORE TEENS ARE YELLED AT, THE WORSE THEY BEHAVE. Hmm.

# Posted by The Rat @ 6:51 PM


      ( 3:03 AM ) The Rat  
UNBORN BABIES ARE HEARING YOU, LOUD AND CLEAR.

These findings build on other research conducted over the past 20 years that looks at how babies respond to sound. Minna Huotilainen, who also worked on the study, published a study in 2005 showing that fetuses can discriminate among sounds. And, in 1988 researchers found that babies who heard soap operas in utero became addicted—at least to the melodies. Babies with moms who watched soaps while they were pregnant responded to the melodic cues in the shows...


# Posted by The Rat @ 3:03 AM



Friday, September 06, 2013
      ( 8:49 AM ) The Rat  
SQUEE!

Amazon has announced plans to offer buyers of printed books a copy of the text in digital form for free or at a discounted price.

Its Matchbook scheme will apply retroactively to any title bought from the store since it opened in 1995...


# Posted by The Rat @ 8:49 AM



Thursday, September 05, 2013
      ( 6:11 PM ) The Rat  
JOYCE DIDONATO will feature in the Last Night of the Proms, this Saturday.

She has trenchant things to say to the people who run the business too, and has a blast at certain operatic marketing campaigns that she believes are misleading and unhelpful. "Stop apologising, stop trying to sell our music by dumbing it down. Sell opera on the basis that it is like nothing else on the planet, not on the basis that it's superficially cool and hip—that is so phoney.

"Recently I performed at the Grammy awards. I felt like a fish out of water surrounded by all these rock and jazz musicians in a huge conference hall environment. But I sang the second half of Cenerentola's rondo, and it seemed to go down very well.

"What really moved me was an African-American girl who might have been 15. She came running up to find me afterwards and said 'I don’t know what you call that sort of singing, but it was the most wonderful thing I have ever heard. Where can I find more of it?' If we do our job properly, people will listen and get it..."

# Posted by The Rat @ 6:11 PM



Wednesday, September 04, 2013
      ( 7:05 PM ) The Rat  
SUBURBAN SPIDER!

# Posted by The Rat @ 7:05 PM


      ( 10:13 AM ) The Rat  
AN INTERVIEW WITH THE OATMEAL.

# Posted by The Rat @ 10:13 AM



Tuesday, September 03, 2013
      ( 2:54 PM ) The Rat  
DUNKIN DONUTS APOLOGIZES FOR BLACKFACE ADVERT.

# Posted by The Rat @ 2:54 PM



Monday, September 02, 2013
      ( 3:47 PM ) The Rat  
EXERCISE WILL SAVE YOUR BRAIN.

Many of the risk factors for Alzheimer's disease are essentially the 'usual suspects' for cardiovascular disease. These include diabetes, high blood pressure, and physical inactivity. In fact, Alzheimer's has been described as 'type 3' diabetes...

# Posted by The Rat @ 3:47 PM



Friday, August 30, 2013
      ( 3:10 PM ) The Rat  
JAPANESE PASTRY BEDS LET YOU BE THE FILLING, via WC.

# Posted by The Rat @ 3:10 PM



Saturday, August 24, 2013
      ( 3:41 PM ) The Rat  
NEATO!

Skyline Chess create beautiful, hand cast chessmen based on iconic buildings from our home city of London...

# Posted by The Rat @ 3:41 PM



Thursday, August 22, 2013
      ( 7:50 PM ) The Rat  
VERY 'VALLEY OF ASHES.'

A new poll conducted by the Pew Research Center found that, when asked to provide their immediate reaction to the sound of the word "America," 98 percent of respondents replied by describing the sight of a near-empty parking lot of a decrepit suburban strip mall on a late February afternoon...

Speaking of which, there's interesting stuff on the original valley of ashes in this book.

A growing city found a new use for this waste: Hauled to a massive ash dump on Barren Island in Jamaica Bay, the refuse was then used to fill in New York marshlands that were subsequently covered over to build houses and marinas. Once that effort was complete and no more waste could be squeezed onto Barren Island, a new ash repository opened—The Corona Dump in Queens, where massive amounts of toxin-laden ash and assorted other trash were again used as landfill to reclaim salt marshes for development. When that was done, the black and gray waste accumulated into a smoldering mountain of ash ninety feet high, a fetid, volcanic landscape. The place was depicted by F. Scott Fitzgerald as 'the Valley of Ashes' in The Great Gatsby...

# Posted by The Rat @ 7:50 PM


      ( 7:46 PM ) The Rat  
WANT.

# Posted by The Rat @ 7:46 PM



Wednesday, August 21, 2013
      ( 2:49 PM ) The Rat  
A $13,000 BASKETBALL? SEEMS LIKE A GREAT IDEA! via WCC.

The basketball, the product of Hermès, is handstitched calfskin leather, and as you'd imagine, it's not exactly meant for you to film dunk videos in your driveway. The ball is crafted in the style of the company's 'Birkin' bag, but you already knew that...

# Posted by The Rat @ 2:49 PM



Tuesday, August 20, 2013
      ( 6:11 PM ) The Rat  
COPPER MAY PLAY KEY ROLE IN ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE.

Copper is found in a wide range of the foods we eat, including red meat, shellfish, nuts and many fruits and vegetables, as well as in many vitamin supplements. It also leaches from copper pipes into the water we drink. While we take in copper from foods, it is most readily absorbed into the bloodstream in its "free" form, say researchers—when it is suspended in water.

The research, which lay out the case against a long-suspected culprit in Alzheimer's disease, is published Monday in the journal PNAS...

# Posted by The Rat @ 6:11 PM


      ( 12:12 PM ) The Rat  
BEIJING ROOFTOP VILLA TO BE DEMOLISHED. This never happens to Bond villains. Wait, no, this always happens to Bond villains. (Worth clicking through for the photos, I promise.)

After making headlines around the world, an opulent, illegally built rooftop villa, complete with rocky formations and lush greenery, sitting atop a Beijing high-rise apartment, will be demolished...


# Posted by The Rat @ 12:12 PM


      ( 12:33 AM ) The Rat  
HERE IS WHEN YOU WILL DIE. More details here, via AB. (That being said, there are a lot of other factors involved besides your sex and country of residence; see here for instance.)

# Posted by The Rat @ 12:33 AM



Monday, August 19, 2013
      ( 2:53 PM ) The Rat  
HOT DOGS OR LEGS? A SELFIE MEME FOR AUGUST. I'm pretty sure they were doing this just before the Roman Empire fell...

# Posted by The Rat @ 2:53 PM


      ( 9:52 AM ) The Rat  
JOHN HOLLANDER, R.I.P.

'His mind was singularly capacious, filled with baseball statistics, detective novels, mathematical formulas, vintage wines, German hymns, you name it,' Mr. McClatchy wrote. 'It is said of a man like John Hollander that when he dies it is like the burning of the library at Alexandria.'


# Posted by The Rat @ 9:52 AM



Sunday, August 18, 2013
      ( 10:40 AM ) The Rat  
WHY WOMEN CAN'T HAVE IT ALL, via the unfortunately-initialed BS. As Jean Paulhan said in another context, Enfin une femme qui avoue!

It wasn't supposed to be this hard. Like many women, I grew up believing we were equal to men, that we could have sex whenever we wanted, children whenever we chose, and work wherever we desired. For years, as a professor at Harvard Business School, I was the only woman in a room of alpha men and still I always felt equal. And I was. Then five years ago I was offered the chance to become president of Barnard College. There was barely a man in sight, and the change gave me a front-row view of what women are thinking and feeling now. We have opportunities today—to choose our educations, careers, spouses—that would've stunned our grandmothers. But now we're dazed and confused by all the choices. Feminism was meant to remove a fixed set of expectations; instead, we now interpret it as a route to personal perfection. Because we can do anything, we feel as if we have to do everything.

In other words, women today face towering expectations: a pileup of the roles society's long heaped on us, plusthe opportunities feminism created. Every day I meet young women who dazzle me. But I also see the pressure they're under. To be mothers and astrophysicists. Hard-bodied size 2s with perfect 4.0s. To be perfect. And these expectations aren't limited to a few spheres of their lives. They're everywhere...

# Posted by The Rat @ 10:40 AM




A page I'm starting to get the overlords at EveTushnet.com to stop $#@! bugging me


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