Friday, May 17, 2013
( 12:39 PM ) The Rat
THIS YEAR'S NATIONAL COUNCIL FINALS will be broadcast on WQXR tomorrow at 12:30 PM.
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:39 PM
( 10:30 AM ) The Rat
"IF WE COULD SEE INSIDE OTHER PEOPLE'S HEARTS," via JM. Manipulative, but it works anyway...
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:30 AM
( 1:21 AM ) The Rat
PSYCHEDELIC PORTUGUESE MAN-OF-WAR PHOTOS PROVE GOD IS A STONER, via WKO.
# Posted by The Rat @ 1:21 AM
Thursday, May 16, 2013
( 9:31 PM ) The Rat
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:31 PM
( 8:31 PM ) The Rat
GEOGUESSR, via IKM. Not quite as addictive as Know Your World, but perhaps that's just as well.
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:31 PM
( 1:55 PM ) The Rat
SUBSCRIPTIONS FOR THE 2013-14 SEASON are now available at City Opera, and include productions of Anna Nicole, J.C. Bach's Endimione, Bartok's Bluebeard's Castle, and Figaro.
# Posted by The Rat @ 1:55 PM
( 1:52 PM ) The Rat
COUGARLIFE.COM'S 'OFFENSIVE' BREASTFEEDING BILLBOARD TO BE REMOVED.
# Posted by The Rat @ 1:52 PM
( 1:51 PM ) The Rat
THE SCIENCE OF LONELINESS: HOW ISOLATION CAN KILL YOU. Includes notes on research by the always fascinating Steve Suomi.
In a way, these discoveries are as consequential as the germ theory of disease. Just as we once knew that infectious diseases killed, but didn't know that germs spread them, we've known intuitively that loneliness hastens death, but haven’t been able to explain how. Psychobiologists can now show that loneliness sends misleading hormonal signals, rejiggers the molecules on genes that govern behavior, and wrenches a slew of other systems out of whack. They have proved that long-lasting loneliness not only makes you sick; it can kill you. Emotional isolation is ranked as high a risk factor for mortality as smoking. A partial list of the physical diseases thought to be caused or exacerbated by loneliness would include Alzheimer’s, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, neurodegenerative diseases, and even cancer—tumors can metastasize faster in lonely people...
# Posted by The Rat @ 1:51 PM
( 12:29 AM ) The Rat
CORMAC MCCARTHY FLAUNTS SEXY NEW BEACH BODY.
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:29 AM
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
( 9:03 AM ) The Rat
LOUVRE ABU DHABI GIVES PEEK AT COLLECTION. Hmm.
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:03 AM
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
( 10:41 PM ) The Rat
"ALL THE WAY, HE LEARNED LATER, GERMAN SNIPERS HAD HAD HIM IN THEIR SIGHTS BUT, OUT OF PITY FOR THIS MADMAN, HAD NOT FIRED..." Blurb on Bill Millin, from around the time of his death in 2010.
Any reasonable observer might have thought Bill Millin was unarmed as he jumped off the landing ramp at Sword Beach, in Normandy, on June 6th 1944. Unlike his colleagues, the pale 21-year-old held no rifle in his hands. Of course, in full Highland rig as he was, he had his trusty skean dhu, his little dirk, tucked in his right sock. But that was soon under three feet of water as he waded ashore, a weary soldier still smelling his own vomit from a night in a close boat on a choppy sea, and whose kilt in the freezing water was floating prettily round him like a ballerina's skirt.
But Mr. Millin was not unarmed; far from it. He held his pipes, high over his head at first to keep them from the wet (for while whisky was said to be good for the bag, salt water wasn't), then cradled in his arms to play. And bagpipes, by long tradition, counted as instruments of war. An English judge had said so after the Scots' great defeat at Culloden in 1746; a piper was a fighter like the rest, and his music was his weapon...
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:41 PM
( 8:12 PM ) The Rat
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:12 PM
( 1:49 PM ) The Rat
"KAUFMAN THINKS RUSSIAN LITERATURE IS A PARTICULARLY GOOD FIT FOR PRISONERS. THE AUTHORS OFTEN ASKED WHAT THEY CALLED 'THE ACCURSED QUESTIONS,' KAUFMAN SAID: 'WHO AM I? WHY AM I HERE? GIVEN I'M GOING TO DIE, HOW SHOULD I LIVE?'" Juvenile offenders study Russian literature, via the WaPo.
When another inmate was hassling Justice Green recently, Green didn’t hit him. Instead, he tossed him the 19th-century Russian literature story he was reading at the time and said: Come back to me in a week after you’ve read this.
Something strange is happening at Beaumont Juvenile Correctional Center. Residents are so eager to get into a Russian literature class led by the University of Virginia that prison officials use it as a reward. The youths are clamoring to read weighty books such as "War and Peace" even after the class is over. And someone like Green, an 18-year-old from Northern Virginia who said he's there "for grand theft autos," knew he could walk away from a fight certain he had won.
The idea of bringing Tolstoy to juvenile offenders is flat ridiculous to some, who think they need a tough wake-up call and practical job skills, not what they consider literary fluff.
But the commonwealth spends nearly $80 million a year on juvenile correctional centers, and in recent years more than a third of the people released from those centers were convicted of another crime within a year.
No one's predicting a miracle cure for recidivism, a national problem. But there's no cost to the Department of Juvenile Justice for the class. And staff members at Beaumont see a marked change in students’ behavior and goals with the class, said Michael Hall, the principal of the high school there. Some have gone on to college.
Researchers have documented positive changes in behavior, decision-making, social skills, educational goals and civic engagement, according to a study by U-Va.'s Curry School of Education. The study also points to benefits for the undergraduates who study alongside incarcerated youths...
# Posted by The Rat @ 1:49 PM
( 12:33 PM ) The Rat
WORLD'S TALLEST PREFAB, SKY CITY, IS BREAKING GROUND IN JUNE. Yipes.
The numbers continue to stagger. In one building, there will be accommodation for 4450 families in apartments ranging from 645 SF to 5,000 SF, 250 hotel rooms, 100,000 SF of school, hospital and office space, totalling over eleven million square feet...
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:33 PM
( 12:32 PM ) The Rat
"WE HAVE A CHORE WHEEL FOR A REASON." If Congress Got Stuff Done Like Roommates, via CO.
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:32 PM
( 11:52 AM ) The Rat
PIC of the Jet Star Roller Coaster in Seaside Heights, post-Sandy.
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:52 AM
( 9:46 AM ) The Rat
"OFFICERS KNEW THE 45-YEAR-OLD COLE FROM PREVIOUS ARRESTS AND REALIZED HIS BRIDE HAD AN ORDER OF PROTECTION AGAINST HIM..." 16 hilariously disastrous weddings we wish we'd been invited to.
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:46 AM
( 9:05 AM ) The Rat
GERBILS STRUT THEIR STUFF AT NEW ENGLAND PAGEANT.
Fourteen-year-old Sarah Kaden from Bordentown, N.J., thinks gerbils have great personalities.
"Even though they are so little, they are very different from each other and they smell a lot less than my brother's hamsters," she said...
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:05 AM
( 9:04 AM ) The Rat
PRICE PER MILE BREAKDOWNS of some of the more popular races.
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:04 AM
( 9:00 AM ) The Rat
NAZI-THEMED TANNHAUSER CREATES SCANDAL IN GERMANY.
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:00 AM
Monday, May 13, 2013
( 11:56 PM ) The Rat
We'll never have enough time to use up all the love we have.
—Arline Feynman to Richard Feynman, January 31, 1945
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:56 PM
( 10:06 PM ) The Rat
"CHERYL, PLEASE. I'M SORRY."
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:06 PM
( 10:02 PM ) The Rat
Others experience tensions even greater than Angela's. These young people have experienced so much loss, they're unable to find meaning in a faith that does not recognize it. For them, the faith itself evokes the losses they felt in their families so many years ago.
Melissa's parents divorced when she was five years old. Her father left for the West Coast to find a job and never moved back, though she continued to see him occasionally. Melissa considers herself only slightly religious today, though she does believe "there's something out there—I usually call it God." Yet her lack of interest arose in part from the way in which religious faith painfully revived her sense of loss.
"When I was really little, my mom was fairly active in the Episcopalian church," Melissa recalled. "They always teach you prayers... So when stuff was happening that I didn't understand, I'd be like, 'Maybe I should pray.'" She remembered, "I'd sit down and go, 'Okay, now how do I pray?' You'd usually start it as a letter, 'Dear God, how are you? I'm fine. Today was warm. I was hoping that you could help me.'" She paused and laughed. "But then you kind of wonder about it because they never answer. So that made me wonder, 'Well, I wrote to him. I didn't get a letter back. That sounds like Dad!'"
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:02 PM
( 7:21 PM ) The Rat
There's a vivid scene in the film that does the book's text (above) justice. In it, Gatsby, his long lost love, Daisy Buchanan and (her cousin, Gatsby's neighbor, and the book's narrator) Nick Carraway are splashing orange juice all about, as a futuristic, gilded machine slices and presses hundreds of orange halves. The trio drink golden, sun-soaked orange juice all afternoon while dancing and laughing and forgetting their worries. They drink the juice out of the machine, martini glasses, and champagne flutes. It's a rare scene in which there's not a bottle of champagne in sight...
# Posted by The Rat @ 7:21 PM
( 7:18 PM ) The Rat
THEN THEY CAME FOR THE LATTES... But I didn't speak out because I couldn't stop twitching.
# Posted by The Rat @ 7:18 PM
( 5:40 PM ) The Rat
A FIRST JOB IS LIKE A FIRST DATE, AND OTHER ADVICE FOR GRADUATION DAY.
# Posted by The Rat @ 5:40 PM
( 5:38 PM ) The Rat
INSIDE THE PARIS APARTMENT UNTOUCHED FOR 70 YEARS, via MM.
The woman who owned the flat, a Mrs. De Florian, had fled for the south of France before the outbreak of the Second World War.
She never returned and in the 70 years since, it looks like no one had set foot inside...
# Posted by The Rat @ 5:38 PM
Sunday, May 12, 2013
( 11:10 AM ) The Rat
INTRODUCING THE CRONUT, A DOUGHNUT-CROISSANT HYBRID THAT MAY VERY WELL CHANGE YOUR LIFE, via MC.
Each one of these puppies is made from pastry dough that's been sheeted, laminated, proofed, then fried like a doughnut and rolled in flavored sugar. But that's not all: Cronuts-to-be are also filled with a not-so-sweet Tahitian vanilla cream, given a fresh coat of rose glaze, and bedazzled with rose sugar...
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:10 AM
( 11:08 AM ) The Rat
FOR THOSE WHO HATE MOTHER'S DAY AS WE APPROACH IT YET AGAIN. This is also useful, and powerful, for those (like me) who are merely ambivalent about Mother's Day.
I remember, with crystalline clarity, the way she hit me when I failed to learn how to tie my shoes. Was that the first time it happened? I can pretend it was. It's as good as any other moment.
Once upon a time, for a surreal stretch of years, we didn't speak at all. We were estranged and I was untethered, cut free from all familial ties—they thought I should just accept that was her way, they thought I should just nod and smile and keep the peace.
But there was never, in my mind, peace between us. There was a confused sort of love, wrapped up and tangled around the spokes of the way she protected me from others in order to hurt me herself. And when she rejected me and it didn't kill me, I could not fathom biting it all back, burying it in the back yard or under the porch so we could all pretend it didn't happen.
I laid in my isolated bed, that first year we didn't speak, and I hid away from Mother's Day. No one understood why Hallmark commercials about it, restaurant commercials about it, florist commercials about it made me cry...
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:08 AM
Friday, May 10, 2013
( 10:35 PM ) The Rat
OOH! Here's why it was in the news, though.
Taking inspiration from the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, as well as Wright’s Prairie School of architecture emphasizing bringing the outdoors inside, its 425 windows and 48-foot-height pull in the light through 6,000 square feet of glass...
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:35 PM
( 7:18 PM ) The Rat
"I HATE THE WAY THE HOLIDAY MAKES ALL NON-MOTHERS, AND THE DAUGHTERS OF DEAD MOTHERS, AND THE MOTHERS OF DEAD OR SEVERELY DAMAGED CHILDREN, FEEL THE DEEPEST KIND OF GRIEF AND FAILURE. THE NON-MOTHERS MUST SIT IN THEIR CHURCHES, TEMPLES, MOSQUES, RECOVERY ROOMS AND PRETEND TO FEEL GOOD ABOUT THE DAY WHILE THEY ARE EXCLUDED FROM A HOLIDAY THAT BENEFITS NO ONE BUT HALLMARK AND SEE'S..." Why I Hate Mother's Day, via AB.
Don't get me wrong: There were times I could have literally died of love for my son, and I've felt stoned on his rich, desperate love for me. But I bristle at the whispered lie that you can know this level of love and self-sacrifice only if you are a parent. We talk about "loving one's child" as if a child were a mystical unicorn. Ninety-eight percent of American parents secretly feel that if you have not had and raised a child, your capacity for love is somehow diminished. Ninety-eight percent of American parents secretly believe that non-parents cannot possibly know what it is to love unconditionally, to be selfless, to put yourself at risk for the gravest loss. But in my experience, it's parents who are prone to exhibit terrible self-satisfaction and selfishness, who can raise children as adjuncts, like rooms added on in a remodel. Their children's value and achievements in the world are reflected glory, necessary for these parents' self-esteem, and sometimes, for the family's survival. This is how children's souls are destroyed.
But my main gripe about Mother's Day is that it feels incomplete and imprecise. The main thing that ever helped mothers was other people mothering them; a chain of mothering that keeps the whole shebang afloat. I am the woman I grew to be partly in spite of my mother, and partly because of the extraordinary love of her best friends, and my own best friends' mothers, and from surrogates, many of whom were not women at all but gay men. I have loved them my entire life, even after their passing.
No one is more sentimentalized in America than mothers on Mother's Day, but no one is more often blamed for the culture's bad people and behavior. You want to give me chocolate and flowers? That would be great. I love them both. I just don't want them out of guilt, and I don't want them if you're not going to give them to all the people who helped mother our children...
# Posted by The Rat @ 7:18 PM
( 6:28 PM ) The Rat
THE RUNNING RACKET: WHY MARATHONS ARE SO EXPENSIVE.
The average entry fee for the top 25 U.S. marathons has gone up 35 percent since 2007, to $112—three and a half times faster than inflation—according to the industry association RunningUSA. For the top 25 half marathons, which have become hugely popular, the average price has more than doubled, to $94. And while (today's) Boston Marathon cost a comparatively cheap $150, the New York Marathon rose from $80 in 2004 to $255 last year, a 219 percent increase. This year's price has not been set.
That marathon blames higher charges from the police and other municipal departments for services the city used to provide for free. But the main reason prices are rising so quickly is that the number of runners is rising even faster.
Running "has become a victim of its own success," says Larry DeGaris, director of the sports marketing program at the University of Indianapolis. "It's a community movement that's grown into a business."
The number of marathon finishers broke half a million last year, up 47 percent since just 2000, RunningUSA says. The number of half-marathon finishers more than tripled, to 1.6 million. In all, 14 million runners finished road races last year, three times as many as 20 years ago. Some events now fill to capacity in minutes.
Numbers like those have drawn investors who see vast profits in a sport once dominated by nonprofit organizations like New York Road Runners, which organizes the New York Marathon, and Boston Marathon parent the Boston Athletic Association...
# Posted by The Rat @ 6:28 PM
( 6:00 PM ) The Rat
30 MOMS BEING HORRIBLY EMBARRASSING ON FACEBOOK, for any out there gearing up for Mother's Day... (There are terrific ones on all three pages of this, so don't just read the first.)
# Posted by The Rat @ 6:00 PM
( 5:46 PM ) The Rat
LOL! Via JWB.
Think you've heard of every way possible to quit smoking? Etta Mae Lopez came up with a new one: slap a cop so you'll go to jail, where smoking isn't allowed.
Lopez smacked Sacramento County sheriff's Deputy Matt Campoy in the face Tuesday as he left the main jail at the end of his shift. He grabbed her and took her inside the jail, where she slapped his arm as soon as he turned her loose.
Once she was handcuffed, the 5-foot 1-inch Lopez told Campoy she picked him because he was in uniform and she wanted to make sure she struck a law enforcement officer.
"She waited all day for a deputy to come out because she knew if she assaulted a deputy she would go to jail and be inside long enough to quit her smoking habit," Campoy told The Sacramento Bee...
# Posted by The Rat @ 5:46 PM
( 3:13 PM ) The Rat
KEYNES WAS, INCREDIBLY, RIGHT ABOUT THE FUTURE. HE WAS WRONG ABOUT HOW WE'D BE SPENDING IT, indirectly via MR.
In the United States, the economic problem that organizes many of our lives is not that we don't have enough. It's that we don't have quite as much as those who have more. That's an economic problem that, almost by definition, can never be solved. It's an economic problem that assures we will never lose our purpose...
# Posted by The Rat @ 3:13 PM
( 2:38 PM ) The Rat
The concept of being asked to, or feeling the need to, keep secrets was foreign to most young people from intact families. Of course, very troubled intact families harbor damaging secrets as well. One young man from an intact family had a father who was an alcoholic. He said frankly, "Yeah, growing up and my dad's drinking, you wouldn't want to tell Mom that something happened or that he had a beer, because she would just flip out."
Others who rew up in intact families said there might have been a few secrets, but they were typically mild—and, curiously, they often seem to involve what the mother spent while shpping. "It would be some stupid minor thing,' said one woman. "'Don't tell your father I bought this pair of shoes.' Otherwise, they're together a lot, and neither of them traveled for work, so I don't think there were secrets."
Another woman said lightly, "Yeah, shopping. My mom and I would go shopping and she'd say, 'Don't tell your dad about this,' or 'Don't tell your dad you need money, just call me.' Nothing major."
The other young people from intact families said that there was no information they kept secret or guarded for one parent about the other. They said things like "No, they didn't make stuff public," or "They kind of had their own thing going." Some, though, would break into broad grins as they admitted that they'd had plenty of secrets of their own when they were growing up. Interestingly, no one from divorced families ever used this question to launch into a discussion of their own secret lives as children or teenagers, nor did this question ever make them smile.
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:38 PM
Thursday, May 09, 2013
( 11:00 PM ) The Rat
AN UNUSUAL HEADLINE...
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:00 PM
( 5:17 PM ) The Rat
Young adults from intact families might not have known everything about their parents' values. They probably did not believe that their parents were faultless. But on the whole they saw those values as either unified or complementary.
By contrast, young adults from divorced families rarely perceived their parents' values as unified or complementary. They were much more likely to portray those values as in conflict or even as opposites. Kyle told me that his mom was open and accepting of all people, while his dad was class-conscious and given to stereotyping. Daniel said his immigrant father's most important goal was to make his family blend in as Americans, while his mother despised that idea. He also said that his father wanted his sons to excel at sports, while his mother was overprotective, fearing that the boys would get hurt. I heard that one parent valued hard work while the other parent had no work ethic and even that one parent valued commitment while the other did not.
This sense that our parents' values were in stark conflict influenced our feelings about them. It can be said that in life there are a few core beliefs we all need to have in order to feel good about ourselves and the world. One is that our mothers and fathers are good people. In our national survey, virtually all young adults from intact families strongly agreed with the statement "My mother is a good person." Most children of divorce thought so too—but they were less likely to agree strongly. This weakened sense of a parent's goodness is even more pronounced with fathers. Almost everyone from intact families strongly agrees that their father is a good person, but just over two-thirds of children of divorce feel the same way.
The differences are even greater when it comes to respect and forgiveness. Almost one-fifth of today's young adult children of divorce agree with the statement "I love my mother but I don't respect her." That's a threefold difference compared to their peers from intact families. One-quarter agree with the statement "I love my father but I don't respect him"—an almost fourfold difference.
# Posted by The Rat @ 5:17 PM
( 2:00 PM ) The Rat
OBAMA SPEECHWRITERS UNSURE HOW THEY'D PRAISE FORT LAUDERDALE IN EVENT OF TRAGEDY. For some reason my first thought, after laughing out loud at the headline, was of Colorado Springs. And then Atlanta. And then...
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:00 PM
( 11:30 AM ) The Rat
"I'M DOING THE WRONG FACE. I'M SURE OF IT." Depression: Part Two, from Hyperbole and a Half.
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:30 AM
Wednesday, May 08, 2013
( 6:47 PM ) The Rat
CAN FACEBOOK LEAD TO PSYCHOSIS?
# Posted by The Rat @ 6:47 PM
( 2:50 PM ) The Rat
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:50 PM
( 2:32 PM ) The Rat
"FROM A CERTAIN POINT OF VIEW, THERE WAS EVEN AN ADVENTURE IN BEING STOOD UP AT THE CRYPTOLOGY CONFERENCE. INVITED, ALL EXPENSES PAID, TO COME THREE THOUSAND MILES ONLY TO FIND NOBODY WHO GIVES A DAMN WHETHER YOU CAME OR NOT. NO EXPLANATION, NO APOLOGY. NOT EVEN A NOTE AT THE HOTEL DESK. THIS COULDN'T HAVE HAPPENED IN HICK TOWNS LIKE LONDON, PARIS, ROME, BERLIN, AND TOKYO. THAT WAS WHAT MADE NEW YORK GREAT. NOBODY GAVE A SHIT ABOUT ANYBODY." "Cryptology," by Leonard Michaels. For best results, listen to David Rakoff's terrific reading of this story here.
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:32 PM
( 1:12 PM ) The Rat
'TIGER MOM' STUDY SHOWS THE PARENTING METHOD DOESN'T WORK, via IKM. But that doesn't mean I can't be grateful to Amy Chua for the fact that half the white people who get into conversation with me about parenting—and this includes extremely well-educated, otherwise intelligent white people—now inevitably want to know what I think of Chua's methods, and clearly assume that I must be on board with her, since I'm Asian and "high-achieving."
In the end, then, Kim finds that Chinese immigrant moms and dads are not that different from American parents with European ancestry: three of Kim's types correspond to the parenting styles in the prior literature derived from studies of whites (supportive/authoritative, easygoing/permissive, harsh/authoritarian). What's different is the emergence of the 'tiger' profile. Since 'tigers' in Kim's study scored highly on the shaming practice believed more common among Asian-Americans, it seems that, pre-Chua at least, tiger parenting would be less common among whites. (The moms rated themselves more highly on shaming than even their kids, suggesting tiger moms—like Chua, who recounted such instances in her best-seller—feel no shame in their shaming)...
# Posted by The Rat @ 1:12 PM
Tuesday, May 07, 2013
( 11:58 PM ) The Rat
"I CONTEMPLATE ITS MEANING LIKE A ZEN HAIKU," via Passive-Aggressive Notes.
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:58 PM
Monday, May 06, 2013
( 10:54 PM ) The Rat
BEER DRONES TO DELIVER BREW TO CONCERTGOERS. Look, I'm as surprised as you are that this didn't start in a classical-music venue.
During August's OppiKoppi Music Festival, attendees can order beers from their phones to be delivered the event's District 9 campsite. The beer-equipped drones will swoop down and deliver beer via parachute to the appropriate customer. The organizers say the beer drones are now hand-guided, but in the future they'll fly on a GPS grid.
But this 21st-century service might not fly without its share of turbulence: Targeting the right customer amongst the crowds at OppiKoppi will be an interesting challenge to overcome. And festival attendees might not have the greatest sense of motor control for catching their drink order, after having one too many...
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:54 PM
( 10:51 PM ) The Rat
LINGUISTS IDENTIFY 15,000-YEAR-OLD 'ULTRACONSERVED WORDS,' via TT.
The traditional view is that words can't survive for more than 8,000 to 9,000 years. Evolution, linguistic 'weathering' and the adoption of replacements from other languages eventually drive ancient words to extinction, just like the dinosaurs of the Jurassic era.
A new study, however, suggests that's not always true.
A team of researchers has come up with a list of two dozen “ultraconserved words” that have survived 150 centuries. It includes some predictable entries: 'mother,' 'not,' 'what,' 'to hear' and 'man.' It also contains surprises: 'to flow,' 'ashes' and 'worm.'
The existence of the long-lived words suggests there was a 'proto-Eurasiatic' language that was the common ancestor to about 700 contemporary languages that are the native tongues of more than half the world's people...
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:51 PM
( 10:49 PM ) The Rat
The results indicated that men were more trusting of women that they found attractive. But men who took the Minocycline were less likely to trust attractive women and less likely to give them money, meaning that the femme fatale effect is dissipated and men are less likely to be "seduced"...
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:49 PM
( 3:56 PM ) The Rat
THIS AD HAS A SECRET ANTI-ABUSE MESSAGE THAT ONLY KIDS CAN SEE. Kind of a neat idea, though perhaps a bit too self-consciously "conceptual."
# Posted by The Rat @ 3:56 PM
Friday, May 03, 2013
( 10:47 PM ) The Rat
"GROOM'S MOTHER SHOULD BE SEATED AS FAR AWAY AS POSSIBLE FROM GROOM'S NEW 24-YEAR-OLD STEPMOTHER." What the Seating Chart Looks Like at Every Wedding Reception, via HappyPlace.
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:47 PM
( 9:47 PM ) The Rat
"LET'S JUST SAY MEN AND WOMEN WORRY ABOUT DIFFERENT THINGS." Dove 'Real Beauty' Parody Ad 'Balls' Features Men Instead of Women. NSFW, of course.
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:47 PM
( 4:48 PM ) The Rat
"ICONIC 2012 CONGA LINE." Ugh.
# Posted by The Rat @ 4:48 PM
( 4:43 PM ) The Rat
3D PRINTER SPITS OUT CYBORG EAR... BUT WHERE WILL YOU PUT IT? via JM.
# Posted by The Rat @ 4:43 PM
( 10:11 AM ) The Rat
"MEN SHOULD PAUSE FOR ONE MOMENT AND TAKE ANOTHER LONG HARD LOOK AT THE VERY THING THAT BRINGS MEANING TO THEIR MEANINGLESS LIVES..."
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:11 AM
Thursday, May 02, 2013
( 9:32 PM ) The Rat
RAPID DIAGNOSTIC TEST PROMISES END TO LEPROSY TORMENT. Vov.
As most of the infections happen in poor and often remote areas, the task of spotting and treating the disease early becomes even harder.
But now there's new hope for diagnosing leprosy before it infects others and causes physical damage.
A laboratory in Rio, OrangeLife, has just introduced a test—similar to a pregnancy test—that uses a drop of blood to diagnose leprosy in around 10 minutes.
Marco Collovati, president of OrangeLife, says each test will cost less than a dollar—"just the cost of one ice-cream.
"The rapid test allows us to detect the disease early, before the patient has lesions to the nerves and deformations," he says. "This is a real revolution after more than 3,000 years of a disease which has caused so much stigma, suffering and prejudice"...
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:32 PM
( 8:37 PM ) The Rat
JUST STUMBLED UPON, in this otherwise mostly standard-issue tribute to From the Mixed-Up Files and its author:
It's an unabashed glorification of nerdiness, an ode to the kick of discovery, and it never apologizes for being enthusiastic about learning. You begin to suspect that, to E.L. Konigsburg, the height of human flourishing is learning in the company of people you care about...
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:37 PM
( 8:24 PM ) The Rat
RASHOMON ON EVEREST, CTD. I'm not even going to try to link to all the different accounts that have emerged, but there's a roundup of several here. Don't miss the fifth report, by Garrett Madison.
As this story has emerged in the media it has become clear that the Sherpas have not been given a voice. The press releases, the blogging, and reports from the European climbers have dominated the headlines. Meanwhile, the Sherpa are quietly continuing to fix the rope and continue their work at nearly 8,000 meters on Everest. These Sherpa help realize the dream of many western climbers and will continue to be honored and respected by the foreign climbers who climb with them on Everest.
I have pieced together an objective version of events different from what is currently in the media headlines. These details are directly from what I heard on the radio on April 27, my discussions with many people in base camp over the last two days including expedition leaders, western guides, and clients who were at Camp 2 during this incident, and Sirdars (head Sherpa) who directly supervise the fixing team...
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:24 PM
( 8:01 PM ) The Rat
GIANT RUBBER DUCK SAILS INTO HONG KONG HARBOR, via MM. Had already seen an image or two back when the duck was wandering around parts of Europe, but it's actually cooler seeing it in places I've actually been to. (Pretty sure I've been on the junk in this pic, for instance.)
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:01 PM
( 7:05 PM ) The Rat
A passive verb is when the subject is the sufferer, as in 'I am loved.'
# Posted by The Rat @ 7:05 PM
( 3:30 PM ) The Rat
"NEWLY PUBLISHED RESEARCH SUGGESTS THEY COULD ALSO BE CALLED THE GENERATION WITH UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS." "A new car every two or three years"? Where are these kids getting this from, parents who drive their cell phones?!
Twenge and Kasser analyzed data from the Monitoring the Future survey, which has tracked the views of a representative sample of 17- and 18-year-old Americans since 1976. They compared the answers to key questions given by high school seniors in 2005-2007 to those provided by previous generations.
To measure materialism, the youngsters were asked to rate on a one-to-four ("not important" to "extremely important") scale how vital they felt it was to own certain expensive items: "a new car every two to three years," "a house of my own (instead of an apartment or condominium)," "a vacation house," and "a motor-powered recreational vehicle." They were also asked straightforwardly how important they felt it was to "have a lot of money."
To measure their attitudes toward work, the seniors rated on a one-to-five scale the extent to which they agreed with a series of statements, including "I expect my work to be a very central part of my life," and "I want to do my best in my job, even if this sometimes means working overtime"...
# Posted by The Rat @ 3:30 PM
( 9:53 AM ) The Rat
THE REAL ME, via WC. Reminiscent of the more substantive The Web Means the End of Forgetting, from 2010.
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:53 AM
( 9:40 AM ) The Rat
ACCUSED OF SPANKING CLIENT FOR SAYING 'UH HUH,' SUSPENDED LAWYER FACES CRIMINAL CASE, via SV.
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:40 AM
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
( 6:39 PM ) The Rat
SEX SUPERBUG COULD BE 'WORSE THAN AIDS.'
# Posted by The Rat @ 6:39 PM
( 6:33 PM ) The Rat
LIVING IN U.S. RAISES RISK OF ALLERGIES.
"Children born outside the United States had significantly lower prevalence of any allergic diseases (20.3 percent) than those born in the United States (34.5 percent)," said the study led by Jonathan Silverberg of St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York.
"However, foreign-born Americans develop increased risk for allergic disease with prolonged residence in the United States," it said.
Children who were born outside the United States but came to live in the United States for longer than 10 years showed "significantly" higher odds of developing eczema or hay fever but not asthma or food allergies, said the research. "These data indicate that duration of residence in the United States is a previously unrecognized factor in the epidemiology of atopic disease"...
# Posted by The Rat @ 6:33 PM
( 6:20 PM ) The Rat
"THE QUESTION WHICH ALL LOVERS EVENTUALLY FIND THEMSELVES FACING."
# Posted by The Rat @ 6:20 PM
( 3:12 PM ) The Rat
THE PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE RAVEN, via JM.
# Posted by The Rat @ 3:12 PM
( 11:14 AM ) The Rat
HOW NOT TO DIE, via TT.
When doctors try to predict the goals and preferences of their patients, they are "highly inaccurate," according to one summary of the research, published by Benjamin Moulton and Jaime S. King in The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics. Patients are "routinely asked to make decisions about treatment choices in the face of what can only be described as avoidable ignorance," Moulton and King write. "In the absence of complete information, individuals frequently opt for procedures they would not otherwise choose."
Though no one knows for sure, unwanted treatment seems especially common near the end of life. A few years ago, at age 94, a friend of mine's father was hospitalized with internal bleeding and kidney failure. Instead of facing reality (he died within days), the hospital tried to get authorization to remove his colon and put him on dialysis. Even physicians tell me they have difficulty holding back the kind of mindlessly aggressive treatment that one doctor I spoke with calls "the war on death." Matt Handley, a doctor and an executive with Group Health Cooperative, a big health system in Washington state, described his father-in-law's experience as a "classic example of overmedicalization." There was no Conversation. "He went to the ICU for no medical reason," Handley says. "No one talked to him about the fact that he was going to die, even though outside the room, clinicians, when asked, would say 'Oh, yes, he's dying'"...
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:14 AM
( 11:01 AM ) The Rat
TUNISIA-BORN BAKER WINS BEST BAGUETTE CROWN IN PARIS.
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:01 AM
( 10:52 AM ) The Rat
22 GENIOUSLY DEFACED TEXTBOOKS AND EXAM PAPERS, via MM. You'll never think about your cervix the same way again!
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:52 AM
( 10:51 AM ) The Rat
WHEN EMOTION OVERTAKES YOU, via AP.
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:51 AM
( 10:49 AM ) The Rat
I suppose I must really have been rather nervous, otherwise I should not have opened the conversation by saying affectionately, 'Hallo, catfish!' It was hardly, in the circumstances, a lover-like greeting.
—The Moving Finger
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:49 AM
Monday, April 29, 2013
( 9:33 PM ) The Rat
SATURN HURRICANE HAS 1,250 MILE-WIDE EYE.
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:33 PM
Sunday, April 28, 2013
( 8:52 PM ) The Rat
I WONDER WHAT BECAME OF ME, a lovely short piece from TT.
I wonder how I would have felt had it suddenly been made known to me that I would someday look back and realize that
nothing I imagined for myself when young has come to pass: everything is different, utterly so... Nor am I the person I expected to be, calm and detached and philosophical: I still cry without warning, laugh too loud, lose my head and heart too easily, the same way I did a quarter-century ago. The person I was is the person I am, only older. Might that be wisdom of a sort?
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:52 PM
( 4:24 PM ) The Rat
THE MOST UNUSUAL RESTAURANTS IN THE WORLD, via IKM.
# Posted by The Rat @ 4:24 PM
( 3:04 PM ) The Rat
THERE'S A FRUIT SALAD BOATING LAKE at Kew this summer.
# Posted by The Rat @ 3:04 PM
( 1:05 PM ) The Rat
FDA OFFICIAL: "JUST EAT A GODDAMN VEGETABLE," from a couple of years back.
# Posted by The Rat @ 1:05 PM
Saturday, April 27, 2013
( 5:05 PM ) The Rat
USDA ROLLS OUT NEW SCHOOL BRUNCH PROGRAM FOR WEALTHIER SCHOOL DISTRICTS.
# Posted by The Rat @ 5:05 PM
( 3:12 PM ) The Rat
22 UNBELIEVABLE PLACES THAT ARE HARD TO BELIEVE REALLY EXIST, via WKO.
# Posted by The Rat @ 3:12 PM
( 12:43 PM ) The Rat
SONGBIRDS 'POSSESS A MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MORE COMPLEX THAN ANYTHING FOUND IN AN ORCHESTRA,' from January.
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:43 PM
( 12:42 PM ) The Rat
I CONFESS I was one of the up votes on the "Grow up, and stop being so horrible" comment on this.
One lunch, I was dragging myself around the playground when I saw my mom standing by the fence, waving big and calling my name. I wanted so badly to ignore her. She was supposed to be at work and I didn't have physical therapy that day so I was immediately suspicious. As confusing as her presence was, my curiosity did not outweigh my desire to be left alone. Especially by her. I began to back away so she started shouting loud enough to be heard over the playground din. I shuffled towards her with every intention to roundhouse-bludgeon her with my plastered arm. She held out a paper box. It was a McDonald’s happy meal: a cheeseburger one, which was my favorite. The offering was so out of character that I considered it a bribe. I wondered if my parents were getting a divorce since that was huge at my school at the time. I asked her what was going on. She mentioned something about how she wanted me to have a lunch that I liked.
I then did what any normal kid would do and yelled and yelled about how embarrassing it was to have her at school with me during lunch of all times. She presented me with a sack of cheeseburgers that I could give out to my friends. I refused the damp bag and screeched about how it was so cheap that she didn't spring for bright red boxes with toys for them as well. I made her take the burgers back with her. If I were an actress and had to think of something sad to make me cry in a scene, I would think about this moment. This and the time I was 13 when I kicked my mom across a room and ran away for two days because she tried to ground me—for breaking curfew after my friend Jacinta stole money from her dying grandmother so we could rent out a nightclub and write the names of those blackballed on the sign outside...
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:42 PM
( 12:04 PM ) The Rat
THE TOLL BROS. MATINEE BROADCAST of Giulio Cesare is about to start!
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:04 PM
Friday, April 26, 2013
( 2:11 PM ) The Rat
"WHY THE INTERNET WAS INVENTED," via AB.
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:11 PM
Thursday, April 25, 2013
( 9:40 PM ) The Rat
GIRL ON SHROOMS PROVIDES BORING SKI TOWN'S POLICE BLOTTER WITH REPORT OF KILLER GIRAFFES ON THE LOOSE.
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:40 PM
( 8:58 PM ) The Rat
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:58 PM
( 5:26 PM ) The Rat
31 TIPS FOR TAKING THE PERFECT WEDDING PHOTO, via AB. AKA, 31 arguments to just elope, people.
# Posted by The Rat @ 5:26 PM
( 4:05 PM ) The Rat
KOALA CHLAMYDIA: THE STD THREATENING AN AUSTRALIAN ICON. By the time you get halfway through this article, the sentence "In a eucalyptus wood outside Brisbane, he unfurls an antenna" sounds weirdly dirty.
# Posted by The Rat @ 4:05 PM
( 3:43 PM ) The Rat
OPERA DRESSERS: QUICK: MY HOT TOWELS!
The funny/great thing about this story is how it's pretty much exactly how you'd imagine it.
Valantasis finds he has to be part cheerleader, part coach and part confidant. "You listen," he says. "I'm not necessarily a conversationalist and I'm not trying to figure them out. But, as I'm standing there putting them into something, they say things. They're fearing for their health, the weather, the run – all sorts of things. You learn what they want. Once in a while, there's a panic. You have to throw yourself into it and say, 'It's you and me, babe, we're gonna do this thing.'"
For much of the performance, Gomez-Pizzo perches on some steps in the wings, half in darkness, and looks out on to the stage holding a huge bottle of water ready for Dessay. She was once left literally holding the baby, she says, when a soprano's nanny cancelled...
# Posted by The Rat @ 3:43 PM
( 3:40 PM ) The Rat
ARE CHILDREN'S BOOKS REINFORCING MATERIALISM? Just leave me alone so I can finish my Oreo Cookie Counting Book.
Franz used 50 indicators across 10 categories to analyse the books, from "emphasis on looks" to "desire for more 'stuff,'" looking at the different ways in which stories can promote and discourage the "consumer socialisation" of their readers. One of the worst example she found was in Pinkalicious by Victoria and Elizabeth Kann, in which the main character, Pinkalicious, "lives in a home with a crystal chandelier in her bedroom, is surrounded by a plethora of toys, desires instant gratification, and exhibits unmistakable vanity."
"The book's dialogue illustrates how relationships are centred around products in many of the picture books," says Franz. "For example, Pinkalicious constantly begs her parents for more pink cupcakes, even after they have caused her skin and hair to turn pink. She reflects, 'After dinner, I ate more cupcakes. Then I refused to go to bed. 'Just one more pink cupcake, and I'll go to sleep,' I promised.' Scholars argue that marketers encourage children to nag their parents, and this sort of pressure from kids is an equivalent reason to price for why parents actually purchase things. If this is reiterated in picture books, it provides just one more avenue by which children might become irresponsible consumers"...
# Posted by The Rat @ 3:40 PM
( 3:35 PM ) The Rat
AID POLICY: HELPING WHOM, EXACTLY? via WC.
Scandalous barely covers it. Since America began donating surplus wheat, corn meal, vegetable oil and other farm commodities to the world’s hungry six decades ago, the programme has been captured by an "iron triangle" of farm interests, shippers and voluntary organisations, with plenty of help from Congress. Rules state that most food aid must be bought from American farmers and processed in America. At least half must then be carried on American-flag ships. With competition severely curbed, ocean shipping eats up 16% of the budget for the largest food-aid programme, Food for Peace.
Under a system called "monetisation," charities and non-governmental outfits get a cut from non-emergency aid (which represents about 30% of Food for Peace). Voluntary outfits receive American produce, sell it on local markets abroad and then use the proceeds for good works. On average this "inherently inefficient" system wastes 25 cents of every dollar of taxpayers' money sent, according to the Government Accountability Office. And the food supplied often floods fragile markets, hurting local farmers it is meant to help...
# Posted by The Rat @ 3:35 PM
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
( 10:41 PM ) The Rat
One adult patient had a mother who had died when the patient was thirty. The patient had not married because her mother had told her that you could only love one person at a time. Since she felt that she loved her mother, she assumed that she could not marry until her mother died. [...]
If patients from an enmeshed family try to marry, the sabotage can be intricate and complex. Often, the mother succeeds in subverting the relationship and the marriage never takes place. This may be done by encouraging sons or daughters to date other people after the engagement has been announced. If she cannot dissuade her child from the relationship, she may become so overly involved that the couple begins to fight and break apart under the stress of her intrusion.
Dan's mother cried when he announced his intention to have a birthday party for his girlfriend. She said, 'I don't believe that you are not going to take care of me.' When this strategy failed, she created the party list for her son's party and would repeatedly review the list guessing what his date would be given for birthday presents. In her fantasy she managed to take the place of his girlfriend in opening the presents. The couple argued because of the stress created by the mother's behavior and began to think of the party as a chore.
There are many versions of what happens what patients announce engagement plans. They all report feeling extremely uneasy about breaking the news to their parents but don't understand why. On the surface, the parents may even feign support.
Dan was told that if he found a woman he felt was right for him but whom his parents didn't like, he should marry her anyway. When he actually brought his fiancée home, he faced strong opposition. He reminded his mother of her comment and she stopped speaking to him. Dan's uneasiness prompted him to tell a lot of other people first, to practice and see if he received supportive responses. When his parents learned that they were among the last to hear about the engagement, they were furious.
The patients always hope that their parents will be pleased and supportive. However, the parents seem to come up with one of four responses:
1. Genuine support followed by blatant sabotage.
2. Pretended support that they know they should give which tends to be falsely sweet.
3. Direct sabotage presented with disturbed emotion.
4. Silence. There is no joy and celebration.
—Dorothea S. McArthur, The Birth of a Self in Adulthood
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:41 PM
( 6:02 PM ) The Rat
ISLAMIC EXTREMIST GIVES UP ON RADICALIZING DIM-WITTED FRIEND. I bet this is exactly what it's like, too.
# Posted by The Rat @ 6:02 PM
( 5:18 PM ) The Rat
THE HIDDEN POETIC GENIUS OF AN OLD, ENGLISH NURSERY RHYME.
The story didn't end there, because we'd take the damsons back home. My mom would bottle them—and all through the winter we'd have damson pie. In our generation in England, you'd have damson pie for Sunday lunch. You'd get your portion of pie, and as you'd get through it, the pips—the stones in the center of the fruit—would end up in your mouth. You'd take them out and place them on the tablecloth in front of you, and they'd remain on the table before you throughout the meal. Then at the end, you could make a little rhyme:
Rich man, Poor Man
Beggar man, Thief.
We used this around the table to tell our fortunes. Eight men—and you'd count off for each pip you had, stopping when you ran out, looping around to the beginning if you had more than eight. Every single one of the choices would be invite you to have a little imaginative spree. If you had five of these stones, you could think for a few minutes think about being a rich man. And how close you'd come to being a poor man...
# Posted by The Rat @ 5:18 PM
( 8:20 AM ) The Rat
SWOON... via Londonist.
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:20 AM
( 2:28 AM ) The Rat
MORMON BISHOP WITH SAMURAI SWORD RUNS OFF ATTACKER, via JM.
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:28 AM
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
( 11:57 PM ) The Rat
WE'RE NO. 1! WE'RE NO. 1! America No. 1 in Fear, Stress, Anger, Divorce, Obesity, Antidepressants, etc., via AB. And yet people look at me like I have two heads when I say I'm just about always happier when overseas.
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:57 PM
( 2:29 PM ) The Rat
THE LAST-PLACE BOSTON FINISHER.
It bothered her a little when a newspaper story described her as the slowest runner in the marathon, since nearly 5,000 others were behind her, unable to complete the race, when she finished. "But that's not my biggest problem in the world."
Mostly, she avoided the news. "I watched enough to know what was going on, but I don't think there’s a need to try to watch a horrific event and just relive it."
Still, says Shaw, speaking about 8-year-old victim Martin Richard, "I was so angry when I heard that little boy died. I wanted to go out and find the guy who did this." Nor did it escape her notice that spectators like the ones who'd given her the will to finish were among the maimed and dead...
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:29 PM
( 2:26 PM ) The Rat
40 CREATIVE AND UNUSUAL STATUES AND SCULPTURES, via JM.
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:26 PM
( 12:33 PM ) The Rat
"RIGHT NOW YOU HAVE ON A VERY FANCY DRESS. ARE YOU GOING ON A BIG BOWLING DATE?" Isabel Leonard visits Sesame Street.
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:33 PM
( 12:05 PM ) The Rat
I'M NOT BROKEN BECAUSE I'M NOT A MOM, via AB. Someday, we'll have a society where people are raised well and know better than to say stupid/condescending shit like this. Ha, ha!—I'm such a kidder.
Things people have said to me, actual real, live things:
—That I will always be a child because I am not a parent.
—That I do not fully know how to love, because I am not a parent.
—That she just did not know how I went home at night to a house without a partner or children, because if she did that, she’d find no meaning in life at all. (This, stated as she was dumping more work on my desk at the end of the day, after another 9-5 she spent doing the Washington Post extra-hard crossword puzzles online, JUST SAYING.)
Look. If you need to validate your adulthood, your ability to love, and your ultimate purpose in life via your parenting status? That may be a deeper problem...
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:05 PM
( 11:08 AM ) The Rat
"NOT TO SAY THAT THIS IS A GIANT METAPHOR, BUT..." 14 Engagement Photos That Will Make You Happy You're Single, via AB.
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:08 AM
( 11:04 AM ) The Rat
"I CAN'T IMAGINE HOW PEOPLE IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD LIVE LIKE THIS EVERY DAY WITH ALL THE BOMBS, GUNS AND UNCERTAINTY." Via Harper's.
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:04 AM
( 10:59 AM ) The Rat
FOR CHINESE WOMEN, MARRIAGE DEPENDS ON RIGHT 'BRIDE PRICE,' via AB.
Just a few weeks have passed since the wedding, and they're already expecting their first child. They hope it will be a girl.
"We wouldn't have to buy her an apartment," Wang says, "and she'd cost us less than a boy."
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:59 AM
( 10:58 AM ) The Rat
SCAMS BLOCKING CHINESE INVESTORS' PATH TO U.S. GREEN CARDS.
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:58 AM
( 10:57 AM ) The Rat
"DAILY LIFE FRUSTRATES ME HUGELY. MUSIC GOES RIGHT PAST THAT, RIGHT TO THE CORE..." Terrific as the rest of the cast also were, Ratty's mind was blown by Alice Coote, who sang Sesto last night. Giulio Cesare will be the Toll Bros. matinee this Saturday.
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:57 AM
Monday, April 22, 2013
( 6:14 AM ) The Rat
I prayed for freedom for twenty years, but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.
# Posted by The Rat @ 6:14 AM
Sunday, April 21, 2013
( 4:49 PM ) The Rat
THE DAILY LIFE OF A GRANDMA AND HER ODD-EYED CAT, via IKM. Cute, but I don't get why she's in a bathtub with a bunch of citrus fruit...?
# Posted by The Rat @ 4:49 PM
( 2:32 PM ) The Rat
WHY DO BABIES CALM DOWN WHEN THEY ARE CARRIED? via JM.
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:32 PM
( 2:29 PM ) The Rat
I NEVER TALK ON THE FIRST DATE.
Besides, when you start off a date right away by saying "Hello" and immediately giving her 10 minutes of back-and-forth that shows that you're both intelligent and entertaining, that's all you're ever going to be in her mind: a great talk. A guy she could just call up whenever she feels like it for some no-strings-attached conversation. It's like my father always said: Why buy the cow when you can talk to the cow for free?
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:29 PM
( 9:34 AM ) The Rat
"THE FIRST THING I NOTICED WAS THAT I COULD BARELY SEE..." The story behind that rhino costume at the London Marathon.
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:34 AM
Friday, April 19, 2013
( 1:59 AM ) The Rat
IS THIS THE SWEETEST RESIGNATION LETTER OF ALL TIME?
# Posted by The Rat @ 1:59 AM
( 12:26 AM ) The Rat
"I WOULD SAY I HAVE A BALANCED FACE... ALMOST LIKE A WHITE DENZEL WASHINGTON." Dove Experiment, Parodied: How Men See Themselves, via TG.
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:26 AM
Thursday, April 18, 2013
( 10:07 AM ) The Rat
"WHEN HE VISITS THE FAMILY OF THE DECEASED, THEY ALMOST ALWAYS ASK ABOUT THE ENGINEER. 'THEY KNOW HOW DEVASTATING IT IS,' SULLIVAN SAYS." Los Angeles article about suicides on L.A.'s rails, from last summer. Eek.
In his third year as an engineer, Salazar and his co-engineer were moving at 60 mph through an industrial swath of El Monte when they ran into a homeless woman (many trespasser strikes involve homeless people) walking on the tracks with her back to the train. A short time later Salazar was in almost the same place when he saw a man in his forties sitting on the tracks. He blew the horn and pushed the brake so hard, he almost broke his hand. "I knew I was going to hit him, and I knew he was going to die," Salazar says. "You know it's not your fault, but the guilt is terrible. 'Could I have done something different? Could I have seen him earlier? Could I have blown the whistle earlier?'"
Salazar started getting calls from other engineers at once. The fellowship circled around him. His dad told him to expect some post-traumatic stress. "He said, 'You don't think that's what's giving you headaches or not letting you sleep at night or making you irritable. But it is.' I've got friends who are police officers. In 15 years on the job they've never drawn their weapons or shot anyone or even seen a dead body"...
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:07 AM
( 8:53 AM ) The Rat
"BABY OIL, BEER, COKE, PETROLEUM JELLY, LEMONADE, FRUIT JUICE, AND BUTTER ARE AMONG THE MOST UNCONVENTIONAL AND DAMAGING ALTERNATIVES TO CONTACT LENS SOLUTION THAT CONTACT LENS WEARERS CONFESSED TO USING IN A STUDY RECENTLY CONDUCTED IN THE UNITED KINGDOM." I don't actually wear contacts, but that hurts just to read about...
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:53 AM
( 8:36 AM ) The Rat
POTTERY THERAPY FOR THE TREATMENT OF DEPRESSION AND BIPOLAR DISORDER. I hadn't read this when I signed up for the wheel throwing class I took at this terrific little Long Beach studio yesterday, but I will say that Clay's staff may be their own best advertisement: You'll seldom walk into any room anywhere and meet such kind, open people. Definitely going back for more.
[P]ottery therapy promotes the use of care, attention to detail, and the use of both water and heat to create a final product. For individuals who live with depression or bipolar disorder, pottery therapy alleviates perceptions of pain and seems to promote a sense of calmness and slows blood pressure and heart rate...
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:36 AM
( 8:23 AM ) The Rat
PHOTOS CAPTURE BEAUTY OF WATER FROZEN IN TIME.
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:23 AM
( 8:02 AM ) The Rat
27 SIGNS YOU WERE RAISED BY ASIAN IMMIGRANT PARENTS. Several accurate ones in here, though the Facebook commenters tearing up at no. 27 1) have clearly only met a certain subset of Asian immigrant parents and 2) need to start asking themselves why U.S.-born Asian-American women have an elevated risk for suicidal thoughts, if "family cohesion and support," which are protective against ditto, are really such a given among all Asian-American families.
That being said, I knew plenty of the Asian-American kids this list was written by and for, growing up. They were the B students.
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:02 AM
( 1:56 AM ) The Rat
# Posted by The Rat @ 1:56 AM
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
( 1:23 PM ) The Rat
INEQUALITY AND NEW YORK'S SUBWAY, an interactive infographic. Highlights here; link via WC.
—$191,442: The largest range in median household income on a single subway line (for the 2, which includes Chambers Street/Park Place, in Lower Manhattan, on the high end, and East 180th Street, in the Bronx, on the low end).
—$84,837: The smallest range in median household income on a single subway line (for the G, the only non-shuttle subway line that doesn’t pass through Manhattan).
—$142,265: The largest gap in median household income between two consecutive subway stations on the same line (between Fulton Street and Chambers Street on the A and the C lines, in Lower Manhattan).
# Posted by The Rat @ 1:23 PM
( 1:21 PM ) The Rat
By the time I met Beaumont, the sheen was off the fashion industry for me. It was clear that trends are industry-determined, created and destroyed arbitrarily in the interest of turning a profit. The fashion industry has gotten too large and is competing too fiercely on low price, and the only way it is able to run now is by creating new product cheaply and constantly. The quality of our clothing has been chipped away. The reason why so many of us have no kinship with or respect for anything in our closets and why fashion can seem so self-indulgent and pretentious nowadays is because fashion has become a slick, industrialized, heavily marketed industry. Loving most clothes sold today would be like loving a fast-food sandwich.
# Posted by The Rat @ 1:21 PM
( 12:19 AM ) The Rat
I REALLY DO HAVE A CONSIDERABLE AMOUNT OF SHAME about being such an Ira Glass fangirl, but I'm just going to say it: The new TAL, No. 492, "Dr. Gilmer and Mr. Hyde," may be the best I've ever heard... and I've listened to approx. 185 of the 492 episodes to date. A plot like my favorite Christie novel, some of the pathos of Tolstoy or of Lear ("As flies to wanton boys, are we to the gods..."), and it actually happened. Easily one of the best-spent hours of my life. Listen to it—seriously, don't just read it—here.
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:19 AM
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
( 11:49 PM ) The Rat
"I RUINED HIS LIFE WHAT DO I DO NOW," "MY LIFE IS RUINED WHAT DO I DO NOW," and other searches that took Googlers to Passive-Aggressive Notes this week.
—using avocado pit as anal bead
—are my neighbors cock fighting
—how to kill your neighbors rooster
—hireing a dungun master in vancouver
—invisibel latex catsuit
—is not texting immature
—is it illegal to tamper with your own lunch?
—clipart used tampon
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:49 PM
( 10:08 AM ) The Rat
HOW ATTRACTIVE ARE YOU TO THE OPPOSITE SEX? ESQUIRE'S 1949 QUESTIONNAIRE, via WC.
Do you ever embarrass a man by telling him he's good-looking or has big muscles or is too, too intelligent? Try it! Almost any man can stand almost any amount of flattery, however obvious, without embarrassment or surprise...
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:08 AM
( 10:03 AM ) The Rat
CLICHES COME TO LIFE...
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:03 AM
Monday, April 15, 2013
( 8:33 PM ) The Rat
"THE COURSE WAS CHOSEN TO HUMBLE YOU." Explosions and the Meaning of the Boston Marathon.
There's something particularly devastating about an attack on a marathon. It's an epic event in which men and women appear almost superhuman. The winning men run for hours at a pace even normal fit people can only hold in a sprint. But it's also so ordinary. It's not held in a stadium or on a track. It's held in the same streets everyone drives on and walks down. An attack on a marathon is, in some ways, more devastating than an attack on a stadium; you're hitting something special but also something very quotidian...
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:33 PM
( 8:29 PM ) The Rat
CALIFORNIA SCHOOL BANS LEGGINGS BECAUSE THEY WERE DISTRACTING TO BOYS.
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:29 PM
( 1:52 PM ) The Rat
TIDE WOWS WITH COMMERCIAL THAT TREATS DAD LIKE A NORMAL PERSON.
He's an ordinary dad. I'll let that sink in. He's not a buffoon, the butt of a joke, a clueless child who needs his wife to take care of him. He's not afraid of washing his daughter's clothes, or even a guy who has to supplement his masculinity by doing pull-ups and crunches after he handles a princess dress, like Tide's overcompensating dad-mom from 2011...
# Posted by The Rat @ 1:52 PM
( 1:36 PM ) The Rat
There used to be more of a direct connection between high-end clothing and quality. Now a designer name is no guarantee of craftsmanship. As early as 1994, Consumer Reports was finding that designer clothing at Barneys, in the case of a rayon chenille sweater, often offered no better quality than Kmart.
I found myself back at Bergdorf Goodman a few months after my price-comparison trip on a different mission. What seemed to be absent in the prestige versus low price wars was the actual tangible clothing itself. Beyond the designer label or the outrageous deals, is there any remaining clothing that is just plain beautiful and made well? Of course there is. A close friend of mine recently dropped $550 on a wool silk-lined Helmut Lang blazer, and she had to pry me out of it. The difference in quality between the jacket and anything I owned was visceral and obvious. The jacket felt amazing. It looked amazing on.
I conscripted wardrobe consultant Joan Reilly to go on my quality-finding mission. She and I walked all over Bergdorf, where she once worked, running our hands over ethereal fabrics, lifting up seams to study the stitching, and asking salespeople to explain different grades of cashmere and the like. 'It's all about detail and the garment construction,' Reilly explained, as we stuck our faces next to an exquisite handstitched $4,400 gown by Ralph Rucci. [...]
We then moved on to another collection where the saleswoman wouldn't even indulge my questions about quality. She walked over to a bright orange cotton shirt with an embroidered neckline and pulled it off the rack. '$700 for a freaking tunic?' she sad in a thick Long Island accent. 'I don't think so.' This Bergdorf saleswoman told me directly that quality was not at all what was motivating her consumer. It was prestige. They were after the designer's name. Reilly agreed that many consumers and even her own clients are more name obsessed and status motivated than anything. One client asked for help in planning an outfit around a pair of Jimmy Choo heels, having never shown her the shoes. 'There wasn't even a description of the shoe,' Reilly recalled. 'I said, How is that going to help me help you pick out an outfit?'
—Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion
# Posted by The Rat @ 1:36 PM
Saturday, April 13, 2013
( 3:06 AM ) The Rat
"MADBL FINDS THE DOUCHEBAG IN INCREDIBLE PLACES: ABOARD THE VOMIT COMET, IN A COCKPIT MID-FLIGHT, ATOP MOUNT EVEREST, JACKING OFF A THOROUGHBRED, WHATEVER." What Your Profile Picture Says About You.
# Posted by The Rat @ 3:06 AM
Friday, April 12, 2013
( 1:11 AM ) The Rat
"'MEDICALLY, PHYSIOLOGICALLY, ANATOMICALLY—BREASTS GAIN NO BENEFIT FROM BEING DENIED GRAVITY,' HE SAID." Of course it was a French study. Also, don't miss the last para.
# Posted by The Rat @ 1:11 AM