Wednesday, November 30, 2005
( 11:22 PM ) The Rat
BEST TYPO EVER, via LT.
Quaker Maid Meats Inc. on Tuesday said it would voluntarily recall 94,400 pounds of frozen ground beef panties that may be contaminated with
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:22 PM
( 11:21 PM ) The Rat
THE HITLER CARD!
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:21 PM
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
( 8:16 PM ) The Rat
IS IT JUST ME or does "The Swords of Righteousness Brigade" sound really weird, like a jihadist porn flick or something?
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:16 PM
( 8:05 PM ) The Rat
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:05 PM
( 7:52 PM ) The Rat
RATTY'S KIND OF HEIST.
British police were searching for 85,000 pounds worth of finest cognac on Tuesday after a French lorry driver was robbed...
# Posted by The Rat @ 7:52 PM
( 10:51 AM ) The Rat
TOO PERFECT. From an entry in the "General History" section of the 1819 Annual Register:
Roman Catholic Claims. In the House of Commons, on May 3rd, petitions were presented respecting the claims of the Roman Catholics, by the following members: Mr. Bastard, against their claims, from the county of Devon, and from the city of Exeter; Mr. Peel and Mr. Methuen, on the same side; sir George Hill, from the citizens and inhabitants of Londonderry, on the same side; Lord Ebrington and Mr. Western, in favour of the Catholics; and many other petitions on the same subject, which were ordered to lie on the table...
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:51 AM
Monday, November 28, 2005
( 1:15 PM ) The Rat
THE GOOD PARTS. Thanks to ET for the link.
Dodgy paperbacks notwithstanding, though, school provides some legitimately literary erotic opportunities for the dedicated reader. Poets and playwrights rarely got to the point, as far as I could see, in the interminable pages of school anthologies. Passion was usually depicted in terms either of innocent desire (any of Browning) or harrowing jealousy (Medea). The Wife of Bath was glossed over quickly, and with a minimum of detail. We must have been made to read something like several thousand odes by passionate shepherds to their loves, each more boringly festooned with rose petals than the last. Only a few pages on though, Donne, in To His Mistress Going to Bed, exhorted his lover to "License my roving hands, and let them go / Before, behind, between, above, below." That, as Paris Hilton would say, is so hot.
# Posted by The Rat @ 1:15 PM
( 12:55 PM ) The Rat
Everybody else is working to change, persuade, tempt and control them. The best readers come to fiction to be free of all that noise.
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:55 PM
Sunday, November 27, 2005
( 10:30 AM ) The Rat
GERMANS PREFER LETTERS AFTER NAME TO LOVE OR MONEY. Heh!
Germans value letters attached to their name more than money, love or having children with nine out of ten rating a good qualification as their most important aim in life, a survey showed Wednesday.
In Germany even minor academic degrees appear on business cards and doctorate titles adorn many letter boxes...
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:30 AM
( 10:25 AM ) The Rat
I think I see her surrounded by her children, reaping the reward of her care. The intelligent eye meets hers, whilst health and innocence smile on their chubby cheeks, and as they grow up the cares of life are lessened by their grateful attention. She lives to see the virtues which she endeavoured to plant on principles fixed into habits, to see her children attain a strength of character sufficient to enable them to endure adversity without forgetting their mother's example.
The task of life thus fulfilled, she calmly waits for the sleep of death, and rising from the grave, may say—Behold, thou gavest me a talent—and here are five talents.
—Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:25 AM
Thursday, November 24, 2005
( 2:28 PM ) The Rat
TURKEY GOBBLED UP IN 12 MINUTES. God bless America! Thanks to Kira for the link.
Sonya Thomas, 37, who weighs just 105 pounds (47.5 kg), beat seven men in the annual Thanksgiving Invitational: a race to eat a 10-pound (4.5-kg) turkey.
The smallest in the field, Thomas put her victory down to "swallowing fast."
Venerated in competitive eating circles as "The Black Widow", the Alexandria, Virginia woman said she trained for the event, held at a delicatessen in New York, by chewing gum to get her jaw in top form...
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:28 PM
( 2:09 PM ) The Rat
One way of feeling infallible is not to keep a diary.
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Wednesday, November 23, 2005
( 11:42 AM ) The Rat
The moon in the bureau mirror
looks out a million miles
(and perhaps with pride, at herself,
but she never, never smiles)
far and away beyond sleep, or
perhaps she's a daytime sleeper.
By the Universe deserted,
she'd tell it to go to hell,
and she'd find a body of water,
or a mirror, on which to dwell.
So wrap up care in a cobweb
and drop it down the well
into that world inverted
where left is always right,
where the shadows are really the body,
where we stay awake all night,
where the heavens are shallow as the sea
is now deep, and you love me.
—Elizabeth Bishop, "Insomnia"
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:42 AM
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
( 10:40 PM ) The Rat
'DAVID SYNDROME' CAUSES DESIRE TO DESTROY ART.
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( 10:25 PM ) The Rat
SOMETIMES YOU JUST HAVE A REALLY BAD DAY...
Also from Yahoo News, a rundown of the 10 Worst Products of 2005.
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( 9:54 PM ) The Rat
RACIAL SLUR DATABASE.
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( 9:00 PM ) The Rat
EAST ASIA ALLIES DOUBT U.S. COULD WIN WAR WITH CHINA.
"[I]f tension between the United States and China heightens, if each side pulls the trigger, though it may not be stretched to nuclear weapons, and the wider hostilities expand, I believe America cannot win as it has a civic society that must adhere to the value of respecting lives," Mr. Ishihara said in an address to the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Mr. Ishihara said U.S. ground forces, with the exception of the Marines, are "extremely incompetent" and would be unable to stem a Chinese conventional attack. Indeed, he asserted that China would not hesitate to use nuclear weapons against Asian and American cities—even at the risk of a massive U.S. retaliation.
The governor said the U.S. military could not counter a wave of millions of Chinese soldiers prepared to die in any onslaught against U.S. forces. After 2,000 casualties, he said, the U.S. military would be forced to withdraw. "Therefore, we need to consider other means to counter China," he said. "The step we should be taking against China, I believe, is economic containment."
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:00 PM
( 12:11 AM ) The Rat
When Proust in a well-known passage described the hour that was most his own, he did it in such a way that everyone can find it in his own existence. We might almost call it an everyday hour; it comes with the night, a lost twittering of birds, or a breath drawn at the sill of an open window. And there is no telling what encounters would be in store for us if we were less inclined to give in to sleep. Proust did not give in to sleep. And yet—or, rather, precisely for this reason—Jean Cocteau was able to say in a beautiful essay that the intonation of Proust's voice obeyed the laws of night and honey. By submitting to these laws he conquered the hopeless sadness within him (what he once called "l'imperfection incurable dans l'essence même du présent") and from the honeycombs of memory he built a house for the swarm of his thoughts. Cocteau recognized what really should have been the major concern of all readers of Proust and yet has served no one as the pivotal point of his reflections or his affection. He recognized Proust's blind, senseless, frenzied quest for happiness. It shone from his eyes; they were not happy, but in them there lay fortune as it lies in gambling or in love. Nor is it hard to say why this paralyzing, explosive will to happiness which pervades Proust's writings is so seldom comprehended by his readers. In many places Proust himself made it easy for them to view this œuvre, too, from the time tested, comfortable perspective of resignation, heroism, asceticism. After all, nothing makes more sense to the model pupils of life than the notion that a great achievement is the fruit of toil, misery, and disappointment. The idea that happiness could have a share in beauty would be too much of a good thing, something that their ressentiment would never get over.
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:11 AM
Monday, November 21, 2005
( 10:37 PM ) The Rat
CELLPHONES FOR LITTLE HANDS. Yikes.
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( 1:16 PM ) The Rat
EVER WONDER WHAT IT WOULD BE LIKE if someone wrote an entire book about happiness?
A related cartoon, with which Ratty does not necessarily agree, here.
# Posted by The Rat @ 1:16 PM
Sunday, November 20, 2005
( 10:38 AM ) The Rat
Anyway... I wonder sometimes if it would have lasted with Alex if he hadn't fucked me over. Then I say—what are you, soft in the head? It never lasts. I haven't seen one example yet. But there's still this ideal in your head, you know, like a vision of a place you've never visited, but that you've dreamed about or seen in a movie you've forgotten the title of, and you know you'd recognize it immediately if you ever saw it in real life. It would be like going home, tired and whipped after a really long time on the road, if home was like it's supposed to be, instead of the disaster area it actually is.
—Story of My Life
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:38 AM
Friday, November 18, 2005
( 12:58 PM ) The Rat
WHY JAPANESE GAME SHOWS RULE. Via one of Ratty's brothers.
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( 12:19 AM ) The Rat
THE FLYING TOASTERS ARE BACK!
Oh God... I'm that old, aren't I.
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( 12:01 AM ) The Rat
FLEISS PLANS A BROTHEL TO SERVE WOMEN.
In a move bound to hearten aspiring Deuce Bigalows the world over, Fleiss said she is joining with a Nevada brothel owner to open the state's first house of prostitution in which men cater to women.
Fleiss, whose partner notified Nye County officials of the plan this week, said they will charge $250 an hour and call it "Heidi's Stud Farm."
"Women are more independent these days; they make more money and it's hard to meet people," Fleiss said as she packed for what she said would be a permanent move to Nevada. "You wouldn't believe the number of women who've told me, 'Heidi, if you do this, I'll be the first one in line!' I mean, relationships are harder than dieting, you know what I mean?"
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:01 AM
( 12:00 AM ) The Rat
In the window of a jewelry store he saw a delicate antique gold bracelet. It cost him most of his paycheck. He had it wrapped and stamped for mailing. Only when he was sure he was alone at the mail drop did he address it to Molly in Oregon. Graham did not realize, as Molly did, that he gave presents when he was angry.
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:00 AM
Thursday, November 17, 2005
( 1:08 AM ) The Rat
BELGIUM REDEEMS ITSELF.
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( 1:06 AM ) The Rat
DOUBT IS THEIR CO-PILOT. No, this isn't from the Onion.
A tall, slightly stooped medical student, Vox speaks in a mumble and rarely lifts his eyes. But if he lacks confidence, that only makes him all the more qualified to lead his flock because Vox, 28, has created a religion for people who know only that they know nothing.
Universists might believe in God, or might not. (Personally, Vox thinks he does.) The only dogma they must accept is uncertainty.
Relinquishing any hope of cosmic truth, Universists worship by wondering how we got here, and why, and what lies ahead.
From his base here in the Bible Belt, Vox has built an online congregation of more than 8,000 in the last two years. They meet in cafes and living rooms across the nation; they join online chats with scientists and theologians; they find profundity in admitting their confusion.
"We want to rework religion from within," Vox said...
# Posted by The Rat @ 1:06 AM
( 12:43 AM ) The Rat
Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:43 AM
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
( 12:55 AM ) The Rat
GREG BEHRENDT RELEASES NEW BOOK FOR CHILDREN: YOUR PARENTS AREN'T THAT INTO YOU. Via the Onion.
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:55 AM
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
( 8:27 PM ) The Rat
ZUCKERMAN JUICED. Heh! Ratty especially liked the Tom Wolfe thing. Link via IKM.
Roth's bulked-up output is not the only factor raising eyebrows. Most notably, his sentence structure has shown no signs of the usual age-related deterioration cited in medical literature. At 64, some 8 to 10 years after most writers betray noticeable passive voice, Roth completed his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel "American Pastoral" (1997). One of the book's astonishing sentences began with the words, "Only after strudel and coffee," and ended nearly a full page later without even one dangling modifier. No less a talent than James Joyce (in one of his more piquant observations) said: "By the age of 45, I knew I could no longer start a sentence with a mention of strudel. My fingers would want to do it but my mind just wouldn't react."
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:27 PM
Saturday, November 12, 2005
( 9:52 PM ) The Rat
"You know... when you go to the game against Yale here, everybody has stickers and stuff like that with 'BEAT YALE' on them. So I was in New Haven for the first time, a few months ago, and I went into the stores to see if they had anything that said 'BEAT PRINCETON.' But there wasn't anything!"
—spoken to me by a genuinely confused Princeton grad student, at a dinner the other night
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:52 PM
Friday, November 11, 2005
( 8:46 AM ) The Rat
GULAG TOURISM. Charming.
Walker felt uncomfortable, he said, paying even perfunctory homage to the man who created the police state and cult of personality that are widely blamed—outside North Korea, at least—for the country's poverty, hunger and international isolation.
"It felt a bit like being a Jew visiting Hitler's Germany," Walker recalled as he headed back to his home in San Diego. "But I think it's your obligation as a visitor, and as an American, to leave a good impression," Walker added. "You have to try to do everything you can to not come across as the Ugly American."
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( 12:51 AM ) The Rat
O.O.: This one's for you.
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:51 AM
Thursday, November 10, 2005
( 11:04 PM ) The Rat
FDA PROPOSES MORE DETAILED CONDOM LABELS. Took their sweet time about it, didn't they.
"It has taken the FDA five years to issue these simple guidance regulations for condom labels, despite the fact that the scientific consensus has long recognized that condoms do not provide effective protection" against certain sexually transmitted diseases, said Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), who championed the cause when he was in the House and now in the Senate.
Coburn, a medical doctor, criticized the FDA for not going far enough to warn women that human papillomavirus (HPV) can lead to cervical cancer and that condoms do not provide effective protection against it.
"In the five years it took the FDA to implement this law, over 27 million Americans have become infected with HPV and nearly 50,000 women have been diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer," he said.
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:04 PM
( 9:14 PM ) The Rat
WHY WOMEN ARE MORE INTERESTING, via LT.
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( 7:31 AM ) The Rat
IS THERE ANY NATURAL RESPONSE to this headline other than the thought, "—just like everybody else in France!"?
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Wednesday, November 09, 2005
( 6:16 PM ) The Rat
WHAT MAKES GLASS BREAK?
# Posted by The Rat @ 6:16 PM
( 6:08 PM ) The Rat
IKM'S REACTION when Ratty IMed her this cartoon:
IKM: omg he looks like you in the last pic of the strip!
IKM: snoopy does
Rat: how so?!
IKM: the fake innocence look
# Posted by The Rat @ 6:08 PM
( 5:40 PM ) The Rat
WHEN IN ROME... be nice to your goldfish.
The municipal government of Rome has entered waters where few city halls dare tread. Under a new ordinance, the city's goldfish are entitled to a proper, full-sized aquarium, and they can no longer be given out as contest prizes.
In addition to affording protection for fish, the measure requires dog owners to walk their canines daily or face a $625 fine. It also bans the display of pets for sale in store windows...
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Monday, November 07, 2005
( 8:54 PM ) The Rat
AND ON A LIGHTER NOTE... Ratty is blogging this story—which involves cheerleaders, lesbianism, exhibitionism, drunk and disorderly conduct, and lying to cops—in honor of TCB.
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:54 PM
( 7:39 PM ) The Rat
A LITTLE BLURB on riots and the trains to Charles de Gaulle airport. (Via ET.)
# Posted by The Rat @ 7:39 PM
( 7:25 PM ) The Rat
Let there be a cottage, standing in a valley, 18 miles from any town—no spacious valley, but about two miles long, by three-quarters of a mile in average width; the benefit of which provision is, that all the families resident within its circuit will compose, as it were, one larger household personally familiar to your eye, and more or less interesting to your affections. Let the mountains be real mountains, between 3 and 4000 feet high; and the cottage, a real cottage; not (as a witty author has it) "a cottage with a double coach-house:" let it be, in fact (for I must abide by the actual scene), a white cottage, embowered with flowering shrubs, so chosen as to unfold a succession of flowers upon the walls, and clustering round the windows through all the months of spring, summer, and autumn—beginning, in fact, with May roses, and ending with jasmine. Let it, however, not be spring, nor summer, nor autumn—but winter, in his sternest shape. This is a most important point in the science of happiness. And I am surprised to see people overlook it, and think it matter of congratulation that winter is going; or, if coming, is not likely to be a severe one. On the contrary, I put up a petition annually, for as much snow, hail, frost, or storm, of one kind or other, as the skies can possibly afford us. Surely every body is aware of the divine pleasures which attend a winter fire-side: candles at four o'clock, warm hearth-rugs, tea, a fair tea-maker, shutters closed, curtains flowing in ample draperies on the floor, whilst the wind and rain are raging audibly without,
And at the doors and windows seem to call
As heav'n and earth they would together mell;
Yet the least entrance find they none at all;
Whence sweeter grows our rest secure in massy hall.
—Castle of Indolence
All these are items in the description of a winter evening, which must surely be familiar to everybody born in a high latitude. And it is evident, that most of these delicacies, like ice-cream, require a very low temperature of the atmosphere to produce them: they are fruits which cannot be ripened without weather stormy or inclement, in some way or other. I am not "particular," as people say, whether it be snow, or black frost, or wind so strong, that (as Mr. ---- says) "you may lean your back against it like a post." I can put up even with rain, provided that it rains cats and dogs: but something of the sort I must have: and, if I have it not, I think myself in a manner ill-used: for why am I called on to pay so heavily for winter, in coals, and candles, and various privations that will occur even to gentlemen, if I am not to have the article good of its kind? No: a Canadian winter for my money: or a Russian one, where every man is but a co-proprietor with the north wind in the fee-simple of his own ears. Indeed, so great an epicure am I in this matter, that I cannot relish a winter night fully if it be much past St. Thomas's day, and have degenerated into disgusting tendencies to vernal appearances: no: it must be divided by a thick wall of dark nights from all return of light and sunshine.—From the latter weeks of October to Christmas-eve, therefore, is the period during which happiness is in season...
—Confessions of an English Opium Eater
# Posted by The Rat @ 7:25 PM
Sunday, November 06, 2005
( 11:37 PM ) The Rat
THE NATIONAL GINGERBREAD HOUSE COMPETITION AND DISPLAY opens tomorrow!
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:37 PM
( 11:20 PM ) The Rat
APATHY/NIHILISM/DESPAIR WRISTBANDS. Also available in a Seven Deadly Sins version.
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:20 PM
( 7:46 PM ) The Rat
In his elaborate text Five Hundred Good Points of Husbandry (1573), Thomas Tusser presents ten characteristics the perfect cheese must have:
1) Not like Gehazi, i.e. dead white, like a leper
2) Not like Lot's wife, all salt
3) Not like Argus, full of eyes
4) Not like Tom piper, "hoven and puffed"
5) Not like Crispin, leathery
6) Not like Lazarus, poor
7) Not like Esau, hairy
8) Not like Mary Magdalene, full of whey or maudlin
9) Not like the Gentiles, full of maggots
10) Not like a Bishop, made of burnt milk
—Schott's Food and Drink Miscellany
# Posted by The Rat @ 7:46 PM
Thursday, November 03, 2005
( 11:09 PM ) The Rat
Then such an undertaking had other recommendations. It would occupy her, and she desired occupation. It would even amuse her, and if she could really amuse herself she perhaps might be saved. Lastly, it would be a service to Lord Warburton, who evidently pleased himself greatly with the charming girl. It was a little "weird" he should—being what he was; but there was no accounting for such impressions. Pansy might captivate any one—any one at least but Lord Warburton. Isabel would have thought her too small, too slight, perhaps even too artificial for that. There was always a little of the doll about her, and that was not what he had been looking for. Still who could say what men ever were looking for? They looked for what they found; they knew what pleased them only when they saw it. No theory was valid in such matters, and nothing was more unaccountable or more natural than anything else.
—The Portrait of a Lady
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:09 PM
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
( 2:58 AM ) The Rat
"And here is my opinion for you. Women are the main stumbling block in a man's activity. It's hard to love a woman and do anything. For this there exists one means of loving conveniently, without hindrance—that is marriage. How can I tell you, how can I tell you what I'm thinking," said Serpukhovskoy, who liked comparisons, "wait, wait! Yes, it's as if you're carrying a fardeau and doing something with your hands is only possible if the fardeau is tied to your back—and that is marriage. But dragging this fardeau around without marriage—that will make your hands so full that you won't be able to do anything..."
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:58 AM