The Rat
Saturday, June 30, 2007
      ( 11:40 PM ) The Rat  
TUNA PROPEL ROLLS' GREEN HOPES.

Rolls-Royce, the aero-engine company better known for powering the likes of a Boeing 747, has turned its attention to a very different form of propulsion: that of the tuna fish.

Researchers at the company's offices in Norway are studying the way tuna fish swim in order to help develop the next generation of engines for ships. Tuna fish are thought particularly interesting because they have a remarkable ability to swim at high speeds and accelerate quickly with low use of energy.

"They are remarkably efficient," said Paul Greaves of Rolls-Royce. "We are trying to find out how we can make a man-made propulsor to imitate the fish tail." [...]

# Posted by The Rat @ 11:40 PM



Friday, June 29, 2007
      ( 9:35 AM ) The Rat  
EXERCISE GROWS NEW BRAIN CELLS. So why am I still so dumb?!

Exercise stimulates the growth of new brain cells, a new study on rats finds. The new cells could be the key to why working out relieves depression...

# Posted by The Rat @ 9:35 AM



Thursday, June 28, 2007
      ( 9:52 PM ) The Rat  
WAS IT LOVE, OR WAS IT THE MILES? I love this company, but they're a bit pricey except for gifts for people who've done really nice things for me, like donating organs. Should you love anyone that much, however, and wish to send them flowers, note that you can soften the blow for yourself, as I just did, by cashing in on frequent-flyer miles while you're at it: at least 900 OnePass miles per $60+ order (do Calyx even sell anything under $60?!).

Hard-core miles whores, take note of this search engine—useful for checking out just about any online company you might be planning to use, on the off-chance they offer miles/points through one program or another. Some airlines are shown as offering more miles-per-dollar than they in fact do (I assume as a result of miles-inflation over the years), but it's still a very handy site.

# Posted by The Rat @ 9:52 PM


      ( 12:36 PM ) The Rat  
OUCH.

# Posted by The Rat @ 12:36 PM


      ( 12:34 PM ) The Rat  
BAGHDAD DATING GAME ADAPTS TO WAR.

The difficulties associated with dating, according to Iraqis, have led to a marked rise in arranged marriages and are pushing many young and educated women to settle for much older men who have either money, a residence permit abroad, or both.

"I've seen with my own eyes girls as young as 16 or 17 getting married to much older men for the sake of coming over here (Britain), pushed and encouraged by their families," the British-based Iraqi author of the popular blog "Madly in Love with Iraq" wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

"Highly educated women get married to illiterates for the same reason," wrote the blogger, a woman who only gave her name as Hala, the same as the one appearing on the blog...

# Posted by The Rat @ 12:34 PM



Wednesday, June 27, 2007
      ( 10:22 PM ) The Rat  
NEVER THOUGHT I'D SAY THIS about something by this author, but "The Open Boat" really is worth reading (as well as being admirably short!). E-text available here.

# Posted by The Rat @ 10:22 PM


      ( 8:14 AM ) The Rat  
WIFE'S NEEDS GROSS, via the Onion. Genius.

# Posted by The Rat @ 8:14 AM



Tuesday, June 26, 2007
      ( 12:03 PM ) The Rat  
PIECING HISTORY TOGETHER. Awesome.

When the shredding machines failed, and the mob was at the gates, the spooks at East Germany’s State Security Service, better known as the Stasi, tried turning their files into mush by dunking them in water. But the number of bathtubs in their headquarters in Normannenstrasse was as unequal to the task as the machines had been. In the end, they resorted to tearing each page up by hand. The fact that many of the resulting shreds are only a few millimetres across is testament to just how much the soon-to-be-ex-members of the intelligence service did not want their work to fall into the public domain.

If Bertram Nickolay of the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Systems and Design Technology, in Berlin, has his way, however, the public domain is where they soon will be. Using the institute’s expertise in pattern-matching technology, he and his group are about to embark on one of the biggest jigsaw puzzles of all time—or, rather, 45m of them. For that is the number of pages which the 600m fragments of paper, stored in more than 16,000 bags, that were recovered from Normannenstrasse are thought to represent...

# Posted by The Rat @ 12:03 PM


      ( 11:28 AM ) The Rat  
SPEAKING OF READER-COMMENT-VIEWING, and also I.Q. testing... I was entertaining the Squid the other night, by reading aloud some of the reader comments at this article on that recent study finding a potential correlation between I.Q. and birth order. Note that the authors were not claiming that the firstborn child always has the highest I.Q.—what they found was that, when Norwegian brothers (the study examined only Norwegians, and only males) had unequal I.Q. scores, there was a 56.7 chance of the oldest brother having the higher score. Nevertheless, at least 90 percent of the "reader comments" consisted of people either protesting that their older siblings were obviously dumber than they were—and/or assuming a direct and infallible correlation between I.Q. and highest-degree-attained. These people evidently didn't score very high in reading comprehension ...nor, I have to say, can they have met a lot of Ph.D.s! Anyway, it all does reinforce my point that people are far too wedded to their I.Q. scores, seeing that one number as practically a determinant of caste. (Some wise editor at the L.A. Times seems to have removed the comments section on this article, so I can't link to it, but that's just as well—it really was pretty astoundingly silly, and had me and Eve giggling for a good 20 minutes. It also makes me sympathize with the scientists who conducted the study, and who've no doubt let themselves in for a lot of triumphant "I have a Ph.D. and my oldest brother can barely tie his shoes—explain that!"-type mail.)

# Posted by The Rat @ 11:28 AM


      ( 11:14 AM ) The Rat  
WELCOME! to the reader who got here Googling apathy nihilism.

# Posted by The Rat @ 11:14 AM



Monday, June 25, 2007
      ( 10:08 PM ) The Rat  
WHY, YOU ASK, IS THE RAT SEMI-ADDICTED to reading the "reader comments" sections of articles? It's cuz of comments like this, left at this Daily Mail piece on honor killings:

I am so pleased for you that you managed to break free and make a life for yourself—congratulations to you and your sister. I feel so sorry for women who are at risk of arranged marriages/honour killed. Thank goodness I am English and have never had any of that sort of problem. [...]

# Posted by The Rat @ 10:08 PM


      ( 9:22 PM ) The Rat  
SCIENTISTS DISCOVER FOSSIL OF GIANT PENGUIN.

The first, the giant Icadyptes salasi, lived about 36 million years ago. Towering at least a foot above the Emperor Penguin, the tallest penguin of today, the prehistoric bird was among the biggest penguins to have ever roamed the Earth.

Up to five foot tall, Icadyptes penguins, which are thought to have originated near New Zealand, also boasted strong necks, sharply-pointed seven-inch beaks and stiff, paddle-like wings...

# Posted by The Rat @ 9:22 PM


      ( 4:08 PM ) The Rat  
"How can you ever close Bahia between the covers of a book? It is only small and thinly peopled places that can be subjugated and held down in words, such as desert islands and lonely houses..."
Foe

# Posted by The Rat @ 4:08 PM



Sunday, June 24, 2007
      ( 10:49 PM ) The Rat  
HEE!

Most respondents aged between 16 and 24 would rather give up alcohol, chocolate, sex, tea, or coffee than live without their mobile phone for a month.

In contrast, more than 40 percent of the those aged over 45 would give the phone simply to be able to have their favourite hot drink...

# Posted by The Rat @ 10:49 PM


      ( 12:03 AM ) The Rat  
LIST OF FICTIONAL MICE AND RATS.

# Posted by The Rat @ 12:03 AM



Saturday, June 23, 2007
      ( 11:46 PM ) The Rat  
NEWS TO ME!

# Posted by The Rat @ 11:46 PM


      ( 4:04 PM ) The Rat  
RATTY HAS JUST FOUND the shirt to wear during her orals.

# Posted by The Rat @ 4:04 PM


      ( 2:52 PM ) The Rat  
IT'S BEEN AWHILE since I read any author I loathed as much as I do Willa Cather. To save time explaining, let me just submit this passage from My Antonia (it particularly pisses me off that a woman wrote a book of this kind—where instead of a person, you just get this bullshit earth-mother-cliche archetype) (the narrator is male, I know, but the book is sufficiently anti-woman in this way that I don't think the predisposition is solely the narrator's—it's Cather's as well):

There was a basic harmony between Antonia and her mistress. They had strong, independent natures, both of them. They knew what they liked, and were not always trying to imitate other people. They loved children and animals and music, and rough play and digging in the earth. They liked to prepare rich, hearty food and to see people eat it; to make up soft white beds and to see youngsters asleep in them. They ridiculed conceited people and were quick to help unfortunate ones. Deep down in each of them there was a kind of hearty joviality, a relish of life, not over-delicate, but very invigorating. I never tried to define it, but I was distinctly conscious of it...

# Posted by The Rat @ 2:52 PM


      ( 2:03 PM ) The Rat  
CAFFEINE MAY NOT GIVE A JOLT TO HEALTH. An international symposium on caffeine and nobody told me about it?!

[T]he drug does appear to help protect the brain from degenerative disease, give triathletes a nose over the finish line and, for many, keep the brain's gears churning, which is what drives most people to drink it in the first place. But habitual and large doses of caffeine can also stress the heart and interfere with insulin's ability to process sugar. And many of the benefits ascribed to caffeine may be due, in fact, to other chemicals that outweigh caffeine's negative effects.

"As soon as you say coffee, people think caffeine; as soon as you say caffeine, people think coffee," says Terry Graham, a metabolic physiologist at the University of Guelph in Canada, a longtime caffeine researcher who recently organized an international symposium on caffeine and health. Scientists have isolated antioxidants, polyphenols, and micronutrients from coffee and tea, but there have been no long-term studies of how each ingredient, including caffeine, affects the body on its own or within a beverage.

"There are health benefits of coffee that have nothing to do with caffeine," Graham says. In fact, he adds: "There are no health benefits I've ever seen documented for caffeine."

# Posted by The Rat @ 2:03 PM


      ( 11:03 AM ) The Rat  
SECOND ANNUAL NYC MAIN SQUEEZE ACCORDION FESTIVAL. Sometimes, I love this city.

# Posted by The Rat @ 11:03 AM


      ( 2:33 AM ) The Rat  
IDIOTS. Georgia's parents' decision to have an I.Q. test administered to a two-year-old child strongly suggests to me that the brains skipped a generation in that family. I suppose you could argue that so young a child is likely to not remember either the test or the news story, but it still creeps me out to imagine anybody being raised by parents who would talk to the press about a two-year-old's I.Q. score! (And I haven't even started on how limited a measurement I.Q. is in the first place.)

Officials at my [public] school gave me an I.Q. test when I was 6 (my teacher was pushing to have me skip a grade), and I thought I saw my score at one point—though I learned much later (at 28) that the real figure had been slightly higher (both numbers were high enough for Mensa—but frankly, Mensa's bar is not all that high). On the whole, it seems to me that the best policy, if a child is to be tested at all, is to have it done ...well, I don't know at what age exactly, but how about older than two, WTF?!!—and then, in most cases, to not show her the score* till she's somewhat older. A really intelligent child is going to have enough to deal with—she really doesn't need parents lapping up comparisons to Stephen Hawking, etc., when she's still barely out of the cradle. People get overattached to their scores as it is—someone once insisted on comparing scores with me, then was visibly disconcerted when his was lower. (Reminded me of that old Murphy Brown line: "Let's settle this once and for all. You guys drop your pants and I'll go get the ruler.") Join Mensa if you want, people, but honestly, put the fucking number away. Yeah, right over there—next to your MathCounts trophy. In adult life, you're typically going to learn all you need to know about other people's intelligence the same way you learn about their personality and values—through conversation. It's pretty easy to tell when somebody is basically on your wavelength—and still easier to tell when they're flat-out wiping the floor with you.

*My worry here isn't that the child will become conceited, incidentally—to the extent I'm a jerk, I actually don't think knowing my I.Q. (or a ballpark figure) made much of a difference one way or the other. It's more that I'm disturbed by the sort of parents who would deliberately show a child her I.Q. while she was still very young. At least at tenderer ages, if the parents do have the number, it seems to me healthiest for them not to reveal it to the child, the message being: There is no need for you to know this number this young; if you became brain-damaged tomorrow we would not love you any less**; this matter is irrelevant to how we see you and are going to treat you. That last, especially, is much easier said than done, but it does seem to me that parents who've imposed upon themselves the minor task of at least not bragging to the kid herself about her score, might have a slight jump on it.

**N., a classmate of mine in the "gifted" program, did in fact sustain permanent brain damage ca. fifth grade (diving accident). I remember thinking, even then, that the grace with which N.'s family handled the whole thing did make I.Q./"gifted"-related squabbling seem a bit silly. Don't get me wrong—gifted programs are a good idea, as for that matter was skipping a grade, for me anyway. But I doubt there are many parents who need more impetus to get their panties in a bunch about their kids' gifts, real or perceived. Note that I only had to read the top three reader comments on the Daily Mail piece as of this writing, to get to this:

Well my son must be a genius as well as my little boy who is not yet two counts up to thirteen which is when he's going down the stairs and he also knows the colours which he points out in his blanket and states. He has spoken some Spanish and was walking unaided at under 9 months as was my other son Alex. Perhaps I should get them IQ tested as well.

# Posted by The Rat @ 2:33 AM



Thursday, June 21, 2007
      ( 10:55 PM ) The Rat  
DON'T MENTION THE WAR. Hee!!

The summit was already likely to be bad tempered as a handful of countries led by Britain and Poland try to unpick political compromises that everyone else thought had been signed and sealed three years ago, when the original constitution was agreed.

Then, on the summit eve, Poland’s prime minister dared to mention the war—and not in the approved manner (to hail the EU’s role in making conflict unthinkable on the continent). Jaroslaw Kaczynski offered his country’s terrible suffering in the second world war as a moral argument for giving Poland the weight of a much more populous country in Europe's voting system. He argued that Poland’s population would be bigger today if the war had not killed off so many of its citizens. Even if this week’s summit were not being hosted by Germany, such a reference to history offends against every code of EU etiquette...

# Posted by The Rat @ 10:55 PM


      ( 3:03 PM ) The Rat  
THE WORST CELEBRITY PROFILE EVER WRITTEN? Eek.

# Posted by The Rat @ 3:03 PM


      ( 2:37 PM ) The Rat  
THE TRUTH ABOUT RECYCLING, via The Economist. Useful.

Originally kerbside programmes asked people to put paper, glass and cans into separate bins. But now the trend is toward co-mingled or 'single stream' collection. About 700 of America's 10,000 kerbside programmes now use this approach, says Kate Krebs, executive director of America's National Recycling Coalition. But the switch can make people suspicious: if there is no longer any need to separate different materials, people may conclude that the waste is simply being buried or burned. In fact, the switch towards single-stream collection is being driven by new technologies that can identify and sort the various materials with little or no human intervention...

# Posted by The Rat @ 2:37 PM


      ( 2:10 AM ) The Rat  
THE TSA HATES YOUR VIBRATOR. Hee! Not family reading, obviously.

# Posted by The Rat @ 2:10 AM



Wednesday, June 20, 2007
      ( 10:39 AM ) The Rat  
WHEN THE ANTI-TERRORISM COP IS MUSLIM. Interesting.

# Posted by The Rat @ 10:39 AM


      ( 12:02 AM ) The Rat  
FREQUENT FLORA MILES: PLANTS CAN 'HOP' TO DISTANT LANDS.

# Posted by The Rat @ 12:02 AM



Tuesday, June 19, 2007
      ( 3:07 PM ) The Rat  
WIKIPEDIA'S LAMEST EDIT WARS, via ET.

# Posted by The Rat @ 3:07 PM



Monday, June 18, 2007
      ( 11:56 PM ) The Rat  
RUMORED VISIT HAS LITTLE SAIGON ABUZZ.

Word was Nguyen Minh Triet would become the first president of Vietnam to visit the United States since the Vietnam War ended in 1975. He would meet President Bush at the White House in late June and travel to California. He might even stop in Little Saigon.

This raised the collective blood pressure of a community where the war is still being fought...

# Posted by The Rat @ 11:56 PM


      ( 6:35 PM ) The Rat  
INGELHART-WELZEL CULTURAL MAP OF THE WORLD. Heh. This translated Stockholm metro map is also fun.

# Posted by The Rat @ 6:35 PM


      ( 5:18 PM ) The Rat  
MORE PEOPLE HAVE WRITTEN IN to PostSecret with stories their dads told them when they were kids.

My dad told me the worst swear word you could possibly say was "Bostonian." It meant "someone who has no private parts." My brother and I used the word until we were teenagers and my father giggled every time we said it, right before he sent us to our rooms.

# Posted by The Rat @ 5:18 PM


      ( 5:14 PM ) The Rat  
WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR SONS, SCHOOLS MISS THE MARK.

A study published Tuesday by Education Week, an authoritative trade publication, confirms a few well-known facts: Graduation rates are higher in the suburbs than in the inner cities; they are higher among Asians and whites than blacks and Hispanics.

The study also depicts a lesser known but striking gap: Regardless of ethnicity, the graduation rate for boys is lower than that for girls. Nearly three-fourths of girls make it through high school but only two-thirds of boys...

# Posted by The Rat @ 5:14 PM


      ( 5:08 PM ) The Rat  
AFTER 5 YEARS IN U.S., TERRORIST CELL TOO COMPLACENT TO CARRY OUT ATTACK, via the Onion.

Al-Tantawi added that due to the sedentary nature of his job, he would have to "lose a few pounds, Allah willing" before being able to fulfill his most challenging task: infiltrating the reactor's spent fuel storage area and draining its coolant, thereby triggering a fire and releasing radioactive material.

Indeed, general preparedness appears to be the cell's greatest stumbling block.

"Five a.m. is when the facility is most vulnerable to attack, when the morning shift security personnel replace the overnight crew," said Adib Dhakwan, the cell's second-in-command. "Unfortunately, Starbucks doesn't open until six, and I don't know about you, but if I don't have that first cup of coffee, forget it."

# Posted by The Rat @ 5:08 PM


      ( 5:05 PM ) The Rat  
ROOFTOP STATUES PROMPT SUICIDE REPORTS.

# Posted by The Rat @ 5:05 PM


      ( 2:50 PM ) The Rat  
WHITE-ON-FRIGHT, via Manolo.

# Posted by The Rat @ 2:50 PM


      ( 12:02 AM ) The Rat  
Man needs warmth, society, leisure, comfort and security: he also needs solitude, creative work and the sense of wonder. If he recognised this he could use the products of science and industrialism eclectically, applying always the same test: does this make me more human or less human?
—Orwell, "Pleasure Spots"

# Posted by The Rat @ 12:02 AM



Sunday, June 17, 2007
      ( 1:01 AM ) The Rat  
"BILLY... HAVE YOU EVER BEEN IN A TURKISH PRISON?"

# Posted by The Rat @ 1:01 AM


      ( 12:23 AM ) The Rat  
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY, MOM! via City Journal.

You have to admire Hallmark's willingness to take the bit in its teeth. With 70 percent of black children born out of wedlock, with marriage a moribund custom in inner cities, Father's Day does pose a problem. Hallmark has solved it with aplomb. The light scorn directed at the complaints of "children growing up without a father—without this and without that," as if fathers were as discretionary as Tivo, is both an inspired way of minimizing the problem and a fair articulation of how fathers are viewed in poor black communities...

# Posted by The Rat @ 12:23 AM



Saturday, June 16, 2007
      ( 7:17 PM ) The Rat  
WHY COULDN'T I have known about gaslighting a few years ago, when I needed to?? (Ratty hasn't read the new book on the subject, but did read a pretty good review of it, which unfortunately is not available online.)

# Posted by The Rat @ 7:17 PM


      ( 3:47 PM ) The Rat  
MORE PROOF it's not wise to cross ET!

# Posted by The Rat @ 3:47 PM


      ( 9:36 AM ) The Rat  
Her marriage to Léonce Pontellier was purely an accident, in this respect resembling many other marriages which masquerade as the decrees of Fate. It was in the midst of her secret great passion that she met him. He fell in love, as men are in the habit of doing, and pressed his suit with an earnestness and an ardor which left nothing to be desired. He pleased her; his absolute devotion flattered her. She fancied there was a sympathy of thought and taste between them, in which fancy she was mistaken. Add to this the violent opposition of her father and her sister Margaret to her marriage with a Catholic, and we need seek no further for the motives which led her to accept Monsieur Pontellier for her husband.

The acme of bliss, which would have been a marriage with the tragedian, was not for her in this world. As the devoted wife of a man who worshiped her, she felt she would take her place with a certain dignity in the world of reality, closing the portals forever behind her upon the realm of romance and dreams.

The Awakening

# Posted by The Rat @ 9:36 AM



Friday, June 15, 2007
      ( 3:19 PM ) The Rat  
FEELING PARANOID? Knock yourself out.

# Posted by The Rat @ 3:19 PM


      ( 3:13 PM ) The Rat  
YOUR JOKE HERE.

# Posted by The Rat @ 3:13 PM


      ( 8:56 AM ) The Rat  
GREAT HEADLINE, via IKM. Man, I can think of more people this needs to happen to...

# Posted by The Rat @ 8:56 AM



Thursday, June 14, 2007
      ( 9:12 AM ) The Rat  
He had performed his mistakes in the dark, so he was still a man.
The Red Badge of Courage

# Posted by The Rat @ 9:12 AM


      ( 12:14 AM ) The Rat  
I TREMBLE FOR MY COUNTRY, ETC. Found at a Stouffers.com FAQ, while I was looking up something else.

Can I prepare only one-half of a package of Skillets?

If you divide the product and do not prepare it all at once, there may be a chance that there will be an uneven distribution of the ingredients.


# Posted by The Rat @ 12:14 AM


      ( 12:12 AM ) The Rat  
U.S. STATES RENAMED FOR COUNTRIES WITH SIMILAR GDPS. Heh. Via ET.

# Posted by The Rat @ 12:12 AM



Wednesday, June 13, 2007
      ( 1:01 PM ) The Rat  
65 WAYS TO SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE, from the June Women's Health. Everything from "Run with perfect form" and "Crack a beer sans opener" to "Prevent flashing your hoo-ha" and "Never deal with tangled headphones again." They also have a handy video up on their homepage, illustrating that headphone-stowing technique.

# Posted by The Rat @ 1:01 PM


      ( 12:58 PM ) The Rat  
HEH.

# Posted by The Rat @ 12:58 PM


      ( 12:42 PM ) The Rat  
WHALE CAUGHT IN MAY WAS HUNTED IN 1890. Eep!

# Posted by The Rat @ 12:42 PM


      ( 11:10 AM ) The Rat  
THE 30-SECOND BUNNIES THEATRE presents Die Hard.

# Posted by The Rat @ 11:10 AM


      ( 10:38 AM ) The Rat  
MY RUN FOR THE FAKE BORDER. Wtf. From earlier this month.

Every Saturday night, 35 middle-class Mexicans pay about $20 to simulate crossing the U.S. border while being chased by fake Border Patrol agents...

# Posted by The Rat @ 10:38 AM



Tuesday, June 12, 2007
      ( 6:41 PM ) The Rat  
SO WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH MY LEFTOVER AGENT ORANGE?? Just got an announcement for this hazardous waste disposal event.

# Posted by The Rat @ 6:41 PM



Monday, June 11, 2007
      ( 10:21 PM ) The Rat  
ANGER FUELS BETTER DECISIONS. This study doesn't show whether anger necessarily improves one's judgments concerning the issue/person that actually made one angry, however—only that it improves one's "analytical" powers generally.

[R]esearchers induced anger in a group of college students by either asking them to write about a past experience that had made them very angry, or by having their stated hopes and dreams harshly criticized by another participant. In a second group of students, anger was not induced.

The researchers later checked to be sure that the subjects were as riled up as they were supposed to be.

The two groups were then asked to read either compelling or weak arguments designed to convince them that college students have good financial habits. The strong argument cited research from numerous scientific studies, whereas the weak argument contained largely unsupported statements. The subjects were asked to logically evaluate the strength of the arguments they read and indicate how convinced they were by them.

The researchers repeated the experiment with a second group of students, this time giving the subjects an additional piece of information: who had made the arguments. Some students were told that the argument was made by an organization with relevant expertise in financial matters; others were told that the argument was made by a medical organization whose expertise was irrelevant to the financial topic being considered.

In both studies, the researchers found that the angry subjects were better at discriminating between strong and weak arguments and were more convinced by the stronger arguments. Those who were not made to feel angry tended to be equally convinced by both arguments, indicating that they were not as analytical in their assessments...


# Posted by The Rat @ 10:21 PM


      ( 8:06 AM ) The Rat  
CHINA FIRES JOURNALISTS FOR LETTING MENTION OF TIANANMEN SQUARE SLIP INTO NEWSPAPER.

All references to Tiananmen are barred by the Communist Party. As a result many young people have no idea what happened back then.

A Hong Kong newspaper says a young clerk who had never heard of the incident allowed the classified ad to get into the paper. It read—"Paying tribute to the strong-willed mothers of June 4 victims." The clerk called the man who placed the ad and he told her it referred to a mining disaster...

# Posted by The Rat @ 8:06 AM


      ( 8:04 AM ) The Rat  
ARTIST MAKES 1,001 PEOPLE HIS ART SHOW ENTRY.

A Chinese artist will bring 1,001 of his compatriots to Germany to spend months wandering around the city of Kassel as live-exhibits for his entry to a leading modern art show.

Ai WeiWei's "Fairytale" artwork will cost 3.1 million euros (2.1 million pounds), the most expensive project of this year's "documenta" exhibition, a spokesman for the event said.

The live-exhibits will have no set programme or commitments during their stay although they will be encouraged to visit the city's sights, interact with locals and ponder other, more static "documenta" exhibits...

# Posted by The Rat @ 8:04 AM



Sunday, June 10, 2007
      ( 8:22 PM ) The Rat  
LAND THAT I LOVE. P.'s comment, btw, while the night was still young: "Shit, I'm about to drink with an American student. I'm fucked." Makes me proud to be an American—esp. seeing as P. felt this apprehension solely on the basis of my nationality ...and despite being a foot taller than me.

# Posted by The Rat @ 8:22 PM


      ( 8:05 PM ) The Rat  
WAAH! Just for the record, it sucks being back. And I won't even have my new friends* for solace till the $#@! airline delivers my suitcase.

*Ratty was introduced to this by P., a very nice Australian she met at the hostel, who'd bought a bottle en route from, in fact, Guyana. ("I went there for my 30th birthday, because they make the best rum in the world.") We killed the entire bottle between us, and I not only didn't have even a smidgen of a hangover, but only needed 2-1/2 hours' sleep. It's like those old Kellogg's ads used to say—makes you feel like you're 19 again!

# Posted by The Rat @ 8:05 PM


      ( 2:13 PM ) The Rat  
NIFTY PIC (though perhaps less so if you're the driver), courtesy of JM.

# Posted by The Rat @ 2:13 PM


      ( 2:10 PM ) The Rat  
This frequently gave me occasion to observe, and that with wonder, that however it had pleased God in His providence, and in the government of the works of His hands, to take from so great a part of the world of His creatures the best uses to which their faculties and the powers of their souls are adapted, yet that He has bestowed upon them the same powers, the same reason, the same affections, the same sentiments of kindness and obligation, the same passions and resentments of wrongs, the same sense of gratitude, sincerity, fidelity, and all the capacities of doing good and receiving good that He has given to us; and that when He pleases to offer them occasions of exerting these, they are as ready, nay, more ready, to apply them to the right uses for which they were bestowed than we are. This made me very melancholy sometimes, in reflecting, as the several occasions presented, how mean a use we make of all these, even though we have these powers enlightened by the great lamp of instruction, the Spirit of God, and by the knowledge of His word added to our understanding; and why it has pleased God to hide the like saving knowledge from so many millions of souls, who, if I might judge by this poor savage, would make a much better use of it than we did...
Robinson Crusoe

# Posted by The Rat @ 2:10 PM



Friday, June 01, 2007
      ( 12:23 PM ) The Rat  
NO POSTING for the next week, as Ratty is out of here. So, so, so, so out of here...

# Posted by The Rat @ 12:23 PM


      ( 12:22 PM ) The Rat  
RESEARCHERS FIND 2,100-YEAR-OLD MELON.

The remains are believed to be the oldest of a melon that still has flesh on the rind, Yamazaki said. Previously, the oldest such find was believed to be remains found in China that date back to the fourth century A.D., according to local media reports.

The melon might have been so well-preserved because it was in a vacuum-packed state in a wet layer below the ground, an environment hostile to microorganisms that might otherwise have broken down the remains, Yamazaki said...

# Posted by The Rat @ 12:22 PM


      ( 12:11 PM ) The Rat  
HOW INFANTS THINK BEFORE THEY HAVE WORDS.

# Posted by The Rat @ 12:11 PM


      ( 12:05 PM ) The Rat  
WELCOME to the reader who got here looking for "most biggest boobs and beautiful feet"!

# Posted by The Rat @ 12:05 PM




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


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