Wednesday, August 31, 2011
( 7:00 PM ) The Rat
"I DIDN'T FEEL LIKE A CHILD THEN," via Postsecret. Cf. Confessions of a Failed Southern Lady: "I wasn't used to children and they were getting on my nerves. Worse, it appeared that I was a child, too. I hadn't known that before; I thought I was just short."
# Posted by The Rat @ 7:00 PM
( 1:59 PM ) The Rat
MIND YOUR MANNERS, via WC.
# Posted by The Rat @ 1:59 PM
( 1:45 PM ) The Rat
ONE-CHILD POLICY A SURPRISING BOON FOR CHINA GIRLS.
Still, 43 million girls have "disappeared" in China due to gender-selective abortion as well as neglect and inadequate access to health care and nutrition, the United Nations estimated in a report last year. Yin Yin Nwe, UNICEF's representative to China, puts it bluntly: The one-child policy brings many benefits for girls "but they have to be born first."
# Posted by The Rat @ 1:45 PM
( 8:07 AM ) The Rat
OPPORTUNITIES FOR MUSICIANS, via Someecards.
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:07 AM
( 8:00 AM ) The Rat
Before taking up running Conn used to race motorcycles, but says he got tired of riding home in a vehicle different from the one he came in. Meaning one with a siren.
—Hal Higdon in And Then the Vulture Eats You: True Tales About Ultramarathons and Those Who Run Them
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:00 AM
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
( 8:00 PM ) The Rat
"I HAD A ONE-NIGHT STAND WITH A FREEMASON..." Memorable One-Night Stands, via Nerve. Many of these are a bit Penthouse Letters-ey, for obvious reasons, but at least skim the Freemason one, "I experienced only one free year between losing my virginity and meeting my long-term partner," "It was my first night living in a new city," "I was in the lone gay bar in my Midwestern college town," and "We had been having sex for a couple minutes."
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:00 PM
( 3:19 PM ) The Rat
Then Scaff brought me another can of beer and sat with me, impressed by my effort, admitting it was not of his world. I thought I'd get a second opinion on blood in one's urine.
"I'd say it means your system is cracking," he said. "It's a sign of impending injury."
"Great. Why hasn't this ever happened to me before?"
"You're older now, of course." He said it aggressively, with the sense of age being an equalizer, that which brings us all low. But it struck me then that this brute fact of all our lives, their being temporal, had been shown by my experience to be something not especially worrisome. If there was a lesson in these hard-racing days it was that you ran until you dropped, and then you lay under a tree with faint melodies infiltrating your consciousness and knew the rightness of everything physical having an end.
I let my mind run on where it would. It seemed, if any of this were right, that we only feel cheated of immortality when we are young and racing headlong. But when we begin to have intimations of that eventual tiredness, we may feel better. It isn't necessarily solace that age brings to bear on this question. But it is a harbinger, a foretaste. When I peacefully slipped from consciousness under that tree it was, in Updike's phrase, "death's rehearsal."
—Kenny Moore in And Then the Vulture Eats You: True Tales About Ultramarathons and Those Who Run Them
# Posted by The Rat @ 3:19 PM
( 8:09 AM ) The Rat
10 RESTAURANTS WITH SPECTACULAR VIEWS, via SV.
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:09 AM
( 8:08 AM ) The Rat
UGLY? YOU MAY HAVE A CASE.
How could we remedy this injustice? With all the gains to being good-looking, you would think that more people would get plastic surgery or makeovers to improve their looks. Many of us do all those things, but as studies have shown, such refinements make only small differences in our beauty. All that spending may make us feel better, but it doesn’t help us much in getting a better job or a more desirable mate.
A more radical solution may be needed: why not offer legal protections to the ugly, as we do with racial, ethnic and religious minorities, women and handicapped individuals?
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:08 AM
Monday, August 29, 2011
( 10:18 PM ) The Rat
"AN ILLUSION FORMED WHEN SOMEONE OPENS THE DOOR TO YOUR EMOTIONAL DARKROOM WHILE THE MEMORY IS STILL DEVELOPING." The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows is, unfortunately, largely emo in execution, but I do love the concept.
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:18 PM
( 10:11 PM ) The Rat
"PROBABLY THE MOST DISCONCERTING THING ABOUT GREG'S DEATH WAS JUST HOW FAST I WAS EXPECTED TO RECOVER FROM IT. BECAUSE, AFTER ALL, HE WAS 'JUST A BOYFRIEND.'" It Happened to Me: My Boyfriend Died, via Good.is.
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:11 PM
( 3:11 PM ) The Rat
"IT'S LIKE THE MERCATOR PROJECTION OF ENCASED MEATS." The Wait Wait staff eat The Frank Round-up. Reminded me of these old Weight Watchers recipe cards.
# Posted by The Rat @ 3:11 PM
( 1:34 PM ) The Rat
ANDREW HOLMES SETS NEW WORLD BOG SNORKELLING RECORD. Via WC, who notes that it reminds him of "Four Yorkshiremen" (script here), which for many years was my single favorite Python sketch.
Then again, we already knew Yorkshire was a little strange.
# Posted by The Rat @ 1:34 PM
Sunday, August 28, 2011
( 10:29 AM ) The Rat
EVACUATION PHOTO of GCT.
And, an old favorite: The city skyline during the '77 blackout.
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:29 AM
( 10:08 AM ) The Rat
WHAT KIND OF A WORLD WOULD THIS BE if you couldn't buy miniature wellies for your teacup piglet? No kind of world, that's what I say.
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:08 AM
( 9:21 AM ) The Rat
TEEN GIRL PARALYZED, 10 OTHERS WOUNDED AFTER SHOOTING AT PARTY ADVERTISED AS 'DRAMA FREE' ONLINE. Imagine what it'd have been like with drama!
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:21 AM
Saturday, August 27, 2011
( 9:39 PM ) The Rat
BIRTHDAY RUN TAKES ON NEW MEANING, via RW.
[McGillivray] said he saw a people leaving for work in the morning and then later saw them returning home.
Of course, he saw a few people that day that legitimately wondered if he was crazy.
"I ran by one house where a few workers were installing a stone wall. Back and forth, in front of them, I went," said McGillivray. "I knew they were wondering what was going on. I toyed with stopping to tell them but decided to just keep them guessing. After about the 20th time I ran by them, one guy yelled out, "Hey, you ever going to stop?'"
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:39 PM
( 5:21 PM ) The Rat
HURRICANE IRENE NOW HAS A TWITTER ACCOUNT. But you knew that, right?
# Posted by The Rat @ 5:21 PM
Friday, August 26, 2011
( 7:44 AM ) The Rat
GIT-R-DONE GOLDEN LAGER.
# Posted by The Rat @ 7:44 AM
( 7:43 AM ) The Rat
AN ENGAGEMENT PHOTO SHOOT that actually doesn't suck. I didn't think it could be done. (Via WC.)
# Posted by The Rat @ 7:43 AM
( 7:42 AM ) The Rat
WE DON'T KNOW WHAT MAKES US HAPPY (BUT WE THINK WE DO), a talk by Prof. Jennifer Aaker.
# Posted by The Rat @ 7:42 AM
Thursday, August 25, 2011
( 9:34 PM ) The Rat
FIND 13 MINUTES, and listen to "Act 2: Super Duper" of this TAL. One of the funniest stories I've ever heard, ever.
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:34 PM
( 9:16 PM ) The Rat
HOLY CATS. RAF officer Rachel Cadman has become the first woman to complete the Enduroman Arch to Arc, finishing in 97 hours (fourth-fastest, of the eight people who've completed it since its inception in 2001).
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:16 PM
( 8:30 PM ) The Rat
SYRIAN GUNMEN BREAK ARTIST'S HANDS AS 'WARNING.' Yikes.
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:30 PM
( 3:30 PM ) The Rat
SHOCKING NEWS, via ScienceDaily.
Participants—whose average depression length was seven years—exercised on treadmills, cycle ergometers or both, kept an online diary of frequency and length of sessions, and wore a heart-rate monitor while exercising at home. They also met with a psychiatrist during the study.
By the end of the investigation, almost 30 percent of patients in both groups achieved full remission from their depression, and another 20 percent significant displayed improvement, based on standardized psychiatric measurements. Moderate exercise was more effective for women with a family history of mental illness, whereas intense exercise was more effective with women whose families did not have a history of the disease. For men, the higher rate of exercise was more effective regardless of other characteristics...
# Posted by The Rat @ 3:30 PM
( 2:06 PM ) The Rat
ITALIAN FRIARS PRAY FOR DIARRHEA TO AFFLICT CHURCH'S BIBLE THIEF.
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:06 PM
( 11:03 AM ) The Rat
HURRICANE IRENE: MAJOR NORTHEAST THREATS.
Special thanks to Hal Higdon, who tweeted yesterday: "Will the hurricane ruin your long run this weekend? You need to move the run forward or buy a new umbrella."
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:03 AM
( 9:00 AM ) The Rat
CUTEST WORKOUT EVER, via RW. And don't forget your baby cleats!
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:00 AM
( 8:01 AM ) The Rat
MARRIAGE SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN TO MAKE WOMEN FAT, via IKM.
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:01 AM
( 7:57 AM ) The Rat
"SUKI LIN, THE WIFE OF THE ARRESTED MAN, PICKED UP HER OWN COACH HANDBAG. 'IT'S REAL,' SHE SAID, A GIFT FROM HER HUSBAND. SHE MOTIONED TOWARD A CARDBOARD BAG AND SAID, 'IF HE GAVE ME THAT BAG, I'D BEAT HIM TO DEATH.'" Chinese funeral goods in the news, via MC. Of course, the irony to this story is that the Funeral Row merchants are probably about the only people in Chinatown who aren't selling actual counterfeit handbags...
# Posted by The Rat @ 7:57 AM
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
( 9:37 PM ) The Rat
THE ONE WORD CAN SAVE YOUR LIFE, via Newsweek.
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:37 PM
( 8:41 AM ) The Rat
THIS is exactly why I declined the offer, when someone once offered to show me what a motel room looked like under a black light.
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:41 AM
( 1:30 AM ) The Rat
HOW LONG DO COUNTRIES HAVE UNTIL THEIR POPULATIONS DISAPPEAR? Via WC.
As The Economist reports this week, many women in the richer parts of Asia have gone on 'marriage strike,' preferring the single life to the marital yoke. That is one reason why their fertility rates have fallen. And they are not alone. In 83 countries and territories around the world, according to the United Nations, women will not have enough daughters to replace themselves, unless fertility rates rise...
# Posted by The Rat @ 1:30 AM
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
( 4:48 PM ) The Rat
"THE STUDY FOUND THAT AMERICANS WHO PRACTICED ALL FOUR OF THOSE HEALTHY BEHAVIORS WERE 63 PERCENT LESS LIKELY TO DIE EARLY THAN THOSE WHO PRACTICED NONE OF THEM." Well, sure, you'll live longer, but you won't have any friends! How Healthy Behaviors Improve Your Mortality Risk, via the L.A. Times.
After countless studies on the positive effects of not smoking, eating healthful foods, exercising a bit and limiting how much alcohol you drink, a new study finally tells Americans how much they could gain from those behaviors...
# Posted by The Rat @ 4:48 PM
( 4:46 PM ) The Rat
"AT VERNAL FALL, WHERE THE WATER GATHERS ITSELF IN A STIRRING POOL BEFORE PLUNGING MORE THAN 300 FEET, SOME HIKERS STILL IGNORE SIGNS SAYING, ESSENTIALLY, DON'T JUMP TO YOUR DEATH." National Parks Aren't Theme Parks, via WKO.
# Posted by The Rat @ 4:46 PM
( 4:40 PM ) The Rat
MARRIAGE WAS NOT DESIGNED TO MAKE YOU HAPPY, via EG.
# Posted by The Rat @ 4:40 PM
( 4:11 PM ) The Rat
D.C. EARTHQUAKE DEVASTATION, via WC.
# Posted by The Rat @ 4:11 PM
Monday, August 22, 2011
( 9:27 PM ) The Rat
WHICH FOOD HAS MORE SUGAR?
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:27 PM
( 8:15 PM ) The Rat
AWESOME TWEET PICK, via Someecards.
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:15 PM
( 5:30 PM ) The Rat
THE MONASTERY, via JM.
# Posted by The Rat @ 5:30 PM
( 12:05 PM ) The Rat
BEING IN LOVE AT VARIOUS AGES, via The Oatmeal.
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:05 PM
( 2:04 AM ) The Rat
JAPANESE CITIZENS RETURN $78 MILLION IN CASH LOST DURING QUAKE.
According to official police estimates, Japanese citizens have turned in approximately $78 million in cash and valuables found amid the rubble since the earthquake hit five months ago. Found wallets alone contained almost $48 million in cash, while the other $30 million was retrieved from safes washed away by the waves...
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:04 AM
( 12:38 AM ) The Rat
As for [non-runners], they may never understand. They will look on with complete incomprehension at the idea of making life harder still...
—The Lure of Long Distances
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:38 AM
( 12:30 AM ) The Rat
Brown's findings are consistent with many other studies, which over the decades have time and time again shown that physical activity reduces anger...
—Conquering Depression and Anxiety Through Exercise
(See, e.g., Can Exercise Moderate Anger?)
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:30 AM
Sunday, August 21, 2011
( 11:20 PM ) The Rat
MATING COMPETITORS INCREASE RELIGIOUS BELIEFS, via Discoblog.
In Experiment 1, people reported higher religiosity after looking at mating pools consisting of attractive people of their own sex compared to attractive opposite sex targets. Experiment 2 replicated the effect with an added control group, and suggested that both men and women become more religious when seeing same sex competitors...
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:20 PM
( 10:01 PM ) The Rat
Anxiety plays a central role in the practice of those who practice existential psychotherapy. They typically embrace anxiety as a necessary and positive force in human change, be it within or outside the psychotherapist's office. They suggest that anxiety may sometimes be viewed as a clarion summons, an important signal that alerts us to avoided opportunities for living, chances passed by, potential unrealized, and risks not taken. For existential therapists, anxiety might not be seen as the cause but rather the consequence of a restricted existence or way of living...
—Conquering Depression and Anxiety Through Exercise
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:01 PM
( 9:28 PM ) The Rat
DMITRI HVOROSTOVSKY IN ACT I OF ONEGIN. Don't miss the viewer comment by "mindofwinter"!
I'm usually a bit of a snob about people getting too into the production values at the Met (especially when they applaud the sets!—sigh, Americans), but I have to say, if they don't bring this production of Onegin back I'm going to cry—really stunning to look at. It and Minghella's Butterfly are probably the two most visually memorable stagings I've seen thus far*, out of... maybe 70-odd operas?
*Opera New Jersey's Seraglio was very intelligently done too, though of course less lavish. Also, I'm excluding the Berlin State Opera entirely from this horse race, as both productions I saw there were visually arresting.
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:28 PM
( 2:51 PM ) The Rat
"HE WAS THE FIRST PERSON I EVER SAW STOP HIS CAR TO HELP A TURTLE ACROSS THE ROAD..." John J. Kelley, R.I.P.
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:51 PM
Saturday, August 20, 2011
( 2:38 PM ) The Rat
"I FOLLOW IT UP WITH 'I DON'T WANT TO BE, LIKE, THE CRAZY WOMAN YOU HAD SEX WITH,' ASSURING I WILL ALWAYS BE THE CRAZY WOMAN HE HAD SEX WITH." The Twenty-One-Year-Old and Me, an unusually well-written "True Stories" via Nerve.
He explains a week or two later why we cannot date. "It's the age thing, and the work thing." He starts to sign off IM with "Awright, dawg, I'm out," a clear sign we will never have sex again. Before, there is sex. Now, there is "dawg." When God is feeling cruel, there are even high-fives.
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:38 PM
( 9:58 AM ) The Rat
DO YOU SUFFER FROM DECISION FATIGUE? via the NYT.
The experiment showed that crossing the Rubicon is more tiring than anything that happens on either bank—more mentally fatiguing than sitting on the Gaul side contemplating your options or marching on Rome once you've crossed. As a result, someone without Caesar's willpower is liable to stay put. To a fatigued judge, denying parole seems like the easier call not only because it preserves the status quo and eliminates the risk of a parolee going on a crime spree but also because it leaves more options open: the judge retains the option of paroling the prisoner at a future date without sacrificing the option of keeping him securely in prison right now. Part of the resistance against making decisions comes from our fear of giving up options. The word "decide" shares an etymological root with "homicide," the Latin word "caedere," meaning "to cut down" or "to kill," and that loss looms especially large when decision fatigue sets in.
Once you're mentally depleted, you become reluctant to make trade-offs, which involve a particularly advanced and taxing form of decision making. In the rest of the animal kingdom, there aren't a lot of protracted negotiations between predators and prey. To compromise is a complex human ability and therefore one of the first to decline when willpower is depleted...
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:58 AM
Thursday, August 18, 2011
( 6:18 PM ) The Rat
CONDE NAST TWITTER ACCOUNT SILENCED THE ELEVATOR.
# Posted by The Rat @ 6:18 PM
( 2:48 PM ) The Rat
"DO YOU FEEL MORE INVESTED IN A MATH PROBLEM WITH AN EMOTIONAL HOOK?" Unit Test: A Train Leaves the Station at 2:00 PM, via ET.
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:48 PM
( 2:47 PM ) The Rat
BARBIE.XXX? REDCROSS.XXX? BRANDS SCRAMBLE TO PREVENT X-RATED RIP-OFFS.
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:47 PM
( 2:32 PM ) The Rat
THE '11-'12 SEASON FOR THE STAATSOPER UNTER DER LINDEN. Note how many operas they're staging (pop. of Berlin = 3.5 million), then compare to the Met's new season (city pop. 8+ million). Yet certain provincial types still think New York's all that...
Of course, Vienna outdoes both, with 45 productions (pop. 1.7 million), as well as having by far the grandest building of the three (though my favorite opera house thus far remains Covent Garden).
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:32 PM
( 10:09 AM ) The Rat
FIFTEEN MINUTES OF MODERATE DAILY EXERCISE LENGTHENS LIFE, TAIWANESE STUDY FINDS. But note that you can still be fat!
Those who reported less than one hour a week of leisure time physical activity were classified as inactive—54 percent of all participants. Others were classified as low, medium, high or very high based on the duration and intensity of their exercise. Researchers calculated mortality risk and life expectancy for each group.
Thirteen other variables were analyzed: age, sex, education level, physical labor at work, smoking, alcohol use, fasting blood sugar, systolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, body mass index, diabetes, hypertension and history of cancer.
Those who engaged in low-volume exercise had lower death rates than inactive people regardless of age, gender, health status, tobacco use, alcohol consumption or cardiovascular disease risk.
The researchers note that the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. A third of U.S. adults meet that guideline; about 20 percent of adults in China, Japan or Taiwan meet it.
"A recommendation of 15 minutes of daily exercise should be promoted to East Asian populations," the authors note.
The study's findings of reduced mortality through even moderately intense exercise are likely to hold true for other populations, Wu said, even though the total amount of time spent or workout intensity required for a health benefit might differ...
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:09 AM
( 10:06 AM ) The Rat
Forgiveness is the name of love practiced among people who love poorly. The hard truth is that all of us love poorly. We need to forgive and be forgiven every day, every hour, unceasingly...
—Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Only Necessary Thing
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:06 AM
( 1:22 AM ) The Rat
"SO I STARTED SELLING THESE FISH TANKS, RETROFITTED FOR JELLYFISH, ONLINE..." Great gift idea! (Be sure and watch the video.)
# Posted by The Rat @ 1:22 AM
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
( 7:21 PM ) The Rat
AIRLINE SEX SCANDAL DELAYS AD CAMPAIGN, via IKM.
Widely circulated photos of Cathay Pacific crew members apparently engaged in a sex act have postponed the launch of an airline ad campaign.
The slogan: "meet the team who go the extra mile to make you feel special"...
# Posted by The Rat @ 7:21 PM
( 7:18 PM ) The Rat
EASY TO VISUALIZE GOAL IS POWERFUL MOTIVATOR TO FINISH A RACE OR A TASK, via ScienceDaily.
# Posted by The Rat @ 7:18 PM
( 2:27 PM ) The Rat
BEER CHARTS OF THE DAY.
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:27 PM
( 12:05 PM ) The Rat
STAR WARS IF DR. SEUSS HAD CREATED IT.
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:05 PM
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
( 11:51 PM ) The Rat
"YOUR EYELASHES LOOK FANTASTIC TODAY." CondeElevator on Twitter. How did no one get the idea to do this till last week?!
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:51 PM
( 7:24 PM ) The Rat
TICKETS FOR THE '11-'12 MET SEASON are now on sale, even if you're some kind of non-subscriber heathen!
# Posted by The Rat @ 7:24 PM
( 3:12 AM ) The Rat
Make friends with pain, and you will never be alone.
—Ken Chlouber, Colorado miner and creator of the Leadville Trail 100 mile race (ibid.)
# Posted by The Rat @ 3:12 AM
Monday, August 15, 2011
( 5:55 PM ) The Rat
One Saturday, Ann got up early and ran twenty miles. She relaxed over breakfast, then headed back out for twenty more. She had some plumbing chores around the house, so after finishing run No. 2, she hauled out her toolbox and got to work. By the end of the day, she was pretty pleased with herself; she'd run forty miles and taken care of a messy job on her own. So as a reward, she treated herself to another fifteen miles.
Fifty-five miles in one day. Her friends had to wonder, and worry. Did Ann have an eating disorder? An exercise obsession? Was she fleeing some subconscious Freudian demon by literally running away? "My friends would tell me I'm not addicted to crack, I'm addicted to endorphins," Trason would say, and her comeback didn't much put their minds at ease: she liked to tell them that running huge miles in the mountains was "very romantic"...
—Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
# Posted by The Rat @ 5:55 PM
Friday, August 12, 2011
( 11:37 PM ) The Rat
CROSS-SECTIONS OF CANDY BARS, via WKO.
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:37 PM
( 8:55 PM ) The Rat
"PENALTY SUBJECT TO CIRCUMSTANCE." Crimes & Punishments Through Time, an infographic via Good.is.
Ibid.: Which Movie Will Help You Alleviate Your White Guilt?
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:55 PM
( 8:50 PM ) The Rat
RATTY TESTED AS a dreamer-minstrel. (Shocker, I know.) Take the Medieval Vocational Personality Test here.
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:50 PM
( 1:38 PM ) The Rat
I married beneath me. All women do.
# Posted by The Rat @ 1:38 PM
( 12:59 PM ) The Rat
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:59 PM
( 11:56 AM ) The Rat
"UN PIACER SERBATO AI SAGGI." "La vendetta," sung by Paolo Montarsolo in the '75 Ponnelle film (dir. Karl Böhm); lyrics here. Best heard without the visuals, IMO.
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:56 AM
( 11:49 AM ) The Rat
"TO TELL YOU THE TRUTH, SOME PEOPLE LOOK AT ME AND I'M STILL TRAINING AND I'M STILL IN SHAPE AND THEY THINK, 'WOW, THIS GUY'S UNBELIEVABLE, AND EVERYTHING MUST BE FINE.' I MEAN, MY LIFE ISN'T FINE." RW catches up with Matt Long.
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:49 AM
Thursday, August 11, 2011
( 10:29 PM ) The Rat
KUMAIL NANJIANI ON "CHEESE" HEROIN, as featured in a recently rerun TAL, Million Dollar Idea."
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:29 PM
( 9:47 AM ) The Rat
BULLET CHESS SET, via WC.
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:47 AM
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
( 10:45 AM ) The Rat
PHOTO TOUR OF COVENT GARDEN, including a fabric storeroom and one of the original Thomas Crappers!
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:45 AM
( 10:42 AM ) The Rat
For me a work of fiction exists only insofar as it affords me what I shall bluntly call aesthetic bliss, that is a sense of being somehow, somewhere, connected with other states of being where art (curiosity, tenderness, kindness, ecstasy) is the norm. There are not many such books.
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:42 AM
( 10:41 AM ) The Rat
RESEARCHERS DEVELOP POCKET-SIZED SENSOR TO DETECT 'DATE RAPE' DRUGS.
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:41 AM
( 10:15 AM ) The Rat
FROM THE THINGS-NOT-USUALLY-RACED FILES: tugboats and babies. (Ratty actually has seen a baby race, at a county-fair-ish sort of thing. The mat for that one wasn't corporate-sponsored, however.)
I love the first comment on the babies post.
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:15 AM
( 12:21 AM ) The Rat
"YEAH—A LOT OF PEOPLE SAY, CRAZY, INSANE, THAT SORT OF THING..." Amateur (!) athlete Duncan Philips gears up to attempt the Enduroman Arch to Arc, an ultra-distance triathlon—which, to date, only seven people in the world have completed—comprising an 87-mile run from Marble Arch to Dover, a swim across the Channel (20+ miles, and one of the hardest open-water swims out there), and a 180-mile bike ride from Calais to the Arc de Triomphe. Here's an article on Philips, in case you don't have sound at the moment.
Philips is raising money for the Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust; you can throw him money here.
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:21 AM
( 12:09 AM ) The Rat
I shifted gears; I began approaching the hill from a different perspective. Running up the hill became an opportunity to put in effort to see how far my legs would carry me. Each time that I could measure off another telephone pole length, another few steps beyond the distinctive crack in the pavement, I had a sense of triumph, of victory. I was conquering this hill through effort rather than force.
That is the sense, I think, in which Dr. Keith Johnsgard is speaking of conquering depression and anxiety—and a host of other ills and potential ills—through exercise. As he comments in this excellent book, the word for 'running' among a California Indian tribe translates as 'the Big Medicine'...
—foreword to Conquering Depression and Anxiety Through Exercise
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:09 AM
Tuesday, August 09, 2011
( 8:59 PM ) The Rat
NANCY WAKE, R.I.P., via ET.
Even before she escaped to Britain, through Spain, in 1943 to train as a guerrilla leader, Nancy had been top of the Gestapo's French "wanted" list. With her husband, she ran a resistance network which helped to smuggle Jews and allied airmen out of the country.
Her "invisibility," according to French colleagues, was partly explained by her gender and her beauty. The Germans could not believe that one of their chief opponents was a slender, pretty, dark-haired woman.
Nancy both used, and refused to hide behind, her femininity. In London, at the age of 31, she became one of 39 women, and 430 men, recruited into the French Section of the British Special Operations Executive. She was trained in guerrilla fighting techniques and parachuted back into France in April 1944.
Nancy recalled later in life that her parachute had snagged in a tree. The French resistance fighter who freed her said he wished all trees bore "such beautiful fruit." Nancy retorted: "Don't give me that French shit"...
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:59 PM
( 6:17 PM ) The Rat
THE RAT, BACONIZED.
(There's also a vegetarian option.)
# Posted by The Rat @ 6:17 PM
( 3:28 PM ) The Rat
OPERA BRACELETS, found via a sponsored Facebook ad. But do they make a Ring ring?
Opera Bracelets are a new series of wearable art telling the stories of the classic operas. Each element of an Opera Bracelet represents a character, theme or important moment in the work...
Edited to add: Whoa.
# Posted by The Rat @ 3:28 PM
( 1:40 PM ) The Rat
WHY DOES GMAIL think I might be a prospective customer for "Porta Potty for Weddings"?
# Posted by The Rat @ 1:40 PM
( 10:39 AM ) The Rat
"THAT'S WHY," via Failbook.
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:39 AM
( 10:31 AM ) The Rat
RHINOS COMPLETE 100M SPRINT.
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:31 AM
( 8:59 AM ) The Rat
GENETIC BASIS FOR MUSCLE ENDURANCE DISCOVERED IN ANIMAL STUDY.
Also via ScienceDaily: 25 Percent of Scientists Consider Leaving the Profession for Family Life.
Nearly half of all women scientists and one-quarter of male scientists at the United States' top research universities said their career has kept them from having as many children as they had wanted, according to a new study by Rice University and Southern Methodist University (SMU)...
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:59 AM
( 8:57 AM ) The Rat
GOOD LUCK WITH THAT, anonymous Postsecret person!
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:57 AM
( 12:49 AM ) The Rat
I arrive in London to begin my fellowship year in literature after six days on a ship, a train ride up from Southampton, and a long ride on the Underground out to a district called Tooting Bec. Here, on an endless street of mock Tudor houses, and not in Bloomsbury, as I had requested, the King's College accommodations office has arranged lodgings for me in a private home. After I am shown to my grim little attic room by the retired army captain and his wife whose tidy, airless house this is—and with whom, I learn, I will be taking my evening meals—I look at the iron bedstead on which I am to spend the next three hundred nights or so, and in an instant am bereft of the high spirits with which I had crossed the Atlantic, the pure joy with which I had fled from all the constraining rituals of undergraduate life, and from the wearisome concern of the mother and father whom I believe have ceased to nourish me. But Tooting Bec? This tiny room? My meals across from the captain's hairline mustache? And for what, to study Arthurian legends and Icelandic sagas? Why all this punishment just for being smart!
—The Professor of Desire
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:49 AM
( 12:37 AM ) The Rat
"AS HEAD OF THE 539-YEAR-OLD HOUSE OF ALBA, HER PRIVILEGES INCLUDE NOT HAVING TO KNEEL BEFORE THE POPE AND THE RIGHT TO RIDE ON HORSEBACK INTO SEVILLE CATHEDRAL."
According to Guinness World Records, Maria del Rosario Cayetana Alfonsa Victoria Eugenia Francisca Fitz-James Stuart y de Silva, born in Madrid's Palacio de Liria, has more titles than any noble on Earth, being a duchess seven times over, a countess 22 times and a marquesa 24...
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:37 AM
Monday, August 08, 2011
( 9:56 PM ) The Rat
THE SOMALIA FAMINE: WHY SOCIAL MEDIA SOMETIMES FAILS.
It has been said that social media becomes the tool of this fad or that fad or during an emergency crisis it becomes the tool of the voices of the hurt, injured, missing. But, in a slow crisis, something like the famine in Somalia, the images are roughly the same every day, so many feel they don't need to repost about the plight. And, the problems are only increasing.
Where is the outcry on social media like there was for the Chilean, Haitian, Japanese earthquakes and resultant disasters? Is this a racial thing because it is Africa? Is it a boring story because it seems "every other day" there is some story in the western media about some country in Africa that is having yet another famine?
But 29,000 children under the age of five have died...
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:56 PM
( 3:05 PM ) The Rat
CHINESE OFFICIALS SEIZED AND SOLD BABIES, PARENTS SAY.
Yang Libing discovered the loss of his daughter during his monthly telephone call home from a pay phone on a Shenzhen street. "Is she behaving?" he asked cheerily. The answer, he said, made him physically sick.
After racing home, he said, he begged family planning officials to let him pay the fine. They said it was too late. When he protested, he said, a group of more than 10 men beat him. Afterward, the office director offered a compromise: although their daughter was gone forever, the Yangs would be allowed to conceive two more children...
# Posted by The Rat @ 3:05 PM
( 3:01 PM ) The Rat
TAKE THIS SURVEY (if you're outside the U.K.) to help out the British Museum.
# Posted by The Rat @ 3:01 PM
Sunday, August 07, 2011
( 9:52 PM ) The Rat
U.S. SWIMMER NYAD BEGINS SWIM ACROSS FLORIDA STRAITS. Yikes.
American endurance swimmer Diana Nyad jumped into Cuban waters Sunday evening and set off in a bid to become the first person to swim across the Florida Straits without the aid of a shark cage.
Tanned and freckled from long hours training in the open seas of the Caribbean, the 61-year-old Nyad expressed confidence before starting off. She said the still air and flat water were perfect conditions for her attempt to make a 103-mile (166-kilometer), 60-hour swim from Havana to the Florida Keys...
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:52 PM
( 6:44 PM ) The Rat
OVERVECHT RAILWAY STATION IN UTRECHT INSTALLS CHILDREN'S SLIDE TO HELP BUSY PASSENGERS. Hmm. Do they not have lawyers in the Netherlands?
# Posted by The Rat @ 6:44 PM
( 5:12 PM ) The Rat
And what will I say in response, exactly what the innocent, tempting girls say to me? 'No, no, please don't! Oh, Louis, you're too smart for this! Why can't we just talk about books?'
—The Professor of Desire
# Posted by The Rat @ 5:12 PM
( 4:39 PM ) The Rat
TWITTER-POWERED BILLBOARD SHOWS AMERICA'S MOOD.
Jell-O Pudding erected the billboard with the face of copywriter Ian Hart and says that if the general mood of America gets a bit down in the mouth, they're giving away certificates for free pudding...
# Posted by The Rat @ 4:39 PM
( 4:30 PM ) The Rat
WHY ARE WE SKIPPING CHURCH? via the Onion.
# Posted by The Rat @ 4:30 PM
( 4:25 PM ) The Rat
Have you tried 3D running? You step out the door and suddenly you can move through the world surrounding you.
—Hal Higdon, via Twitter
# Posted by The Rat @ 4:25 PM
( 4:16 PM ) The Rat
THE WORLD'S STRANGEST MUSEUMS. Also see the comments. Pro-tip to Mr. Körükçü: I would leave this particular hobby off your online personals ad...
Galip Körükçü is a Turkish potter who decided to collect as much hair as he could from women all over the world and open a hair museum. The idea was to raise awareness for his ceramics course by dreaming up the most hair-brained scheme imaginable so that people would remember his name. Housed in a cave in Avanos and featuring over 16,000 samples of women's hair hanging from the walls and roof, this hair lair resembles a serial killer's den...
# Posted by The Rat @ 4:16 PM
( 12:07 PM ) The Rat
FEMALES CAN PLACE LIMITS ON EVOLUTION OF ATTRACTIVE FEATURES IN MALES.
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:07 PM
Saturday, August 06, 2011
( 5:38 PM ) The Rat
IRAN'S RICH EAT ICE CREAM COVERED IN GOLD AS POOR STRUGGLE TO SURVIVE.
# Posted by The Rat @ 5:38 PM
( 12:50 PM ) The Rat
"SHE DOESN'T LIKE SURPRISES." Damn. From reader comments on this girl: "She is strictly 'catch-and-release.'"
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:50 PM
( 12:00 AM ) The Rat
"IT'S HARD NOT TO SEE LONELINESS AS A FAILING." True Stories: How I Fell in Love with My Married Coworker. This may be the best thing I've ever read on Nerve.com (its only serious competition is this), and I'm not saying that at all snarkily—it's one of the best things I've read on the Interwebs, period, in some time. Seriously, read it.
In hindsight, I think I understand how I got to that point. I'd detonated my last serious relationship almost ten years ago, because I wasn't ready for it. The past decade, I'd been traveling the country working odd jobs or busting my ass to get a post-graduate degree, and while my sex life never really suffered, I can't say that either situation was conducive to building healthy relationships.
During all of this time, though, I had a large group of solid friends: friends from back home, friends from undergrad, friends from the days working the bar. I had friends who would stay up all night talking, friends who were always good for a beer on a Monday night, friends who would work on each other's projects, friends who were enough for me. Then, in what I've heard is a natural life change, my friends started to recede. One by one, they got careers, they got married, they got kids, and I... didn't.
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:00 AM
Friday, August 05, 2011
( 11:18 PM ) The Rat
SCIENTISTS FINALLY LOCATE CLITORIS. Actually not from the Onion.
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:18 PM
( 11:14 PM ) The Rat
ARMY TO TRIM WAR TOURS TO 9 MONTHS.
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:14 PM
( 10:53 PM ) The Rat
CONDOLENCE NOTES AND CASSEROLES: HOW TO HELP FRIENDS IN MOURNING, via AB. There are some pretty appallingly callous people quoted in this (necessarily so, of course, to illustrate what not to do... but still, yikes), but the article itself is extremely good, and repeats many of the things I was taught in hospice volunteer training. When our training was over, I remember, a few of the other volunteers commented that they'd found this instruction helpful not just for volunteering purposes, but in giving them a better sense of how to listen to and help cope with their loved ones' hardships of all kinds, including but not at all limited to bereavement. I hope this article finds a wide readership for the same reason.
Many people focused on the painful fact that loved ones often ignored their pain or were uncomfortable with it. Discomfort sometimes led to awkward encounters: As one respondent noted, "At my husband's wake my sister actually said to me 'Why do bad things keep happening to me?' after her car broke down." And those who had dealt with serious illness of loved ones noted how hurtful it was when friends or partners refused to acknowledge that death might be the outcome.
The respondents also spoke of the wisdom of following the lead of the mourner. There is a right and a wrong time to express condolences to someone who is grieving. We've both had experiences like this—and so had many of our respondents. "It's difficult when people bring up the loss at totally inappropriate times, like when I'm out on a Saturday night and someone comes up to me and says, "I didn't know that your mom killed herself," and proceeds to talk about it for 20 minutes despite my efforts to change the subject." Two months after Leeat's mother died, she ran into a colleague in the hall as she was about to give a lecture. She had her hand on the door when the woman began to apologize profusely for not coming to the funeral. "She started to ask me how I was doing, how could she help. This was the worst possible time she could have asked me these questions. She was bringing up a lot of pain and suffering for me at a moment when I needed to be focused," Leeat notes. The way to help someone grieving is as much about context as it is about content. Being sensitive to where you are and what the grieving person needs in the moment is paramount.
The survey results also suggested that it's important to be concrete when you offer help. A number of people commented on how unhelpful they found the vague statement "Let me know if I can do anything." As one respondent put it, "I don't have the energy to call you. I'd rather you suggest something then come over and do it. One friend talked so much at the wake about how much she was going to help me, then didn't call for 3 months. When I asked her about it, she said, 'Well, he's still dead, so I didn't think there was anything I can do.'" This insensitive comment about being "still dead" brings up an important point—supporting someone in grief is not about "fixing the problem" but about simply sitting with the pain of the loss and acknowledging that the dead are indeed still dead. Helping does not require heroic efforts: One respondent mentioned an invitation to dinner or the movies; another, a phone call saying a friend was going to bring over a meal or look after their kids or help them clean their house. Of course, as mourners noted, there were times when they weren't up for any of this—and what they wanted was friends who could understand that that was fine too. Sometimes the bereaved just need to rest. Crucially, continuing to call and be present after the first few weeks or months after a loss is also important. The first months after a death are often accompanied by feelings of shock and numbness; for many, the hardest pain comes long after everyone has stopped calling or coming around...
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:53 PM
( 5:44 PM ) The Rat
# Posted by The Rat @ 5:44 PM
( 3:20 PM ) The Rat
PREGNANCY TOURISM IN THE HIMALAYAS, via WC.
Shooting the documentary was far from easy for Sivan. With the help of an Indian colonel, he traced a German lady holidaying with a Brokpa man in a resort in Leh. Back then, foreigners weren’t allowed easily into Darchik, the man’s village, so Leh was chosen as a love-nest. Sivan had to shoot secret footage of the two roaming around together, and then persuade the lady into speaking to him. The Brokpa man had no inhibitions in being filmed.
In the film, the lady tells us how she isn't the first, and "definitely not the last" to travel this far to have an Aryan child, one who, she imagined, would grow up grateful for the gift of racially superior intelligence. She speaks of an organised system behind such pregnancy tourism, but refuses to elaborate. "It's not wrong, what I'm doing," she says, "I'm paying for what I want."
# Posted by The Rat @ 3:20 PM
( 2:34 PM ) The Rat
'That's quite all right. I just wanted to ask you your mother's address—that is, where can I get in touch with her?'
'Oh! You'll have to write to Aunt Isabel. Mother's abroad.'
'I have your aunt's address. But I need to get in touch with your mother personally.'
'I don't see how you can,' said Julia, frowning. 'Mother's gone to Anatolia on a bus.'
'On a bus?' said Miss Bulstrode, taken aback.
Julia nodded vigorously.
'She likes that sort of thing,' she explained. 'And of course it's frightfully cheap. A bit uncomfortable, but Mummy doesn't mind that. Roughly, I should think she'd fetch up in Van in about three weeks or so.'
'I see—yes. Tell me, Julia, did your mother ever mention to you seeing someone here whom she'd known in her war service days?'
'No, Miss Bulstrode, I don't think so. No, I'm sure she didn't.'
'Your mother did Intelligence work, didn't she?'
'Oh, yes. Mummy seems to have loved it. Not that it sounds really exciting to me. She never blew up anything. Or got caught by the Gestapo. Or had her toe nails pulled out. Or anything like that. She worked in Switzerland, I think—or was it Portugal?'
Julia added apologetically: 'One gets rather bored with all that old war stuff and I'm afraid I don't always listen properly.'
'Well, thank you, Julia. That's all.'
'Really!' said Miss Bulstrode, when Julia had departed. 'Gone to Anatolia on a bus! The child said it exactly as though she were saying her mother had taken a 73 bus to Marshall and Snelgrove's.'
—Cat Among the Pigeons
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:34 PM
( 2:12 PM ) The Rat
Now from his breast into his eyes the ache
of longing mounted, and he wept at last,
his dear wife, clear and faithful, in his arms, longed for
as the sunwarmed earth is longed for by a swimmer
spent in rough water where his ship went down
under Poseidon's blows, gale winds and tons of sea.
Few men can keep alive through a big surf
to crawl, clotted with brine, on kindly beaches
in joy, in joy, knowing the abyss behind:
and so she too rejoiced, her gaze upon her husband,
her white arms round him pressed as though forever.
—Odyssey XXIII, tr. Robert Fitzgerald
Yeah, I know I've posted this before—so sue me... Not sure where it is, but there's a passage in one of the earlier books where the metaphor is used the other way round—that is, where actual shipwreck is compared to separation from one's wife, rather than vice versa—which is partly what makes this stanza so powerful, not that it wouldn't already have been powerful. (The twinning or "closing" of that metaphor, through this passage, may be my single favorite thing in the entire Odyssey.) Someday I'll have all my books under one roof and be able to look shit like that up.
Not having any Greek, I have no clue what the original is like, but Fitzgerald's "as though" in that last line also gets me every time. Though it's possible that's mainly because my attention was first drawn to this passage by a highly mortality-conscious friend.
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:12 PM
( 2:07 PM ) The Rat
DATE DISASTROUSLY BYPASSES PHYSICAL INTIMACY, GOES STRAIGHT TO EMOTIONAL INTIMACY.
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:07 PM
( 2:00 PM ) The Rat
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:00 PM
( 9:22 AM ) The Rat
HOW COMMERCIAL AIRPLANES SHOULD BE LAID OUT.
The Oatmeal also just ran his first ultramarathon, and is inviting readers to draw finisher's medals commemorating the event. Some of the submissions (e.g., here) are pretty funny.
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:22 AM
Thursday, August 04, 2011
( 11:59 PM ) The Rat
AND WHAT'S THE MAGIC WORD? via Passive-Aggressive Notes.
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:59 PM
( 8:16 PM ) The Rat
WIDESPREAD MISTAKEN BELIEFS ABOUT MEMORY, U.S. NATIONAL SURVEY REVEALS. Great news, right? These people are going to be on your jury.
Nearly two-thirds of respondents likened human memory to a video camera that records information precisely for later review. Almost half believed that once experiences are encoded in memory, those memories do not change. Nearly 40 percent felt that the testimony of a single confident eyewitness should be enough evidence to convict someone of a crime.
These and other beliefs about memory diverge from the views of cognitive psychologists with many years of experience studying how memory works, the researchers report. While studies have shown, for example, that confident eyewitnesses are accurate more often than eyewitnesses who lack confidence, Chabris said, "even confident witnesses are wrong about 30 percent of the time."
Many studies have demonstrated the ways in which memory can be unreliable and even manipulated, Simons said.
"We've known since the 1930s that memories can become distorted in systematic ways," he said. "We've known since the 1980s that even memory for vivid, very meaningful personal events can change over time. For example, (Cornell University psychology professor) Ulric Neisser showed that personal memories for the Challenger space shuttle explosion changed over time, and (University of California professor) Elizabeth Loftus and her colleagues have managed to introduce entirely false memories that people believe and trust as if they had really happened"...
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:16 PM
( 6:33 PM ) The Rat
Every city has a sex and an age which have nothing to do with demography. Rome is feminine. So is Odessa. London is a teenager, an urchin, and, in this, hasn't changed since the time of Dickens. Paris, I believe, is a man in his twenties in love with an older woman.
# Posted by The Rat @ 6:33 PM
( 6:12 PM ) The Rat
EXPECTED REAL-LIFE BATMAN GENERATION RATE, via WC.
# Posted by The Rat @ 6:12 PM
( 11:00 AM ) The Rat
LIFE GETS BETTER AT 50.
Laura Carstensen, a psychologist at Stanford, is well known for her work on the changes that naturally occur in the priorities people set for themselves. She even has a name for this phenomenon: the socio-emotional selectivity theory.
"There's a general set of goals that guide human behavior throughout life," she says. "We have goals about mating, about attachment, about gaining information, and also about regulating our emotions. And when time horizons are vast and nebulous, as they typically are in youth, people prioritize those goals in different ways than when time horizons are short."
Carstensen believes, and has demonstrated in her research, that when people have a sense that a lot of time lies ahead of them, they are constantly, chronically focused on gaining information, gaining insights, gathering up an enriched supply of knowledge that will help them in their future. On the other hand, she says, as people become more viscerally aware of the constraints of time, goals that had seemed salient—future-oriented goals—are no longer so compelling. Instead, what people tend to care about is "meaning in life, emotion, emotional significance," she says. "In some ways, they’re relieved of the burden of a future."
It's a startling idea in some ways, Carstensen's concept of being "relieved of the burden of a future." But it's a concept that is already old news to many.
"It turns out that when you're focused on the here and now, just as Buddhism would say, when you're focused on the present, it's really good for mental health," she says.
As we age, emotions tend to be more positive, more deeply experienced, and more easily regulated. In many older adults, Carstensen has shown, there develops a natural bias toward aspects of life that are emotionally gratifying—as well as a natural disregard for those things that would have, at a younger age, caused anxiety or distress. Carstensen has demonstrated this phenomenon using several experimental methods, from brain imaging to clinical interviews...
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:00 AM
( 10:50 AM ) The Rat
"RUNNING OPENED UP SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL IN MY LIFE." Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea talks to RW about running the L.A. Marathon to raise money for the Silverlake Conservatory.
Q. Is training the most physically difficult thing you've done?
A. I've been on some long rock tours where some have lasted over a year and a half, and my performance is very physical. It gets really exhausting, yet I believe in giving my all every time I step out on stage, so that's, in a different way, exhausting. I feel like some of the lessons I've learned from being able to go the distance apply to running.
Of course, running is different. I ran 20 miles the other day in a few hours. It's similar, but over a different time span. They both help each other in terms of understanding what it is to finish something...
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:50 AM
( 1:17 AM ) The Rat
"THE FLOWERS MUST HAVE BEEN PRETTY AWKWARD WHEN YOU WERE WITH ONE OF YOUR 500 BOYFRIENDS." "IT WAS. I HAD TO HIDE THEM." Before You Were Born: The Fifteen-Year Courtship, via Nerve. Best meet-cute story ever.
# Posted by The Rat @ 1:17 AM
Wednesday, August 03, 2011
( 8:45 PM ) The Rat
GARDEN SLUGS PREFER BUDWEISER OVER IMPORTED BRANDS, via Wait Wait.
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:45 PM
( 8:43 PM ) The Rat
'Tu n'es encore pour moi qu'un petit garçon tout semblable à cent mille petits garçons. Et je n'ai pas besoin de toi. Et tu n'a pas besoin de moi non plus. Je ne suis pour toi qu'un renard semblable à cent mille renards. Mais, si tu m'apprivoises, nous aurons besoin l'un de l'autre. Tu seras pour moi unique au monde. Je serai pour toi unique au monde...'
'Je commence à comprendre,' dit le petit prince. 'Il y a une fleur... je crois qu'elle m'a apprivoisé...'
—Le Petit Prince; sounds less cliched in the original than in English translation
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:43 PM
( 9:44 AM ) The Rat
"A MINUTE WITH VENUS... A YEAR WITH MERCURY!" 50 Vintage STD Propaganda Posters.
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:44 AM
( 9:32 AM ) The Rat
"ACCORDING TO SEVERAL GROUNDBREAKING STUDIES AND GROWING EVIDENCE FROM THERAPISTS IN THE FIELD, RUNNING MAY NOT BE JUST A GOOD TREATMENT FOR DEPRESSION—IT MAY BE THE BEST. RUNNERS WITH DEPRESSION MAY BE THE LUCKY ONES WHO HAVE STUMBLED UPON A NATURAL ANTIDOTE, AND USE THEIR MILEAGE TO ORGANICALLY REGULATE THEIR MOODS..." "The Long Road Back," a 2004 RW profile of ultrarunner Lisa Smith-Batchen.
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:32 AM
Tuesday, August 02, 2011
( 10:19 PM ) The Rat
"THE ESSENTIAL SIMILARITIES BETWEEN AN EXTRAMARITAL AFFAIR AND MARATHON TRAINING ARE UNCANNY," from the September Runner's World.
Each consumes you, or so the lusty PG-13 movies and the people who have run marathons have suggested to me. In the guilt department, there is guilt, especially if your wife is not training for the marathon with you. There are blood pressure and chafing issues that I won't go into here. And most of all, both the affair and the marathon take you away from your family for regular and long intervals. For many years, in fact, I had wanted to run the New York City Marathon, but as a middle-aged married guy with kids, I couldn't imagine finding the time to train.
But what if I tried to sneak my marathon training in during those moments on the edge of family life? What if I snuck off to run eight miles when I should be running an errand to the grocery store? What if that 'Honey, I'm working late at the office' was actually a 20-mile long run? What if I treated my virgin marathon-training program as if it were a steamy, keep-the-curtains-shut affair?
And so, with all these if's running through my mind, I set out to find the definitive answer to the underlying question: Can a marathon assuage the midlife crisis?
In the spirit of illicitness, I decided that I would attempt to keep the training quiet to the rest of the world, though my family would know, they had to know, because I didn't want them thinking I was having an actual affair. (Also, while you don't want your family around if you are having an affair, you might need them when you are having a marathon.) My coach would know, too. My coach would be my neighbor and high school friend Dave, who had run a couple of marathons himself. 'When you run a marathon, you feel like a rock star,' Dave had said to me once. The rock-star factor is, in a nutshell, the marathon's most salient midlife crisis-prevention ingredient, because as any middle-aged man feeling down in the dumps will tell you after he has had enough to drink, he just wants to feel a little like the guy at the front of the band, and he will sometimes go to great and self-destructive lengths to do so...
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:19 PM
( 7:06 PM ) The Rat
SOMETIMES, WORDS JUST GET IN THE WAY. Note the Harvard sweatshirt.
# Posted by The Rat @ 7:06 PM
( 6:30 PM ) The Rat
SOPHIE KOCH IN CONVERSATION, the newest podcast episode from the Royal Opera House.
# Posted by The Rat @ 6:30 PM
( 6:25 PM ) The Rat
THE RULES OF: REALIZING YOU'RE ON A DATE.
# Posted by The Rat @ 6:25 PM
( 3:22 PM ) The Rat
"HANDLE EVERY STRESSFUL SITUATION LIKE A DOG..." via JM. The "flu" pic is my favorite.
# Posted by The Rat @ 3:22 PM
( 2:21 PM ) The Rat
HAPPY NATIONAL ICE CREAM SANDWICH DAY! Amazon carries 10-packs of the freeze-dried variety, for rather less than they charge at the Smithsonian.
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:21 PM
( 2:14 PM ) The Rat
"ACCORDING TO INFORMATION RELEASED BY THE CDC TO ALL MAJOR TELEVISION AND RADIO STATIONS, INGESTION OF THE MAYONNAISE-BORNE VIRUS RESULTS IN SHOOTING BODY PAINS, HEADACHES, FEVERS, INTERNAL BLEEDING, ABNORMAL GAIT, LOSS OF MUSCLE CONTROL, DEMENTIA, AND, IN ITS FINAL STAGES, A SLIGHT DECREASE IN ONE'S DESIRE TO CONSUME MAYONNAISE." CDC Powerless to Stop Spread of Virulent Mayonnaise-Borne Pathogen, and old Onion favorite I thought of over lunch today.
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:14 PM
( 1:17 PM ) The Rat
Baby boomers in general and boomer distance runners in particular were heirs both to the warrior mentality of their World War II-veteran fathers and the new consciousness of the 1960s and '70s. Both ways of thinking were essentially idealistic and challenged us to adopt causes greater than ourselves. The marathon served as an ideal outlet for both types of energy. Running a fast marathon was difficult. It required enormous discipline, willpower, and competitive drive—the influences of our warrior fathers. On the other hand, marathoning was an elemental, nonexploitative, natural form of personal expression—the spirit of the counterculture. I think that the majority of the runners toeing the line at Boston in '82, either unconsciously or consciously, were riding that double wave.
# Posted by The Rat @ 1:17 PM
( 10:16 AM ) The Rat
AUSTRALIAN WOMAN SUES FOR WORKER'S COMPENSATION AFTER SEX INJURY ON BUSINESS TRIP.
An Australian woman who got injured while having sex during a business trip is suing her government employer for compensation. The on-the-clock romp involved her male acquaintance—and had no connection to her job whatsoever.
The incident, however, did occur in a motel room that the employer had paid for. During sexual intercourse, a glass light fitting tore from the wall above the bed and struck her face. She is claiming physical injuries to her nose, mouth and a tooth, as well as "a consequent psychiatric injury"...
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:16 AM
( 9:58 AM ) The Rat
COMFORT FOODS MAY ALTER BRAIN'S RESPONSE TO SADNESS.
For the study, published in the August issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, the researchers recruited 12 non-obese, healthy volunteers who received fatty acids or a saline solution through a feeding tube. Using functional MRI, the researchers also scanned the volunteers' brain waves as they were exposed to sad and neutral music, and sad and neutral facial expressions.
On its own, the efforts to induce sadness—through music and images of frowns—caused people's moods to fall by 2.5 points out of 10, Van Oudenhove said. But the fatty acids helped reduce the dip to about 1 point.
In the brain itself, researchers found that induced sadness produced a change of about 3 to 4 percent, "which is quite a lot," Van Oudenhove said. But the level of change shrank to less than 1 percent once the subjects got a dose of fatty acids, at least in most regions of the brain that were analyzed...
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:58 AM
( 9:52 AM ) The Rat
STUDY: PINK ADS PROVE COUNTERPRODUCTIVE FOR BREAST CANCER AWARENESS. OK, now can we get rid of all that godawful pink crap?
The problem is not that some women are turned off by the traditionalism and underlying stereotype of a pink brand, but rather that too large a proportion of women directly identify with the color. Rotterdam School of Management professor Stefano Puntoni showed in a series of ten experiments over three years that women were less likely to think themselves at risk and less likely to say they would donate to breast or ovarian cancer advertisements if they employed a pink color scheme.
The underlying cause, Puntoni theorized for the Harvard Business Review, is that when a woman perceives that a cancer advertisement is aimed directly at her (by the use of gender-specific colors) then there is a higher likelihood she will subconsciously go into a state of denial...
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:52 AM
Monday, August 01, 2011
( 8:28 PM ) The Rat
MENTAL ILLNESS AND LEADERSHIP.
Depression also has been found to correlate with high degrees of empathy, a greater concern for how others think and feel. In one study, severely depressed patients had much higher scores on the standard measures of empathy than did a control group of college students; the more depressed they were, the higher their empathy scores. This was the case even when patients were not currently depressed but had experienced depression in the past. Depression seems to prepare the mind for a long-term habit of appreciating others' point of view...
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:28 PM
( 6:05 PM ) The Rat
"FOR RICHER OR POORER, IN SICKNESS AND IN SICKNESS." The Wait Wait staff eat White Castle chicken rings.
# Posted by The Rat @ 6:05 PM
( 3:35 PM ) The Rat
STUDENT SLACKS OFF DUE TO POST-COITAL LETHARGY.
At his current pace, Wheeler will earn a 1.9 GPA, an all-time low for a student who was once called "promising" by an undergraduate advisor. Others in the university administration see this radical drop-off in performance as a major strike against graduate school acceptance. Admissions officers across the nation will only acknowledge post-coital lethargy with trepidation.
"Only the most forgiving of admissions officials would look past such a drop-off," says Lynn Fulton, Emory University's Dean of Admissions. "But if Mr. Wheeler did apply here, we would of course factor in the reason for the bad grades, like we do with other extraordinary circumstances, like family tragedy and life-threatening sickness"...
# Posted by The Rat @ 3:35 PM
( 8:34 AM ) The Rat
"A COMMON THEME IS THAT OF TRICKSTER ANIMALS, OR THE DEVIL, GETTING MARRIED": folkloric names for sunshowers.
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:34 AM