Monday, October 31, 2011
( 8:45 PM ) The Rat
"DOESN'T THAT HURT?" via ATIAC.
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:45 PM
( 8:25 PM ) The Rat
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:25 PM
( 3:59 PM ) The Rat
"TRYING TO EAT MY WAY TO THE PICKLE IN THE MIDDLE IS LIKE SHACKLETON TRYING TO GET TO THE SOUTH POLE." The Wait Wait crew eat the Humongous Pork Tenderloin.
# Posted by The Rat @ 3:59 PM
Sunday, October 30, 2011
( 10:47 PM ) The Rat
MAN 'DRINKS 2 PIZZAS' BEFORE SKIDDING OFF ROAD.
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:47 PM
( 10:37 PM ) The Rat
MONSTER SLIPPER 'REVEALED AS ELABORATE PR STUNT.' Don't miss "loujohnson"'s comment.
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:37 PM
( 10:43 AM ) The Rat
CURIOSITY IS CRITICAL TO ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE. You heard it here first!
Also via ScienceDaily: More Time Outdoors May Reduce Kids' Risk for Nearsightedness.
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:43 AM
( 1:27 AM ) The Rat
STRATEGY, via Failbook. Oh sure, you laugh now, but when I was 20 this made perfect sense.
# Posted by The Rat @ 1:27 AM
( 12:56 AM ) The Rat
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:56 AM
Saturday, October 29, 2011
( 9:34 PM ) The Rat
'FLYING CARPET' OF CONDUCIVE PLASTIC TAKES FLIGHT. From last month.
Prof. Mahadevan looks forward to sophisticated improvements in the near future, suggesting the approach could progress to "mimicking the beautiful two-dimensional undulations of the skate or manta ray."
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:34 PM
( 5:02 PM ) The Rat
"IT IS NOT ILLEGAL TO HAVE SEX WITH A BAGEL."
# Posted by The Rat @ 5:02 PM
( 11:41 AM ) The Rat
I find ecstasy in living—the mere sense of living is joy enough.
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:41 AM
Friday, October 28, 2011
( 10:52 AM ) The Rat
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:52 AM
( 10:32 AM ) The Rat
"A LUCHADOR FIGHTING A ROBOT."
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:32 AM
Thursday, October 27, 2011
( 9:25 AM ) The Rat
HEH! Via IKM.
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:25 AM
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
( 11:07 PM ) The Rat
LONG SHADOW OF MT. RAINIER.
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:07 PM
( 6:14 PM ) The Rat
8-FOOT-TALL LEGO MAN WASHES UP ON FLORIDA BEACH, HELD IN CUSTODY. When this thing washed up in Brighton, it appears to have been simply left on the beach, at least at first. I love how completely emblematic of America his expected trajectory here is.
For now the Lego Man's journey has landed him in the Sarasota County Sheriff's office. "Mr. Leonard is being kept in a secure environment until his owner comes forward," the sheriff's office writes in a statement.
If nobody comes to claim him, he will be given to Jeff Hindman, the man who originally spotted Ego Leonard on Tuesday morning.
Hindman told reporters that if he does get custody of the Lego Man, he'll probably sell him on Ebay...
# Posted by The Rat @ 6:14 PM
( 6:09 PM ) The Rat
Three-quarters of the sicknesses of intelligent people come from their intelligence. They need at least a doctor who can understand this sickness.
# Posted by The Rat @ 6:09 PM
( 3:11 PM ) The Rat
MUSICAL MIGRANTS. Very cool BBC series on five people who each were motivated to emigrate as a result of their love for music. Ratty is, of course, starting with this one, about a Venezuelan baritone who moved to Milan. (It was for political reasons, too, though... pussy.)
Pedro Carrillo is from Venezuela. He fell in love with Italian opera when he was five years old and heard a recording of Verdi's Rigoletto playing in his father's study...
# Posted by The Rat @ 3:11 PM
( 2:37 PM ) The Rat
THE HORMONE GUIDE, via TG.
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:37 PM
( 2:33 PM ) The Rat
OOH... Indirectly via WKO.
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:33 PM
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
( 4:25 PM ) The Rat
WORLD PASTA DAY. Yeah, but all this does is make me wish I hadn't missed the World Pasta Congress in Rome in 1995.
At world level the collective promotion in favour of pasta received a powerful impulsion thanks to the outcome of the World Pasta Congress held in Rome on 25th October 1995...
# Posted by The Rat @ 4:25 PM
( 4:24 PM ) The Rat
"RUN A 5K IN A GORILLA SUIT DOWNTOWN." Only do it for a cause this time, not to play out your sick twisted fantasies!
I love the "About the 2012 Austin Gorilla Run" section, particularly no. 3.
When you run in the Austin Gorilla Run you:
1) Run a fun 5K with your friends
2) Benefit mountain gorillas
3) Keep your gorilla suit
4) Enjoy lunch and an after party provided by Fado
5) Get to hear live music by Achachay!
# Posted by The Rat @ 4:24 PM
( 4:20 PM ) The Rat
"Most marriages don't add two people together. They subtract one from the other."
—Diamonds Are Forever
# Posted by The Rat @ 4:20 PM
( 3:54 AM ) The Rat
THIS WEEK'S SANDWICH MONDAY really looks exceptionally gross to me, even by Sandwich Monday standards.
# Posted by The Rat @ 3:54 AM
( 3:44 AM ) The Rat
Making love with a woman and sleeping with a woman are two separate passions, not merely different but opposite. Love does not make itself felt in the desire for copulation (a desire that extends to an infinite number of women) but in the desire for shared sleep (a desire limited to one woman).
—The Unbearable Lightness of Being
# Posted by The Rat @ 3:44 AM
Monday, October 24, 2011
( 1:44 AM ) The Rat
"Many odious women have devoted husbands. It is an enigma of nature."
—"Problem at Sea"
# Posted by The Rat @ 1:44 AM
Sunday, October 23, 2011
( 9:24 PM ) The Rat
"DO YOU THINK ANYBODY EVER MESSES UP AND PUTS THEIR CHICKEN SPOON IN THE DISHWASHER?" I missed this past week's Sandwich Monday at the time, wherein the Wait Wait crew ate (the? a? some of?) Popeye's Dip'n Chick'n.
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:24 PM
( 7:41 PM ) The Rat
"ACCUSED OF" sounds so pejorative...
# Posted by The Rat @ 7:41 PM
( 7:38 PM ) The Rat
SELF TO IMMUNE SYSTEM: You're all fired.
# Posted by The Rat @ 7:38 PM
Saturday, October 22, 2011
( 11:25 PM ) The Rat
SPAIN'S STOLEN BABIES, AND THE FAMILIES WHO LIVED A LIE. Eek.
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:25 PM
( 4:02 PM ) The Rat
One middle-aged woman told me at the beginning of this last revolution, in the battered center of the city of Benghazi, that she thought the worst thing about living under a dictatorship was that it made you ashamed that you didn't resist—that you weren't a hero. 'You pass the habit of fear on to your children,' she said...
—"From Our Own Correspondent"
# Posted by The Rat @ 4:02 PM
( 12:35 PM ) The Rat
AVOCADO THIEF BANNED FROM HAVING MORE THAN 10 AT A TIME.
An admitted avocado thief in north San Diego County has been ordered to stay away from any groves bearing the popular fruit and prohibited from possessing more than 10 avocados at a time.
The unusual sentence was handed down after Barron Stein admitted stealing 600 to 1,000 pounds of avocados from a grove in Bonsall...
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:35 PM
( 11:36 AM ) The Rat
IN LIBYA, A SPECTACLE GREETS MOAMMAR KADAFI'S CORPSE. Damn.
The viewing was emotional and surreal, but Kadafi's reign was often beyond imagination. It seemed fitting that Misurata, a city by the sea that was pummeled into a hallmark of Kadafi's brutality during a siege this spring, gave the leader—stripped to the waist, his once famous locks forlorn—his final humiliation.
"Yes, he's gone," said Nagwi Omar, "but I'm an old man. He took my youth."
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:36 AM
Friday, October 21, 2011
( 11:19 AM ) The Rat
"...LIKE A SOMEWHAT ATTRACTIVE RAVEN," via WC.
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:19 AM
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
( 8:12 PM ) The Rat
"IF YOU SEE THEM COMPETE, THEY ARE BASICALLY ONE RUNNER, AND IT'S HARD NOT TO GET EMOTIONAL." Blind Lexington athlete making history with dog, via RW.
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:12 PM
( 3:17 PM ) The Rat
THE LAND, SEA, AND AIR BURGER, via Wait Wait.
# Posted by The Rat @ 3:17 PM
( 12:33 PM ) The Rat
"A 5K RUN, WITH ZOMBIES."
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:33 PM
( 8:40 AM ) The Rat
WOMAN, 54, SUFFERS AMNESIA AFTER GREAT SEX.
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:40 AM
( 2:37 AM ) The Rat
CHILD SLAVES MADE YOUR HALLOWEEN CANDY, via TG. I knew about slavery on cocoa plantations, of course, but think this is the first time I've seen it connected to specific manufacturers.
The funny thing is, just a decade or so ago I still used to wonder how, during the 19th century, people in Western countries could have lived so comfortably and guiltlessly off the ill-gotten gains not only of slavery in their own countries but of the worst practices that came with imperialism overseas. But things haven't really changed all that much—even today, for instance, how many conflict diamonds, conflict minerals, etc., are we still buying every day in the West (the more so considering the likely failures of e.g. the Kimberley Process)?
Every October, American kids like mine are treated to a wide array of chocolates—Snickers, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Butterfingers—because hundreds of thousands of children in West Africa are enslaved harvesting cocoa beans. These children are performing this work for the benefit of most of the mainstream chocolate providers in the United States. A report from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture on cocoa farms in the Ivory Coast and other African countries estimated there were 284,000 children working on cocoa farms in hazardous conditions. Many of them have been taken from their families and sold as servants. U.S. chocolate manufacturers have claimed they are not responsible for the conditions on cocoa plantations, since they don't own them. This group includes Hershey, Mars, Nestle, and the U.S. division of Cadbury. Collectively, they are responsible for pretty much every snack-size candy bar available in stores this Halloween...
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:37 AM
Monday, October 17, 2011
( 6:34 PM ) The Rat
"YOU HAVE TO GET DOWN TO PENGUIN LEVEL."
# Posted by The Rat @ 6:34 PM
( 1:29 PM ) The Rat
"AND WHEN I CAME ACROSS HIS FAMOUS VERDICT—'MEN HAVE BECOME TOOLS OF THEIR TOOLS'—I FELT LIKE AN ENORMOUS TOOL."
Why I Dumped My iPhone—And I'm Not Going Back, via TG.
When I arrived, I read Walden's most celebrated lines: "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life." I thought about how it's become fashionable to pooh-pooh Thoreau as a weak-willed hypocrite who lived a short walk away from civilization and had his mother deliver food to his doorstep. Many of these Thoreau skeptics dismiss critics of technology as curmudgeonly alarmists. Of course, I was one of those people.
I read on: "I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life..."
No matter how impure Thoreau's experiment in simple living may have been, there was something undeniable in his suggestion that we often have to strip convenience from our lives to feel alive. The iPhone had certainly made my life easier, but had it made my life better?
First thing the next morning, I went to the AT&T store. I had to explain several times that I didn't want to trade my iPhone in for a newer model, or a Droid, or anything with the Internet. I just wanted something that would allow me to make calls...
# Posted by The Rat @ 1:29 PM
( 10:17 AM ) The Rat
MUSICAL APTITUDE RELATES TO READING ABILITY, via ScienceDaily.
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:17 AM
( 1:02 AM ) The Rat
# Posted by The Rat @ 1:02 AM
( 1:01 AM ) The Rat
POLAND'S MYSTERIOUS CROOKED FOREST.
# Posted by The Rat @ 1:01 AM
Sunday, October 16, 2011
( 9:14 PM ) The Rat
EXTRA CONSONANTS: DECODED.
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:14 PM
( 8:55 PM ) The Rat
100-YEAR-OLD MARATHONER SETS RECORD IN TORONTO. Holy cats. I thought he was just running a relay!
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:55 PM
( 8:24 PM ) The Rat
A SOLUTION TO ENVY via Postsecret.
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:24 PM
( 8:23 PM ) The Rat
My husband's grandmother Mattie Anthony outlived Grandma Moses because she remained engaged in her passions and in growing her mind. This woman we called Granny died last year a month before her 105th birthday, outliving her husband by twenty-four years. Her body was strong until she hit 102, and her mind didn't start softening until 103. When people asked Granny for her secrets she would answer plainly: "Muscles have memory, and I drove my body hard all of my life."
—The Secret Lives of Wives
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:23 PM
Saturday, October 15, 2011
( 10:15 PM ) The Rat
8 OF THE SMALLEST ANIMALS OF THEIR KIND, via IKM.
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:15 PM
( 11:56 AM ) The Rat
She was unquestionably gorgeous. I can think of no other word to describe a combination of plenitude, frugality, abundance, tightness. She was lavish. She was a dark unyielding largesse. She was, in short, too bloody much.
—Richard Burton, of first encountering Elizabeth Taylor
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:56 AM
Thursday, October 13, 2011
( 12:09 PM ) The Rat
YOU CAN LISTEN LIVE to Don Giovanni tonight. You know, if you're into that kind of thing.
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:09 PM
( 12:05 PM ) The Rat
Unhappiness often drives you to a therapist's couch. You come out thinking that counseling was a bit helpful; it was very expensive, but you are still the same person. I really believe that physical activity can transform your whole life. Swimming for me is a lot cheaper and gives me a lot more lasting power. I feel very feminine and strong at the same time, something I was unable to achieve when I was younger.
—"Gabrielle," in The Secret Lives of Wives
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:05 PM
( 12:04 PM ) The Rat
MAN SURVIVED BOTH ATOMIC BOMBINGS, via IKM.
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:04 PM
( 11:57 AM ) The Rat
ALL THE SINGLE LADIES. Looong but worth reading.
In 1988, the sociologists Scott J. South and Katherine Trent set out to test the Guttentag-Secord theory by analyzing data from 117 countries. Most aspects of the theory tested out. In each country, more men meant more married women, less divorce, and fewer women in the workforce. South and Trent also found that the Guttentag-Secord dynamics were more pronounced in developed rather than developing countries. In other words—capitalist men are pigs.
I kid! And yet, as a woman who spent her early 30s actively putting off marriage, I have had ample time to investigate, if you will, the prevailing attitudes of the high-status American urban male. (Granted, given my taste for brainy, creatively ambitious men—or "scrawny nerds," as a high-school friend describes them—my sample is skewed.) My spotty anecdotal findings have revealed that, yes, in many cases, the more successful a man is (or thinks he is), the less interested he is in commitment.
Take the high-powered magazine editor who declared on our first date that he was going to spend his 30s playing the field. Or the prominent academic who announced on our fifth date that he couldn't maintain a committed emotional relationship but was very interested in a physical one. Or the novelist who, after a month of hanging out, said he had to get back out there and tomcat around, but asked if we could keep having sex anyhow, or at least just one last time. Or the writer (yes, another one) who announced after six months together that he had to end things because he "couldn't continue fending off all the sexual offers." And those are just the honest ones.
To be sure, these men were the outliers—the majority of my personal experience has been with commitment-minded men with whom things just didn’t work out, for one reason or another. Indeed, another of my anecdotal-research discoveries is of what an ex calls "marriage o'clock"—when a man hits 35 and suddenly, desperately, wants a wife. I'll never forget the post-first-date e-mail message reading: "I wanted to marry you last night, just listening to you." Nor the 40-ish journalist who, on our second date, driving down a long country road, gripped the steering wheel and asked, "Are you The One? Are you The One?" (Can you imagine a woman getting away with this kind of behavior?) Like zealous lepidopterists, they swoop down with their butterfly nets, fingers aimed for the thorax, certain that just because they are ready for marriage and children, I must be, too.
But the non-committers are out there in growing force. If dating and mating is in fact a marketplace—and of course it is—today we're contending with a new "dating gap," where marriage-minded women are increasingly confronted with either deadbeats or players. For evidence, we don’t need to look to the past, or abroad—we have two examples right in front of us: the African American community, and the college campus...
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:57 AM
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
( 1:01 AM ) The Rat
Most of my wives do not have life-and-death dramas to share. They have typical complaints of everyday grating, the sense of yearning for more soulful communication, and mourning the death of romance. They speak of being repulsed by the same old, same old guy. Gretchen, age eighty-nine, says she cringes every morning when she wakes up and looks across her pillow at the "crinkled old man" she's been married to for sixty-five years. "He should have had a face-lift like me," she says. "Would have been much easier on my eyes."
—The Secret Lives of Wives*
*Not hyperlinked, because I don't recommend the book as a whole, though parts of chapters 5, 6, and 9 are good.
# Posted by The Rat @ 1:01 AM
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
( 4:59 PM ) The Rat
I SWEAR TO GOD THIS MUST BE WHAT THEY'RE DOING, via The Oatmeal.
# Posted by The Rat @ 4:59 PM
( 11:10 AM ) The Rat
COOKIE MONSTER METAL. Requires sound.
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:10 AM
( 10:51 AM ) The Rat
"...THEIR DIVERGENT MEANINGS AS THE ELECTRIC EEL BECAME EROTICALLY CHARGED FOR A METROPOLITAN MASCULINE ELITE."
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:51 AM
( 10:34 AM ) The Rat
QUADRUPLE RAINBOW! (Sort of.)
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:34 AM
( 4:18 AM ) The Rat
WHY JOBS IS NO EDISON, via A&LD. While I'm an Apple user myself, I have to agree with most of this. But then, no one I know over the age of 12 has unironically tried to claim that Apple (particularly in its current incarnation) is a genuinely groundbreaking company.
Afterwards, Edison made many fundamental contributions to rapidly evolving sectors, using electricity in the reproduction of sounds and images (his phonograph, cameras, and projectors), as well as in such diverse technical categories as improved batteries, processing of iron ore, and construction of pre-cast concrete houses. He amassed nearly 1,100 U.S. patents and more than a thousand foreign ones.
But the electric system remains Edison's grandest achievement: an affordable and reliably available supply of electricity has opened doors to everything electrical, to all great second-order innovations ranging from gradually more efficient lighting to fast trains, from medical diagnostic devices to refrigerators, from massive electrochemical industries to tiny computers governed by microchips.
Until 2010, none of the microprocessors in Apple's i-products were designed or made by Apple. For example, Samsung has been supplying iPhone’s main processor; Wolfson chips have been handling the phone's audio; National Semiconductor chips have taken care of display interface; and Infineon chips have done power management. The same was true of the earliest Apple products: Apple II would have been impossible without innovations by Xerox's PARC—above all its Star computer—and Douglas Engelbart at the Stanford Research Institute patented the first mouse in 1967, a decade before Apple II.
Consequently, Apple's products are actually third-order innovations that use a variety of fundamental second-order innovations in the now vast realm of electronic components to assemble and to program devices whose greatest appeal has been due to their (choose your own adjective, or embrace all of them) sleek, unorthodox, elegant, streamlined, clean, functional interface design.
Not that those are unimportant attributes when trying to sell on a mass scale—Edsel, perhaps the paragon of American product failure, had the same type of engine (Ford-Edsel V8) as did a highly successful Mustang!—but looks and product appeal are far too little in order to qualify for an Edisonian mantle...
# Posted by The Rat @ 4:18 AM
( 4:09 AM ) The Rat
The Time/Pew Research Center study reinforces past research documenting that the Americans who claim to be the happiest are married men. Of course they are happy—they have multitasking women behind them, the gender that is wired to be everything to everybody. As for their wives, we know that the love of good men certainly adds to happiness, but that's only a piece of what it takes to feel hopeful and worthy, qualities that are essential to avoiding divorce...
—The Secret Lives of Wives
# Posted by The Rat @ 4:09 AM
( 1:49 AM ) The Rat
DATE FORMAT BY COUNTRY, via Wikipedia.
# Posted by The Rat @ 1:49 AM
( 1:43 AM ) The Rat
SHARK-INFESTED GOLF COURSE, via IKM. This is awesomely Bond-villain-esque.
# Posted by The Rat @ 1:43 AM
Monday, October 10, 2011
( 10:02 PM ) The Rat
I ran that day, so I was out at the start. And there was a lot of commotion. A lot of pushing and shoving at the front of the line. Back then there were no wave starts. Fred saw me and yelled, "George, help! We're not going to start this race until these people get back." Then he'd see some guy who was clearly 220 pounds up there with the elite runners. "You don't belong up here!" he'd scream. "Get back! George, help me push these people back!" But then, just before Fred was ready to start things, I heard Grete say, "Mr. Lebow, where do you want me to stand?" It struck me as so innocent...
—George Hirsch remembering 1978, the year of Grete Waitz's first* NYC Marathon victory
*Of nine—three of which also set world records.
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:02 PM
( 11:11 AM ) The Rat
HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Verdi and to the Republic of China*!
*OK, technically not the anniversary of its founding, but rather this.
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:11 AM
Sunday, October 09, 2011
( 11:12 PM ) The Rat
TWEETS OF OLD.
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:12 PM
Saturday, October 08, 2011
( 10:27 PM ) The Rat
99% OF THE WORLD'S COOKIES, via WO.
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:27 PM
( 8:32 PM ) The Rat
Without ice cream, there would be darkness and chaos.
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:32 PM
Friday, October 07, 2011
( 9:59 AM ) The Rat
"THE MONSTERS FROM WILD THINGS WERE BASED ON HIS OWN RELATIVES," via ET and IKM. My favorite line in this is "He is working on another book, about noses," but also see the correction.
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:59 AM
( 7:51 AM ) The Rat
DID STEVE JOBS GIVE GOOD ADVICE? via IKM. I love that, as of this posting, this has been shared on Facebook a mere 112 times, despite its being thoroughly sound advice so far as career decisions are concerned. That said, the "connecting the dots" line was striking to me for reasons entirely unrelated to work, so I wouldn't be so quick to discount the speech itself solely on the grounds of what Wilkinson is saying. (Don't miss both "Rogerlwhite"'s and "James"'s comments.) Also, the last paragraph is hysterical.
As an undergrad I was an art major. Frankly, few of my fellow art majors were talented enough to make a living at it, even after four (or more!) years of training. Sure they loved art, but in the immortal words of Tina Turner, 'What's love got to do with it?' 'Find what you love and never settle for less' is an excellent recipe for frustration and poverty. 'Reconcile yourself to the limits of your talent and temperament and find the most satisfactory compromise between what you love to do and what you need to do feed your children' is rather less stirring, but it's much better advice.
Steve Jobs' gorgeous gadgets have no doubt helped some do what they love, and better. But mostly iStuff is so beloved because it offers such attractively pleasant diversion from the disappointment of having settled of necessity on lives we do not thoroughly love. To whom is watching Iron Man 2 on an iPad alone not settling?...
# Posted by The Rat @ 7:51 AM
Thursday, October 06, 2011
( 11:39 AM ) The Rat
HEH! via DW.
Edited to add AJ's comment on this: "Try to get through them with roller skates."
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:39 AM
( 4:12 AM ) The Rat
Finché meco il caro bene
mi lasciar le ingrate stelle,
Non sapea cos'eran pene,
Non sapea languir cos'è.
—Così fan tutte*
*Ratty would just like to note that if relationships were actually reliably like this, everyone would be in them all the time...
# Posted by The Rat @ 4:12 AM
( 3:45 AM ) The Rat
SIX WAYS TO NEVER GET LOST IN A CITY AGAIN. There's a sequence in one of RPF's books where he and some fellow pledges are taken some distance away from campus, and left out in the middle of the countryside to find their own way back home. After some time has passed:
We came to an intersection not far from the lake—there were still no houses or anything—and the rest of us were discussing whether we should go this way or that way, when Maurice caught up to us and said, 'Go this way.'
'What the hell do you know, Maurice?' we said, frustrated. 'You're always making these jokes. Why should we go this way?'
'Simple: Look at the telephone lines. Where there's more wires, it's going toward the central station'...
# Posted by The Rat @ 3:45 AM
( 3:38 AM ) The Rat
SAVE THE RATS! I have no idea what this is about.
# Posted by The Rat @ 3:38 AM
( 3:22 AM ) The Rat
I LOATHE giving even the appearance of joining the inanely-and-publicly-rehearsing-your-feelings-about-Steve-Jobs's-death parade (even though, yes, I'm the owner of not a few Apple products)—my Facebook Wall was end-to-end Jobs-related statuses for a spell yesterday afternoon—so, for full disclosure: I hadn't ever heard this quote, which is from a Commencement address Jobs gave at Stanford in 2005, before yesterday. But it's almost frighteningly in line with some things I've been thinking about for some time (partly in connection with the point made in this book that the longest-lived and happiest people invariably have at least a degree of belief in some variant of "Everything happens for a reason"), but particularly in the week or so before I happened to see it.
You can't connect the dots looking forward you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something: your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path...
# Posted by The Rat @ 3:22 AM
Wednesday, October 05, 2011
( 9:02 PM ) The Rat
VIVE LA DIFFÉRENCE, via ATIAC.
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:02 PM
( 8:57 PM ) The Rat
MAYORAL PIZZA PROMOTION: EAT BORIS JOHNSON'S FACE, via Londonist.
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:57 PM
( 8:56 PM ) The Rat
NASA LOOKING FOR NEW ASTRONAUTS, via IKM.
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:56 PM
( 10:36 AM ) The Rat
POLL: 1 IN 3 VETS SEES IRAQ, AFGHAN WARS AS WASTES. Yikes.
The poll results presented by the Pew Research Center portray post-9/11 veterans as proud of their work, scarred by warfare and convinced that the American public has little understanding of the problems that wartime service has created for military members and their families.
The survey also showed that post-9/11 veterans are more likely than Americans as a whole to call themselves Republicans and to disapprove of President Barack Obama's performance as commander in chief. They also are more likely than earlier generations of veterans to have no religious affiliation.
The Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan organization that studies attitudes and trends, called the study the first of its kind. The results were based on two surveys conducted between late July and mid-September. One polled 1,853 veterans, including 712 who had served in the military after 9/11 but are no longer on active duty. Of the 712 post-9/11 veterans, 336 served in Iraq or Afghanistan. The other polled 2,003 adults who had not served in the military.
Nearly half of post-9/11 veterans said deployments strained their relationship with their spouses, and a similar share reported problems with their children. On the other hand, 60 percent said they and their families benefited financially from having served abroad in a combat zone. Asked for a single word to describe their experiences, the war veterans offered a mixed picture: "rewarding," "nightmare," "eye opening," "lousy." [...]
The survey also reflected what many view as a troublesome cultural gap between the military and the general public. Although numerous polls have shown that Americans hold the military in high regard, the respondents in the Pew research acknowledged a lack of understanding of what military life entails.
Only 27 percent of adult civilians said the public understands the problems facing those in uniform, and the share of veterans who said so is even lower—21 percent...
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:36 AM
( 10:35 AM ) The Rat
WHISKEY TOOTHPASTE, via JS.
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:35 AM
( 10:32 AM ) The Rat
PEOPLE BELIEVE THEY CAN MAKE A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE, STUDY SAYS. I won't tell them if you won't.
Nearly nine in 10 (85 percent) agree they can make the world a better place through their actions, 91 percent say it's important that individuals get involved in positive social change, and 77 percent say getting involved is personally important to them, according to a recent survey of more than 2,000 American adults...
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:32 AM
( 10:30 AM ) The Rat
MOODS ON TWITTER FOLLOW BIOLOGICAL RHYTHMS, STUDY FINDS.
Social scientists analyzing digital content agree that, for all its statistical appeal, the approach still needs some fine-tuning. On Twitter, people routinely savage others with pure relish and gush sarcastically—and the software is not sophisticated enough to pick up these subtleties.
"I suspect that if you counted the good and bad words people said during intercourse, you'd mistakenly conclude that they were having an awful time," Dr. Gilbert said.
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:30 AM
Tuesday, October 04, 2011
( 3:52 AM ) The Rat
HAD I KNOWN, CA. 1994, that it existed anywhere, in any capacity, in my future, this Facebook sponsored ad would alone have been enough to make me switch majors: "The Professional Organization of English Majors endorses apparel, slim volumes of sonnets, and Garrison Keillor's English Majors CD."
Seriously, this is the kind of thing I figure that Italian dude probably saw before tearing out both his eyes during Mass the other day.
# Posted by The Rat @ 3:52 AM
( 12:37 AM ) The Rat
GUITARS, via JS.
Houdini is also worth a look.
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:37 AM
( 12:12 AM ) The Rat
ESSENTIAL LIFE LESSON NO. 1, indirectly via JS.
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:12 AM
( 12:10 AM ) The Rat
COMPLEMENTARY FLAVORS, via WC.
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:10 AM
Monday, October 03, 2011
( 6:59 PM ) The Rat
WHY NO ONE USES MIDHUSBANDS.
# Posted by The Rat @ 6:59 PM
( 4:11 PM ) The Rat
"THE PROBLEM WITH THE FOOD TRUCK IS WE HAVE TO EAT HERE STANDING UP AND MY ARMS ARE TOO WEAK TO LIFT THE SCHNITZELWICH."
# Posted by The Rat @ 4:11 PM
Sunday, October 02, 2011
( 10:00 PM ) The Rat
Sitting with my gin or whisky afterwards I would often manage to get into conversation with some lonely man or other—usually an exile like myself—and the talk would be about the world, air-routes and shipping-lines, drinking-places thousands of miles away. Then I felt happy, felt I had come home, because home to people like me is not a place but all places, all places except the one we happen to be in at the moment.
—Anthony Burgess, The Right to an Answer, via TT
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:00 PM
( 9:19 PM ) The Rat
50 USES FOR TOOTHPICKS. I was skeptical too, but most of these are really good. My favorite's no. 45, but also don't miss San Francisco in toothpicks.
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:19 PM
( 6:27 PM ) The Rat
EXCESS BAGGAGE: ITALY. Includes a segment with Vitali Vitaliev, author of Bad Food Tales: An Anti-Tourist Guide to Italy.
Vitaliev. So what I've been trying to do... I came up with several—about eight signs of, uh, bad restaurants—well, traditional signs... Like, well, for example—laminated menus, or it has to be part of a hotel, or it has to be lifted above the ground, you know—well, not on the ground level...
McCarthy. So—a kind of checklist of things that would be—
Vitaliev. I put the checklist—and, believe it or not, one of the surest signs of a bad Italian restaurant is a large pepper grinder... And that's what many people don't know, because they think it's a sign of a good Italian restaurant, here in the U.K.—but absolutely nothing like that is true in Italy, I think the large pepper grinder is probably a sign of some inferiority complex on the part of the owner, or the waiter, than of a good Italian restaurant... So, I have this checklist, you know, and I keep—looking for the restaurants that, theoretically, should be horrible!—you know, and also tourist traps, you know, like the one near the Tower of Pisa, for example, just the nearest one. I had to climb the Tower of Pisa and look down, and see, Uh-huh, that one is the nearest one, so it's probably going to be horrible... and they had laminated menus, so they—they didn't have a large pepper grinder, though, you don't find that very often... And I had one of the best meals in my life there!...
# Posted by The Rat @ 6:27 PM
( 7:14 AM ) The Rat
What distinguishes those of us at the starting line from those of us on the couch is that we learn through running to take what the day gives us, what our body will allow us, and what our will can tolerate.
# Posted by The Rat @ 7:14 AM
( 5:51 AM ) The Rat
"He buys these ingredients for the exact same Sunday soup," replied Jorge. "After church, the family will all gather for dinner. He's been doing this for 40 years; it's the highlight of his week. We all look forward to it too, though we wouldn't mind a menu change once in a while."
"Why doesn't Maria Jesus make soup?" I asked.
"She would, but he won't let her. He still feels the need to provide."
This fact was interesting. A week earlier, I had met Dr. Xinia Fernández, a nutrionist who'd studied Nicoya. I had contacted her about dietary surveys of the peninsula but soon realized that over the years of talking with Nicoyans, she had gathered keen insights into their character as well.
"We notice that the most highly functioning people over 90 in Nicoya have a few common traits," she told me. "One of them is that they feel a strong sense of service to others or care for their family. We see that as soon as they lose this, the switch goes off. They die very quickly if they don't feel needed." Indeed, in every Blue Zone, centenarians possess a strong sense of purpose. In Okinawa it was ikigai—the reason to wake up in the morning. Here, said Fernández, the Costa Ricans called it plan de vida.
—The Blue Zones
# Posted by The Rat @ 5:51 AM
( 5:37 AM ) The Rat
U.S. COMPANY TURNS GUN LOVERS' ASHES INTO AMMUNITION. Awesomeness. After I'm gone, aim me at the kind of people who use the word "utilize." Or at people who are down on CCW.
Also: MP's wife guilty of stealing lover's kitten.
# Posted by The Rat @ 5:37 AM
Saturday, October 01, 2011
( 10:12 PM ) The Rat
"THIS CLIPPING HAS BEEN CIRCULATING FOR A COUPLE YEARS NOW, WITH GOOD REASON. IT SHOWS HOW MUCH A BURGLAR CAN ACCOMPLISH IF HE SHOWS UP WITH A TO-DO LIST..."
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:12 PM
( 8:20 PM ) The Rat
Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:20 PM
( 3:56 PM ) The Rat
"I MAKE BEAUTIFUL BABYS," via MM.
"Why is Daddy in a dress," ibid.
# Posted by The Rat @ 3:56 PM
( 1:45 PM ) The Rat
Terry and Pat Attridge epitomize the hard reality of a long marriage apart from the fantasy haze of new romance. Both children of Irish immigrants and raised Catholic in Brooklyn, they have been sweethearts since college and married for fifty-eight years. Pat, a retired school teacher, and Terry, a retired federal magistrate judge, are still standing strong after weathering some of the worst blows any couple should ever endure.
Three months after they got engaged, Pat was drafted to fight in the Korean War. He was deployed in February 1953 and severely injured within four months by mortar fire that tore up half his face, resulting in the loss of sight in his right eye and hearing in his right ear. At a time when a bride should be her most expectant and blissful, Terry was at the bedside of a fiancé with disfiguring wounds, healing from multiple reconstructive surgeries.
"This may sound like a lopsided reaction, but when Pat went to Korea, I was really afraid he was going to get killed," says Terry, eighty-one, a perky woman dressed in a navy jogging suit with turquoise piping. Her eyes are bright blue and her hair is champagne blond. "So even though his injuries were very serious, I wasn't overwhelmed with sorrow because I thought 'he's alive, he's coming home.'" In between treatments at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Terry and Pat got married.
"I had a lot of loss all at once," Terry says softly. "I lost my dad and my mother and my brother very close to each other. We lost one of our grandchildren, and I lost a breast to cancer. I am someone who is able to deal with challenges well. Because instead I focus on what we have."
Terry rises and shows me a large photograph on the entry hall of what she calls "Attridge Nation"—their four children, who spawned eleven grandchildren, all of whom have Attridge Nation bumper stickers on their cars.
"I know we've been through a lot but I got off easy compared to what other people have gone through," she says. "Truthfully, you live long enough, bad things eventually happen to us all. I've been able to handle just about everything because I know my husband is there for me, and I am there for him"...
—The Secret Lives of Wives
# Posted by The Rat @ 1:45 PM
( 1:28 PM ) The Rat
THE BACONERY opened for business a few days ago.
# Posted by The Rat @ 1:28 PM
( 11:27 AM ) The Rat
RAT ISLAND goes on the auction block tomorrow!
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:27 AM
( 9:05 AM ) The Rat
"DELICIOUS INVISIBLE MEAT," via IKM.
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:05 AM
( 9:02 AM ) The Rat
I taught you dancing too and languages and all the music that I knew, and how to love what's beautiful. The sun was warmer then and we were every day together.
—The Lion in Winter
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:02 AM