Wednesday, November 30, 2011
( 8:51 PM ) The Rat
THE MOST COMPLEX VENN DIAGRAM EVER CREATED TO SUMMARIZE A MEANINGLESS CLASSIC ROCK SONG.
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:51 PM
( 4:11 PM ) The Rat
LIPITOR GOES OFF-PATENT TODAY, which means that in retrospect, I can actually sort of justify what I had for lunch.
# Posted by The Rat @ 4:11 PM
( 4:00 PM ) The Rat
LANGUAGE COMMUNITIES OF TWITTER.
# Posted by The Rat @ 4:00 PM
( 3:49 PM ) The Rat
Anthony. So—I have to get—just real quick—into some... spiritual stuff. So this is—this is just me being a Christian. Um—I was listening to that song, one of my ultimate favorite songs, 'How He Loves Us,' and—it was before a concert, it's a song that I kind of get pumped up by, to... get excited about playing my bassoon. Um—I don't know how many people listen to Crowder to get excited about playing Beethoven...
Anthony. But, uh—I was listening to 'How He Loves Us,' and I was thinking about how I—love Lily. And I was like—You love me this much?
Anthony. Like... I had never—had that feeling of—how deeply God, um... loves us. Until that moment. And I, like—lost it.
—The Gomers' Thanksgiving special
# Posted by The Rat @ 3:49 PM
( 3:46 PM ) The Rat
The word 'athlete' derives from the Greek, meaning to compete for a prize, but it also has its etymology in a word that means 'I struggle, I contest, I suffer.'
—The Lure of Long Distances
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( 12:01 PM ) The Rat
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:01 PM
( 9:46 AM ) The Rat
A MOODY, BROODY, FOGGY DAY IN (SOUTH) LONDON TOWN.
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:46 AM
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
( 11:25 AM ) The Rat
VT. ARTIST: I'LL FIGHT CHICK-FIL-A FOR MY KALE, via IKM.
A folk artist expanding his home business built around the words "eat more kale" says he's ready to fight root-to-feather to protect his phrase from what he sees as an assault by Chick-fil-A, which holds the trademark to the phrase "eat mor chikin"...
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:25 AM
( 11:19 AM ) The Rat
VATICAN PRIEST: YOGA IS SATANIC. At least click through for the picture.
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:19 AM
( 9:26 AM ) The Rat
10 CREEPIEST ABANDONED WATER PARKS.
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:26 AM
Monday, November 28, 2011
( 5:50 PM ) The Rat
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( 5:41 PM ) The Rat
"OR IT'S LIKE A SANDWICH BY MARCEL DUCHAMP!" The Wait Wait crew eat the Toast Sandwich.
# Posted by The Rat @ 5:41 PM
( 5:34 PM ) The Rat
UM... NO SHIT? (This linked study is pretty interesting, though.)
Our life experiences—the ups and downs, and everything in between—shape us, stay with us and influence our emotional set point as adults, according to a new study led by Virginia Commonwealth University researchers. The study suggests that, in addition to our genes, our life experiences are important influences on our levels of anxiety and depression...
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( 8:45 AM ) The Rat
STUDENTUNIVERSE is offering $50 off any flight booked today.
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:45 AM
( 7:45 AM ) The Rat
SUSAN BODNAR on class in America.
McAdoo began to look smaller and more frightening, especially since it seemed to have stopped moving forward in time. The houses, cars and the people became grayer and run down, as though from the set from an old movie. My parents' homes started to feel complicated and hard. At 18, my mother had a newborn. At the same age, I was a sophomore at one of the best universities in the country. After a certain point, I realized that my parents couldn't possibly understand who I had become and needed their scant resources to support their own growth. I had no choice but to continue the journey my parents started and take the dreams of immigrant miners further along the path to success. I have remained steadfast in this quest despite the embarrassment of many, many social mistakes—gesticulating so hard I knocked someone's plate out of their hands, dressing in a long plaid skirt, thick sweater and wide, flat shoes for date night, and once mistaking the Hamptons for a rock band. My friends assumed eccentricity caused my worries. The reality was the possibility that I wouldn't be able to pay tuition, despite working two jobs.
For these reasons, I often felt inferior and not as good as others because I came from a different class. This bothered me. Aren't most of us on different points of a trajectory toward increased freedoms? Don't many people still struggle with the challenge of being members of a much more entitled—and confident—society than the one into which we may have been born? Why did some people seem to act as if they were better than me?
# Posted by The Rat @ 7:45 AM
Sunday, November 27, 2011
( 9:13 AM ) The Rat
ASIAN AND/OR JEWISH PENGUINS, via ATIAC. Also, heh!
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:13 AM
Saturday, November 26, 2011
( 2:05 AM ) The Rat
"1970 ON 47TH STREET." Totally worth the trip, if you're at all a stationery-store nerd like me.
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:05 AM
Thursday, November 24, 2011
( 7:53 AM ) The Rat
A GLANCE THROUGH OLD E-MAILS THIS MORNING* reminded me of Yesterday's, a now-long-defunct hangout that, back in the day, was my favorite restaurant in Evanston. The fact that I actually managed to forget the existence of something called "Yesterday's": 1) recalls that line (attrib. Cesare Pavese), "The richness of life lies in memories we have forgotten," and 2) serves as an apt reminder that whatever's happening in your life right now, all you need to do is bear in mind that it might just be a setup for a joke whose punchline will be arriving in approx. 17 years.
*For the purpose of trying to reconstruct exactly how many homes I've had Thanksgiving at in the past 19 years. The count appears to be 11 (10 if the ones I hosted myself all count as one home; 12 if an early supper party at Mory's, paid for with the proceeds from volunteering for an electroshock experiment, can count in lieu for the one year I didn't have anything on the day itself)—have I mentioned that I love this holiday? Westernmost point: Rancho Palos Verdes, 1992; easternmost point: Cambridge, 1996. I have cooler friends than anybody I've ever heard of or read about.
# Posted by The Rat @ 7:53 AM
( 1:44 AM ) The Rat
"DAD IS VERY DISAPPOINTED IN YOU." Charts and graphs that sum up your Thanksgiving, via Someecards.
# Posted by The Rat @ 1:44 AM
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
( 6:32 PM ) The Rat
"WHAT IS THIS 'MAC AND CHEESE,' IS THAT A BLACK THING?"
# Posted by The Rat @ 6:32 PM
( 2:15 PM ) The Rat
WALKABLE ROLLER COASTER. Damn, the recession really is hitting hard...
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:15 PM
( 12:07 PM ) The Rat
"THERE WILL BE NO RUNAWAY GROOM AT THIS WEDDING."
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:07 PM
( 12:01 PM ) The Rat
THANKSGIVING TURKEY PARDON: 5 THEATRICAL MOMENTS FOR PRESIDENTIAL BIRDS.
Though the photo op only shows the president pardoning one turkey, each spared bird also has an alternate, just in case the winner is too anxious in front of the crowd. Turkeys get stage fright, too, it seems.
The practice of including an alternate began in 1989 with George H.W. Bush, the first president to formally pardon a turkey, according to the White House blog. Don't worry—even if the first turkey is able to perform its role, the second turkey is still granted a stay of execution. The alternate turkey saved the day in the 2008 ceremony, President George W. Bush's final pardoning, after the primary turkey came down with a cold...
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:01 PM
( 11:17 AM ) The Rat
"I SAW FLASHES OF MY LIFE..." Barbara Laker on marathon deaths, and the love of the race.
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:17 AM
( 8:19 AM ) The Rat
KISS WITH WIFE PRETTY GOOD, via the Onion. In the tradition of Local Lutheran Minister Loves to Fuck His Wife.
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:19 AM
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
( 10:24 PM ) The Rat
HOW TO RAISE A GRATEFUL CHILD. The fact that the sentence "We try to think of things we can do that don't involve hanging out in stores" is even necessary is really intensely depressing. And the second- and third-to-last paragraphs both have a strong whiff of "Poor people can be useful props for teaching your children Important Life Lessons!"—still, points to the author for trying?
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:24 PM
( 10:17 PM ) The Rat
"THE STORY OF A GAY MAN IN LOVE WITH A SEXUALLY PROMISCUOUS STRAIGHT WOMAN SEEMS A VERY NEW YORK STORY..." Vanity Fair blurb on 5th Ave., 5 AM: Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and the Dawn of the Modern Woman.
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:17 PM
( 5:46 PM ) The Rat
EVEREST, FROM A PLANE WINDOW. Eep.
# Posted by The Rat @ 5:46 PM
( 8:40 AM ) The Rat
TOP 10 SPY SITES IN LONDON.
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:40 AM
( 8:39 AM ) The Rat
"IF THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL, THE WOMAN WILL BE IN TROUBLE." Saudi Arabia's Religious Police Outlaw "Tempting Eyes."
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:39 AM
Monday, November 21, 2011
( 9:37 PM ) The Rat
"A LITTLE GRAPH OF ALL THE SCORES THAT THE MAN AND THE WOMAN ARE GETTING, AS YOU MIGHT IMAGINE [...] DROPS LOWER AND LOWER AND THEN JUST NEVER COMES BACK UP. PICTURE A CHART IN THE NEWSPAPER OF THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE HEADING DOWN, AND YOU PRETTY MUCH HAVE THE IDEA." "The Sanctity of Marriage," a TAL episode from 2004; I especially recommend Act One, a segment on John Gottman and marriage research, and Act Three, Starlee Kine's story about her and her sister's decades-long attempt to get their parents to please, please, get a divorce. Full transcript here.
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:37 PM
( 7:35 PM ) The Rat
"ILLEGITIMATE KIDS TABLE."
# Posted by The Rat @ 7:35 PM
Sunday, November 20, 2011
( 7:06 PM ) The Rat
WHO NEEDS MATCH.COM?
# Posted by The Rat @ 7:06 PM
( 2:04 PM ) The Rat
"SO HE LOADED A FRESHLY KILLED CHICKEN INTO A SIX POUND CANNON, POINTED THE GUN SKYWARD, LIT THE FUSE AND STOOD BACK..." Wayne Curtis explores the science of tornados and poultry (scroll down a bit).
I was researching tornadoes, leafing through 19th century newspaper accounts of the havoc they caused. And I found it was hard not to notice the sheer amount of poultry involved. It's mostly chickens, sometimes turkeys, rarely geese. The birds typically show up about 2/3 of the way into an article, after the description of entire barns being hoovered up into the sky, or bits of straw piercing a fence post. Sometimes whole flocks are ingested by the twister, and scattered lifelessly across the landscape like large snowflakes. But more often it's just a few birds. And these often attract the attention of newspapers for one reason. They're alive and clucking, but plucked cleaned as Butterballs.
When I came upon the first reference to a tornado-plucked chicken, I jotted it down as a freak occurrence. But then I came across another, and another. It turns out newspapers are filled with dozens—if not hundreds—of similar reports of naked poultry. A few examples. Rhode Island 1838, chickens "were seen walking about in all their naked simplicity after the spout had passed on." Missouri 1877, "feathers were blown from chickens." Iowa 1893, "chickens were found alive and completely stripped of their feathers." And the year 1878 was a notably harsh one for poultry. In North Carolina, nearly 1,200 chickens were sucked into the sky and "left free of feathers and ready for the stew pot."
In 1842, a pioneering meteorologist in Ohio named Elias Loomis decided that naked chickens were not just a curiosity but a key that would unlock the secrets of tornadoes. At the time, virtually nothing was known about tornadoes, what caused them, how fast their winds could go, what was going on inside of them. Loomis figured that if he could calculate the speed at which wind blew off a chicken's feathers, he would have the first scientific estimate of the wind speed inside a tornado...
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:04 PM
( 12:25 PM ) The Rat
AMID ILL AND DYING INMATES, A SEARCH FOR REDEMPTION.
A Presbyterian minister inspired by Mother Teresa and Gandhi was in charge. Chaplain Keith Knauf believed that working to ease death could teach compassion. He decreed that no sick convict be judged: not the rapists, not the kidnappers, not the serial killers. Dying in prison—dying, as many did, with overwhelming guilt or bitterness—was judgment enough.
"These men are not pleasant to look at," the chaplain explained matter-of-factly. "How could they do what they did?
"But Jesus was asked: 'How many times should I forgive?' 'Seventy times seven' is what he said. And when you realize Jesus died alongside criminals, to me it makes sense to be here"...
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:25 PM
( 3:10 AM ) The Rat
"WITH A SQUARE KNOT, NOT A SLIP KNOT." Marriage questions, via TG.
# Posted by The Rat @ 3:10 AM
( 1:51 AM ) The Rat
AFTER A HORRIFIC CRASH, A STARK DEPICTION OF OFFLINE ANGER IN CHINA, via WC.
As China sped toward its new status as the world's second largest economy, the already yawning gap between the rich and poor grew wider. By sociologists' calculations, income inequality here is not that far from levels that have spurred social unrest in other nations.
But some things are not easily reduced to statistics. There is an argument, buttressed by the Gansu tragedy, that what truly eats at people here is not so much the rich-poor gap as the canyon that separates the powerful from the powerless.
"Most Chinese aren't angry about rising inequality," said Martin K. Whyte, a Harvard sociologist who specializes in research on Chinese social trends. "It's not rich versus poor. It's the system of power and procedural injustices that they're upset about."
And in fact, many episodes in the litany of scandal and misfortune that has consumed Chinese Web surfers in recent years had little to do with money.
After a young man fled last year from a hit-and-run accident by invoking his father's rank as a deputy police chief, the phrase "My father is Li Gang" became a national catchphrase for using connections to escape responsibility.
After a much-publicized high-speed rail crash in the eastern city of Wenzhou killed 40 people in July, online critics and journalists contended that corruption had enriched powerful officials at the expense of safety or had encouraged cover-ups of officials' misbehavior.
The Railway Ministry admitted to high-level corruption and fired several officials, although a government report is two months overdue, and scores of victims have yet to be compensated...
# Posted by The Rat @ 1:51 AM
( 1:50 AM ) The Rat
"NO DRESSINGS ON OUR BIRDS," and other festive examples of strip clubs promoting Thanksgiving specials.
# Posted by The Rat @ 1:50 AM
Saturday, November 19, 2011
( 10:36 PM ) The Rat
TIME LAPSE VIEW FROM SPACE. Very cool.
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:36 PM
( 5:33 PM ) The Rat
THERE IS NO NEED to ever hear another meet-cute story again after this one.
Most married couples will tell you that the things they hold in common helped cement their relationships. For Sonia Jacobs, 64, and Peter Pringle, 73, married in New York last Sunday, common ground was the decade and a half each had served on death row before their convictions were overturned for the murders that they steadfastly maintained they did not commit...
# Posted by The Rat @ 5:33 PM
( 5:27 PM ) The Rat
CITY PULLS PLUG ON HOME IN DRAWBRIDGE. From 2004, but I didn't hear about it at the time.
Authorities were amazed not only by his elaborate setup, but that he had managed to survive so long inside a bridge that, in the warmer months at least, regularly rises and lowers, shifting gears and tons of steel.
But to Dorsay, that was just part of the pace of his life below, which included watching Bears games and sharing a few beers with friends.
When the bells rang, signaling the arms of the bridge soon would ascend, he braced for a ride and cruised with the bridge as it slowly pitched him forward. If he was sitting down, he'd soon be standing.
"The first time it was scary," Dorsay said in an interview. "After that, it was almost like riding a Ferris wheel"...
# Posted by The Rat @ 5:27 PM
( 5:26 PM ) The Rat
SLOTH OF THE DAY!
# Posted by The Rat @ 5:26 PM
( 5:24 PM ) The Rat
THOSE WACKY THEORETICAL BIOLOGISTS! Ya know, we don't hear the phrase "the prize of mating" nearly often enough.
# Posted by The Rat @ 5:24 PM
Friday, November 18, 2011
( 8:22 PM ) The Rat
"THEY ARE NOT FOR PEOPLE WHO TOSS AND TURN A LOT." The Portaledge, via Treehugger.
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:22 PM
( 11:37 AM ) The Rat
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Thursday, November 17, 2011
( 3:55 PM ) The Rat
"THERE'S A FIRMNESS BUT A SOFTNESS, WHICH IS ACTUALLY NOT ALL THAT EASY TO ACHIEVE." Was just skimming over the transcript to "Looking for Loveseats in All the Wrong Places (audio here), about a guy who took a really long time to find the perfect, uh, couch.
David Segal. More than a few times in these past 18 years, Eric and I have tried to figure out what this sofa thing is really about. Perhaps it won't shock you to learn that Eric is single. He's had a fair number of girlfriends. With some he's even shared the story of his never-ending couch adventure. And guess what, they don't seem very amused.
Eric. Yeah. I mean, it kind of drives them crazy.
David Segal. To review. Just after college, he found something he liked, lived with it briefly, and then decided it wasn't good enough and sent it packing. He started pursuing exotic specimens that conformed to a narrower and more unattainable ideal. He subscribed to glossy, photo-rich magazines, which only reinforced his yearning for this unattainable ideal. And then, after years of searching, he finally came face-to-face with that ideal. He found it lacking. Do you see where I'm going here?...
# Posted by The Rat @ 3:55 PM
( 3:15 PM ) The Rat
THE UNIVERSITY OF ST. ANDREWS disputes a prior claim by Philip Roth.
# Posted by The Rat @ 3:15 PM
( 12:20 PM ) The Rat
"BUT THEY'VE JUST STARTED WATCHING THE WIRE..." Also don't miss the wifi-networks one.
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:20 PM
( 11:06 AM ) The Rat
"'YOU MUST BE FROM CALIFORNIA.' THAT'S THE FIRST RESPONSE." Outside profile of Wallace J. Nichols and his ideas for encouraging ocean conservation.
Nichols, 44, is a biologist and research associate at the academy who made a name for himself in the mid-1990s when he tracked a loggerhead turtle that swam from Baja, Mexico, to Japan, the first time anyone had recorded an animal swimming an entire ocean. He has done fieldwork in waters around the globe and spends most of his waking hours thinking and talking about the ocean, but when he's in front of that big window at the aquarium, he doesn't watch the fish. He watches the people.
"Whether it's a 92-year-old or a two-year-old, when they come into that blue space, something happens," Nichols says. They grow quiet and calm, but there's more to it than that. When couples walk in, they frequently start holding hands. He says that if you ask people here what they're feeling, they'll struggle for words. Nichols finds this fascinating. He also believes that if we can understand what really happens to us in the presence of the ocean—which brain processes underlie our emotional reactions—it could bring about a radical shift in conservation efforts. If we learn precisely why we love the ocean, his thinking goes, we'll have an immensely powerful new tool to protect it.
Not surprisingly, this theory can strike many of his peers as soft. "'You must be from California.' That’s the first response," Nichols says. (He lives north of Santa Cruz, though he was raised in New Jersey.) But Nichols's credibility as a scientist, along with his charm and passion, have enabled him to rally excitement for his ideas among a diverse constituency of researchers and activists. In the past couple of years, he's become a sought-after speaker, giving dozens of presentations at a wide mix of venues, from TEDx to adventure-travel trade shows to environmental symposiums. His pitch: More data on rising sea temperatures or plastic pollution or disappearing creatures won't do anything for ocean conservation. Instead, we need to study our own minds...
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:06 AM
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
( 11:08 PM ) The Rat
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:08 PM
( 1:19 PM ) The Rat
THIS ARTICLE gets funnier when you get to the words "...in Animal Study," and then peaks when you get to the word "hamsters."
# Posted by The Rat @ 1:19 PM
( 1:18 PM ) The Rat
IS A STRANGER TRUSTWORTHY? YOU'LL KNOW IN 20 SECONDS. Dude, if people were any good at evaluating strangers, why do I ever get asked for directions?
New research from the University of California, Berkeley, suggests it can take just 20 seconds to detect whether a stranger is genetically inclined to being trustworthy, kind or compassionate.
The findings reinforce that healthy humans are wired to recognize strangers who may help them out in a tough situation...
# Posted by The Rat @ 1:18 PM
( 12:54 PM ) The Rat
"HEY LOOK, I GOOGLED ANGER MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUES." Siri Argument, via RS.
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:54 PM
( 10:16 AM ) The Rat
BACONLUBE is here!
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:16 AM
( 9:24 AM ) The Rat
I WOULD NOT HAVE GONE THERE, SIR.
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:24 AM
( 9:05 AM ) The Rat
"HE WAS NICE, KIND OF SHY, A LITTLE MYSTERIOUS. HE WORKED FROM HOME, BUILDING SOME SORT OF TOY FOR MEN OUT OF VACUUMS AND CYLINDERS..." TAL fiction can be hit or miss, but I quite liked this story by David Wilcox (scroll down to "The Crisco Kid"), which, besides being hysterically funny, also really gets at the exhilaration and terror of first being out on your own. (Besides, it might even console you for the indignities of your first apartment—I know it puts some places I've lived in perspective!) The author reads it aloud here.
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:05 AM
( 9:04 AM ) The Rat
LONDON'S LEWDEST WINDOW. Parental discretion advised!
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:04 AM
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
( 1:47 PM ) The Rat
THIRTY-FOUR OF THE LEWIS CHESSMEN are in New York!
Wow, that didn't sound dorky at all. Also, why don't we have cool titles like "Berserker" anymore?
# Posted by The Rat @ 1:47 PM
( 11:11 AM ) The Rat
POLITICAL 404 PAGES, via WC.
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:11 AM
( 9:23 AM ) The Rat
WARNING, YOUR CELL PHONE MAY BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR HEALTH, from a couple years back. According to the author (scroll down in this transcript), if you look at industry-funded studies, about a quarter say mobile-phone-emitted radiation does have an effect on our cells, and 75 percent say it doesn't. Among non-industry-funded studies, the ratio is the other way around.
There's more on that Swedish study (finding that people who began using cell phones before age 20 were 420 percent likelier to develop a brain tumor) here. Use speakerphone or a hands-free device, and take the damn thing out of your pocket (particularly if you're a boy).
It's hard to talk about the dangers of cell-phone radiation without sounding like a conspiracy theorist. This is especially true in the United States, where non-industry-funded studies are rare, where legislation protecting the wireless industry from legal challenges has long been in place, and where our lives have been so thoroughly integrated with wireless technology that to suggest it might be a problem—maybe, eventually, a very big public-health problem—is like saying our shoes might be killing us.
Except our shoes don't send microwaves directly into our brains. And cell phones do—a fact that has increasingly alarmed the rest of the world. Consider, for instance, the following headlines that have appeared in highly reputable international newspapers and journals over the past few years. From summer 2006, in the Hamburg Morgenpost: ARE WE TELEPHONING OURSELVES TO DEATH? That fall, in the Danish journal Dagens Medicin: MOBILE PHONES AFFECT THE BRAIN'S METABOLISM. December 2007, from Agence France-Presse: ISRAELI STUDY SAYS REGULAR MOBILE USE INCREASES TUMOUR RISK. January 2008, in London's Independent: MOBILE PHONE RADIATION WRECKS YOUR SLEEP. September 2008, in Australia's The Age: SCIENTISTS WARN OF MOBILE PHONE CANCER RISK.
Though the scientific debate is heated and far from resolved, there are multiple reports, mostly out of Europe's premier research institutions, of cell-phone and PDA use being linked to "brain aging," brain damage, early-onset Alzheimer's, senility, DNA damage, and even sperm die-offs (many men, after all, keep their cell phones in their pants pockets or attached at the hip). In September 2007, the European Union's environmental watchdog, the European Environment Agency, warned that cell-phone technology "could lead to a health crisis similar to those caused by asbestos, smoking, and lead in petrol"...
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:23 AM
Monday, November 14, 2011
( 5:24 PM ) The Rat
"YOUR FAVORITE MUSICAL GENRE IS 'POST-.'" What Your Favorite Map Projection Says About You; via WC, but totally puts me in mind of JWB.
# Posted by The Rat @ 5:24 PM
( 4:27 PM ) The Rat
"I BELIEVE THIS SANDWICH WAS PROPHESIED IN THE BIBLE. 'AND THE WOLF SHALL DWELL WITH THE LAMB, AND THE CHEESEBURGER SHALL LIE DOWN WITH THE MCCHICKEN."
# Posted by The Rat @ 4:27 PM
( 6:55 AM ) The Rat
"AND WHEN I STARTED RACING THROUGH, IN MY MIND, THE OTHER SONGS THAT I WAS GOING TO BE ABLE TO PLAY THIS NIGHT, I STARTED TO GET REALLY SCARED. BECAUSE I REALIZED THAT NOT ONLY MIGHT IT NOT HAVE BEEN A GOOD IDEA TO HIRE A MUSICIAN TO COME ACROSS THE COUNTRY AND SING TO GET BACK YOUR GIRL, BUT... I WAS PROBABLY THE WRONG MUSICIAN TO HAVE HIRED." The "Act II" story here is pretty hilarious/terrifying.
# Posted by The Rat @ 6:55 AM
Sunday, November 13, 2011
( 8:59 AM ) The Rat
GIRL-SCOUT-COOKIE-FLAVORED LIP BALMS!
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:59 AM
Saturday, November 12, 2011
( 8:56 PM ) The Rat
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:56 PM
( 11:01 AM ) The Rat
ENJOYABLY POINTLESS PIE CHARTS.
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:01 AM
Friday, November 11, 2011
( 11:24 PM ) The Rat
'SECOND PARIS' BUILT TOWARDS END OF FIRST WORLD WAR TO FOOL GERMANS, via JWB.
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:24 PM
( 10:02 PM ) The Rat
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:02 PM
( 3:54 PM ) The Rat
A BIG DATE FOR CORDUROY FANS.
"We're having what we believe to be an epic and historic sartorial display," Ms. Pieloch says, adding that at least two pieces to be displayed were designed specifically for Friday's show. Other items expected to be in the show include a corduroy bikini, a corduroy corset, a corduroy dinner jacket and a Teflon-coated corduroy trench coat.
To corduroy enthusiasts, just about anything made up of vertical lines or horizontal lines can be considered symbolic of the durable woven fabric. Linear-themed foods such as Ruffles potato chips are served at club meetings, held just twice a year on the 11th day of January and November...
# Posted by The Rat @ 3:54 PM
( 9:44 AM ) The Rat
30 WAYS THE WORLD USED TO BE COOLER, via MM.
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:44 AM
( 9:34 AM ) The Rat
"OUR BIG PICTURE IS MUCH BIGGER." Article and video about Jamie and Lynn Parks.
After she was nearly killed in a car crash in 1987, doctors doubted Lynn Mcgovern would walk again. But Mcgovern, whose brain stem had been damaged, endured seven years of rehabilitation to learn how to walk a short distance—namely, down the aisle to marry Jamie Parks in 1994.
Since then, she has continued to defy expectations by completing more than 170 road races, thanks to her devoted husband, who would rather push Lynn in her wheelchair than run alone.
"I am so lucky Jamie has given me this gift," Lynn says. The 45-year-olds have covered more than 13,000 miles together. Their personal bests, including a 17:35 5-k and a 2:57 marathon, are remarkable, given Jamie's workload (Lynn and the chair weigh 170 pounds)...
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:34 AM
( 7:22 AM ) The Rat
AREA ECCENTRIC READS ENTIRE BOOK.
# Posted by The Rat @ 7:22 AM
( 7:21 AM ) The Rat
True happiness, we are told, consists in getting out of one's self; but the point is not only to get out—you must stay out; and to stay out you must have some absorbing errand.
—Roderick Hudson (via TT)
# Posted by The Rat @ 7:21 AM
Thursday, November 10, 2011
( 8:44 PM ) The Rat
STINGRAY RING! (A mere £12,200, according to this price list.)
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:44 PM
( 8:38 PM ) The Rat
PHOTOGRAPHY IN THE STYLE OF TRADITIONAL CHINESE PAINTING, via WO.
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:38 PM
( 7:14 PM ) The Rat
BLACK RHINOS AIRLIFTED BY THEIR ANKLES TO SAFE HAVEN. Awesome.
The World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) airlifted 19 black rhinos out of the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, moving them 1500 kilometres north to the Limpopo province to put the rhinos out of range of poachers.
The rotund animals, which can weigh between 800 and 1400 kilograms, were anesthetised and blindfolded before being lifted by their ankles with long straps connected to a helicopter. After a ten-minute flight, the rhinos are transferred to trucks, which transport them the rest of the journey. This new technique for relocating large animals reduces the stress on the rhinos and eases transportation through dangerous or uneven areas...
# Posted by The Rat @ 7:14 PM
( 7:09 PM ) The Rat
CAN FETUS SENSE MOTHER'S PSYCHOLOGICAL STATE? STUDY SUGGESTS YES.
[W]hat mattered to the babies was if the environment was consistent before and after birth. That is, the babies who did best were those who either had mothers who were healthy both before and after birth, and those whose mothers were depressed before birth and stayed depressed afterward. What slowed the babies' development was changing conditions—a mother who went from depressed before birth to healthy after or healthy before birth to depressed after. "We must admit, the strength of this finding surprised us," Sandman says...
# Posted by The Rat @ 7:09 PM
( 6:54 PM ) The Rat
16 BRUTALLY HONEST CAKE INSCRIPTIONS.
# Posted by The Rat @ 6:54 PM
( 5:40 PM ) The Rat
WE'RE NO. 2!
After an inglorious 17-year run, Orange County's $1.6-billion bankruptcy is being eclipsed—dwarfed, even—by Jefferson County, Ala., which has filed for Chapter 11 to help deal with $4 billion in debt...
# Posted by The Rat @ 5:40 PM
( 2:53 PM ) The Rat
PUSSY GALORE, so to speak. Via WC.
Most customers stayed for at least one hour, but apparently some fanatics can last more than six hours. Norimasa told me that "while the average stay is an hour and a half, some regulars take a sick day from work and stay all day. They say that they're about to buckle under the stress of their workload and need some time out. Some regulars come four or five times a week, while those who have become so mentally drained from work that they have taken an extended leave from their jobs come every day, seeking comfort and healing."
Cat cafés generally charge a time-based fee. Neko no mise charges $1.50 every ten minutes ($9 an hour), and $21.50 for a special three-hour plan. Might sound like they're overcharging, but maintaining a clean, dreamy cat environment ain't cheap. The only way for cat cafés to survive is for them to maintain a high turnover rate and keep away the cheapskates who will otherwise undoubtedly stay for hours on end, nursing a single cup of coffee. Sadly, this also means that the regulars who stay for six hours end up paying more than $42 just to stroke some fur...
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:53 PM
( 12:27 PM ) The Rat
INTERNET COMMENT OF THE DAY: "With all due respect, and remember I'm sayin' with all due respect, that idea ain't worth a velvet painting of a whale and a dolphin gettin' it on."
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:27 PM
( 10:46 AM ) The Rat
TOP 10 LIFTS IN LONDON.
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:46 AM
( 5:41 AM ) The Rat
CUTE 8-YEAR-OLD STARTING TO REALIZE HOW MUCH BETTER SHE IS THAN UGLY GIRLS. You gotta admit, that's an adorable photo.
"Girls who aren't as cute as I am will want to be friends with me, because if I like them, they'll feel less ugly," said Ella, adding that, conversely, the opinion of a girl covered in gross freckles wouldn't matter in the slightest. "I bet I can make them do my homework or carry my books or anything I want. If they don't, I can stop being their friend, and they'll be really sad and have to be friends with girls who look as ugly as they do."
"Isn't that cool?" Ella added.
In addition, Ella told reporters she has been equally delighted to discover her beauty has earned her significant advantages at home. Despite the fact that she bears a definite resemblance to her sister Melissa, Ella said her own more exceptional physical features nevertheless seem to have garnered her preferential treatment from her parents.
"If I want to go out for pizza or a movie, all I have to do is ask," Ella said. "I used to wonder why, and now I understand: I'm supposed to be happier than my sister. I'm really cute, and I get to have whatever I want; my sister has a really big nose, so she doesn't. I bet Mom and Dad love me more, too. Who could blame them?"
Ibid.: Celebrity Chef Ted Allen Cooks His Favorite Pretentious Foodie Bullshit Meal.
# Posted by The Rat @ 5:41 AM
( 5:30 AM ) The Rat
MURMURATION! Very cool clip.
# Posted by The Rat @ 5:30 AM
( 5:26 AM ) The Rat
PAULA RADCLIFFE TO KEEP MARATHON RECORD.
The IAAF has decided to let Paula Radcliffe keep her marathon world record from 2003, after previously saying it would reduce one of athletics' outstanding performances to a world best because the English runner set the mark in a race with men...
# Posted by The Rat @ 5:26 AM
Wednesday, November 09, 2011
( 9:01 PM ) The Rat
NOM! Just booked myself a cheap seat to see this production again—to this day the most visually arresting staging I've seen of any opera.
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:01 PM
( 8:37 PM ) The Rat
In Academically Adrift, Arum and Roksa paint a chilling portrait of what the university curriculum has become. The central evidence that the authors deploy comes from the performance of 2,322 students on the Collegiate Learning Assessment, a standardized test administered to students in their first semester at university and again at the end of their second year: not a multiple-choice exam, but an ingenious exercise that requires students to read a set of documents on a fictional problem in business or politics and write a memo advising an official on how to respond to it. Data from the National Survey of Student Engagement, a self-assessment of student learning filled out by millions each year, and recent ethnographies of student life provide a rich background.
Their results are sobering. The Collegiate Learning Assessment reveals that some 45 percent of students in the sample had made effectively no progress in critical thinking, complex reasoning, and writing in their first two years. And a look at their academic experience helps to explain why. Students reported spending twelve hours a week, on average, studying—down from twenty-five hours per week in 1961 and twenty in 1981. Half the students in the sample had not taken a course that required more than twenty pages of writing in the previous semester, while a third had not even taken a course that required as much as forty pages a week of reading...
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:37 PM
( 8:22 PM ) The Rat
"...AND A FLOAT OF A GIANT ODOMETER."
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:22 PM
( 7:24 PM ) The Rat
# Posted by The Rat @ 7:24 PM
( 2:31 PM ) The Rat
TOWNS MERGE TO SAVE COSTS. Now I only need to nuke one city when I become empress.
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:31 PM
( 7:24 AM ) The Rat
"WE MAINTAIN EYE CONTACT. IT'S REALLY HARD TO DO THAT WITH MOST GIRLS—THEY'RE SO SHORT!" This series is usually duds, but this was one of the better ones I thought.
# Posted by The Rat @ 7:24 AM
( 7:21 AM ) The Rat
HEH! Not an original claim, but there are a few good lines here.
Put differently, every woman has the power to predict the future, while very few men do...
# Posted by The Rat @ 7:21 AM
Tuesday, November 08, 2011
( 7:28 AM ) The Rat
30 YEARS OF DURAN DURAN'S HAIR.
# Posted by The Rat @ 7:28 AM
( 6:25 AM ) The Rat
"THE OTHER TOP WHY DO QUESTIONS INVOLVE FELINE HABITS OF 'PURRING' AND 'KNEADING'..."
# Posted by The Rat @ 6:25 AM
Monday, November 07, 2011
( 10:17 PM ) The Rat
THE COUPLE WHO GOT MARRIED WHILE RUNNING THE NEW YORK CITY MARATHON.
Mary Martin and Raymond Donaldson met while running, so they thought it would be fitting to tie the knot during the famous five-borough race. He wore a vest and bowtie, and she wore an abbreviated wedding dress fashioned from a tennis skirt and runner's top, with a veil on her white baseball cap. As for the man who kept pace with them while officiating the proceedings along mile 22, "he's a minister and he's an Iron Man," says Donaldson. "He's the only [minister] who could actually keep up"...
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:17 PM
( 9:35 PM ) The Rat
"SHE POINTED TO A GENT DANCING NEARBY. 'THAT'S WHO I USUALLY DANCE WITH,' SHE WHISPERED. 'HE'S 17 YEARS YOUNGER THAN ME. DON'T WORRY, I TOLD HIM ABOUT YOU.'" Mickadeit takes 103-year-old to prom.
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:35 PM
( 7:52 PM ) The Rat
THE FIRST ANNUAL OPERAGASM AWARDS. The segments with Netrebko and Te Kanawa are both pretty good.
# Posted by The Rat @ 7:52 PM
( 6:41 PM ) The Rat
"HOWEVER, IT IS ESPECIALLY COMMON AMONGST GRADUATE STUDENTS."
# Posted by The Rat @ 6:41 PM
( 5:53 PM ) The Rat
MACARONI & CHEESE AIR FRESHENER.
# Posted by The Rat @ 5:53 PM
( 5:50 PM ) The Rat
"WITH THE EXCEPTION OF ASIANS..." Hmm.
# Posted by The Rat @ 5:50 PM
( 3:59 PM ) The Rat
"THIS SANDWICH IS GREAT BUT IT'S YET ANOTHER PLACE FOR ME TO LOSE MY KEYS."
# Posted by The Rat @ 3:59 PM
Sunday, November 06, 2011
( 8:18 PM ) The Rat
I desired the hitherto unattainable—to be left alone: what Henry James once described as 'uncontested possession of the long, sweet, stupid day': that peace to which no living creature has a natural right.
—Francis Wyndham, "The Ground Hostess" (via TT)
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:18 PM
( 4:18 PM ) The Rat
GREENING THE MARATHON.
# Posted by The Rat @ 4:18 PM
( 1:02 AM ) The Rat
"I SPOT MY FUTURE EX-WIFE IN THE LOBBY..." via Best of Craigslist.
# Posted by The Rat @ 1:02 AM
Saturday, November 05, 2011
( 6:56 PM ) The Rat
COULD MOZART DECREASE YOUR RISK OF COLON CANCER?, ibid.
# Posted by The Rat @ 6:56 PM
( 6:55 PM ) The Rat
SWEDISH LUNCH LADY IN POLE DANCE PROTEST, via Wait Wait. The linked story about elk is also quite good.
# Posted by The Rat @ 6:55 PM
( 6:11 PM ) The Rat
# Posted by The Rat @ 6:11 PM
Friday, November 04, 2011
( 7:25 PM ) The Rat
CUTTER JOHN LIVES!
Couch plans to join Iraqi extreme sport enthusiast Fareed Lafta, who has said he hopes (later) to become Iraq's first man in space. The two men are scheduled to lift off in tandem Nov. 15 from Baghdad's Green Zone on lawn chairs fitted with some 300 balloons and soar over Iraq at 25,000 feet for 24 hours—enough to set a new world record in the arcane field of cluster ballooning...
# Posted by The Rat @ 7:25 PM
( 4:25 PM ) The Rat
"AMERICAN GIRLS THINK CANDLELIGHT MEANS 'ROMANCE,' NOT 'DETERIORATING PUBLIC UTILITIES'..."
# Posted by The Rat @ 4:25 PM
( 12:36 PM ) The Rat
THE BEST #FASHIONICECREAM TWEETS OF TODAY. "Banana Wintour" is clever, but can anybody even imagine Anna Wintour ever eating carbs?
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:36 PM
( 11:04 AM ) The Rat
TIBETAN SINGING BOWLS GIVE UP THEIR CHAOTIC SECRETS.
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:04 AM
( 10:55 AM ) The Rat
LONDON FROM A BUS WINDOW.
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:55 AM
( 3:12 AM ) The Rat
ANIMALS RIDING ON OTHER ANIMALS.
# Posted by The Rat @ 3:12 AM
( 3:01 AM ) The Rat
'PIANOMANIA': TO BE OBSESSED WITH THE PERFECT SOUND.
# Posted by The Rat @ 3:01 AM
Thursday, November 03, 2011
( 10:31 PM ) The Rat
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:31 PM
( 10:25 PM ) The Rat
HAPPY? YOU MAY LIVE 35 PERCENT LONGER, TRACKING STUDY SUGGESTS.
Also: How your Facebook profile picture predicts future happiness.
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:25 PM
( 1:49 PM ) The Rat
FINDING RELIEF IN RITUAL: A HEALTHY DOSE OF REPETITIVE BEHAVIOR REDUCES ANXIETY, SAYS RESEARCHER, via ScienceDaily.
# Posted by The Rat @ 1:49 PM
( 12:37 PM ) The Rat
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:37 PM
( 10:17 AM ) The Rat
WHAT MAKES A GOOD STAGE DEATH?
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:17 AM
Wednesday, November 02, 2011
( 9:42 AM ) The Rat
15 SIGNS YOU'LL GET DIVORCED. I'd seen most of these (e.g. the yearbook-photo one) before, but a few were new... and at the very least, you do need to read no. 13.
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:42 AM
Tuesday, November 01, 2011
( 9:12 AM ) The Rat
"THIS IS CRAZY. WE'RE FROM TWO DIFFERENT WORLDS."
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:12 AM
( 8:57 AM ) The Rat
IT'S BEETHOVEN AWARENESS MONTH! Wow, they've really put some thought into this.
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:57 AM
( 8:56 AM ) The Rat
STUDY: KILLER WHALES MIGRATE THOUSANDS OF MILES TO... EXFOLIATE?
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:56 AM
( 8:17 AM ) The Rat
ESTIMATING THE DAMAGE TO THE U.S. ECONOMY CAUSED BY ANGRY BIRDS, via JWB.
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:17 AM
( 8:16 AM ) The Rat
STUCK IN THE ALPHABET GAME? via TG.
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:16 AM