Wednesday, February 29, 2012
( 6:52 PM ) The Rat
"($TBA)," via WC.
# Posted by The Rat @ 6:52 PM
( 3:16 PM ) The Rat
YOU CAN OWN AN ENTIRE FRENCH VILLAGE FOR $440,000.
# Posted by The Rat @ 3:16 PM
( 4:50 AM ) The Rat
HEH! via TG.
# Posted by The Rat @ 4:50 AM
Monday, February 27, 2012
( 10:12 PM ) The Rat
WORKOUTS ARE THE VERY BEST TIME FOR A SNACK. Mark Remy, you are amazing.
With that in mind, here is RW Daily's Guide to Eating and Drinking for Various Race Distances. Dig in.
100 meters—Handful of jelly beans
400m—4 handfuls of jelly beans
1600m/1 mile—16 handfuls of jelly beans OR 1 extremely large jelly bean; turkey leg
5-K—Thermos of gumbo; loaf of crusty bread; assorted pastries; large soda
10-K—Bucket of chicken; coleslaw; biscuits; hydration pack filled with Oreo milkshake...
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:12 PM
( 3:49 PM ) The Rat
THE ANGER ICEBERG!
# Posted by The Rat @ 3:49 PM
( 3:46 PM ) The Rat
"IN THE LONG HISTORY OF SANDWICH MONDAY, THIS IS THE WORST THING WE'VE EVER HAD."
# Posted by The Rat @ 3:46 PM
( 2:44 PM ) The Rat
THE 'MEH' GENERATION, via WC. Dude, things were meh long before 2008.
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:44 PM
( 11:39 AM ) The Rat
Il tuo bel cielo vorrei ridarti,
Le dolci brezze del patrio suol:
Un regal serto sul crin posarti,
Ergerti un trono vicino al sol
—in 32 hours! (text/translation here)
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:39 AM
( 10:59 AM ) The Rat
I think the American West really attracts me because it's romantic. The desert, the empty space, the drama.
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:59 AM
( 10:34 AM ) The Rat
POLICE: MAN USED LIGHT SABER TO FEND OFF STUN GUN, via JM. I love the last sentence in this.
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:34 AM
Sunday, February 26, 2012
( 8:27 PM ) The Rat
PEOPLE RATIONALIZE SITUATIONS THEY'RE STUCK WITH, BUT REBEL WHEN THEY THINK THERE'S AN OUT, ibid.
People who feel like they're stuck with a rule or restriction are more likely to be content with it than people who think that the rule isn't definite. The authors of a new study, which will be published in an upcoming issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, say this conclusion may help explain everything from unrequited love to the uprisings of the Arab Spring...
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:27 PM
( 8:24 PM ) The Rat
IMPULSIVE KIDS PLAY MORE VIDEO GAMES, AND KIDS WHO PLAY MORE VIDEO GAMES MAY BECOME MORE IMPULSIVE, via ScienceDaily. How surprising.
Although the findings indicated that playing violent video games also can be linked to impulsivity and attention problems, the overall amount of time spent playing any type of video game proved to be a greater factor, according to the article. This was the case regardless of a child's gender, race or socioeconomic status.
Researchers collected data from 3,034 children, ages 8 to 17 years old, over three years at 12 schools in Singapore. The children provided information about their video game playing habits by completing questionnaires in their classrooms at three intervals, each a year apart starting in grades three, four, seven and eight. They also completed psychological tests commonly used to measure attention and impulsiveness. Regarding attention, the children answered questions such as how often they "fail to give close attention to details or make careless mistakes" in their work or "blurt out answers before questions have been completed." For the impulsivity test, they selected points they felt described themselves, such as "I often make things worse because I act without thinking" or "I concentrate easily."
The study described attention problems as having a difficult time engaging in or sustaining behavior to reach a goal, particularly when the subject is difficult or boring...
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:24 PM
( 9:50 AM ) The Rat
THE ASIAN AMERICAN BASKETBALL LEAGUES THAT HELPED CREATE LINSANITY, via ET.
That Lin inspires other Asian American basketball players isn't a surprise. What's worth noting is the reason for his appeal. It's not just the facts of the story so much as it is the context. Lin has become one of the few Asian American athletes to make it big—from a community that’s long been obsessed with basketball.
California, where Lin grew up, is home to a large and storied network of Asian American basketball leagues that have been around for nearly a century. Though it's unclear whether Lin played in one when he was younger, the fact that his devoted Asian American fan base has been whisked into the spotlight hints at the much larger role that basketball has played in allowing Asian Americans—particularly those of Japanese and Chinese descent—to forge identities and retain their cultural heritage.
Both Lin and Hagiya are unique. Few Asian American basketball players compete on NCAA Division 1 teams. Less than two dozen of the NCAA's roughly 4,800 men's Division 1 players are Asian American. Hagiya began playing in Japanese American basketball leagues when she was 4 years old, where she learned fundamentals and forged lasting friendships. When she joined an area club team in the sixth grade and began playing against kids from other ethnicities, she realized just how much the leagues had protected her. After one game, she remembers, a group of parents from an opposing team said, "Oh, that eskimo sure can play!"
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:50 AM
( 9:20 AM ) The Rat
EAVESDROPPING ON THE SQUID WORLD.
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:20 AM
( 1:30 AM ) The Rat
"BE FRIENDS, TRY TO GET PAST THE INITIAL HEAVING AND PANTING..." 8 Lessons for Living a Full Life, via IKM.
# Posted by The Rat @ 1:30 AM
Saturday, February 25, 2012
( 7:42 AM ) The Rat
WOJTEK THE SOLDIER BEAR.
It was during this period, under a constant barrage of enemy fire, when Wojtek fulfilled his duty as a true soldier. He had observed his comrades who continually loaded and unloaded heavy shells and boxes with ammunition. At one moment the bear walked toward a supply truck on his hind legs, stretched out his paws and waited for the soldiers to give him something to carry. To their amazement, Wojtek effortlessly lifted a heavy box of ammunition and carried it from one truck to another and returned for more. Filled with enthusiasm, the bear marched day after day and carefully carried vital supplies until the Polish soldiers took Monte Cassino. Astonishingly, Wojtek was so careful that he never dropped a single shell, food sack or box with ammunition.
The soldier bear became famous for his contribution to the Allied victory. Wojtek became a celebrity. An image of him carrying an artillery shell became an official army symbol, proudly affixed on the uniforms, pendants and vehicles of the 22nd Company...
# Posted by The Rat @ 7:42 AM
Friday, February 24, 2012
( 10:24 PM ) The Rat
FREE-RANGE PARENTING: YOU'RE GOING TO GO TO JAIL. MAYBE, "a big omnibus article by David Pimentel of the Florida Costal School of Law on all the ways you are potentially legally screwed if you let your kid do stuff that was considered normal at some point in the less intensively parented past." Via AB.
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:24 PM
( 6:43 PM ) The Rat
BEN & JERRY'S LAUNCHES 'LIN-SANITY' FLAVOR, TAKES OUT FORTUNE COOKIE INGREDIENT, via WC. Come on, guys—what doesn't taste better with fortune cookies?
# Posted by The Rat @ 6:43 PM
( 6:42 PM ) The Rat
One evening a Native American elder told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, "My son, the battle is between two 'wolves' inside us all. One is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, and superiority. The other is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, and compassion." The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf wins?" The elder simply replied, "The one you feed."
# Posted by The Rat @ 6:42 PM
( 11:49 AM ) The Rat
ENGLISH RUNNER WINS TRANSATLANTIC PANCAKE RACE. I've been in Liberal, and have in fact eaten pancakes there, but was not aware of this race.
The Liberal Leader & Times reported that Devon Byrnes, 18, of Olney, England, covered the 415-yard course in 58.5 seconds to beat 19-year-old Kaela Krueger, who won the leg of the race in Liberal six hours later.
Byrnes' time tied the third fastest in the 63-year-old competition in which Olney and Liberal women clad in aprons and head scarves run the course with a pancake in their pan, flipping it at the beginning and end of the race. Her mother, Leslie Byrne, won the trans-Atlantic competition in 1988 and 1989 and the Olney leg in 1993.
According to legend, the Olney race started in 1445 when a harried housewife arrived at church on Shrove Tuesday still clutching her frying pan with a pancake in it. Liberal challenged Olney in 1950 after seeing photos of the race in a magazine...
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:49 AM
Thursday, February 23, 2012
( 11:21 PM ) The Rat
SEXIEST MAGAZINE CONCEPT EVER! It's the & Rowayton that makes it.
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:21 PM
( 8:53 PM ) The Rat
"WARREN BUFFETT, WHO APPRECIATED THEIR SHARED EXPERIENCE AS NEWSPAPER DELIVERERS, ONCE TOLD HER THAT FASHION CHANGES BUT THE HOME REMAINS FAR MORE SECURE..." How Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model Kathy Ireland Became a $350 Million Mogul. Damn.
The ex-model's elastic brand—based on what I saw, she would consider Kathy Ireland toilet plungers or Kathy Ireland roach motels if she could argue they help busy moms—proves a valuable trait in licensing, a strict volume business. That $2 billion at retail (for comparison, Martha Stewart sells about $900 million at retail, based on industry estimates) translated into about $850 million in wholesale sales last year, of which Ireland got a royalty payment of roughly 6%. That's around $50 million in revenue for Ireland's company, and with a meager staff of 42—the beauty of licensing, of course, is that everyone else has to actually make and sell the stuff—the vast majority of that is pure profit, flowing straight into pockets of Kathy Ireland Worldwide's photogenic 100% owner.
Kathy Ireland was an entrepreneur long before she was a model. As a child in Santa Barbara, she painted stones, and rather than place them on her shelf to admire, she peddled them door-to-door (her grandmother carried one in her purse for protection) and eventually sold other art projects at weekly crafts fairs. At 11 Ireland noticed an ad beckoning newspaper deliverers: "Are you the boy for the job?" Ireland wrote a note to the editor saying she was the girl for the job, and she got it.
Ireland was earning $60 a month when she decided it was time to get her own bedroom. She rang up a contractor for an estimate on what it would cost to add a room to the modest house she shared with her parents and two sisters. "My mom found me in the driveway showing him where I wanted my room to be," recalls Ireland. "I knew exactly what it was going to look like, what the furnishing would be. Then he gave me his bid, and it was something like $20,000."
The room would have to wait—but not long. In 1980, at the age of 16, Ireland was discovered at a finishing school (where her parents were trying to clean up their tomboy daughter) by the Elite Modeling Agency. Within four years she was featured in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, and in 1989, when she graced the cover for the first time, it became SI's best seller ever...
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:53 PM
( 5:51 PM ) The Rat
THE MET'S 2012-13 SEASON IS HERE! Squee!
# Posted by The Rat @ 5:51 PM
( 3:29 PM ) The Rat
THE MYTH OF THE EIGHT-HOUR SLEEP. Hmm.
# Posted by The Rat @ 3:29 PM
( 3:28 PM ) The Rat
"MINI CUPCAKES, CHAMPAGNE AND HAND WASH BOTTLES IN THE SHAPE OF A HEART."
# Posted by The Rat @ 3:28 PM
( 10:36 AM ) The Rat
Y CHROMOSOME, THOUGH DIMINISHED, IS HOLDING ITS GROUND, via WC. Explains so much.
Men, or at least male biologists, have long been alarmed that their tiny Y chromosome, once the same size as its buxom partner, the X, will continue to wither away until it simply vanishes. The male sex would then become extinct, they fear, leaving women to invent some virgin-birth method of reproduction and propagate a sexless species.
The fear is not without serious basis: The Y and X chromosomes once shared some 800 genes in common, but now, after shedding genes furiously, the Y carries just 19 of its ancestral genes, as well as the male-determining gene that is its raison d’être. So much DNA has been lost that the chromosome is a fraction of its original size...
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:36 AM
( 10:09 AM ) The Rat
FEMALE FRIENDS SPEND RAUCOUS NIGHT VALIDATING THE LIVING SHIT OUT OF EACH OTHER. Heh!
Confirming the women get together at least once a month for an all-out, anything-goes session of nonjudgmental reassurances, 28-year-old Sarah Dotson said the evening quickly turned into "a total rager," with the friends sharing excessive amounts of admiration, empathy, and encouragement for one another.
"The entire night we just went balls out with the confidence-boosting," Dotson said of the gathering, adding that by 10 p.m. she had already partaken in seven or eight mutual expressions of positive regard. "It was completely insane. We bolstered the shit out of Kelly's self-esteem, and by the time the check came, we had her shouting that her boss was a huge asshole for not recognizing all her hard work and giving her that promotion."
"We just kept telling her how fucking talented and beautiful she was until eventually the restaurant had to ask us to leave," Dotson added.
As the women moved from one bar to the next, the evening reportedly only grew more and more wild, with the friends telling one another whatever they needed to hear regarding callous comments made by boyfriends, deteriorating relationships with family members, pet deaths, or frustrating new haircuts...
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:09 AM
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
( 9:41 PM ) The Rat
OVER-REACTIVE PARENTING LINKED TO NEGATIVE EMOTIONS AND PROBLEM BEHAVIORS IN TODDLERS.
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:41 PM
( 8:46 PM ) The Rat
"RUN, OR BE DESTROYED..." via ATIAC.
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:46 PM
( 6:51 PM ) The Rat
WORLD'S STRANGEST DESSERTS. Because if you can't line your digestive tract with a fine layer of 24-karat gold flakes... what can you line with a fine layer of 24-karat gold flakes?
# Posted by The Rat @ 6:51 PM
( 4:08 PM ) The Rat
MOTIVATIONAL POSTER NO. 9, via RW.
# Posted by The Rat @ 4:08 PM
( 12:43 PM ) The Rat
MARYLAND SWIM TEAM RETROACTIVELY LOSES COUNTY TITLE BECAUSE OF BIZARRE SHAVING VIOLATION, via TE. Wacky.
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:43 PM
( 1:57 AM ) The Rat
RUSSIANS REVIVE ICE AGE FLOWER FROM FROZEN BURROW, via SV. My first reaction to this went something like, "Ooh neat!" And my second reaction went something like: "You know yo momma so old, she recognized the Silene stenophylla after it was regenerated by scientists..."
The Silene stenophylla is the oldest plant ever to be regenerated, the researchers said, and it is fertile, producing white flowers and viable seeds...
# Posted by The Rat @ 1:57 AM
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
( 10:54 PM ) The Rat
SCHOOLS WE CAN ENVY, via AB.
Because entry into teaching is difficult and the training is rigorous, teaching is a respected and prestigious profession in Finland. So selective and demanding is the process that virtually every teacher is well prepared. Sahlberg writes that teachers enter the profession with a sense of moral mission and the only reasons they might leave would be "if they were to lose their professional autonomy" or if "a merit-based compensation policy [tied to test scores] were imposed." Meanwhile, the United States is now doing to its teachers what Finnish teachers would find professionally reprehensible: judging their worth by the test scores of their students.
Finland's national curriculum in the arts and sciences describes what is to be learned but is not prescriptive about the details of what to teach or how to teach it. The national curriculum requires the teaching of a mother tongue (Finnish or Swedish), mathematics, foreign languages, history, biology, environmental science, religion, ethics, geography, chemistry, physics, music, visual arts, crafts, physical education, health, and other studies.
Teachers have wide latitude at each school in deciding what to teach, how to teach, and how to gauge their pupils’ progress. Finnish educators agree that "every child has the right to get personalized support provided early on by trained professionals as part of normal schooling.” Sahlberg estimates that some 50 percent of students receive attention from specialists in the early years of schooling. Teachers and principals frequently collaborate to discuss the needs of the students and the school. As a result of these policies, Sahlberg writes,
Most visitors to Finland discover elegant school buildings filled with calm children and highly educated teachers. They also recognize the large amount of autonomy that schools enjoy: little interference by the central education administration in schools' everyday lives, systematic methods for addressing problems in the lives of students, and targeted professional help for those in need...
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:54 PM
( 9:27 PM ) The Rat
SAM ADAMS BREWS A BOSTON MARATHON BEER. They really kinda lost me at "The number 26.2 refers to the number of miles in a marathon, not the new beverage's alcohol content."
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:27 PM
( 9:21 PM ) The Rat
THE TRUE STORY OF THE OSCAR STREAKER, via TT.
But it was later, post-streaking fame, that Opel's career as an artist and agitator blossomed, when he moved to San Francisco (finding LA an unfriendly place after being targeting by the LAPD for harassment in response to his frequent activism), later in the 70s. In San Francisco, Opel became notable in the nascent gay activism scene in SOMA, as a photography, filmmaker and publisher and the kinds of publicity/awareness stunts that shaped the movement. He ran an Anita Bryant Look-Alike Contest (Bryant being a noted anti-gay activist and orange juice pitchwoman at the time), and staged a mock execution of Dan White, the man who murdered Harvey Milk, with the executioner (Opel) dressed as "Gay Justice." He appears prominently in both Gay San Francisco: Eyewitness Drummer by Jack Fritscher and Folsom Street Blues: A Memoir of 1970s Soma Leatherfolk in Gay San Francisco by Jim Stewart, two books about the birth of the gay protest movement in the Bay Area written by two members of the scene.
In 1978 Opel opened Fey-Wey Studios, a gallery devoted to erotic art which channeled the energy of the SOMA gay bars. Fey-Wey Studios, and Opel by extension, was instrumental in bringing the work of Robert Mapplethorpe to prominence...
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:21 PM
( 9:19 PM ) The Rat
APPARENTLY THE THIRD REICH HAD A FASCINATION WITH YOGA, via AB. Worth clicking through for the comment by "Pavanatanaya."
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:19 PM
( 2:58 PM ) The Rat
I was playing a draft of this story for three of the This American Life producers. And I got done with it, and all four of us kind of admitted to each other that, in our own marriages, either we've been instructed or we have instructed our spouse the exact same thing that Kristen told Dave. Just listen to me complain about my day, or whatever it is, and then here is what I want you to say.
And in those moments, when you go through the motions for the person that you love, and say what they want you to say because they specifically said that's what they need—we have all had the experience in our marriages—that does the job. That works just fine.
—"Play the Part," TAL; Act II, "Wife Lessons," is about this guy
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:58 PM
( 10:00 AM ) The Rat
TRINIDAD MORUGA SCORPION NAMED WORLD'S HOTTEST PEPPER. Nom!
"You take a bite. It doesn't seem so bad, and then it builds and it builds and it builds. So it is quite nasty," Paul Bosland, a renowned pepper expert and director of the chile institute, said of the pepper's heat.
During harvesting, senior research specialist Danise Coon said she and the two students who were picking the peppers went through about four pairs of latex gloves.
"The capsaicin kept penetrating the latex and soaking into the skin on our hands. That has never happened to me before," she said...
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:00 AM
Monday, February 20, 2012
( 9:14 PM ) The Rat
RELATIONSHIP STATUS: via EG.
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:14 PM
( 8:52 PM ) The Rat
"I AM JUST AS HAPPY GETTING MUGGED AS I AM WINNING THE LOTTERY..." ShIt Girls Say on Match.com, via IKM. OK, I know the "Shit X Says" thing is pretty played out at this point, but this is really funny, and the hair is inspired.
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:52 PM
( 5:44 PM ) The Rat
I did with my ears what I do with my eyes when they stare.
—Bernard Shaw on listening to late Beethoven
# Posted by The Rat @ 5:44 PM
( 5:33 PM ) The Rat
BRAINSTORMING DOESN'T REALLY WORK, via AB.
A new generation of laboratory architecture has tried to make chance encounters more likely to take place, and the trend has spread in the business world, too. One fanatical believer in the power of space to enhance the work of groups was Steve Jobs. Walter Isaacson's recent biography of Jobs records that when Jobs was planning Pixar's headquarters, in 1999, he had the building arranged around a central atrium, so that Pixar's diverse staff of artists, writers, and computer scientists would run into each other more often. "We used to joke that the building was Steve's movie," Ed Catmull, the president of both Disney Animation and Pixar Animation, says. "He really oversaw everything."
Jobs soon realized that it wasn't enough simply to create an airy atrium; he needed to force people to go there. He began with the mailboxes, which he shifted to the lobby. Then he moved the meeting rooms to the center of the building, followed by the cafeteria, the coffee bar, and the gift shop. Finally, he decided that the atrium should contain the only set of bathrooms in the entire building. (He was later forced to compromise and install a second pair of bathrooms.) "At first, I thought this was the most ridiculous idea," Darla Anderson, a producer on several Pixar films, told me. "I didn't want to have to walk all the way to the atrium every time I needed to do something. That’s just a waste of time. But Steve said, ‘Everybody has to run into each other.’ He really believed that the best meetings happened by accident, in the hallway or parking lot. And you know what? He was right. I get more done having a cup of coffee and striking up a conversation or walking to the bathroom and running into unexpected people than I do sitting at my desk." Brad Bird, the director of "The Incredibles" and "Ratatouille," says that Jobs "made it impossible for you not to run into the rest of the company"...
# Posted by The Rat @ 5:33 PM
( 8:41 AM ) The Rat
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:41 AM
( 8:40 AM ) The Rat
NIFTY OPTICAL ILLUSION (though I'm guessing "LSD effects" is overstating things a bit), via IKM.
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:40 AM
( 8:39 AM ) The Rat
RATTY JUST NEEDS to work on the "money to burn" part...
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:39 AM
Sunday, February 19, 2012
( 6:08 PM ) The Rat
SMUG NEW MOM GOING TO START A BLOG, via the Onion.
# Posted by The Rat @ 6:08 PM
( 5:10 PM ) The Rat
"ANYONE IN NEW YORK CITY, I FEEL LIKE, CAN HAVE SEX ANY NIGHT OF THE WEEK IF THEY JUST FOLLOW TWO RULES, WHICH IS STAY AT THE BAR UNTIL 4 O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING AND DRAMATICALLY LOWER YOUR STANDARDS." (For the show, click here; for the transcript, click here and scroll to Act I, "Best Laid Plans.") The main thing I find striking about this story is how the guy behaves more or less exactly like I'd expect a guy in this situation to behave, and ditto the girl.
Kurt Braunohler. The next part of that conversation was the logistics. Do we break up? Do I move out? Do we just do this while we're living in the same house together? And we kind of came up with this idea of borrowing this Amish concept called rumspringa. And rumspringa in the Amish world is when you're 16, you're allowed to be not Amish for two years. And then when you turn 18, you decide whether or not you come back to the fold.
Ira Glass. And during those two years, kids get drunk. They sleep around. They try drugs.
Kurt Braunohler. They do lots of meth.
Ira Glass. They do lots of stuff.
Kurt Braunohler. So we decided to have a rumspringa from our relationship. And that's the other crazy thing is that we decided that 30 days was enough. Because probably within 30 days, sleeping with other people, we'll get that all out of our system in 30 days. It turns out, it's really difficult to all of a sudden become single at 31 when you've never been single for your entire life. Because all of a sudden, I'm in New York City, and I'm single. And I essentially have the emotional tools of a 17-year-old boy.
Ira Glass. Because the last time you had dated, you were 17.
Kurt Braunohler. The last time I dated I was in a dorm room. Also, it wasn't like I was single in New York City. Because being single in New York City is, I think, the majority of it is being just very lonely and being on your own. Whereas this was very different. I was in a race. I was in a 30-day race to sleep with as many people as I possibly could. Because after 30 days, I was going to go back and then get married.
Ira Glass. So there's a time clock ticking.
Kurt Braunohler. Every single—it was almost to the minute where I'd just be like, if I wasn't out somewhere trying to meet someone, I was like, this is wasted time. I am wasting my time right now...
# Posted by The Rat @ 5:10 PM
( 3:05 PM ) The Rat
"UNAFFECTED, AND CASUAL IN A T-SHIRT AND JEANS, HE POLITELY DECLINED TO SAY HOW PERSONAL EXPERIENCE MIGHT HAVE HELPED TO SHAPE HIS PORTRAYAL OF ALBERICH." The NYT talks to Eric Owens.
# Posted by The Rat @ 3:05 PM
( 12:17 PM ) The Rat
VEGETARIAN DOCTORS GO WHOLE HOG TO BURN BACON IN IOWA. Isn't there an old saying, like, It were better to furrow the earth, plow the sea, tread the fire, and arrest the wind, than to try to convince Midwesterners to give up bacon?
As the festival loomed, organizers tried to serve up a sort of detente. They invited the doctors' group to participate in a lecture series where festival attendees would have the chance to heighten "their bacon knowledge and beliefs."
Susan Levin, the PCRM's nutrition-education director, says the offer came with impossible strings attached: She had to agree to discuss how bacon fits into a healthy diet.
"Of course, I said no," she says.
Pro-bacon lecturers at the festival will speak about "Zombies, Bacon and Survival" and "How Bacon Is Changing My Life."
Late last week, Ms. Levin sent one last email appeal, asking to speak on her own terms. But organizers say attendees don't want to be bummed out. Her request was denied...
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:17 PM
Saturday, February 18, 2012
( 8:45 PM ) The Rat
BOUND, NAKED IN A SUBARU: VALENTINE'S DAY ROLE-PLAYING ENDS BADLY.
The Portland Police Bureau's Facebook page has been flooded with comments, most from citizens wondering why people can't be left to their own devices in the backs of their cars.
"Nothing wrong with that, they were just trying to have some fun, you monsters," one man wrote.
"Keep Portland weird, man," urged another...
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:45 PM
( 7:41 PM ) The Rat
HOW TO CHOOSE A MUSICAL INSTRUMENT, via WC.
# Posted by The Rat @ 7:41 PM
( 7:24 PM ) The Rat
PSYCHIATRIC DIAGNOSES: WHY NO ONE IS SATISFIED, again via ScienceDaily.
"The problem is not the DSM criteria," Nesse said. "The problem is that the untidy nature of mental disorders is at odds with our wish for a neat, clean classification system."
The proposed abolition of the grief exclusion in diagnosing major depression is just one example of a push to define psychiatric disorders according to their causes and brain pathology. But Nesse and Stein point out that the rest of medicine recognizes many disorders that do not have specific causes.
"Conditions such as congestive heart failure can have many causes," Nesse said. "This doesn't bother physicians because they understand what the heart is for, and how it works to circulate blood."
Furthermore, he said, physicians recognize symptoms such as fever and pain as useful responses, not diseases.
"These symptoms can be pathological when they're expressed for no good reason, but before considering that possibility, physicians look carefully for some abnormality arousing such symptoms," Nesse said. "Likewise, the utility of anxiety is recognized, but its disorders are defined by the number and intensity of symptoms, irrespective of the cause.
"It's vital to recognize that emotions serve functions in the same way that pain, cough and fever do, and that strong negative emotions can be normal responses to challenging or anxiety-provoking situations"...
# Posted by The Rat @ 7:24 PM
( 7:20 PM ) The Rat
LEFT-HANDED? DIFFERENT BODIES, DIFFERENT MINDS.
When participants were asked which of two products to buy, which of two job applicants to hire, or which of two alien creatures looked more trustworthy, right-handers routinely chose the product, person, or creature they saw on the right side of the page, while left-handers preferred the one on the left. These kinds of preferences have been found in children as young as 5 years old...
# Posted by The Rat @ 7:20 PM
( 6:16 PM ) The Rat
"STRING THEORY IS OFF IN HER OWN LITTLE WORLD. SHE IS EITHER PROFOUND OR INSANE. IF YOU START DATING, YOU NEVER SEE YOUR FRIENDS ANYMORE. IT'S JUST STRING THEORY, 24/7." Physical Theories as Women, an uncharacteristically good McSweeney's list. And here is the same list updated for men.
Analytical Classical Mechanics is the self-absorbed, older intellectual that you date because you've decided you're tired of immature physical theories who refuse to grow up and take some responsibility. He's a bit pretentious and likes to pontificate about science as a social construct. He's also a snob: he listens only to classical music, and despises all popular culture (excepting the films of Ingmar Bergman)...
# Posted by The Rat @ 6:16 PM
( 6:05 PM ) The Rat
JUST AS I ALWAYS SUSPECTED!
During the current millenium, there have been four major epidemics of sexually transmitted disease as noted by contemporaries. In the Western World there was an apparent gonorrhea epidemic in the Thirteenth Century, syphilis epidemics in the Sixteenth and Nineteenth Centuries, and AIDS in the current century (Moodle, 1923; Long, 1929; Bayon, 1990). During each of those periods there seemed to emerge a sexual focus on the female foot. This focus apparently coincided with each of the first three epidemics and disappeared with the epidemic's subsidence, usually after 30-60 years (McKmney, 1965; Windle, 1992). This focus on feet was unique to each of these epidemic periods...
# Posted by The Rat @ 6:05 PM
( 5:44 PM ) The Rat
FREE CABIN PORN, in case any of my readers were still actually paying for their cabin porn.
# Posted by The Rat @ 5:44 PM
( 5:39 PM ) The Rat
"A FORMER NURSING STUDENT WHO NOW TENDS BAR, MS. STRADER SAID HER BOYFRIEND WAS SO DEPENDENT THAT SHE HAD TO BUY HIS CIGARETTES." A Child Out of Wedlock Is the New Normal, via AB. What could possibly go wrong?
It used to be called illegitimacy. Now it is the new normal. After steadily rising for five decades, the share of children born to unmarried women has crossed a threshold: more than half of births to American women under 30 occur outside marriage.
Once largely limited to poor women and minorities, motherhood without marriage has settled deeply into middle America. The fastest growth in the last two decades has occurred among white women in their 20s who have some college education but no four-year degree, according to Child Trends, a Washington research group that analyzed government data.
Among mothers of all ages, a majority—59 percent in 2009—are married when they have children. But the surge of births outside marriage among younger women—nearly two-thirds of children in the United States are born to mothers under 30—is both a symbol of the transforming family and a hint of coming generational change.
One group still largely resists the trend: college graduates, who overwhelmingly marry before having children. That is turning family structure into a new class divide, with the economic and social rewards of marriage increasingly reserved for people with the most education.
"Marriage has become a luxury good," said Frank Furstenberg, a sociologist at the University of Pennsylvania...
# Posted by The Rat @ 5:39 PM
( 4:59 PM ) The Rat
"EVERYONE KNOWS AT A WEDDING YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO CUT THE CAKE, BUT INSTEAD IT EXPLODES. WHEN YOU'RE SUBVERTING THE 'NORMAL PROCEDURE' IT BECOMES MORE POWERFUL." Exploding Food: Bompas and Parr Shake Up That Special Event, via Wait Wait.
Often weddings, private parties and corporate events risk being a bit generic. You'll encounter the same cover band, canapés, champagne, sponge or dodgy fruitcake at each 'do,' with each event eventually blurring into one.
Well, this is one new party trick that will definitely not fail to turn heads. For a fee, a trained explosives technician can lay charges within your wedding cake (or food of choice), which you can detonate at the climax of the evening, to the surprise of your poor unknowing guests.
Bompas said they were initially interested in exploding jellies as more of an art-based project, but then they thought it would be more interesting to incorporate the idea into wedding cakes at real functions, "to make an event go off with a bang."
"People spend a lot of money on wedding cakes, but that they don't always taste particularly nice," said Bompas. "You put the knife in, cut it and it's all a bit of an anti-climax. Plus, when you go behind the scenes, a lot of it ends up going in the bin," he added.
"We thought what would be much more fun would be to embrace the fact that the wedding cake is often the focal point and explode the cake so that it creates the greatest spectacle possible," said Bompas...
# Posted by The Rat @ 4:59 PM
( 8:10 AM ) The Rat
A HOUDINI ESCAPE: DRIVER SURVIVES A 20-TON BOULDER DROPPING ON CAR ROOF. You know, if this happened to me I would just figure I'd just burned my entire ration of good luck for the rest of my life.
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:10 AM
( 8:09 AM ) The Rat
KNICKS DOCTORS CONTINUE CAREFULLY REINJURING CARMELO ANTHONY'S GROIN, via the Onion.
"Carmelo's injury really isn't that unusual or severe, as these things go, so we've had to be persistent in striking him repeatedly and forcefully in the crotch to prevent him from returning to the lineup," Knicks team doctor Craig McConnell said Friday. "We've had our trainers out there working with him every day, stretching his groin to a painful extent before hitting him with everything they can—clipboards, water bottles, basketballs, rolls of tape, fists, feet, you name it."
"Did you see Jeremy Lin scored more points in his first five games than any player in NBA history?" said McConnell, adding that the only thing that makes him feel better than watching Lin's success is the sight of Carmelo Anthony rolling on the ground cradling his testicles. "It's a great time to be a Knicks fan, that's for certain"...
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:09 AM
Friday, February 17, 2012
( 6:36 PM ) The Rat
YALE STUDY PROVES NOBODY IS GENETICALLY PERFECT. Wacky stuff in this.
The study shows no individual has a full complement of functional genes. On average, each individual has 20 genes where both copies of the gene are disabled.
"In total, this study identified 253 such genes. This means at least one percent of human genes can be shut down without causing serious disease," explains Mark Gerstein, Albert L. Williams Professor of Biomedical Informatics, co-senior author from Yale University...
# Posted by The Rat @ 6:36 PM
( 4:03 PM ) The Rat
DAN SAVAGE ON THE PRICE OF ADMISSION.
People have—when they're young—have this idea that there's somebody out there who's perfect for me, there's like some ideal, there's 'The One.' The One does not fucking exist. The One is a lie. But—the beautiful part of the lie is that it's a lie you can tell yourself. In a relationship—a long-term relationship that's successful is really a myth that two people create together. Every long-term relationship is a myth, and myths are built of lies. And there's usually some kernel of truth. My boyfriend and I have a relationship built on a solid foundation of lies and deceit. When you think about it—you meet somebody for the first time, and they're not presenting, you know, their warts-and-all self to you. They're presenting their idealized self to you—they're leading with their best. Right? And then eventually you're farting in front of each other. Eventually you get to see the person who was behind that facade of their best, right? And they get to see the person behind your facade—you know, your Lie Self, this lie that you presented to them about who you really are. And what's beautiful about a long-term relationship, and what can be transformative about it, is—I pretend every day that my boyfriend is the lie that I met, when I first met him. And he does the same favor to me—he pretends I'm that better person than I actually am—even though he knows I'm not, even though I know he's not. And we then are obligated to live up to the lies we told each other about who we are. We are then forced to be better people than we actually are—because it's expected of us by each other.
And you can, in a long-term relationship, really make your Lie Self come true—if you're smart, and if you demand it of them, and you're willing to give it to them. You have to be willing not to see him chewing with his mouth open, if you want to be around for his better qualities—you know, and buy into the Lie version of him that never does that. Right? And they will hopefully do the same for you. And that's the only way you become The One. It's because somebody is willing to pretend you are—The One that they were waiting for, The One they wanted, their One. Because you're not—nobody is. No two people are perfect for each other, ever, period. No two people are 100 percent sexually compatible; no two people are 100 percent emotionally compatible; no two people want the same things. And if you can't reconcile yourself to that, you will have no relationships that last longer than two months. And you know what?—it's not going to be their fault. It's going to be your fault.
# Posted by The Rat @ 4:03 PM
( 2:18 PM ) The Rat
INTERRACIAL MARRIAGES IN U.S. REACH A RECORD. Note, however:
As intermarriage has climbed, the rate of outmarriage among Asians has declined, most likely because the pool of people who are members of the same group and of marrying age has swelled. The share of Asian newlyweds who married outside of their group dropped to 28% in 2010 from 31% in 2008.
Jen Kim and Jason Ma, U.S.-born children of Korean immigrants who married last year, weren't looking for a fellow Korean-American to wed when they met in New York five years ago.
In fact, "Jason was the first Korean I ever dated," recalled Ms. Kim, 33, who is an art conservator. Mr. Ma, who is a reporter, says he had dated both Asian and white women.
Being from the same group means "it's convenient when our parents meet and when it comes to eating [Korean] food," said Mr. Ma.
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:18 PM
( 12:43 PM ) The Rat
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:43 PM
( 11:10 AM ) The Rat
"HE'S SO FULL OF BIFIDUS REGULARIS HE DOESN'T EVEN KNOW WHAT PLANET HE'S ON," via ATIAC.
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:10 AM
( 8:36 AM ) The Rat
"WE FELT WE WERE POWERED BY THE REVOLUTION."
On a good day in Cairo, running is a challenge: Chaotic traffic, pollution, heat, and cultural stigmas are constant pressures. But for 18 days last January and February, a group of Cairo runners ran around an obstacle they'd never prepared for–a revolution. Today, as Egyptians celebrate the anniversary of their emerging democracy, members of the Maadi Runners club (shown in Tahrir Square after dictator Hosni Mubarak resigned) reflect on what it was like to train for the March 2011 Barcelona Marathon in the midst of a world-changing social uprising...
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:36 AM
( 7:44 AM ) The Rat
WILL LIN-SANITY TAME TIGER MOMS? Heh.
The day after watching Jeremy Lin drop 38 points on Kobe Bryant and the Lakers on Friday, I called my mother to ask her if she'd heard about the game. She said yes. In fact, she'd seen it. "Everybody’s watching Jeremy!" she said—he's the pride of the Taiwanese-American community, after all.
"So what if I'd decided to play basketball for a living? Would you have been okay with that?" I asked.
She snorted. "We couldn't even get you to go out and exercise," she reminded me. "The only games you wanted to play involved silly dice."
Let’s move on, Mom. "The point I'm trying to make is, you see how successful Jeremy is—does it make you and your friends more likely to let their kids pursue whatever dreams they want?"
My mom laughed. "Well, we let you become a journalist, didn't we?" she said. "That's even worse."
It's always hard to argue with my mother's scathing logic, but I went into the breach one more time: "I think the lesson of Jeremy Lin is that parents really have to let their kids choose their own goals, don't you think?"
There was a thoughtful silence on the other side of the line.
"I think the lesson of Jeremy Lin is, 'Go to Harvard first.'"
# Posted by The Rat @ 7:44 AM
( 7:34 AM ) The Rat
HOW TO OPTIMIZE YOUR CAFFEINE INTAKE. The app doesn't actually adjust for whether you're a fast or slow metabolizer of caffeine.
# Posted by The Rat @ 7:34 AM
Thursday, February 16, 2012
( 5:38 PM ) The Rat
WHO'S MESSING AROUND WITH ROMANTIC COURTSHIP? Depressing.
If there were a Romantic Courtship Hall of Fame, the cell phone and the Internet would have their own wing by now. Down the hall you'd see Plato, the ancient Greek philosopher who talked about deep spiritual love called 'agape.' Near the gift shop you might pass the inventors of chivalry—medieval knights who won the keys to maidens' chastity belts by slaying proverbial dragons.
Oh yeah, and don't forget about a third-century bishop named Valentine who, according to legend, performed illegal Christian marriages in secret. Some say St. Valentine's Day marks the date he was executed by the Romans—February 14.
As a culture, we've said buh-bye to scented envelopes containing heartfelt love letters written in calligraphy on fine stationery. No more treasured bundles of love notes tied up in brightly colored ribbons and handed down to the grandchildren.
It's enough to make Emory University professor Mark Bauerlein wonder whether Facebook essentially killed the love letter...
# Posted by The Rat @ 5:38 PM
( 5:36 PM ) The Rat
"IT'S AN ENTIRE GENERATION THAT HASN'T WATCHED THE GODFATHER AND DOESN'T UNDERSTAND THE PHRASE 'IT'S BUSINESS, NOT PERSONAL.'" Law Students Sue School Over Being Graded on a Curve, via IKM.
# Posted by The Rat @ 5:36 PM
( 4:25 PM ) The Rat
HIGHEST SINGLE MOVE 'WORDS WITH FRIENDS' SCORE. Didn't I have a dream like this?
# Posted by The Rat @ 4:25 PM
( 2:56 PM ) The Rat
ARE NEW YORK'S MOST EXCLUSIVE RESTAURANTS MORE EAGER TO SEAT JEREMY LIN OR ELI MANNING? via WC. Hilarious.
Who's the biggest thing in New York right now? Is it Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin, the unlikely guy leading his team on an improbable charge to .500, collecting terrible, punning tabloid headlines along the way? Or is it Giants quarterback Eli Manning, the unlikely guy who led his team on an improbable charge to the Super Bowl, collecting terrible, punning tabloid headlines along the way?
To find out, on Wednesday we called 18 of New York's most exclusive restaurants, with one of us posing as an assistant to Lin and another as a representative for Manning. For each athlete, we were looking for a table for six people at 8 p.m. today, an off-day for the Knicks—and, this being a Thursday, a very busy one for New York's finest dining establishments. Most of the restaurants listed below are famously difficult places to find a table; some are booked up well into spring. So who got seated where (and when)?
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:56 PM
( 10:04 AM ) The Rat
"DON'T BE FAMILIAR WITH THE HEADWAITER" and other Tips for Single Women, 1938.
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:04 AM
( 9:47 AM ) The Rat
SLOW WALKING 'PREDICTS DEMENTIA,' via WC.
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:47 AM
( 9:38 AM ) The Rat
IN JEREMY LIN, A STEREOTYPE THAT SHOULD BE CELEBRATED. Seen elsewhere, the quip: "This is the only time people have ever been surprised by the success of an Asian-American Harvard graduate."
I'm an Ivy League graduate and a crazed basketball fan. That gives me two very good reasons to celebrate the meteoric rise of Jeremy Lin, the Harvard-educated point guard who has brought the New York Knicks back to life.
But I'm also a university professor. So I'm troubled by the much-heard refrain that Lin—whose parents are Taiwanese immigrants—has "overcome the Asian stereotype." In the popular mind, this story goes, Asian Americans are quiet, studious and really good at math. By scoring 20 or more points in each of his first six NBA starts, including 38 against Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers, Lin supposedly dealt a decisive blow against an insidious ethnic caricature.
But isn't that stereotype—especially the part about studying hard a very good model to follow? Why should anyone want or need to "overcome" it?
Here's one sad answer: In our college admissions process, especially, we punish Asian Americans who hew too closely to the stereotype. Rather than rewarding students for their individual effort and achievement, we effectively penalize them for doing so well as a group.
In fact, the Education Department is currently investigating a complaint against Harvard—Jeremy Lin's alma mater—for allegedly discriminating against Asian Americans in admissions. The department is also looking at Princeton, where a faculty member's own research has shown that Asian Americans need SAT scores about 140 points higher than white students'—when everything else is equal—to have the same chance of getting into an elite college...
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:38 AM
( 8:34 AM ) The Rat
PARTNERS MAIN SOURCE OF HAPPINESS AROUND THE GLOBE, via IKM. I think the moral here is to have sex with Brazilians rather than with Japanese.
For many couples, about 38 percent globally, the best thing about their relationship was the sex, according to the poll. This was especially true for Brazilians. Nearly 60 percent said that nothing could make them happier than having a good sex life.
But the Japanese, South Koreans and Britons tended to value other qualities in their partner. Only 15 percent of Japanese ranked their sex lives above all else as a source of contentment...
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:34 AM
( 8:28 AM ) The Rat
THE COMPOSITES, via TT. There is no way Emma Bovary was that skinny, dude.
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:28 AM
( 8:18 AM ) The Rat
I WOULD LIKE YOU FOR MY 'DICTATOR.' Vintage Valentine WTF, via WKO.
For more dictator-themed valentines—"Leon Trotsky thinks you're hotsky," "You are the most honorable chairman of my heart"—go here (via GV).
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:18 AM
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
( 9:57 PM ) The Rat
SHARK DEVOURS ANOTHER SHARK WHOLE. Whoa.
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:57 PM
( 9:54 PM ) The Rat
Twenty-three years ago, my husband had two dozen red roses delivered to my classroom. He told me he wanted me to have something more to remember than the one year anniversary of my mother's death. I will always remember the roses.
—from a former teacher; possibly the only time a Facebook status has ever made me choke up
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:54 PM
( 8:11 PM ) The Rat
DID YOU REMEMBER ABOUT IL BARBIERE?? It's not too late!
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:11 PM
( 3:46 PM ) The Rat
WORLD'S LEAST ROMANTIC PLACES, via Travel & Leisure.
# Posted by The Rat @ 3:46 PM
( 3:39 PM ) The Rat
SOBER DRIVER LEADS HIGH-SPEED CHASE, via Wait Wait. Kind of awesome.
Why did a sober, middle-aged man lead Butte police on a dangerous, high-speed chase through Butte and on the interstate early Thursday?
"I just always wanted to do that," he said, according to the Butte police report.
John C. Hughes, 55, is accused of trying to evade a police patrol by driving at high speeds through Butte and on the interstate just to see what it would be like, police reported...
# Posted by The Rat @ 3:39 PM
( 1:22 PM ) The Rat
IL BARBIERE can be streamed tonight, with Diana Damrau as Rosina.
# Posted by The Rat @ 1:22 PM
( 10:41 AM ) The Rat
VALENTINE'S GIFT BLAMED FOR CALIF. POWER OUTAGE, via EG. Because it's not love if it doesn't knock out the power supply to 15,000 customers!
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:41 AM
( 10:31 AM ) The Rat
BREAKDOWN OF HOW PEOPLE DIE BASE JUMPING. Yikes, but also, spellbinding.
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:31 AM
( 7:39 AM ) The Rat
"IS LOVE A 'NOW' KIND OF THING, CHUCK, OR IS IT MOSTLY HOPE AND MEMORIES?" For one of my favorite comic strips of all time, go here and scroll to May 21, 1972*. I may've been just 5 or 6 when I first read this one, but I've remembered it ever since. I guess it's possible there's stuff out there today like this—that offers, for the kind of child who's seeking it, knowledge of the wider (and sometimes melancholy) world, and in doing so honors a child's longing for wisdom—but I don't know what it is. Would it be too obvious/cranky for me to add, "THIS is what's wrong with childhood today!"? (Curiously, and while I like to think I have things in common with my friends, Peanuts was actually not formative in this way for any of my close friends, either.)
I told a fellowship committee years ago that the two writers whose cultural influence most strongly determined my subsequent personality were Confucius and Ian Fleming; but if the question had been whose writing most directly determined it, the winner (culprit?) really would have to be Schulz.
*That said, reading the strip at 6 or whatever, I actually completely missed the joke about Snoopy's ears going up. But Charlie Brown's larger point about life and memory has been with me ever since. This is why I drink, people.
# Posted by The Rat @ 7:39 AM
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
( 9:03 AM ) The Rat
"WE ALL HAVE LIKELY WONDERED ABOUT THE FLUFFINESS OF HAIR." "Rapunzel number" lets scientists predict shape of any ponytail—solving a problem posed by Leonardo da Vinci, from the Daily Mail.
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:03 AM
( 9:01 AM ) The Rat
"HE FLUSHED IT, AND HE'S LIKE, 'MOM WOULDN'T THAT BE GREAT IF I COULD HAVE THIS? COULD YOU IMAGINE ALL OF THE THINGS I COULD DO?'" Boy gets Christmas present of his dreams: a new toilet, via Wait Wait.
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:01 AM
( 1:41 AM ) The Rat
PHOTOS OF DICKENS WORLD THEME PARK.
# Posted by The Rat @ 1:41 AM
Monday, February 13, 2012
( 10:37 PM ) The Rat
The researchers compared the actual height, weight and age of 78 online daters to their profile information and photos on four matchmaking websites. A linguistic analysis of the group's written self-descriptions published in the February issue of the Journal of Communication revealed patterns in the liars' writing.
The more deceptive a dater's profile, the less likely they were to use the first-person pronoun "I."
"Liars do this because they want to distance themselves from their deceptive statements," Toma says.
The liars often employed negation, a flip of the language that would restate "happy" as "not sad" and "exciting" as "not boring." And the fabricators tended to write shorter self-descriptions in their profiles—a hedge, Toma expects, against weaving a more tangled web of deception.
"They don't want to say too much," Toma says. "Liars experience a lot of cognitive load. They have a lot to think about. They less they write, the fewer untrue things they may have to remember and support later."
Liars were also careful to skirt their own deception. Daters who had lied about their age, height or weight or had included a photo the researchers found to be less than representative of reality, were likely to avoid discussing their appearance in their written descriptions, choosing instead to talk about work or life achievements...
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:37 PM
( 9:46 PM ) The Rat
I have often wished that Emotions 101 was a class offered in grade school. Imagine if all children were required to attend a class that taught them ways of managing anger, dealing with stress and anxiety, and coping with pain and suffering.
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:46 PM
( 4:41 PM ) The Rat
THE SCALE OF THE UNIVERSE, via WC. Very cool.
# Posted by The Rat @ 4:41 PM
( 1:06 PM ) The Rat
THE L.A. OPERA HAS ANNOUNCED its 2012-13 season.
# Posted by The Rat @ 1:06 PM
( 12:16 PM ) The Rat
"ON VALENTINE'S DAY, THE MUSEUM SEES ITS VISITS ALMOST DOUBLE." More on the Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb.
The mementos—collected from all over the world—are random and varied, ranging from fake rubber breasts to a cast from a broken leg. Each item comes with dates and locations of the relationships, and notes by their anonymous donors.
Some are funny. The note next to a garter belt says: "I never put them on. The relationship might have lasted longer if I had."
Some are bitter. The garden gnome flew over a car driven by a husband who turned "arrogant and heartless." It bounced on the asphalt, shattering its face.
"It was a long loop, drawing an arc of time... that defined the end of love," the note from Slovenia said.
An ax from Berlin was used by a woman to smash every piece of furniture her girlfriend had left behind.
"The more the room filled with chopped furniture, (the more) I felt better."
The text by a blue frisbee reads: "Darling, should you ever get the ridiculous idea to walk into a cultural institution like a museum for the first time in your life, you'll remember me"...
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:16 PM
( 11:58 AM ) The Rat
TINY HOUSES. While I love nos. 1 and 9 for having wheels, and the motorized bed in no. 5 (which has affinities with various inventions in The Twenty-One Balloons), my favorite for its overall look is no. 4.
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:58 AM
( 11:38 AM ) The Rat
COLLEGES AND PROFESSIONS MOST LOVED BY THE OPPOSITE SEX IN CHINA, via WC. So that's what guys mean when they say we chicks all seem to have graduated from the Central Academy of Drama!
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:38 AM
( 11:13 AM ) The Rat
LOSING YOU WOULD BE DEVASTATING... via Someecards.
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:13 AM
Sunday, February 12, 2012
( 10:03 PM ) The Rat
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:03 PM
( 7:55 PM ) The Rat
"A PERMANENT STATE OF JET LAG," from 2007 (via a recent Forum).
# Posted by The Rat @ 7:55 PM
( 12:48 PM ) The Rat
RED-GREEN & BLUE-YELLOW: THE STUNNING COLORS YOU CAN'T SEE, via IKM.
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:48 PM
Saturday, February 11, 2012
( 9:04 PM ) The Rat
THE MOST SUBURBAN WAY TO LOSE YOUR VIRGINITY. Heh.
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:04 PM
( 8:48 PM ) The Rat
ON A LIGHTER NOTE, here are some Terrifying/awesome photographs of dogs underwater, via Nerve.
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:48 PM
( 7:26 PM ) The Rat
WHY AMERICAN KIDS ARE BRATS. Another reason? Because if you're white and rich enough, you can get away with it. (I just started skimming Eat, Pray, Love to see what all the fuss was about, and it makes me want to cut any son of mine out of the will who would even consider marrying a white woman. Seriously, if you were trying to distill every imaginable most-obnoxious trait there's ever been in all the most-obnoxious white women you've ever known, into 350 pages... you'd get this book. Everything I hate about both it and her can be inferred from just the single sentence—no, beginning-of-sentence—"For years, I'd wished I could speak Italian—a language I find more beautiful than roses [...]." That's the kind of sentence that's just about perfectly engineered to make me want to scream, Fuck you, lady!) (For further reading, see this quote.)
Like Druckerman, I've often noted wistfully how French children know how to handle themselves in restaurants. I've envied how French children eat what’s put in front of them, put themselves to bed when instructed to, and, generally, tend to help keep the wheels of family life moving pretty smoothly. But the difference that struck me the most deeply, when my family moved to Washington, D.C., from Paris and my older daughter began preschool, was how much more basically respectful French children were of other people. Indeed, how much emphasis French parents put on demanding they behave respectfully toward other people. And how that respect helped make life more enjoyable.
In the years when I was gathering wool for, and then formally researching and writing Perfect Madness, I was disheartened time and again by the ways parents in the U.S. often did just the opposite. American parents assiduously strove to make sure that their children's wants and needs came first, no matter what. This sometimes had a name—"advocating for your child"—and was clearly predicated on the belief that if you didn't yourself do it, didn't teach your child to "self-advocate," no one would, and in the great stampede for resources and rewards your child would get left behind in the dust. In my preschool-mom world back then, this took the form of letting kids step all over the feelings of other children if their own feelings so compelled them, as when a mother in suburban Maryland explained to me that she let her little girl cancel playdates right up to the last minute because she "couldn't force her" to engage in social commitments that now bored her. It never seemed to dawn upon the mother that her child’s passing boredom was less important than the other child's potentially hurt feelings; and that teaching her daughter to think of the other child's feelings would, in the long term, be better for them both.
This lack of parental empathy was brought home to me much more recently, when a mom in my then eighth grader's class complained to me about an incident in which another girl in the class had had a panic attack—a full-blown panic attack—just as the doors closed on the bus that was to take the class on a camping trip. Without a word of sympathy, the mom vented to me, "Like [my daughter] really needed to see that."
# Posted by The Rat @ 7:26 PM
( 6:07 PM ) The Rat
GUARANTEE SHE'LL RUN AWAY SCREAMING BY ASKING HER TO MARRY YOU WITH A PIZZA HUT PROPOSAL KIT. WC suggests this as a way to round out that sewage-treatment-plant tour ("Couples and singles and children and old folks—whoever shows up is welcome to a Hershey kiss"), but if your S.O.'s not quite ready to tie the knot, there's always Name a Roach!
# Posted by The Rat @ 6:07 PM
( 5:33 PM ) The Rat
WAIT... THIS IS A SECRET?!
# Posted by The Rat @ 5:33 PM
( 2:26 PM ) The Rat
HYPING CLASSROOM TECHNOLOGY HELPS TECH FIRMS, NOT STUDENTS, via WC. If you've ever taught even just one class, you already know this.
Something sounded familiar last week when I heard U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski make a huge pitch for infusing digital technology into America's classrooms.
Every schoolchild should have a laptop, they said. Because in the near future, textbooks will be a thing of the past.
Where had I heard that before? So I did a bit of research, and found it. The quote I recalled was, "Books will soon be obsolete in the schools... Our school system will be completely changed in 10 years."
The revolutionary technology being heralded in that statement wasn't the Internet or the laptop, but the motion picture. The year was 1913, and the speaker, Thomas Edison, was referring to the prospect of replacing book learning with instruction via the moving image.
He was talking through his hat then, every bit as much as Duncan and Genachowski are talking through theirs now...
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:26 PM
( 2:24 PM ) The Rat
WHY ADELE'S 'SOMEONE LIKE YOU' MAKES EVERYONE CRY, via TT. Uh, I actually didn't know it made anyone cry, for all that I like her voice; still, some interesting stuff in this. Also see Beauty is in the medial orbito-frontal cortex of the beholder, from last July.
Twenty years ago, the British psychologist John Sloboda conducted a simple experiment. He asked music lovers to identify passages of songs that reliably set off a physical reaction, such as tears or goose bumps. Participants identified 20 tear-triggering passages, and when Dr. Sloboda analyzed their properties, a trend emerged: 18 contained a musical device called an "appoggiatura"...
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:24 PM
Thursday, February 09, 2012
( 11:56 PM ) The Rat
24 FAMOUS PAINTINGS (WITH THE DIALOGUE INCLUDED), again via Cracked. My favorite's no. 12.
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:56 PM
( 10:52 PM ) The Rat
5 REAL PLACES PLUCKED STRAIGHT OUT OF FAIRY TALES, via Cracked.
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:52 PM
( 9:43 PM ) The Rat
SHOULD YOU HAVE KIDS? via TG.
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:43 PM
( 8:41 PM ) The Rat
TT ON "THE TERRIBLE SLEEP OF EVERYDAY LIFE."
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:41 PM
( 3:01 PM ) The Rat
THE WINNERS of The Oatmeal's Daily Lie meme contest have been announced (scroll down). The funniest is probably this one, but this one made me laugh super hard.
# Posted by The Rat @ 3:01 PM
( 2:32 PM ) The Rat
THE TEACHER'S DREAM TOOL, via IKM.
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:32 PM
( 2:24 PM ) The Rat
MACDADDY'S: A CT-BASED MAC-AND-CHEESE FRANCHISE THINKS BIG.
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:24 PM
( 2:00 PM ) The Rat
"BUT THIS TIME IT IS DIFFERENT—IT'S REAL CRIME." Hebridean islanders experience first crime in years, from November (found via the current News of the Weird). This is almost impossibly Onion-esque—I love how confused everybody they interviewed sounds.
"It's hard to imagine why anyone would want a policeman on Coll," boasts the official website of the remote Hebridean island.
But now the 220 inhabitants that make up what one called its "self-regulating" community might have to think again.
Because for the first time in recent years they are coming to terms with a real crime—the vandalisation of its only council-run public lavatories...
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:00 PM
( 11:27 AM ) The Rat
HEARING METAPHORS ACTIVATES BRAIN REGIONS INVOLVED IN SENSORY EXPERIENCE. Very cool.
When a friend tells you she had a rough day, do you feel sandpaper under your fingers? The brain may be replaying sensory experiences to help understand common metaphors, new research suggests.
Linguists and psychologists have debated how much the parts of the brain that mediate direct sensory experience are involved in understanding metaphors. George Lakoff and Mark Johnson, in their landmark work "Metaphors we live by," pointed out that our daily language is full of metaphors, some of which are so familiar (like "rough day") that they may not seem especially novel or striking. They argued that metaphor comprehension is grounded in our sensory and motor experiences.
New brain imaging research reveals that a region of the brain important for sensing texture through touch, the parietal operculum, is also activated when someone listens to a sentence with a textural metaphor. The same region is not activated when a similar sentence expressing the meaning of the metaphor is heard...
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:27 AM
( 11:19 AM ) The Rat
When it comes to diets, cookies and cake are off the menu. Now, in a surprising discovery, researchers from Tel Aviv University have found that dessert, as part of a balanced 600-calorie breakfast that also includes proteins and carbohydrates, can help dieters to lose more weight—and keep it off in the long run...
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:19 AM
( 10:49 AM ) The Rat
"BUT WHAT'S FUNNY ABOUT THIS SITUATION IS—THESE TWO ARE IN LOVE NOT OF THEIR OWN VOLITION. THEY BOTH HAVE DRUNK A LOVE POTION IN THE PREVIOUS ACT, AND EVEN THOUGH THIS ISN'T NECESSARILY TRUE LOVE, THE FEELINGS ARE THERE ALL THE SAME, AND THEY JUST CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF EACH OTHER. AND THEY SING ABOUT THIS FOR ABOUT THE NEXT MAYBE FORTY-FIVE MINUTES..." Eric Owens presents his five favorite opera characters and music entraces, via WQXR by way of the Met. My favorite comment on this posting at the latter's Facebook page: "Scarpia's entrance is almost like something you'd hear on Star Wars!"!
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:49 AM
( 8:46 AM ) The Rat
L.A. COUNTY OKS $1,000 FINE FOR THROWING FOOTBALL, FRISBEE ON BEACHES, via CH. I'm actually even more horrified by the last paragraph.
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:46 AM
Wednesday, February 08, 2012
( 5:51 PM ) The Rat
"THE PAIN... IT'S INDESCRIBABLE." Mark Remy's classic post on "race face," and also the follow-up from a year later ("It's less 'choking victim,' I think, and more 'angry baby who smells rotten eggs while imitating a velociraptor'").
# Posted by The Rat @ 5:51 PM
( 2:58 PM ) The Rat
FLORENCE GREEN, LAST WORLD WAR I VETERAN, DIES AT 110.
Mrs. Green, who joined the R.A.F. as a teenager shortly before war’s end, worked in an officer’s mess on the home front. Her service was officially recognized only in 2010, after a researcher unearthed her records in Britain’s National Archives.
That Mrs. Green went unrecognized for so long owes partly to the fact that she served under her maiden name, Florence Patterson, and partly to the fact that she conducted herself, by all accounts, with proper British restraint, rarely if ever flaunting her service.
It also owes to the fact that her life followed the prescribed trajectory for women of her era: by the time the 20th century had run its course, Mrs. Green had long since disappeared into marriage, motherhood and contented anonymity.
With the death in May of Claude Stanley Choules, an Englishman who served aboard a Royal Navy battleship, Mrs. Green became the last known person, male or female, to have served in the war on either side.
Her death, at a nursing home in King's Lynn, in eastern England, was announced on the Web site of the Order of the First World War, an organization based in Florida that keeps track of veterans.
In the spate of interviews she gave after her existence was discovered, Mrs. Green expressed quiet pride in her service. She also recalled approvingly the courtly behavior of the officers she served.
"It was very pleasant, and they were lovely," she once told an interviewer. "Not a bit of bother"...
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:58 PM
( 9:37 AM ) The Rat
AN AGING RUNNER GLIMPSES THE FUTURE, via Running Times. The Dipsea's handicapping rules are here.
At the end of the day, the Dipsea recognizes those runners who didn't give up when faced with a declining body. Every male winner of the last 20 years has been over 50, meaning they started during the running boom of the 1970s... and never stopped, dedicating a chunk of their lives to the pursuit of being good runners for decades. The Dipsea is their homecoming. With their wrinkles and scars, they stand at the start and at the finish for all to see, living examples of the rewards of persistence, testament that the perseverant runner can find victory over the physical setbacks of age by exercising the strength of their resolve.
I sit on the grass and envy their black shirts and proud smiles. Truthfully, I'm a bit sullen I'm not up there; my skill as a runner usually places me in the top 5 percent. But as I reconsider my perception of these codgers and shufflers, I discover I'm readjusting my expectations of my future self. At the start I saw the runners I didn't want to end up like—tired, beaten, worn-out. But at the finish I see them as the determined runners I want to become. Being a dedicated runner means using the body you have at any given moment to the best of its ability, whether you're running your first 5K or your last Dipsea. I want that gritty determination of the old man climbing the hill, and the only way to get it is to keep running. It's a race—you don't give up.
Herein lies the magic of the race I'd shunned. What other race inspires runners to keep at it? Where's the pull of running one more Boston when we once placed 1,000th but now finish 10,000th? The Dipsea entices us with the possibility of a win late in our running careers, keeping our competitive fire burning when we ourselves would have let it die. If the aim of any race is to see who doesn't give up, then the Dipsea takes the contest into another dimension, projecting this challenge of endurance onto one's running career. When time has claimed back the pursuits of youth, the Dipsea asks, "Do you have the strength and willpower to carry on? If so, we have a black shirt for you." And if I still need proof as to the merits of aging, of racing down the backside of the hill, I simply need to look up at the collection of laughter on the Dipsea podium.
Quite simply, I want to win this race someday. But saying so commits me to another decade of running strong, for no male in his 40s has won the Dipsea since 1985. Will I win? Only time will tell. Victory is moving beyond the notion that as we get older we leave all the good things behind. There are a few things we can take with us...
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:37 AM
( 7:52 AM ) The Rat
5 RIDICULOUS SEX MYTHS EVERYONE BELIEVES, via Cracked.
Unfortunately for our vast database of dorm-room-themed spank material, the truth is far less sexy. According to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (would it kill them to use a not-so-implicitly-horrifying name when studying hot girl-on-girl action?), women with bachelor's degrees were actually less likely to have dipped their toe in the pool of lesbian adventure than women who did not graduate from high school.
Of 13,500 responses, women aged 22 to 44 with college degrees admitted to having a same-sex relationship about 10 percent of the time, compared with 15 percent of women who didn't finish high school.
So how did we all get this so horribly wrong? Dan Savage, a Seattle-based gay sex columnist, weighed in on the article thusly: "A lot of [college students] are out to prove something and want their effort to smash the patriarchy to be very visible..."
That is, women with college educations aren't more likely to have had those experiences, they're just more likely to have talked about them because they think it makes them special...
# Posted by The Rat @ 7:52 AM
Tuesday, February 07, 2012
( 6:28 PM ) The Rat
Ezra. The man from Florida never identified himself, never actually gave his name. He just proceeded to tell me that he was very disappointed with Raymond, and that Raymond had disappeared. It'd been four or five days already. Absolutely no communication with him. He had a kilo of coke on him, and it belonged to the man from Florida. So he was concerned about his merchandise and his money. So this is why that man wound up at our doorstep, to help smoke Raymond out.
I hang up the phone with the guy from Florida, after he had told me that he was going to kill my children and me if Raymond didn't show up. I hang up the phone with the guy and I tell him, well, I guess we might as well get comfortable, because it looks like you're going to be here for a while, because Raymond isn't going to show up anytime soon.
Jennifer Schaller. When my mom tells the story today, there's a lot of bravado. But at the time, she was terrified, mainly for us. She wanted to keep me and my brother physically safe, but she didn't want this episode to scar us emotionally either. And so she made a decision. She would continue with the ruse as long as she needed to. She carried on normally, as if the gunmen really was an old friend, staying with us for a short time...
—"Home Alone," TAL
# Posted by The Rat @ 6:28 PM
( 4:57 PM ) The Rat
RIDDLES REVEAL LIFE OF ANCIENT MESOPOTAMIANS, via Wait Wait.
Another riddle, this one even more fragmentary and whose translation is uncertain, is also very crude.
...of your mother
is by the one who has intercourse (with her) (—What/who is it?)
The researchers aren't sure of the riddle's solution since the answer has been lost.
# Posted by The Rat @ 4:57 PM
( 3:09 PM ) The Rat
"I WISH I HAD GIMUNGUS MEATY MUSCLES LIKE THAT GUY. I BET GIRLS LINE UP AROUND THE BLOCK TO GARGLE HIS PRIVATES." At the gym: who is looking at whom, via The Oatmeal.
# Posted by The Rat @ 3:09 PM
( 10:40 AM ) The Rat
"VERY MUCH AN EQUAL-OPPORTUNITY SORT OF BARBARIAN," via A&LD.
Attila remained a threat to both the Western and the Eastern Empires, nonetheless. His armies reached as far south as Constantinople in 443; between 450 and 453 he invaded France and Italy. Oddly, but arguably creditably, the latter two campaigns were fought—so the Hun king claimed—to satisfy the honor of a Roman princess. Honoria, sister of the Western emperor, Valentinian III, had been sadly disappointed with the husband that her brother had selected for her and sent her engagement ring to Attila with a request for aid. The king chose to interpret this act as a proposal of marriage, and—demanding half the Western Empire as a dowry—he fought two bloody campaigns in Honoria's name.
Of all Attila's better qualities, though, the one that most commends him to the modern mind is his refusal to be seduced by wealth. Priscus, again, makes the point most clearly, relating that when Attila greeted the Roman ambassadors with a banquet,
tables, large enough for three or four, or even more, to sit at, were placed next to the table of Attila, so that each could take of the food on the dishes without leaving his seat. The attendant of Attila entered first with a dish full of meat, and behind him came the other attendants with bread and viands, which they laid on the tables. A luxurious meal, served on silver plate, had been made ready for us and the barbarian guests, but Attila ate nothing but meat on a wooden trencher. In everything else, too, he showed himself temperate; his cup was of wood, while to the guests were given goblets of gold and silver. His dress, too, was quite simple, affecting only to be clean. The sword he carried at his side, the latchets of his Scythian shoes, the bridle of his horse were not adorned, like those of the other Scythians, with gold or gems or anything costly...
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:40 AM
( 9:41 AM ) The Rat
"MARLENE." Via ATIAC.
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:41 AM
( 8:16 AM ) The Rat
HOUSE BILL BANS WELFARE SPENDING AT STRIP CLUBS. Wtf, man.
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:16 AM
( 8:14 AM ) The Rat
NYMPHO LIBRARIAN! indirectly via TT.
Unlike video porn, where these conventions are typically used as a wholesale substitute for narrative, porn books still feel the compulsion to tell a story, to make the glasses and bun mean something. I was curious just what story these new books were telling. What does our most current version of the librarian fantasy say about us? To answer this question, I visited the library.
Almost immediately, I hit a snag. It is close to impossible to browse a serious library's collection of porn and porn criticism without getting sucked into big, sexy historical theories. Within an hour of my visit to Harvard's Widener Library, I was beginning to suspect that smut had been behind the rise of... everything. I discovered that pornos caused the French Revolution, and that the Renaissance really got going when images of hard-core, swan-on-guy action began to circulate among the people. Every pornographer of note, it seemed, was a pop philosopher; every philosopher, a closet pornographer. As for the rise of the novel, of literary realism, this, I learned, was linked to a certain eighteenth-century depiction of a ponytailed dude taking it from behind from another ponytailed dude while the first dude gets sucked off by a chick, who is also taking it from behind from yet a third ponytailed dude, all while another chick—who happens to be wearing a lovely Dormeuse-style cap—rides piggyback on the first dude, which positions her perfectly to flog the third dude, while being orally pleasured from behind by the second dude. The caption to this illustration reads, "A Typical Scene." According to the pile of books I'd stacked onto my library desk, our story is nothing but the evolutionary history of the Porno sapiens.
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:14 AM
Monday, February 06, 2012
( 11:16 PM ) The Rat
"THAT IS A CHEETAH. A CHEETAH. A CHEETAH." 5-year-old analyzes logos, via IKM. Very cute.
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:16 PM
( 9:49 PM ) The Rat
There's an entire dining room set hidden under the clutter. Emily seizes on a stack of mail and canceled checks and starts rifling through it, but she doesn't find what she's looking for. No business card from an attorney, no photos of friends or relatives, not even a personal check, just payments to AARP, Ladies Home Journal, TV Guide. In fact, there's not a single sign that there was another person in Mary Ann's life, and I find that much stranger than the mess.
Eric Klinenberg. Is this unusual? I mean, we've now been here for maybe 45 minutes and we've not found a single personal item.
Emily. Not at all.
Eric Klinenberg. It's not unusual?
Emily. Not at all. It's hard to describe, but there is a common thread that runs through a lot of our cases, where it's just like this, people surrounding themselves with things, things rather than people. But she's surrounded herself. She almost built herself into a little cave here, behind all of her stuff. And you can tell that this is where she spent most of her time.
Eric Klinenberg. Emily's just looking for contact information, not to piece together someone's life story. But sometimes she gets those stories anyway. She tells me about one case that she can't stop thinking about. A woman's husband died in World War II. She survived another 60 years, but her personal correspondence was a record of how she'd tried to avoid moving on.
Emily. I found the letters from the military telling her that his plane went down and that they couldn't find him. I found the letter that said, we found his plane now and he's still missing. And then I found the final letter that said, we found your husband's body. And she stopped living. Never remarried. They never had children. I mean, she just was—it was like a time warp. She just completely cut off the rest of the world.
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:49 PM
( 9:37 PM ) The Rat
IF YOU COULD MAJOR IN RUNNING... via MR. Now I feel guilty that I've had so few problems with it that I can never even remember where my IT band is. (Otoh, I've probably made up the difference in calf, ankle, and foot injuries...)
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:37 PM
( 8:52 PM ) The Rat
THEY SAY 'ALLOWING VERMIN TO EXIST' LIKE IT'S A BAD THING... A Guide to Manhattan's Filthiest Starbuckses, via IKM. Don't miss the comment by MegSwan.
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:52 PM
( 4:39 PM ) The Rat
LOVE GONE WRONG? GO DIGITAL TO GET OVER AN EX.
# Posted by The Rat @ 4:39 PM
( 4:32 PM ) The Rat
"WE COULD HAVE HAD THIS MUCH SOONER IF JOHNNY APPLESEED HADN'T BEEN LACTOSE INTOLERANT." The Pie McFlurry, this week's Sandwich (?!) Monday.
# Posted by The Rat @ 4:32 PM
( 3:12 PM ) The Rat
THE COMPLEX RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MEMORY AND SILENCE, via ScienceDaily.
One well-studied example used by Stone and his colleagues to demonstrate how subtle the effects of silence can be, establishes that silences about the past occurring within a conversation do not uniformly promote forgetting. Some silences are more likely to lead to forgetting than others. People have more trouble remembering silenced memories related to what they or others talk about than silenced memories unrelated to the topic at hand. If President Bush wanted the public to forget that weapons of mass destruction figured in the build-up to the Iraq War, he should not avoid talking about the war and its build-up. Rather he should talk about the build-up and avoid any discussion of WMDs. And at a more personal level, when people talk to each other about the events of their lives, talking about happy memories may leave the unhappy memories unmentioned, but in the future, people may have more trouble remembering the unmentioned happy memories than the unmentioned sad memories.
Or to supply another example of the subtle relation between memory and silence: If your mother is asking you about your boyfriend and you tell her about yesterday's date, while thinking—but not talking—about the exciting ending of the date, that romantic finish may linger longer in your memory than if you just answered her questions without thinking about the later part of the evening...
# Posted by The Rat @ 3:12 PM
( 2:15 PM ) The Rat
SALON MERITAGE TO REOPEN THIS SUMMER.
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:15 PM
( 2:12 PM ) The Rat
SIMPSONS DOLLS BANNED IN IRAN AS 'PROMOTERS OF WESTERN CULTURE.'
According to Shargh, an independent newspaper, the Simpsons were banned to avoid the promotion of Western culture, putting Bart and Homer alongside Barbie on an Iranian toy blacklist. Superman and Spider-Man were allowed because they helped the 'oppressed,' the Associated Press reported...
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:12 PM
( 10:54 AM ) The Rat
"BUT IT WAS CLEAR TO HIM THAT HIS PEACE OF MIND WAS LOST, PERHAPS, FOR EVER, AND THAT IN THAT LITTLE TWO-STORY HOUSE HAPPINESS WAS HENCEFORTH IMPOSSIBLE..." Ratty wishes everyone could just be required to read "The Teacher of Literature" (also translated as "The Russian Master"), rather than having to actually go through the experience of aging, which has much the same effect.
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:54 AM
( 10:24 AM ) The Rat
TEN THINGS I HAVE LEARNED, via TT. Most of my life can be explained by the fact that my ratios are way off with respect to no. 3.
7. How you live changes your brain. The brain is the most responsive organ of the body. Actually it is the organ that is most susceptible to change and regeneration of all the organs in the body. I have a friend named Gerald Edelman who was a great scholar of brain studies and he says that the analogy of the brain to a computer is pathetic. The brain is actually more like an overgrown garden that is constantly growing and throwing off seeds, regenerating and so on. And he believes that the brain is susceptible, in a way that we are not fully conscious of, to almost every experience of our life and every encounter we have. I was fascinated by a story in a newspaper a few years ago about the search for perfect pitch. A group of scientists decided that they were going to find out why certain people have perfect pitch. You know certain people hear a note precisely and are able to replicate it at exactly the right pitch. Some people have relevant pitch; perfect pitch is rare even among musicians. The scientists discovered—I don't know how—that among people with perfect pitch the brain was different. Certain lobes of the brain had undergone some change or deformation that was always present with those who had perfect pitch. This was interesting enough in itself. But then they discovered something even more fascinating. If you took a bunch of kids and taught them to play the violin at the age of 4 or 5 after a couple of years some of them developed perfect pitch, and in all of those cases their brain structure had changed. Well what could that mean for the rest of us? We tend to believe that the mind affects the body and the body affects the mind, although we do not generally believe that everything we do affects the brain. I am convinced that if someone was to yell at me from across the street my brain could be affected and my life might be changed...
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:24 AM
( 10:11 AM ) The Rat
GILDING THE PSYCHEDELIC LILY.
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:11 AM
Sunday, February 05, 2012
( 9:45 PM ) The Rat
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:45 PM
( 7:53 PM ) The Rat
MY MOM tried explaining the rules of football to me nearly 30 years ago, but my understanding of them is still limited to about this.
# Posted by The Rat @ 7:53 PM
( 7:30 PM ) The Rat
TYLER CLEMENTI'S SUICIDE AND DHARUN RAVI'S TRIAL, via MC. Excruciating read. Kids, don't ever be parents. And if you're a parent, don't ever have teenagers, gay or straight.
When Ravi picked up the conversation with Tam the next afternoon, he said, "I still don't really care, except what my parents are going to say. My dad is going to throw him out the window." That day, Ravi also messaged with Bigeaglefan75—a friend, unidentified in court documents, who observed that Picone "looks like a freaking woman" and was likely to "blow you in your sleep." Ravi's language was more restrained, and he replied to the oral-sex comment by saying, "I'm pretty sure he's majoring in theater."
At one point, Bigeaglefan75 said of the roommate, "What if he wants you / wont that get awk." Ravi replied, "He probs would. / Why would it be awk. / He'd want me / I wouldn't want him." Bigeaglefan75 reinforced a thought from the previous night: "He'll bring back mad hot girls to your room and then you can be like / ladies / im not gay." Ravi laughed and said, "I'm not really angry or sad," adding "idc"—"I don't care." But even as he struck this note of equanimity he mentioned that he had forwarded a video clip of Picone to everyone he knew.
Ravi seems to have kept two ideas of Picone separate: Picone was someone he might come to like, but he was also material for a "gay roommate" news scoop. Ravi certainly appears to have cared a lot more about the reputational value of gossip than about Picone's sexuality. (In witness statements taken for the Clementi case, nobody has recalled Ravi being contemptuous of gay people.) If this helps protect him from the charge of extreme prejudice, he might still be accused of lacking empathy: there's no sign that he was inhibited by the fear that he might cause his roommate embarrassment, or annoyance, by discussing him on Facebook and Twitter. His Twitter account—@Dharun—was public and easy to find. Tyler Clementi read that first tweet about himself before he started at Rutgers...
# Posted by The Rat @ 7:30 PM
( 5:10 PM ) The Rat
WONDER DOG, via IKM. Read, but bring a hanky.
The morning after Chancer's first night in the house outside Atlanta, the Winokurs woke up after a full night's sleep for almost the first time since 1999. They looked at each other in semihorror: was Iyal still alive? They found him snoozing beside the big yellow dog, the latter hogging the mattress. Since Chancer's arrival in the house, they've rarely been disturbed in the night. Iyal may still wake up, but he's evidently reassured by the dog's presence and returns to sleep.
"The moment he walked in the house with Chancer, I knew something had changed," Harvey says. "I could feel it instantly, the magnetism between Iyal and the dog.... Chancer was an emotional and physical anchor for a kid who was pretty lost in the world."
When Iyal is distressed, Chancer is distressed. Unlike Iyal, Chancer knows what to do about it. Iyal rages by crossing his arms, sitting down hard on the floor and screaming and kicking. Chancer unknots the crossed arms by inserting his wide muzzle through the locked arms from below, opening them up and nuzzling toward Iyal's face, licking and slobbering, until the boy's screams turn to tears of remorse or to laughter.
Chancer sometimes heads off tantrums before they start. If a tutor or a therapist has worked with Iyal in the dining room a bit too long, Chancer moves between the visitor and the boy, clearly relaying: We're done for today. From two floors away, he will alert, flicking his ears, tuning in. Sensing that Iyal is nearing a breaking point, he gallops up or down the stairs to find him, playfully head-butts and pushes him down to the floor, gets on top of him, stretches out and relaxes with a satisfied groan. Helplessly pinned under Chancer, Iyal resists, squawks and then relaxes, too. The big dog lies on top of the boy he loves, and seals him off from the dizzying and incomprehensible world for a while.
When I ask Dulebohn about Chancer's preternatural sensitivity, he says: "We trained Chancer to disrupt tantrums. Being able to prevent tantrums is coming from subtle training within the family. He may be reading Donnie's body language or facial expressions, or he may be smelling some chemical changes in Iyal or hearing some noises from him that predict a tantrum. He feels rewarded when Iyal stabilizes"...
One of my favorite bits:
For socialization, Dulebohn places foster puppies with local families, and for basic obedience training he places them with specially chosen inmates in regional prisons. "Convicted murderers cry when it's time to give back their dogs," Shirk says. "But we give them another one." Since most 4 Paws dogs go to children—and children want playmates more than they want therapists and trackers—Dulebohn asks the prisoners to teach their pups tricks, including "Roll over," "Speak," "Gimme five" and "Play dead."
"I learned with Ben that a dog helps you make friends," Shirk says. "We place dogs with kids in wheelchairs, kids on ventilators, kids with autism, kids with dwarfism, kids with seizure disorder and cognitive impairments; but if your dog does tricks, other kids want to meet you. Kids will ignore your disability if you've got a cool dog."
One prisoner with a sense of humor returned a dog who—upon hearing the command "Play dead"—lurched, as if shot, staggered across the floor, knelt, got up, buckled, whined piteously and then dramatically collapsed...
# Posted by The Rat @ 5:10 PM