The Rat
Sunday, December 30, 2012
      ( 8:06 PM ) The Rat  
WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG...

# Posted by The Rat @ 8:06 PM


      ( 5:56 PM ) The Rat  
NO HEIR TO RUN THE COMPANY? WHY ADULT 'ADOPTION' IS BIG BUSINESS IN JAPAN.

# Posted by The Rat @ 5:56 PM


      ( 2:23 PM ) The Rat  
I also long ago developed the habit of underlining memorable passages in books and writing down any strange or unusual words on the inside flap of the back cover and then looking them up later. Words like "azoic" and "frottage" and "omphalos," odd, lapel-grabbing words that could never be used in mainstream journalism because they stop sentences dead in their tracks, as does any reference to Pär Lagerkvist. On occasion, I have even written notes to myself, or compiled to-do lists, or drawn up schedules, though usually I do this in poetry anthologies, where there is lots of white space. It is perhaps disrespectful to scrawl "Meet Annie LeCombe at Place Saint-Michel at 6:30" or "Learn German" or "Drastically reduce wine intake" in a book by Edna St. Vincent Millay, but years later, when I stumble upon these passages, I feel transported back in time to a safer, more congenial place. The past almost always seems cozier than the present, because you can no longer remember the fears and uncertainties that clouded your future at the time. And whatever the case, you were forty years younger. The unpleasant episodes in those long-vanished decades get edited out of our memories; we easily forget the war in Vietnam, the burning cities, the myriad assassinations, the women we used to date.
One for the Books

# Posted by The Rat @ 2:23 PM



Saturday, December 29, 2012
      ( 10:55 PM ) The Rat  
"IT ISN'T JUST KIDNAPPING. IT IS A TOURIST SAFARI." Tea and Kidnapping, Sarah A. Topol's look at recent Bedouin kidnappings, from the October Atlantic.

The sheikh's brother Mohammed, a wiry drug runner, nodded vigorously: "Tourists come to Egypt and pay for this kind of experience," he said, beaming. "Now they are getting the same thing for free!"


# Posted by The Rat @ 10:55 PM


      ( 9:27 PM ) The Rat  
THE ULTIMATE THREAT.

# Posted by The Rat @ 9:27 PM


      ( 12:45 PM ) The Rat  
JEAN S. HARRIS, KILLER OF SCARSCALE DIET DOCTOR, DIES AT 89, via WKO. You know you've led an unusual life when your obituary in the NYT sounds like an obituary in the Telegraph.

Mrs. Harris was sentenced to 15 years to life, and spent 12 of those years at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in Westchester County, N.Y. But she managed to salvage that seemingly wasted period through a remarkable prison life. She counseled fellow female prisoners on how to take care of their children, and she set up a center where infants born to inmates can spend a year near their mothers. Then, after her release in 1993 following a grant of clemency by Gov. Mario M. Cuomo, she set up a foundation that raised millions of dollars for scholarships for children of women in prison in New York State. [...]

At 10:56 on the night of March 10, 1980, the White Plains police received a telephone call from Dr. Tarnower's secluded glass-and-brick house on a 6.8-acre estate in Purchase, N.Y. Lying in an upstairs bedroom dying of four bullet wounds was Dr. Tarnower, the 69-year-old founder of the Scarsdale Medical Group, whose diet book had sold three million copies.
        
When the police arrived at the driveway, they came across Mrs. Harris, wearing tan slacks and a mink jacket, driving away. She contended that she was going to look for a phone booth to call the police. But officers found a .32-caliber gun in the glove compartment, and a detective later testified that she told him: "I did it... I've been through so much hell with him. He slept with every woman he could."

Dr. Tarnower and Mrs. Harris, the divorced mother of two grown sons and 13 years his junior, had been lovers for 14 years. But in the years before the shooting, the doctor had begun appearing at dinner parties and taking vacations with his office assistant, Lynne Tryforos, a divorced woman who was then 37. For years Dr. Tarnower, a lifelong bachelor, had refused to marry Mrs. Harris. Now, as a wealthy man, he could dally with the even younger Mrs. Tryforos.

In her eight days on the witness stand, Mrs. Harris was able to describe her betrayal with an arch wit that charmed the courtroom. She recalled how she once discovered a birthday greeting from Mrs. Tryforos to Dr. Tarnower in a small advertisement on the front page of The New York Times, and how she responded: "Herman, why don't you use the Goodyear blimp next time? I think it's available."


# Posted by The Rat @ 12:45 PM


      ( 10:47 AM ) The Rat  
"What's the deal?" he asked mildly, leaning against the kitchen doorjamb with a drink in his hand while she flapped and spread the sheets. You sore at me, or what?

"No. Of course I'm not 'sore' at you."

"You planning to go on doing this indefinitely, or what?"

"I don't know. I'm sorry if it upsets you."

And that, of course, was the other, the really important difference: it didn't upset him. It annoyed him slightly, but it didn't upset him. Why should it? It was her problem. What boundless reaches of good health, what a wealth of peace there was in this new-found ability to sort out and identify the facts of their separate personalities—this is my problem, that's your problem.

Revolutionary Road

# Posted by The Rat @ 10:47 AM



Friday, December 28, 2012
      ( 10:05 PM ) The Rat  
Through the curtains of rain, I come across another runner by one of the stone footbridges. A middle-aged man with a slight paunch, drenched gray sweatshirt, and knit cap dripping with water. He has a mustache and thick eyebrows. I wonder what's brought him out in this foul stew. We raise hands as we pass and look into the other's eyes. Is he confronting something, too—a medical diagnosis? A divorce? A death? We recognize each other, that a particular kind of work is being done out here. Then he's gone, footfalls smacking, receding. But he stays in my mind as I splash beneath the Boston University Bridge. Both of us alone out here, a community of two chasing things that will never be caught. No longer do I run from my demons, but run with them. We pace each other, the past and me. And some days, I go faster.
Running Ransom Road: Confronting the Past, One Marathon at a Time

# Posted by The Rat @ 10:05 PM


      ( 6:06 PM ) The Rat  
"NEARLY SEVEN OUT OF 10 STUDENTS SAID IT WAS 'SOMEWHAT' OR 'VERY APPROPRIATE' TO RECEIVE HELP FROM THEIR PARENTS IN WRITING A RESUME OR A COVER LETTER. ONE-FIFTH OF STUDENTS THOUGHT IT WAS FINE TO HAVE THEIR PARENTS CONTACT A PROSPECTIVE EMPLOYER."

# Posted by The Rat @ 6:06 PM


      ( 1:09 PM ) The Rat  
THE HEALTHIEST NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS, via Outside.

Research comes out every day with conflicting information on how to train, eat, and rest. Should you give up alcohol? Red meat? Or (God forbid) caffeine? Sleep more or less? To find answers, we put seven Outside editors through a range of 30-day self-denial sufferfests that yielded surprising answers about what you need for total health...

# Posted by The Rat @ 1:09 PM


      ( 12:20 PM ) The Rat  
TAKE THAT, LOUBOUTIN BRIGADE!

Fyi, if you're looking to buy these (or shark pumps), Fab.com currently has them for $30 below list price.

# Posted by The Rat @ 12:20 PM



Thursday, December 27, 2012
      ( 8:30 PM ) The Rat  
THE COLD HARD FACTS OF FREEZING TO DEATH, via Outside.

At 85 degrees, those freezing to death, in a strange, anguished paroxysm, often rip off their clothes. This phenomenon, known as paradoxical undressing, is common enough that urban hypothermia victims are sometimes initially diagnosed as victims of sexual assault. Though researchers are uncertain of the cause, the most logical explanation is that shortly before loss of consciousness, the constricted blood vessels near the body's surface suddenly dilate and produce a sensation of extreme heat against the skin...

# Posted by The Rat @ 8:30 PM


      ( 8:23 PM ) The Rat  
He touched her ear and a little bit of neck under it with his lips, and they sat quite still for many minutes which flowed by them like a small gurgling brook with the kisses of the sun upon it. Rosamond thought that no one could be more in love than she was; and Lydgate thought that after all his wild mistakes and absurd credulity, he had found perfect womanhood—felt as If already breathed upon by exquisite wedded affection such as would be bestowed by an accomplished creature who venerated his high musings and momentous labors and would never interfere with them; who would create order in the home and accounts with still magic, yet keep her fingers ready to touch the lute and transform life into romance at any moment; who was instructed to the true womanly limit and not a hair's-breadth beyond—docile, therefore, and ready to carry out behests which came from that limit. It was plainer now than ever that his notion of remaining much longer a bachelor had been a mistake: marriage would not be an obstruction but a furtherance. And happening the next day to accompany a patient to Brassing, he saw a dinner-service there which struck him as so exactly the right thing that he bought it at once. It saved time to do these things just when you thought of them, and Lydgate hated ugly crockery. The dinner-service in question was expensive, but that might be in the nature of dinner-services. Furnishing was necessarily expensive; but then it had to be done only once.

"It must be lovely," said Mrs. Vincy, when Lydgate mentioned his purchase with some descriptive touches. "Just what Rosy ought to have. I trust in heaven it won't be broken!"

"One must hire servants who will not break things," said Lydgate. (Certainly, this was reasoning with an imperfect vision of sequences. But at that period there was no sort of reasoning which was not more or less sanctioned by men of science.)

Middlemarch

# Posted by The Rat @ 8:23 PM


      ( 4:17 PM ) The Rat  
BEACHED WHALE IN NYC DIES.

# Posted by The Rat @ 4:17 PM


      ( 11:14 AM ) The Rat  
And so she decided to take care of her need for sex in the same way she took care of paying her bills, finding cheap airfare, and buying her kids' school uniforms—she went online.

Katie had seen ads on TV for online dating, so she picked the site that seemed the least likely to yield "true love." She typed in her basic requirements—male, twenty-five to forty-five, within a twenty-mile radius—then hit "enter." Suddenly her screen was full of fuzzy little photos of men of all colors, shapes, and sizes.

She felt like a kid in a candy store, only this was a store where all the candy seemed just a slight bit off. The Milky Ways didn't have any caramel, the peanuts in the Snickers were kind of stale, and inside the smooth colorful shells of the M&Ms lurked something dark and sinister.

Point, Click, Love

# Posted by The Rat @ 11:14 AM


      ( 10:29 AM ) The Rat  
TWO CAUTIONARY TALES OF GUN CONTROL, via WKO.

# Posted by The Rat @ 10:29 AM


      ( 9:31 AM ) The Rat  
"THOUGH FITZGERALD IS A COMPETENT TRANSLATOR OF HOMER'S SPIKE LEE-INFLUENCED [AEOLIAN]..."

# Posted by The Rat @ 9:31 AM


      ( 9:25 AM ) The Rat  
But later still, flat on his back in the darkness upstairs, he was of no use to her at all. He could feel the wide-awake tension of her lying there beside him; he could hear the light rasp of her breathing, with its little telltale quiver near the crest of each inhalation, and he knew that if he so much as touched her—if he so much as turned to her and let her know he was awake—she would be in his arms and sobbing, getting the whole thing out of her system into his neck, while he stroked her back and whispered, "What's the matter, baby? Huh? What's the matter? Tell Daddy."

And he couldn't do it. He couldn't make the effort. He didn't want her tears soaking into his pajama top; he didn't want her warm, shuddering spine in the palm of his hand. Not tonight, anyway; not now. He was in no shape to comfort anybody.

Paris! The very sound of the name of the place had gone straight to the tender root of everything, had taken him back to a time when the weight of the world rode as light and clean as the proud invisible bird whose talons seemed always to grip the place where the lieutenant's bar lay pinned on the shoulder of his Eisenhower jacket. Oh, he remembered the avenues of Paris, and the trees, and the miraculous ease of conquest in the evenings ("You want the big one, Campbell? Okay, you take the big one and I'll take the little one. Hey, Ma'm'selle... 'Scuse me, Ma'm'selle...") and the mornings, the lost blue-and-yellow mornings with their hot little cups of coffee, their fresh rolls, and their promise of everlasting life.

Revolutionary Road

# Posted by The Rat @ 9:25 AM


      ( 9:14 AM ) The Rat  
THE TRANSITION from being young to no longer being so young would be easier if somebody could adequately prepare us for this phenomenon and its application across most realms of life.

# Posted by The Rat @ 9:14 AM


      ( 1:53 AM ) The Rat  
"ACCORDING TO THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF OBSTETRICS AND GYNECOLOGY, YOUR MOOD CAN CHANGE DURING THE LAST TWO WEEKS OF YOUR MENSTRUAL CYCLE AS WELL AS TWO WEEKS BEFORE YOUR PERIOD." Eight Medical Reasons Why You May Be Always Angry, via IKM.

# Posted by The Rat @ 1:53 AM



Wednesday, December 26, 2012
      ( 11:09 PM ) The Rat  
"A BRAVE PAPER IN A CONTROVERSIAL AREA."

# Posted by The Rat @ 11:09 PM


      ( 9:12 PM ) The Rat  
THE PYRAMID OF CAPITALISM, 1911.

# Posted by The Rat @ 9:12 PM


      ( 11:37 AM ) The Rat  
THE 40 HAPPIEST PHOTOS TAKEN THIS YEAR.

10 Weird Board Game Facts You Probably Didn't Know is good too.

# Posted by The Rat @ 11:37 AM


      ( 10:33 AM ) The Rat  
THE SECRET LIFE OF PRONOUNS. Stumbled across Pennebaker's book the other day; fascinating stuff. I've definitely noticed myself connecting more to people whose speech patterns tend to mirror my own (and/or tending to more mirror the speech patterns of people I connect to).

If you had access to all the words you used, what could you learn about yourself? Using a recording device programmed to switch on for about 30 seconds once every 12 to 14 minutes, I have been able to analyse my family's interactions.

The first weekend I wore it seemed uneventful. But when I transcribed my recording I was distressed to see the way I spoke to my 12-year-old son. My tone was often detached. I used big words, lots of articles and few pronouns. My language was warmer with my wife and daughter...


# Posted by The Rat @ 10:33 AM



Tuesday, December 25, 2012
      ( 9:07 AM ) The Rat  
BOSS FIRES ASSISTANT FOR BEING 'IRRESISTIBLE'—AND COURT RULES HE'S RIGHT (to go by the guy's Yelp reviews, looks like there are some dissenting views) and Swaziland bans 'rape-provoking' miniskirts, both by way of Harper's.

However, the ban does not apply to traditional costumes worn by young women during ceremonies like the annual Reed Dance, where the ruling King Mswati III chooses a wife.

The flamboyant king already has 13 wives.

During the ceremony, beaded traditional skirts worn by young bare-breasted virgins only cover the front, leaving the back exposed. Underwear is not allowed...


# Posted by The Rat @ 9:07 AM


      ( 12:18 AM ) The Rat  
A PASSAGE from Richard Yates's Revolutionary Road that neatly encapsulates why Ratty does not too terribly regret not having embarked upon her first "serious" relationship till nearly 28. (Or as Agatha Christie more economically has her narrator observe in another context: "Poirot sighed. He was glad that he was no longer young.")

But as college wore on he began to be haunted by numberless small depressions, and these tended to increase in the weeks after college was over, when the other two men had taken to using their keys less and less frequently and he was staying alone in the Bethune Street place, taking odd jobs to buy his food while he thought things out. It nagged him, in particular, that none of the girls he'd known so far had given him a sense of unalloyed triumph. One had been very pretty except for unpardonably thick ankles, and one had been intelligent, though possessed of an annoying tendency to mother him, but he had to admit that none had been first-rate. Nor was he ever in doubt of what he meant by a first-rate girl, though he'd never yet come close enough to one to touch her hand. There had been two or three of them in the various high schools he'd attended, disdainfully unaware of him in their concern with college boys from out of town; what few he'd seen in the army had most often been seen in flickering miniature, on strains of dance music, through the distant golden windows of an officers' club, and though he'd seen plenty of them since then, in New York, they had always been climbing in or out of taxicabs, followed by the grimly hovering presences of men who looked as if they'd never been boys at all.

Why not let well enough alone? As an intense, nicotine-stained, Jean-Paul Sartre sort of man, wasn't it simple logic to expect that he'd be limited to intense, nicotine-stained, Jean-Paul Sartre sorts of women? But this was the counsel of defeat, and one night, bolstered by four straight gulps of whiskey at a party in Morningside Heights, he followed the counsel of victory. "I guess I didn't get your name," he said to the exceptionally first-rate girl whose shining hair and splendid legs had drawn him halfway across a roomful of strangers. "Are you Pamela?"

"No," she said. "That's Pamela over there. I'm April. April Johnson."

Within five minutes he found he could make April Johnson laugh, that he could not only hold the steady attention of her wide gray eyes but could make their pupils dart up and down and around in little arcs while he talked to her, as if the very shape and texture of his face were matters of absorbing interest.

"What do you do?"

"I'm a longshoreman."

"No, I mean really."

"I mean really too." And he would have showed her his palms to prove it if he hadn't been afraid she could tell the difference between calluses and blisters. For the past week, under the guidance of a roughhewn college friend, he had been self-consciously "shaping up" on the docks each morning and swaying under the weight of fruit crates. "Starting Monday, though, I've got a better job. Night cashier in a cafeteria."

"Well but I don't mean things like that. I mean what are you really interested in?"

"Honey—" (and he was still young enough so that the audacity of saying "Honey" on such short acquaintance made him blush) "—Honey, if I had the answer to that one I bet I'd bore us both to death in half an hour."

Five minutes later, dancing, he found that the small of April Johnson's back rode as neatly in his hand as if it had been made for that purpose; and a week after that, almost to the day, she was lying miraculously nude beside him in the first blue light of day on Bethune Street, drawing her delicate forefinger down his face from brow to chin and whispering: "It's true, Frank. I mean it. You're the most interesting person I've ever met."

# Posted by The Rat @ 12:18 AM



Monday, December 24, 2012
      ( 8:47 PM ) The Rat  
"ONE CHILD ASKED FOR EVA LONGORIA..." A 'dad' is tenth most popular Christmas list request for children, via the Telegraph. Somewhat reminiscent of David Sedaris's "Santaland Diaries": "Today, a child told Santa that he wanted his dead father back and a complete set of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Everyone loves those turtles."

# Posted by The Rat @ 8:47 PM


      ( 1:02 AM ) The Rat  
NASA'S TOP IMAGES OF 2012. Nom!

# Posted by The Rat @ 1:02 AM



Sunday, December 23, 2012
      ( 1:19 PM ) The Rat  
SINGLE GRAVESTONE SITS ALONE IN CHINESE BUILDING SITE. Zoiks. (Worth clicking through for both photos.)

# Posted by The Rat @ 1:19 PM


      ( 1:09 PM ) The Rat  
BIOFUEL CREDITS BEHIND MYSTERY CROSS-BORDER TRAIN SHIPMENTS.

The mystery of the trainload of biodiesel that crossed back and forth across the Sarnia-Port Huron border without ever unloading its cargo has been solved.

CBC News received several tips after a recent story about a company shipping the same load of biodiesel back and forth by CN Rail at a cost of $2.6 million in the summer of 2010. It turns out the shipments were part of a deal by a Toronto-based company, which made several million dollars importing and exporting the fuel to exploit a loophole in a U.S. green energy program...


# Posted by The Rat @ 1:09 PM



Saturday, December 22, 2012
      ( 5:53 PM ) The Rat  
"I CAN'T SPEAK FOR THE GUY NEXT TO ME WHEEZING HIS WAY INTO OBLIVION, BUT I LEARNED STUFF. LIKE: YOU HAVE TO BE MORE IN LIFE THAN JUST AN ERECTION, EVEN IF YOU'RE AN IMPRESSIVE ONE." Bros on Broadway reviews The Performers.

# Posted by The Rat @ 5:53 PM


      ( 1:38 PM ) The Rat  
"HELLO, MY NAME IS CATHERINE DENEUVE." French football quotes of the year 2012, via WC.

# Posted by The Rat @ 1:38 PM



Friday, December 21, 2012
      ( 7:27 PM ) The Rat  
"ALL FATHERS ESSENTIALLY DRESS IN THE CLOTHING STYLE OF THE LAST GOOD YEAR OF THEIR LIVES."

# Posted by The Rat @ 7:27 PM


      ( 1:45 PM ) The Rat  
GRUMPY CAT!

# Posted by The Rat @ 1:45 PM


      ( 1:07 PM ) The Rat  
DOOMSDAYS, via The Economist by way of WC.

The most terrifying give no date exactly, like the hen in Leeds, in northern England, whose owner wrote “Christ is coming” on her eggs and pushed them back up again. The date to squawk about? 1806...

# Posted by The Rat @ 1:07 PM



Thursday, December 20, 2012
      ( 6:10 PM ) The Rat  
HUMAN HANDS EVOLVED SO WE COULD PUNCH EACH OTHER, via WC.

# Posted by The Rat @ 6:10 PM


      ( 6:08 PM ) The Rat  
9 APOCALYPSE-READY HOMES.

# Posted by The Rat @ 6:08 PM



Wednesday, December 19, 2012
      ( 11:54 AM ) The Rat  
21 BRILLIANT BRITISH PEOPLE PROBLEMS, via KC.

# Posted by The Rat @ 11:54 AM


      ( 10:14 AM ) The Rat  
UN-HITCHING THE MIDDLE CLASS, via LR.

# Posted by The Rat @ 10:14 AM



Tuesday, December 18, 2012
      ( 9:44 AM ) The Rat  
ART OF CHEESE-MAKING IS 7,500 YEARS OLD.

# Posted by The Rat @ 9:44 AM



Monday, December 17, 2012
      ( 11:52 PM ) The Rat  
5 EVERYDAY PIECES OF CLOTHING WITH SHOCKING HEALTH RISKS, via Cracked.

A 2003 study published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology asked 40 men, half completely healthy and half suffering from glaucoma, to tighten a necktie to "slightly uncomfortable" levels for three minutes, then measured their intraocular pressure. Sixty percent of the glaucoma sufferers and 70 percent of the healthy group showed increased pressure in their eyes. We're not even talking Hulk Hogan headlock levels here—just "slightly uncomfortably tight," which describes every single tie we've ever worn...

# Posted by The Rat @ 11:52 PM



Sunday, December 16, 2012
      ( 3:27 PM ) The Rat  
A WORD to the narrator in "Last Christmas (I Gave You My Heart)"—and as someone who was 8 at its '84 debut I feel fully qualified to say this: Dude, it's been 28 years in a row. Get a therapist.

# Posted by The Rat @ 3:27 PM



Friday, December 14, 2012
      ( 7:24 PM ) The Rat  
DEMERIT BADGES.

# Posted by The Rat @ 7:24 PM


      ( 2:06 PM ) The Rat  
GUYS WITH BORING JOBS REALLY HITTING IT OFF A FEW ROWS BACK ON AIRPLANE.

"I tuned them out for 30 minutes or so while listening to music, but when I took my headphones off, they were still going strong, chatting about some trade show they've both attended in Houston," said Douglas Martin, who occupies the row's window seat, adding that the two joked about the poor quality of food at the hotel near the convention center. "Then they got into how policy standards have changed a lot over the years and how numbers really dipped last quarter across the board, and at that point I dozed off"...

# Posted by The Rat @ 2:06 PM


      ( 12:25 PM ) The Rat  
THE 86-YEAR-OLD PAPERBOY.

# Posted by The Rat @ 12:25 PM


      ( 9:47 AM ) The Rat  
HONEST.

# Posted by The Rat @ 9:47 AM



Thursday, December 13, 2012
      ( 7:21 PM ) The Rat  
PLASTIC OBJECTS PHOTOGRAPHED TO LOOK LIKE SEA CREATURES.

# Posted by The Rat @ 7:21 PM


      ( 6:33 PM ) The Rat  
NOT FUNNY.

# Posted by The Rat @ 6:33 PM


      ( 11:04 AM ) The Rat  
"NANA SAID THAT?" 11 Outrageous and Bizarre Texts from Mom.

# Posted by The Rat @ 11:04 AM


      ( 10:51 AM ) The Rat  
'JEDI' RELIGION MOST POPULAR ALTERNATIVE FAITH IN ENGLAND, via AB.

# Posted by The Rat @ 10:51 AM



Wednesday, December 12, 2012
      ( 9:03 PM ) The Rat  
ADOPT A WORD. Cute idea.

# Posted by The Rat @ 9:03 PM


      ( 9:02 PM ) The Rat  
10 COMPOSTABLE, BIODEGRADABLE GIFTS THAT WON'T LAST FOREVER.

# Posted by The Rat @ 9:02 PM


      ( 12:14 AM ) The Rat  
INSOMNIA JEOPARDY, via TG.

# Posted by The Rat @ 12:14 AM



Tuesday, December 11, 2012
      ( 1:07 PM ) The Rat  
"WITH THE NEUTRALITY OF A FIELD ANTHROPOLOGIST DISPATCHED TO SUBURBIA, MR. ZLOBIN SCRUTINIZES THE AMERICAN PRACTICE OF INTERROGATING COMPLETE STRANGERS ABOUT THE DETAILS OF THEIR PREGNANCIES..." Book Translates American Minutiae for Russians, via MM.

# Posted by The Rat @ 1:07 PM


      ( 12:48 PM ) The Rat  
"THERE'S A MUCH BETTER REASON, BESIDES AESTHETICS, TO AVOID THE FLAT BUTT SYNDROME FOUND IN MOST OLDER WOMEN." Pelvic Floor Party: Kegels are NOT invited, via AB.

A kegel attempts to strengthen the PF, but it really only continues to pull the sacrum inward promoting even more weakness, and more PF gripping. The muscles that balance out the anterior pull on the sacrum are the glutes. A lack of glutes (having no butt) is what makes this group so much more susceptible to PFD. Zero lumbar curvature (missing the little curve at the small of the back) is the most telling sign that the PF is beginning to weaken. Deep, regular squats create the posterior pull on the sacrum...


# Posted by The Rat @ 12:48 PM


      ( 12:42 PM ) The Rat  
URBAN JOGGING MAY BE MAKING YOU DUMBER.

# Posted by The Rat @ 12:42 PM


      ( 12:23 PM ) The Rat  
REVIEWS of the Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer, via TG.

What can I say about the 571B Banana Slicer that hasn't already been said about the wheel, penicillin, or the iPhone... this is one of the greatest inventions of all time. My husband and I would argue constantly over who had to cut the day's banana slices. It's one of those chores NO ONE wants to do! You know, the old "I spent the entire day rearing OUR children, maybe YOU can pitch in a little and cut these bananas?" and of course, "You think I have the energy to slave over your damn bananas? I worked a 12 hour shift just to come home to THIS?!" These are the things that can destroy an entire relationship. It got to the point where our children could sense the tension. The minute I heard our 6-year-old girl in her bedroom, re-enacting our daily banana fight with her Barbie dolls, I knew we had to make a change. That's when I found the 571B Banana Slicer. Our marriage has never been healthier, AND we've even incorporated it into our lovemaking. THANKS 571B BANANA SLICER!

# Posted by The Rat @ 12:23 PM


      ( 11:52 AM ) The Rat  
AMERICA'S HEALTH RANKINGS has released this year's state rankings. The rankings for air pollution are interesting too (use the drop-down menu to filter).

The "Fruits" category does seem questionable, however.

# Posted by The Rat @ 11:52 AM


      ( 10:39 AM ) The Rat  
"BY ITSELF, INTENSE EMPATHY—REALLY FEELING SOMEONE ELSE'S PAIN—CAN BACKFIRE, CAUSING SO MUCH PERSONAL DISTRESS THAT THE END RESULT IS A DESIRE TO AVOID THE SOURCE OF THE PAIN, RESEARCHERS HAVE FOUND." Understanding How Children Develop Empathy, via the NYT.

# Posted by The Rat @ 10:39 AM



Sunday, December 09, 2012
      ( 9:25 AM ) The Rat  
DUKKAH, CAJETA, KATSU: COMING SOON TO FOODS NEAR YOU?

# Posted by The Rat @ 9:25 AM



Saturday, December 08, 2012
      ( 12:39 PM ) The Rat  
THE ODDS OF HAVING ANOTHER BOY OR GIRL.

# Posted by The Rat @ 12:39 PM


      ( 12:05 PM ) The Rat  
"SOMEONE HAD LITTERED HIS LAWN WITH BUTTERBALL TURKEYS."

# Posted by The Rat @ 12:05 PM


      ( 10:13 AM ) The Rat  
DAMN.

I put on my running clothes for the first time in nearly 3 months today. I've got some new accessories now though, I also strapped on my ostomy bag support belt (for the bag connected to my stomach to catch the waste since I don't have a large intestine anymore).

Then I stepped out into the gorgeous, sunny, crisp winter morning and I ran.

It felt amazing. Then my left knee hurt and I walked. Then I stopped to rub it out. Then I ran more. Then I cried uncontrollably as I kept running; looking at the sun, and the sky, and the jet streams, and the flatirons, and feeling my heart pounding, and feeling so immensely blessed to be alive, and to be running, and to have excitement for life again.

My body is weak. I was able to do exactly ZERO pull-ups and ZERO push-ups today. And it took me 17 minutes to complete my one mile running loop. 4 months ago I ran a one mile race in 4 minutes and 37 seconds...

# Posted by The Rat @ 10:13 AM


      ( 8:15 AM ) The Rat  
A FABULOUS COLLECTION OF ACME PRODUCTS, via TT.

# Posted by The Rat @ 8:15 AM



Friday, December 07, 2012
      ( 7:02 PM ) The Rat  
MY PEOPLE, VINDICATED! via IKM.

# Posted by The Rat @ 7:02 PM


      ( 11:09 AM ) The Rat  
4 REASONS WHY FAIR TRADE COFFEE IS A SCAM. Sigh.

# Posted by The Rat @ 11:09 AM


      ( 11:08 AM ) The Rat  
RELATIONSHIP DEFINITELY HURTLING TOWARD SOMETHING.

# Posted by The Rat @ 11:08 AM


      ( 11:07 AM ) The Rat  
HEH!

# Posted by The Rat @ 11:07 AM



Thursday, December 06, 2012
      ( 10:39 PM ) The Rat  
NEW SATELLITE PHOTOS AND VIDEO OF THE EARTH AT NIGHT.

# Posted by The Rat @ 10:39 PM


      ( 8:47 PM ) The Rat  
"THE SERVICE CONCLUDED WITH THE 23RD PSALM. MOURNERS SANG A HYMN: 'BLESSED ARE YOUR POOR, FOR THE KINGDOM SHALL BE THEIRS.'" L.A. County mass burial honors more than 1,600 unclaimed bodies, via the L.A. Times. This annual ceremony was mentioned in this '07 TAL segment.

The mass burial is a custom each December at the Los Angeles County Crematory and Cemetery.

Ashes at the county morgue—including the homeless and those whose families simply could not afford to bury or cremate them—are kept in storage for two to three years before being sent to the common grave, according to the coroner's office. Most who were buried this week died in 2009.

Gonzales, who was incarcerated when her mother died, learned of the death after she was released.

"Me and my brother, we're the only ones now," she said. "We tried to get her ashes, but we never got enough money." The Rev. Chris Ponnet, the County-USC Medical Center chaplain who has led the service the last five years, said it differs sharply from other burials: There are no personal histories to read, no names. And rarely is there a grieving family.

After a few words, Ponnet stepped aside for burial rites from multiple faiths, including readings from Islamic, Jewish, Hindu and Christian traditions recited in Korean, Spanish and English. In Native American tradition, a barefoot woman chanted and beat a canvas drum, turning in the four directions of the compass, briefly drowning out the hum of the buses and trains on the other side of the cemetery fence.

Each year, a new mass grave is marked with a roughly 4-by-4-inch plaque inscribed simply with the year. County-USC has conducted the burials since 1896...


# Posted by The Rat @ 8:47 PM


      ( 12:15 AM ) The Rat  
L.I. MAN SHOOTS GIRLFRIEND IN FIGHT OVER ZOMBIES, via JWB.

In his statement to police, Gurman said he struggles to cope with reality: "I am paranoid when I drink and when I am sober"...


# Posted by The Rat @ 12:15 AM



Wednesday, December 05, 2012
      ( 8:21 PM ) The Rat  
SCIENTISTS DISCOVER CHILDREN'S CELLS LIVING IN MOTHERS' BRAINS.

We are accustomed to thinking of ourselves as singular autonomous individuals, and these foreign cells seem to belie that notion, and suggest that most people carry remnants of other individuals. As remarkable as this may be, stunning results from a new study show that cells from other individuals are also found in the brain. In this study, male cells were found in the brains of women and had been living there, in some cases, for several decades. What impact they may have had is now only a guess, but this study revealed that these cells were less common in the brains of women who had Alzheimer's disease, suggesting they may be related to the health of the brain...


# Posted by The Rat @ 8:21 PM


      ( 7:12 PM ) The Rat  
What's misleading about suicide, what I believe is responsible for creating the myth that suicide takes you to a place of peace, is that when the living encounter the body of somebody dead, the absolute stillness of that body is shocking. A dead body does not look like a sleeping body. The first time you see a dead body, it stills you. Never before have you seen a person appear so utterly, perfectly "calm" or "peaceful." We use these words even though they are not quite accurate. They do not describe truly what one sees: the dead person may look calm, but they are not calm; they may look peaceful, but they are not peaceful. They are nothing. They are not.

The word to describe the stillness of the dead has not yet been invented. So we default to words we use to describe living states. And these living states—peace, calm—happen to be states that we all strive to reach ourselves but rarely do for any length of time. When people speak of the dead as appearing calm, their tone of voice reflects their own longing.

Imagine, then, if, instead of describing a dead body as looking calm or, worse, at peace, we said, "Look at her lying there like that. She looks so wealthy."

Substituting those peaceful, romantic, and dreamy adjectives with "wealthy" in the sentence above has an interesting effect. It sounds ridiculous. Why?

Because she's dead.

Except, it's just as ridiculous to say "she looks so peaceful"...

This is How


# Posted by The Rat @ 7:12 PM


      ( 4:31 PM ) The Rat  
EARLY EXPLOSIVES, via WKO. Although, the 17th century isn't really that early...

# Posted by The Rat @ 4:31 PM


      ( 4:24 PM ) The Rat  
THE MOST BADASS THING EVER SAID on Marathon Talk. From Tom Williams's May '11 interview with the always amazing Ed Whitlock.

Whitlock. And it's also partly because whenever someone does something, someone else says, Well, I can do that. It's like when Roger Bannister did the four-minute mile... the floodgates opened, all kinds of people started doing four-minute miles then.

Williams. Yeah.

Whitlock. The thing I'm a bit surprised about is that since I ran sub-3:00 at age 70, over age 70, that no one else has done it yet, because that—that's a relatively soft time, I think, really.

Tom [laughing]. In your head it may be...

Whitlock. It is! You look at the table—I think—I mean, I think 2:54 at age 73, now that—I mean, that's a tougher one, to do that, for anybody... But to do sub-3:00 just when you've turned age 70 shouldn't be that tough. I mean, there are people who are—who had done 2:48 or something like that at age 68, so at age 70 it should have been a breeze...


# Posted by The Rat @ 4:24 PM


      ( 4:01 PM ) The Rat  
"TIME TO USE THAT GYM MEMBERSHIP I GOT YOU." 'Damn You Auto Correct' Unveils 11 Funniest Texts of 2012, via EG. Best viewed in grid format—some lines get lost in the slideshow.

# Posted by The Rat @ 4:01 PM


      ( 2:28 PM ) The Rat  
ALICE IS A REAL PRINCESS, via ATIAC.

# Posted by The Rat @ 2:28 PM


      ( 8:40 AM ) The Rat  
TAMPON FLASH DRIVE. So many things wrong with this idea (for starters—seems like practically an invitation for accidental disposal); otoh, maybe it'd keep the boys away from your data?

# Posted by The Rat @ 8:40 AM


      ( 8:30 AM ) The Rat  
LIFTS & BOUNDS SKI MOUNTAIN PRINTS, via WC. Very cool—but they have Mammoth but not Snowbird?!

# Posted by The Rat @ 8:30 AM


      ( 8:23 AM ) The Rat  
THE INVISIBLE HAND BITES BACK, so to speak.

# Posted by The Rat @ 8:23 AM



Tuesday, December 04, 2012
      ( 9:32 PM ) The Rat  
YOUR JOKE HERE.

# Posted by The Rat @ 9:32 PM


      ( 6:02 PM ) The Rat  
THE TOO-MUCH-RUNNING MYTH RISES AGAIN.

# Posted by The Rat @ 6:02 PM


      ( 9:03 AM ) The Rat  
"THE SMOKING GUN LEARNED THAT ALCOHOL MAY HAVE ALSO BEEN A PART OF THE EQUATION."

# Posted by The Rat @ 9:03 AM



Monday, December 03, 2012
      ( 10:42 PM ) The Rat  
HEH! Via TT.

# Posted by The Rat @ 10:42 PM


      ( 9:09 AM ) The Rat  
DONUT SHOP GETS WEIRD AFTER 11 A.M.

# Posted by The Rat @ 9:09 AM



Saturday, December 01, 2012
      ( 7:11 PM ) The Rat  
WHO ARE GRANDPARENTS? via AB.

I've sometimes wondered if my low level of contact with my grandparents meant I missed something in life. According to researchers at the University of Helsinki, that could be: having grandparents involved in a child's upbringing can make kids better adjusted and better behaved. The study's authors, Antti O. Tanskanen and Mirkka Danielsbacka, ground their findings in evolutionary theory, saying that in pre-modern societies, grandparents were key care providers. Grandparental involvement had two main results: "firstly, the investment in grandchildren may have increased their children's fertility (increasing the number of grandchildren) and secondly grandparents' investment may have increased grandchild survival (Euler, 2011)."

But this is only the case with maternal grandparents, their study suggests—paternal grandparents with equal involvement have no effect...

# Posted by The Rat @ 7:11 PM


      ( 3:00 PM ) The Rat  
"I'M EMPATHIZING WITH YOU SUPER HARD HERE, BUT..."

# Posted by The Rat @ 3:00 PM


      ( 2:59 PM ) The Rat  
I KNEW IT! Via MM.

Caffeine might also function as a pain reliever. A study from September suggested as much when its authors stumbled across caffeinated coffee as a possible confounding variable in its study of the back, neck, and shoulder pains plaguing office drones: Those who reported drinking coffee before the experiment experienced less intense pain.

The data is even more intriguing—and more convincing—for caffeine's effects as a salve against more existential pains. While a small study this month found that concentrated amounts of caffeine can increase positivity in the moment, last September the nurses' cohort demonstrated a neat reduction in depression rates among women that became stronger with increased consumption of caffeinated coffee...

# Posted by The Rat @ 2:59 PM


      ( 12:19 AM ) The Rat  
"I'D PUT MY DICK IN THAT." Naked Celebrities with Macaroni and Cheese, a tumblr.

# Posted by The Rat @ 12:19 AM




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


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