July 5, 2008

Coffeehouse and vlog.

I declare this post an Althouse coffeehouse. You can talk about whatever you want.

And I'd like to do a little vlog today, but the trouble is I've got nothing to say. So offer some ideas — preferably odd and as-yet-unblogged things.

60 comments:

john marzan said...

talk about the photo that almost made you cry. why?

john marzan said...

and what will it take for ms. ann to support mccain instead of obama? picking mitt romney for vp?

vet66 said...

Where does our right to listen to President Bush begin and the antics of those who drown him out end?

If that happened while I was in the audience I would consider actions immediately available to me and my friends. Sitting passively in the audience while these nutjobs ride roughshod on my rights is no longer an option.

Kirby Olson said...

I don't know what you've already vlogged about. I came across an interesting passage in Mary Midgley's book Animals and Why They Matter, where she's talking about all the anti-discrimination legislation that was passing in the US. She's a Brit, and kind of interested in exact definitions.

She argues that to be against discrimination is to for stupidity.

She is in favor of women's rights, and to some extent in favor of animals rights, too, but she thinks certain terms like "speciesism" is stupid, because it means that we can't prefer our own children to cockroaches.

Which is stupid.

So basically she's going through the terminology of the left and laughing up her sleeve about how badly conceived most of it, and how it will lead to disaster.

Midgley is a Social Democrat (she's now 88 but still going strong). Social Democrats are Blair's party in England.

They're not Marxist boneheads, but they have to fight them all the time in England, which is filled with Marxist boneheads.

So I was thinking you could vlog about words that you don't think make any sense within current legislation, or within current moral movements.

Midgley says,

"To be undiscriminating is not a virtue."

Could that be something to play with?

Also, what do you think of the whole notion of racism? Midgley thinks it's stupid because as soon as you think about it you're a racist no matter which side of the divide you're on. Same thing with sexism. Or speciesism. She just thinks this creates opposites which in turn creates Tinbergen's stickleback effect where the sticklebacks turn red as they attack whatever they see which looks like the enemy (other male sticklebacks).

At any rate, just thought I'd toss you a few ideas.

Weird wording in laws, especially within the left, or within the academy, that you think make it impossible for people to think clearly or accurately.

"Discrimination," is perhaps one of these.

All the "isms" that you're not supposed to do is another.

What else?

There must be some odd new thing in all the cafes in Madison that is driving you crazy.

Simon said...

Kirby said...
"Midgley is a Social Democrat (she's now 88 but still going strong). Social Democrats are Blair's party in England."

They may have been his constituency, but they certainly weren't his party.

PJ said...

I understand that you think many of Obama's recent changes in position have been changes for the better -- and I agree -- but I'd like you to talk about what, if anything, makes you think that his current positions fairly represent what he will do if elected. Or, if you think analyzing his stated positions the wrong approach, what's the right approach? Guiding principles? Decision-making process? Personal qualities? Biography?

And I second JM's request about that photograph.

Joseph Hovsep said...

What do you think about single-sex schools/classrooms? Violation of Title IX? Good for diversity of educational opportunities?

Ron said...

Vlog about things you used to love but don't any more. Or things you now love, but didn't before.

Finest person you've ever known?

Any theories about or favorite colors?

Best purchase you've made all year!

If I came to Madison, would you put a photo of me taken by you in blog?

Bissage said...

(1) First, a personal note, as this is an Althouse coffeehouse. This morning Mrs. Bissage and I watched five baby bluebirds leave the nesting box in the backyard.

That’s ONE . . . TWO . . . THREE . . . FOUR . . . FIVE!!!!!

That’s five eggs; five babies. Mr. and Mrs. Bluebird are batting 1.000.

Not bad.

(2) Second, here are three suggested vlog topics:

(a) The summer night, fireflies, tree frogs and crickets.

(b) All these men who cross their leg at the knee as if they were a woman.

(c) People who want to make a left at the green light but they won’t pull into the intersection while there’s oncoming traffic and then the light turns red and they just stay there waiting for the next green light inconveniencing everyone behind them.

Man, they really PISS ME OFF! I want them to DIE . . . DIE . . . DIE!!!

(3) Woah. That was uncalled for. Sorry about that. I’m better now.

*takes deep cleansing breath*

(4) Here’s another topic to make up for the crappy ones above: Decision making as in this post.

Bissage said...

(5) Doh! I just re-read the post and it asks for "as-yet-unblogged things." I thought it asked for un-vlogged things.

Oh well. Cut off my limbs, toss me in the pool and call me Bob.

reader_iam said...

Does the court order for Google to hand over records in the Viacom case make you less inclined to embed specific kinds of video?

Do you ever wonder how/if raising girls instead of (or in addition to) boys would have made you different?

The Kindle appears to have been a bust for you, but do you still like your iPhone? Your MacBook Air?

Is it hard to remember the days when David Letterman looked relaxed, even genial (and wore shorts on TV!!)?

Did you ever climb Agatha, or put a treehouse in her?

Fen said...

I'm still trying to understand how someone who champions the 1st Ammendment would write for a newspaper that so routinely abuses it.

Yes, they are free to say what ever they want. Just as you are free to associate with them...

reader_iam said...

Were there other law schools at which you had the opportunity to work (long term; obviously, I know you were just at Brooklyn)? Why Madison, from the perspective of "back then"?

Did you ever live in a home with shag rugs, and/or those harvest colors?

reader_iam said...

Which bothers you more: overly serious, or overly off the wall?

reader_iam said...

How many of your commenters have you met in person, even briefly?

Fen said...

Sorry, not meaning to be judgemental, just trying to understand where you were coming from.

Ruth Anne Adams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
reader_iam said...

Did you know that in Malaysia, a group of Sikkhs have joined the Catholic church to fight a goverment ban on Christians using the word "Allah" (in native language publications) for "God"?

reader_iam said...

(Is that last one BOTH "overly serious" and "overly off the wall"?)

reader_iam said...

Am I at least pretty close to 100% in terms of making suggestions that you haven't already blogged?

(Ruth Anne might be able to take this one.)

reader_iam said...

Have you ever considered a "Banned Commenters Amnesty Day" (announced in advance) out of curiosity?

reader_iam said...

Maybe the rest of us could "eat" them, rather than each other.

reader_iam said...

Oh, well, finished that cappuccino. Onward ho!

Bissage said...

Here are the 5 “ready-made captions” on page 43 of the “Cartoonist’s and Gag Writer’s Handbook” by Jack Markow (Writer’s Digest Books 1967):

(1) “Why don’t you look where you’re going?”

(2) “Mind if I look at it in the daylight?”

(3) “I never could understand what he sees in her.”

(4) “He got up on the wrong side of the bed today.”

(5) “This is the happiest day of my life.”

And here are the last 5 on page 52:

(1) “George Washington slept here.”

(2) “It’s the pot calling the kettle black.”

(3) “See here, my fine feathered friend!”

(4) “They’re playing our song.”

(5) “We all have to go sometime.”

So, next time anybody ever tries to act like a Mr. Big-Shot smarty-pants and like they’re all above you and stuff and they try to tell you about these ready-made captions like you're ignorant or something . . . well . . . you just look them straight in the eye and you say, “Ha! I know all about them. I read Althouse, you big, dumb jerk-o-boots!”

Love,

Bissage

Chip Ahoy said...

I'd like to know, since you like photographing flowers and plants so much, why you don't grow some. Is black-thumb syndrome just an excuse people use to avoid being nurturing or beholden to something? Is it a control thing or what? By hanging around botanic gardens with some frequency, wouldn't some botanicalness automatically rub off on a person? Wouldn't it be fun to encourage insects, birds, and other vermin into photographic proximity?

Do you know Colorado has a lot of hummingbirds, mostly at elevation, and they get pissed off when you neglect their feeders? They dive bomb you to let you know that's unacceptable. A friend told me that. He also said the little bastards are exceedingly territorial but I haven't seen that myself. If you hold still long enough you can encourage one to sit on your finger if you make like a perch directly in front of a feeder. First they have to check you out to make sure you're inanimate. It's like the Star Trek episode where the normal-speed people appear to be standing still to the people who are in hyper-speed mode.

They buzz right around your head and you stand there perfectly still in front of the feeder with your camera pre-focused at the ready. Doesn't that sound like fun?

Are you going to get a macro? Do you already have one?

Are all telephoto lenses part macro or just the low end ones?

Isn't lugging around a bunch of lenses a drag? If not the lenses, then the cameras, and that's a dreag too. The only answer to the problem is to predetermine which lens you intend to stick with all day, which isn't such a bad predetermination after all.

Would you consider buying a camera from a pawn shop? Wouldn't that be wierd? Do you know what's weirder than that? There's a pawn shop across the street and it only had musical stuff and not a single camera.

reader_iam said...

Oh, one more for Althouse: do you find it more disquieting when you do understand how a commenter's mind works, or when you don't?

---

As to the coffeehouse part (but picking up on one of the questions I asked Ann):

How many of you know, have met or talked to other commenters here? If so, how many?

I'll start: To my knowledge, I know none of them IRL. (I do know one person who has commented here maybe one or two times, a long time ago, but this person definitely doesn't count as a "Commenter," in the way I'm using it in this context.) I have spoken on the phone with four--no, five--of them. And roughly 12 know my real name and have a "real" e-mail address. About six, give or take, know what foreign policy journal I've done editing for.

OK, now I really do need to take care of some chores. But I'll check in later, curious to see if anyone picks up the gambit.

blogging cockroach said...

...but she thinks certain terms like "speciesism" is [sic] stupid, because it means that we can't prefer our own children to cockroaches.

Which is stupid.


i beg your pardon

Quayle said...

Here is a trivia question. See if you can answer it correctly without searching on the web.

Proctor & Gamble is a soap and paper company.

So why do they also make Pringles?

What soap or paper technology was close enough to potato crisps that it was a good ROI to produce Pringles?

Give your answer below, and tell us if you cheated by searching the web to get the answer.

I'll give or confirm the answer later today.

Chip Ahoy said...

I'd like to know, since you like photographing flowers and plants so much, why you don't grow some. Is black-thumb syndrome just an excuse people use to avoid being nurturing or beholden to something? Is it a control thing or what? By hanging around botanic gardens with some frequency, wouldn't some botanicalness automatically rub off on a person? Wouldn't it be fun to encourage insects, birds, and other vermin into photographic proximity?

Do you know Colorado has a lot of hummingbirds, mostly at elevation, and they get pissed off when you neglect their feeders? They dive bomb you to let you know that's unacceptable. A friend told me that. He also said the little bastards are exceedingly territorial but I haven't seen that myself. If you hold still long enough you can encourage one to sit on your finger if you make like a perch directly in front of a feeder. First they have to check you out to make sure you're inanimate. It's like the Star Trek episode where the normal-speed people appear to be standing still to the people who are in hyper-speed mode.

They buzz right around your head and you stand there perfectly still in front of the feeder with your camera pre-focused at the ready. Doesn't that sound like fun?

Are you going to get a macro? Do you already have one?

Are all telephoto lenses part macro or just the low end ones?

Isn't lugging around a bunch of lenses a drag? If not the lenses, then the cameras, and that's a dreag too. The only answer to the problem is to predetermine which lens you intend to stick with all day, which isn't such a bad predetermination after all.

Would you consider buying a camera from a pawn shop? Wouldn't that be wierd? Do you know what's weirder than that? There's a pawn shop across the street and it only had musical stuff and not a single camera.

JSF said...

Here's one:

The TV and Movie and Industry is 90% Democrats, yet they cannot get together to stop an oncoming actor's strike, months after a Writer's strike.

If there is another strike, more studios will fall -- how can Democrats be unifiers if they cannot even fix the Entertainemnt industry?

Lars Perez said...

QUESTION:

Professor Althouse--- as an employee of University of Madison, how do you intend to protect the Jewish students from the threats and hate speech of Anti-Semitic and Muslim extremist groups the University routinely allows on campus ?????

bearbee said...

Living in a world in which the US is no longer the economic superpower.

Upsides and downsides. Overall good or bad.

Will it affect your self-esteem as an American?

re: Pringles, a compressed combo of shredded paper and soap, sliced, baked and salted to taste.

Charmine cardboard toilet paper tubes used to create individual canisters.

I did not cheat.

Mrs. Hope Killborn said...

Who was the last person to see you completely naked ?

Miss Desiree Weinrot said...

After two years of indecision, undecided voters are still undecided on Election Day.

How much more time are they entitled to ?

Fen said...

What odds would you give the following:

Democrats Pivot, Take Credit For Winning The War In Iraq.

Mrs. Wilhelmina Wooster said...

The Feminzation of Judiasm:

Why are men leaving the Jewish religion in droves?

Lack of faith? Jewish-Mother syndrome ?????

Christy said...

Why do you vlog rather than podcast? Am I the only one who almost never watches, just backgrounds it while doing something else?

stoqboy said...

Cliff Kresge is playing well - six under for the tournament, tied for 7th, even par after 9 today.

William said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
George said...

As an experiment, Professor, you should post on sports and business, to see what sort of response you get.

And howza about a monthly contest? I'd like to win a tote bag.

Maybe a comic strip would be good, too.

William said...

None of the considerable brood of Joseph and Rose Kennedy married an Irish person. Were they trying to escape the fate of the mother or the father? Some of Jefferson's children became black. Some of Sally Hemmings children became white. Nature loves a permeable wall.

Simon said...

Question: what's your opinion (if any) on Brian Eno's music, particularly the more ambient, architectural stuff like Music for Airports?

Bissage said...

(1) I was starting to soften on Maxine. I was an idiot. Thanks for the info, RIA.

(2) VLOG TOPIC: Obama’s pimping his (incipient) god . . . I mean . . . dog.

Should it be a mixed breed?

(3) The dog is to be announced after the election.

What a scaredy cat!

Ha!

(See? I didn't call him a pussy!

(4) VLOG TOPIC: Would putting Althouse behind the wheel of this car make it even better looking? Yes or no!

Today in the mail they sent me a fancy brochure on it. How’d they get my name and address? The only thing I can figure out is they sent it to me because I’m a lawyer. Don’t they know I’m an impoverished lawyer?

You know how you can tell Porsche is a classy outfit? They didn’t include a bogus certificate saying it was redeemable for one free test drive!

*breaks open piggybank and starts counting change*

Zachary Paul Sire said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zachary Paul Sire said...

I want to know if you're still planning that cross-country trek?

Also (because I just blogged about it), what are your thoughts on captchas?

Bissage said...

And . . . POOF . . . the offending Maxine comment is gone!

If only God would clean house like that!

reader_iam said...

Oh, good. Once I saw Bissage's latest comment via gmail-ed comment, I came over to delete my response calling her out. I see Althouse got there first.

Ann, I hope I didn't transgress, or even offend. I didn't know quite else how to call out Maxine and demonstrate why I thought she was being a ... jerk. (And it is public knowledge, what I referred to.) If that was the wrong call, I sincerely, sincerely apologize and won't ever do that again.

reader_iam said...

Sometimes good intentions lead to bad choices. I am sorry.

corporate law drudge said...

Ann, your nephew is kicking butt at the AT&T. Very nice!

Lou P. said...

Ok, I'm confused. I realize that, even on a good day, trying to comprehend these comments can be a challenge.... But still, who is Maxine? And, where are her comments ?

Waxine Meiss said...

How are the Althouse sons?

Do you ever wish you had a husband?

1jpb said...

Topic: The soul of a blogger

1) How can you stand putting out content every day?

2) What's the longest you've gone without blogging anything at all? Does time away fluctuate between peaceful bliss and the anxiety of withdrawal, or what?

3) How does blogging make one better, and worse?

4) What are the motivations for blogging? How important is the concept of having an audience?

5) Why do folks read your blog, what motivates them to comment?

P.S. I'm looking for redress after the flawed explanation for Rush and bloggers popularity. I'm assuming that was an ill-conceived quip. Separately, I have no idea why anyone would choose to be tied down by prolific blogging without the ability to walk away from this BS for weeks or months.

Trumpit said...

In a previous post of yours, you talked about a Wisconsin law that would sanction a same-sex couple for getting married in a state that had legalized same-sex marriage. This made me think that in the event that the Supreme Ct. overturns Roe, a state could not only outlaw in-state abortions, but could criminally prosecute a woman who went to another state to get a legal (in that state) abortion. Would a law like that withstand constitutional muster? Were there laws like that on some states' books in the past when abortion was illegal there?

Miss Hermoine Sour said...

I imagine a 'Gentleman Caller' would be very convenient to take Althouse on her walks.

A single woman, by herself, roaming the streets, taking intrusive pictures.....very risky, without some sort of a Chaperone.

Theo Boehm said...

I don't know what went on before with "Maxine" that was deleted. I've been away from this thread since shortly after it started.

But I will say, give it up "Maxine" and sockpuppets. No one wants to read the hostile crap you write.

You're like Garrison Keillor or Jerry Lewis: Really, really yesterday's news.

If you're going to invent "comic" characters, why don't you make them at least vaguely interesting? And why do your characters always push the same hostile memes?

Get a life.

somefeller said...

Fen asks: What odds would you give the following: Democrats Pivot, Take Credit For Winning The War In Iraq.

If things go well (and I realize that what exactly that term would mean in this context is subject to debate), 100%. If things go well on someone's watch, they generally take credit for it. Victory has a thousand fathers and defeat is an orphan, to quote the famous phrase. Plus, if that "going well" occurs because of some policy changes early in the Obama Administration, such a pivot would be justified.

Simon asks: Question: what's your opinion (if any) on Brian Eno's music, particularly the more ambient, architectural stuff like Music for Airports?

I like that record quite a bit, though I am less familiar with his other work, though what I've heard of it I've liked. If you like ambient music, go look up a French record label called Ultimae Records, or the work of an American named Steve Roach.

Quayle said...

Here is the Pringles answer:

I lived in Germany with the ex-pat from P&G that was sent over to introduce Pringles into the German market. He told me the expertise that enables P&G to make Pringles.

Toilet paper. Pringles is an extension of the know-how to make toilet paper. If you can roll out and cut toilet paper, it is easy to make Pringles.

You put potato pulp in the front end instead of wood pulp, you run it through the same process, except that after you cut it, you drop it into hot oil, then season it, cool it, then stack it.

So, bearbee was very close.

somefeller said...

And yes, I know those questions were for Ann, but it's an open thread.

Ann Althouse said...

The vlog is done, so no more suggestions are needed.

ricpic said...

Why are men leaving the Jewish religion in droves?

The lure of the shiksa.