May 2, 2009

Water trees.







Now, I could have called this "At the Breadscape Café..." with "... you can talk about anything" — or "anything you knead to" as one wag suggested — but then somebody — I'm not naming names — would have felt compelled to say that I'm relying too much on open threads, as if I hadn't done the photographs at all. The open threadiness ought to be appreciated as an extra dimension to the photography posts, to give you something to talk about other than whether it is or is not a nice photograph. But I've got other mountains to climb. So I'm calling this "Breadscape."

"With such a big Democratic majority in the Senate, Obama could get just about anyone confirmed easily."

"But the Republicans could bleed him some politically if he made an exceptionally controversial pick such as Sonia Sotomayor, a federal appeals court judge based in New York."

Stuart Taylor Jr. has 12 random thoughts on replacing David Souter. Read the whole thing.

1963 TV: the magic makeover of a nerd girl.

The magic is done by Ray Walston, Bill Bixby's favorite Martian, and the girl is Marlo Thomas, pre-"That Girl." The early 60s sitcom style is perfect, especially the music. Note the sexual innuendo at 1:55 — "This ship will never get off the ground" — and the music — and Walston facial expression — that punctuates it. The makeover segment, which begins at 2:10, is the sort of thing that used to — still does? — drive feminists mad.

"No doubt I would be a more holistic person if I bound my own books and sold them at the farmers' market."

Roy Blount Jr., in "Alphabet Juice" — discussing the word "artisanal."

"It is time to drop the term 'the environment' and talk about 'the air we breathe, the water our children drink.'"

Because we're dumb, and you need to manipulate us. More blather about "framing." Hey, maybe you need another word for "framing" — you need to reframe framing — because I think that’s a code word for progressive liberals...

May 1, 2009

"We gots the swine flu."

(Jim Berhle's Kreepie Kats via Gawker.)

"Among jurists with whom I have served, Justice David H. Souter is the very best."

"His level of preparation for the cases we consider is astonishing. He works so hard at getting it right. He is a genuinely caring man and a model of civility. Never have I heard him utter a harsh or unkind word. I count it my great good fortune to have known him as a working colleague and dear friend."

The Justices of the Supreme Court give their tributes to Souter. I've quoted Ruth Bader Ginsburg's because it's the nicest. To say he's the very best is daringly disrespectful of all the other judges. And all that business about caring and civility and kindness makes you want to be a better person, doesn't it?

At the 3 Turkeys Café...

3 Turkeys

... you can wander about aimlessly. Take all the time you want.

Excitement in Sierra Leone.

A short woman gets married.

"Get me out of here. This is crazy. This is not funny, this is discrimination. This is abusive stuff going on here."

Paula Abdul stands up to Bruno.

Obama strides forward to his press conference.

In this wacky pic from the White House Flickr stream:

"You've got that patriotism in ya, that people just so respect."

Says Sarah Palin to the "American Chopper" guy. And check out her sofa:

Horse legs!

You know you want them...

(Via Boing Boing.)

Who would read the Elizabeth Edwards memoir?

I can't imagine. "Resilience." Ugh!

Willa Paskin, in Slate:
The excerpts [in the Daily News] seem... to be a kind of correction to the Stepford, "stand by your man" approach so often taken by political wives (and Elizabeth Edwards did, at least, refuse to physically stand next to her man while he made his confession and apology)—but only kind of. Edwards tells her side of the story and publicly chastises her husband ("He should not have run," she writes) but he's still her husband. Her critique has a narrow outer limit. Is writing about this better than keeping mum? Or, in a way, is it exactly the same? Is telling us all the true, clichéd things about why a person might decide to stand by her jerk that different from, or that much more informative than, silently standing by said jerk?

The News does pull out one genuinely heartbreaking quote from the book: "I lie in bed, circles under my eyes, my sparse hair sticking in too many directions, and he looks at me as if I am the most beautiful woman he has ever seen. It matters." And I'm sure it does matter, and yet, I can't help but wonder if the look she's describing resembles the supposedly earnest, empathetic stare Edwards utilized on the campaign trail, which some people, myself included, always found to be so disingenuous (and that turned out to be, to the extent that Edwards' ambition did trump his judgment, truly disingenuous). And then I wish I could un-think that thought, because it would be nicer to believe Elizabeth Edwards' version of things.
Ugh! Why wish to be nicer? I don't understand that. The Edwardses outrageously wasted our time and distorted the presidential selection process. I assume they did it because they both lusted for political power. Let's trash them mercilessly. They need to get off the public stage. If gazing into her husband's insipid mug comforts a gravely ill woman, that's fine, but when you write a memoir, you are trying to drag us into it. Keep your intimate moments intimate or they cease to be intimate. Don't think you can command niceness from us because of your troubles. Be gone!

A 3.8 percent rise in applications to law school.

I guess it seems like a good time to retreat from the job market, but law school goes by quickly, and you will be back on that market very soon, with big debts.

ALSO: Summer Associates Advised to Lose the Sense of Entitlement.

"Am I the only one who thinks a big wedding is inappropriate for two people who have been living together?"

A post I wrote exactly 4 years ago — when, unlike now, I had no thought of getting married myself — reread this morning — after someone left a new comment. I still agree with what I wrote there and am still amused by all the pushback I got in the comments.

April 30, 2009

David Souter is leaving the Supreme Court!

"Two friends of Justice Souter, 69, said Thursday night that he had often spoken privately of his intentions to be the court's first retirement if Mr. Obama won the election last fall. He has told friends that he looked forward to returning to his native New Hampshire while he was still able to enjoy climbing mountains and other outdoor activities."

Let the fun begin. I expect President Obama to put a strong liberal in the seat, and I think there should be a strong liberal on the Court.

Continuing the picnic table theme...

Look! It's Hillary and Barack:

Nice to see them enjoying the outdoors together.


Lakeside, a young woman arranges her dolls.


Then photographs them.


Presumably, a design project. The light by Lake Mendota was excellent for photography. These photos of mine were done with my iPhone.

"Jude Law's First 100 Days As People Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive."

"According to [Veronica Giulletti, associate editor of People], the Sexiest Man Alive receives the most media attention at the very beginning of his term. While some sexy men use the news coverage as an opportunity to introduce radical changes to their looks, Giulletti said that Law chose to stay the course. 'Jude came into office with a big, sexy plan in place, Giulletti said. 'He'd spent years tweaking and refining his dapper image, so it was wise that he chose to stick with it.'"

"In all my years of ghost hunting I have never been afraid. After all, a ghost is only a fellow human being in trouble."

Han Holzer, dead at 89 and, I'll bet, not currently in any sort of trouble.

"The aptly-named Harpactea sadistica."

Violent spider sex.

Beware of the pedipalps.

"Congress can impose this disparate treatment forever because of the history in the South?"

Chief Justice Roberts in argument in the Voting Rights Act case, which Dahlia Lithwick summarizes — with unusually labored breeziness — here.
[Justice Scalia] insists that the judgment of Congress is not to be trusted because when it came to reauthorizing the Voting Rights Act, "they get elected under this system. Why should they take it away?" Oh. My. God. You mean legislators are self-interested!?! That must mean the court is free to substitute its judgment for that of Congress.
This is a too-cheap laugh for Lithwick. Obviously, this is not a typical case for deferring to Congress. The challenged law structures the election of members of Congress, and it applies to some states and not others.
Debo Adegbile is in the case representing the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. When he reminds the court that "Congress is permitted to use so much of its power as is necessary" to remedy racial discrimination, the Chief Justice clobbers him with: "Is it your position that today Southerners are more likely to discriminate than Northerners?" When Adegbile replies that the covered states tend to be repeat offenders in this area, Roberts comes back with, "So your answer is yes?"

Scalia asks Adegbile what the vote was when Congress reauthorized Section 5 in 2006.

Answer: 390-33 in the House, 98-0 in the Senate. Scalia retorts that "the Israeli Supreme Court, the Sanhedrin, used to have a rule that if the death penalty was pronounced unanimously, it was invalid, because there must be something wrong there." (And before you liberals start crowing that Scalia is citing foreign law, let it be noted that he is citing religious law, which is totally cool and different than foreign law.) Today Scalia seems to have fashioned a new constitutional principle: The courts should always defer to Congress unless Congress is unanimous, in which case Congress is a sack of self-interested liars. Fascinating.
Well, think about it. They're all there — from all the states — and they all got elected under the existing system, a system that is not uniform among the states. Doesn't that mean something?

"During these first 100 days, what has ... enchanted you the most?

Jeff Zeleny (of the NYT) asks a question somewhat flakily:
During these first 100 days, what has surprised you the most about this office? Enchanted you the most from serving in this office? Humbled you the most? And troubled you the most?
And the President responds... as if... well, as if the 2 of them were engaging in pillow talk....

OBAMA: Now let me write this down.

OBAMA: I've got...

QUESTION: Surprised, troubled...

OBAMA: I've got -- what was the first one?

QUESTION: Surprised.

OBAMA: Surprised.

QUESTION: Troubled.

OBAMA: Troubled.

QUESTION: Enchanted.

OBAMA: Enchanted, nice.

QUESTION: And humbled.

OBAMA: And what was the last one, humbled?

QUESTION: Humbled. Thank you, sir.

OBAMA: All right. OK.
Enchanting... inane... and enchanting.

Now, if you want to be bored out of your skull, go to the link and read O's answer to the question.

"Prof. [Joel] Reidenberg's exercise is an example of perfectly legal, abominably poor judgment."

"Since he was not teaching a course in judgment, I presume he felt no responsibility to display any."

Justice Scalia vs. the privacy lawprof.

April 29, 2009

"It’s peculiar and unnerving in a way to see so many young people walking around with cell phones and iPods in their ears..."

"... and so wrapped up in media and video games. It robs them of their self-identity. It’s a shame to see them so tuned out to real life. Of course they are free to do that, as if that's got anything to do with freedom. The cost of liberty is high, and young people should understand that before they start spending their life with all those gadgets."

Said Bob Dylan.

Is the loss of real life the loss of liberty? Are we not free... here?


A theme for the last day of school (which it is for me, the professor):
A self-ordained professor's tongue
Too serious to fool
Spouted out that liberty
Is just equality in school
"Equality," I spoke the word
As if a wedding vow.
Ah, but I was so much older then,
I'm younger than that now
We don't have crimson flames tied through our ears anymore. Just white buds stuck in them.

I'm the worst offender. When I walk around outside alone, not only do I have the earbuds in nearly all the time, but I am not even listening to music. I'm listening to podcasts and audiobooks. Do I really understand the cost?

"The central question for lawyers was a narrow one..."

"... locate, under the statutory definition, the thin line between harsh treatment of a high-ranking Al Qaeda terrorist that is not torture and harsh treatment that is. I believed at the time, and continue to believe today, that the conclusions were legally correct."

Judge Jay S. Bybee defends himself.

"A Scary Thing Happened" — FEMA has a nice coloring book for you.

Come on, kids. Let the government help you cope with your fears:

Is there a coloring book for people who are afraid of bad drawings? Because I need some help with that, please, government.

ADDED: That drawing makes a good what's-wrong-with-this-picture exercise for kids. Outside the window, in real life, the second plane is about to hit the WTC, and that was carried live on TV, but it should not also appear in the magazine the woman is holding.

IN THE COMMENTS: Chip Ahoy points us to the government coloring book he made:

(Read the whole thing.)

"Those insects weren’t even poisonous," Cheney growled.

"Facial slaps? Abdominal slaps? Throwing a naked man into a wall? Kid stuff. Those methods worked. They kept us safe for seven years. Safer than with that delicate Hawaiian orchid in the White House. America is coming across as weak and indecisive. Just when Rummy and I had stomped out that 'Blame America First' flower-child culture, Obama has dragged it back, apologizing profusely all over the world for the country he’s running, canoodling with greasy dictators, kissing up to those weasels in Europe, which is only free today because of our military. Friends and foes alike will be quick to take advantage if they think they’re dealing with a Creamsicle."

Breastfeeding while drunk.

The crime!

The GDP drops 6.1 percent.

"Economists had predicted a drop of 4.7 percent, and the steep dip could dampen expectations that the pace of economic declines had begun to ebb. The decline was almost as sharp as in the previous quarter, when the economy shrank at a pace of 6.3 percent, its worst drop in a generation."

But it was stimulated!

When robots attack.

Good luck suing in Sweden.
In 2007, a muscular robot programmed to lift heavy stones malfunctioned in a factory near Stockholm, Sweden, and some poor devil—who thought he'd turned off the power—nearly got himself killed when the robot grabbed his head and shook him around. He ended up with four broken ribs, but managed to "defend himself" and live. The judge awarded the guy 25,000 Swedish kronor, which sounds nice except that it's only about $3,000. The judge also reprimanded the guy for being at least partially at fault, if I'm reading the Swedish translation correctly.
Get robot insurance:

"Do women earn less money than men for equal work?"

"It's nice to link to multiple studies and invoke the principle of controlling for variables. But if you ultimately cherry-pick the gloomiest-sounding figures you can find, and -- whoops! -- by the way, forget about those pesky variables, context, and alternate explanations based on factors other than sexism ... then you've given up any pretense to empirical validity."

What to do about flu?

Change the name!

ADDED: Pork producers are awfully antsy, aren't they? It's not as though anyone says "We're having swine for dinner."

Swine, the other white meat.

Bad news for Obama!

"He’ll be responsible for everything."

"From everyday people to fashion insiders, everyone wants to know which designer Michelle Obama is wearing."

From the headline to that slideshow to every sentence of the Robin Givhan narrative, everything seemed not quite honest.

What's the point of writing about fashion if you can't say cutting, critical things? WaPo moved Givhan from New York to Washington where she was assigned to write about Michelle and Barack. Sad!

April 28, 2009


Eurotard! LOL.
knox said...

"Eurotard": officially my new favorite slur.

IN THE COMMENTS: Some inapt ravings from link nonclickers. To them, I say, if you were born in July, you are a Leotard.

At the Guys Work Alone Cafe...


... I'm here by myself too.

"'Unbending squirrel' blocks nuclear train delivery."

Headline of the day, from Germany.

In case you're having trouble picturing the newsworthy event, it looked like this:

And as long as we're over here in the news from Germany (in English): "Eastern German women considered 'less ditzy."

Suddenly, Arlen Specter is a Democrat.

Sources say.

"So, Mr. Minister, welcome so much here."

That's the way Hillary Clinton talks. And she dresses like this:

And there you can also see Libyan National Security Adviser Dr. Mutassim Qadhafi. He has a very shiny brown suit.

They both like to wear their hair tucked behind their ears.

(Via Jeffrey Goldberg.)

The Supreme Court decides the "fleeting expletives" case.

SCOTUSblog reports:
Splitting 5-4, the Supreme Court upheld the government’s power under existing law to ban the use on radio and TV of even a single four-letter word that is considered indecent — but left open the question of whether the ban might violate the First Amendment, at least in some situations. The Court, in an opinion by Justice Antonin Scalia, said the Federal Communications Commission’s switch in policy to ban even a fleeting use of such a word was “entirely rational” under the law that governs federal administrative powers....

His written opinion, in a case dealing with uses of those four-letter words during performance awards broadcasts involving celebrities, took a swipe at “foul-mouthed glitteratae from Hollywood.”
Glitteratae... female glitterati? Cher was involved. And Nicole Ritchie.
Basically, the ruling simply means that the FCC provided a sufficient explanation of why it switched from a more relaxed policy on “dirty words” to a near-total ban on “fleeting expletives.”
So the constitutional free-speech question remains.
... Justice Clarence Thomas, in a separate concurring opinion, said he would be open to reconsidering two of the Court’s major precedents that allow the government the constitutional authority to treat broadcasting differently from the rest of the press for First Amendment purposes. Those two precedents — Red Lion Broadcasting v. FCC in 1969 and FCC v. Pacifica Foundation in 1978 — brought a “deep intrusion into the First Amendment rights of broadcasters”....
Bring it on.

"She shows women that it's OK to have dark skin and to not have a son. She's quite real to us."

The women of India look to Michelle Obama for inspiration, it says right here.

Does the iPhone erroneously amplify background noise to ear-splitting levels?

I have noticed this problem with and without using earbuds. I've been on the receiving and the giving end of it. Some relatively innocuous background noise — like mild wind, food frying, or water running — will become the dominant sound, drowning out the human being who is trying to be heard. The noise is excruciating, and the only option seems to be to end the call.

I'm guessing there is something wrong at the software level right now. The iPhone is sometimes especially smart about adjusting to the sound it hears. For example, if you stop talking, it switches to dead silence. I often find myself saying "Are you still there?" when I'm talking to someone who's using an iPhone, because it sounds the same as a dead line. Or sometimes the line — "line" isn't the right word anymore — has gone dead and I keep talking because I think it's that iPhone feature.

It seems as though the phone's software is sometimes fooled and interprets a background noise as the voice and, trying to help, it makes a correction. The result is horrendous. If I'm right about this, Apple needs to solve this problem quickly. After a wind-noise conversation 5 days ago, my ears are still not right. This is the stuff class actions are made of.

Why did Obama's people buzz lower Manhattan with a jumbo jet and an F-16 fighter?

"The planes appeared on the horizon around 10 a.m. and sent a chill through the city. Flying in as low as 1,000 feet to 1,500 feet above New York City, they circled the Statue of Liberty before flying over Manhattan, Staten Island and New Jersey. Before they vanished, hundreds of frightened people had jammed emergency phone lines, and thousands of terrified people evacuated from buildings in the city and across the river in New Jersey. 'I was crying and praying to God to forgive me my sins because I thought I was going to get killed,' said Kathleen Filandro, who fled from 1New York Plaza when she spotted the planes."


Why'd did they do it?
To get pics for propaganda, like they said.
To distract you from the flu.
To distract you from the economy.
Because the torture memos weren't exciting you enough.
So Obama could just eat his waffle, in a golf cart, and wear shorts. free polls

"For men, it's very stimulating."

Out of context quote.


Now, that was an article that needed a photograph or 2. Here's the missing link.

Looks like a set from "The Shining."

"Jesus had no career until Madonna arrived, and even if people are coming to see him because of her, he’s still going to take it."

Out of context quote.

"Cool it, Fellas! When I'm done let's all get high on the ammonia fumes!!!"

I love the comments thread over at YouTube — the source of the post title.
Cripes! Like they've never seen a white funnel cloud come out of a hot blonde's house!

looks like a 70's porn movie, lol.

:-D Just love that tornado music.

Heh, that one surfer kinda looks like Nicolas Cage! I can remember that tornado (& trippy musical accompaniment) somewhat freaking me out as a child.

I never knew there was a time where a strong ammonia smell was a good thing...
Ha ha. I never knew there would be a time when the stupid things I tried to avoid would be things I would go out of my way to make everyone look at. Or — for insiders only — the things I eschewed would be things I espewed.


This post is inspired by the poem wonderful Bissage wrote about the sink rainbow.

"I'm sending you a rainbow from the edge of my sink."


AND: Have you been half asleep, have you heard voices?

AND: Once, this was the rainbow in the kitchen:

The last of Ice Rainbow

"I've heard it too many times to ignore it. It's something that I'm supposed to be..."

April 27, 2009

"In Poland, kids are adored to death, but they are compliant."

"They know that they are small pegs on the planet. They know that parents rule. Moms whisper sweet, tender pet names, dads issue directives and little ones toddle along, waiting for that kind word, the kiss, the pat of praise."

What if Dick Cheney had been the GOP nominee for President in '08?

He'd have lost, but wouldn't the loss have been better for the GOP? It's Ross Douthat's first NYT column:
As a candidate, Cheney would have doubtless been as disciplined and ideologically consistent as McCain was feckless. In debates with Barack Obama, he would have been as cuttingly effective as he was in his encounters with Joe Lieberman and John Edwards in 2000 and 2004 respectively. And when he went down to a landslide loss, the conservative movement might – might! – have been jolted into the kind of rethinking that’s necessary if it hopes to regain power....
And — the Douthat theory goes — we wouldn't be stuck listening to Dick Cheney now.

"Sleeping apart has in no way ruined our sex life — if anything, it has made it better."

"First, we are less tired and have more time for each other, and there's something quite erotic in 'visiting' your partner in her bed, then going back to your own room. Sleeping apart makes us calmer, nicer people. We have been very honest with each other and it takes a lot of reassurance to say: 'It isn't you, I just have to get a full night's sleep.'"

Yes, why not sleep apart? Why connect sex and sleeping at all? I think a lot of married couples have a bad sex life because they assume that sex is the last thing to do before falling asleep.

Here's nice tidbit:
Married couple Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton live in separate homes in London, linked by a single corridor.
That's a pretty cool arrangement.

Or maybe something like the Beatles' house:

"Defense invokes 'Crash,' blaming chance encounter for man's death."

You have to read through a half page of sympathetic verbiage before you get to the description of the actual crime:
A passenger in a nearby vehicle said [David] Jassy's SUV rolled so far into the crosswalk that it almost struck [John] Osnes. The pedestrian reacted by bringing his hands down on the hood of the SUV and shouting something, witnesses said.

Jassy immediately got out of the SUV and punched Osnes, witnesses testified. The blow knocked Osnes off balance and as he stooped -- either to regain his footing or to pick up his glasses -- Jassy kicked him in the face, the witnesses said.

"Like somebody punting a football," motorist Rinn testified. "He stepped into it."

The kick from the 6-foot, 200-pound Jassy lifted Osnes, who was 6-foot-3 and weighed about 160 pounds, off his feet, said R.J. Young, an off-duty Anaheim police officer who was in a car stopped at the intersection.

Another witness told police that Jassy shouted, "Stupid, why did you touch my car?"

Young said he thought he had witnessed "a possible homicide if not a felony assault" and ran toward Jassy, who was getting back into his SUV. The officer said he grabbed at the passenger door and slammed his badge against the window, shouting, "Police officer! Stop!"

He said Jassy looked at him, then put the vehicle into drive and turned its wheels in the direction of Osnes' body. The officer testified that he was still holding on to the door when the SUV rolled over Osnes....

In court papers, [Jassy's] lawyer wrote that Osnes' death fit the thesis of the film "Crash" -- "that random interactions of diverse people in a city as frenetic as Los Angeles can lead to disastrous consequences." He said the case begged a series of "what ifs," starting with, "What would have happened if Mr. Jassy and Mr. Osnes had not arrived on the same corner at the same time?"
For the love of God, what bullshit! It's one thing for lawyers to be shameless, quite another to make an argument so insanely self-serving that everyone recoils in disgust.
The prosecutor, Sarika Kapoor, shot back: "The only 'what if' we are left with is: What if the defendant valued human life?"

"Why the Defense Department wanted to do a photo-op right around the site of the World Trade Center catastrophe defies imagination."

Mayor Bloomberg raged, after a needless, stupid White House mission caused a panic in NYC:
“People came pouring out of the buildings, the American Express Building, all the buildings in the financial district by the water,” said Edward Acker, a photographer who was at the building, 3 World Financial Center. “And even the construction guys over by 100 North End Avenue area, they all got out of their buildings. Nobody knew about it. Finally some guy showed up with a little megaphone to tell everyone it was a test, but the people were not happy. The people who were here 9/11 were not happy.”

Mr. Acker added: “New York City police were standing right there and they had no knowledge of it. The evacuations were spontaneous. Guys from the floor came out, and one guy I talked to was just shaking.”...

In Jersey City, construction workers were evacuated from a condominium tower under construction at 77 Hudson Street.

The workers, who were on the 32nd floor of the construction site, said the plane circled three times past the Goldman Sachs tower, the tallest building in New Jersey. On the second pass, they said, the jet appeared to be only a few dozen feet from the building — close enough to clip the side of the skyscraper. A fighter followed right behind, mirroring its moves....

Sidney Bordley, a floor director in an office building at 1 Battery Park Place, said, “People were running out of the office, claiming they saw a commercial flight being pursued by F-16’s.” He added, “There was some confusion and a little excitement.”

A group of financial services workers, who were gathered outside the same building but declined to give their names, described their reactions. “I saw the landing gear and I was out of here,” one said. Another said: “There were people in my elevator, sweating and shaking. There were women crying. It was not an experience to be taken lightly.”

"Obama's Golf Shorts: Should Grown Men Wear Shorts? (PHOTOS, POLL)."

HuffPo gets in on what has long been a big topic here at Althouse. (Click the "men in shorts" tag below. And read what I said in the comments here about the guy seated next to me on the airplane yesterday.)

Here you see our President dressed for golf the way PGA Tour members are forbidden to dress. (Can you even picture Tiger Woods in shorts? No. And you're not supposed to.)

Come on! You're not a little kid! In fact, you are the President of the United States. Presidents golf in long pants!

IN THE COMMENTS: John Stodder says:
The reason I disagree with Ann on shorts on men is that I don't think it is a man's job to look attractive all the time, especially when engaged in leisure pursuits. Women do need to try harder in this area than men, and that might be unfair, but it won't do to try to apply the same attractiveness-at-all-times standard to both sexes.

The president, however, is never engaged in leisure pursuits, even when he is taking a break, so long as there is a camera anywhere nearby. So he does have a higher standard to reach. Higher yet because he's an avowed metrosexual.

But above all, if you wear shorts, you should not be nervously pulling at the seam to enclose it around the thigh as Obama seems to be doing. If there is any danger of your shorts exposing your beet salad to the world, they're either too short or too loose.

"With Rivals Ahead, Doubts for CNN’s Middle Road."

New York Times headline.

Did it make you laugh?

"Choose Life" — the license plate... the Supreme Court case.

The way Adam Liptak puts it:
Had the states not decided to make license plates a forum for a sometimes comical array of messages, the “Choose Life” cases would easy. But many states have turned their motor vehicle departments into a kind of souvenir shop. They may also have given up the right to decide what gets sold in them.
Mm... yes... it's called "free speech," and much of it is foolish and/or opinionated. Religion is one more category of expression. Deal with it.

"GOP Know-Nothings Fought Pandemic Preparedness."

The Democrats begin the week with an absolutely perfect issue.

"Now that we don't march lockstep into marriage anymore and now that women don't require men for economic support, the reasons for marrying..."

"— for a lot of people — are never going to mount up to the point where they justify giving up the status quo of singlehood."

The last sentence of a post of mine from August 2006, which I read today as a consequence of monitoring comments newly added to old posts.

The new comment was a bit of grammar comedy (from Invisible Rope):
Men don't marry because women can't properly use the reflexive tense in their writing.
See the post title to get the joke.

Rereading the old post was an eerie experience, given my recent history. Am I piling up the reasons for marrying and for maintaining "the status quo of singlehood" to see which pile "mounts up" the highest? No, no, it doesn't feel like that at all. That sentence was obviously written by someone who was solidly single and justifying it. Faced with a choice, how rational are we?

A message to women in their long billowy summer skirts.

If you go through airport security, you will receive a pat-down search.


How do I know? It's happened to me 3 times. And yesterday, when I made a point of wearing pants to the airport, I saw 2 women in long skirts — there are some really pretty sundresses out there — and both of them got pulled aside for a pat down.

ADDED: I'm guess the government has decided to pat-down all wearers of flowing skirts as a general rule as a way to search all females in traditional Islamic dress. Any complaints about profiling will be easily met.

Spider silk, infiltrated with atoms of metal.


Perez Hilton thanks Miss California for giving him the chance to make gay marriage a big news topic all last week.

Oh, and of course, he lets President Barack Obama off the hook for having exactly the same "hateful" opinion that infects the feeble mind of the pathetic Miss U.S.A. contestant. This is all a big media performance. Don't you understand that, Howard Kurtz? Don't you get Perez Hilton? I don't know if you've read his website before....

(Via Newsbusters, via The Rhetorican, via Instapundit.)

And I love that new word "espew," which I take to be a portmanteau of "spew" and "eschew." I'm not going to espew it. I mean, I'm going to espew it everywhere. Use it in a sentence today.

"Take your hand off my hand."

"Take your hand off my hand."

Thanks to Palladian for syncing the audio and video on this clip I wanted to post yesterday — over here.

I'm will bet this is the funniest 3 minutes of comic acting that you've never seen by an actress you've never heard of or seen before:

The movie is "Husbands," and the actress — assuming the role is "The Countess" — is Dolores Delmar. This Wikipedia entry makes me suspect that "Dolores Delmar" is a pseudonym. So who is that lady, about whom Palladian wrote:
What a face that actress has, like it's made of latex, and that gaping mouth. Watch her lip movements. Very, very odd, and compelling.
Anyway, I haven't watched this movie in years, but I loved it when it came out in 1970 and enjoyed parts of it, despite the rambling length, when I watched it a couple decades later. If I was putting together a film series called "Studies of the Male Human Animal," I'd include "Husbands." (And what else?)

Look at the very cool poster:

April 26, 2009

"OK. I didn't hear the age. I don't want to know the age. It could be reported as rape. And that's child abuse."

A 20-year-old college student, Lila Rose, uses YouTube to expose Planned Parenthood.

"Terrible! Unreal! No passion!"

Let's watch a little of "Husbands":

"You're terrible because you want to be terrible."

That's Ben Gazzara, John Cassavetes, and Peter Falk.

Do you like these John Cassavetes movies? Now, or just back in the 70s?

At the Front Porch Café....


... you can talk about all the things you did yesterday.


"Journalists are still hot in Hollywood."

Writes Maureen Dowd (who's hoping newspapers won't die):
Russell Crowe, playing a messy and morally ambiguous Washington investigative journalist, teaches the self-regarding blogger, Rachel McAdams, a thing or three, including why a pen is necessary.....
Oh, there's a blogger in that movie? A "self-regarding blogger," eh?

Meanwhile, Patrick Goldstein writes:
When I was in film school, we were bombarded with all sorts of rakish visions of newspaper life, including "Nothing Sacred," "His Girl Friday," "Sweet Smell of Success" and "All the President's Men." Even in the darker, more cynical renditions of the world, like Billy Wilder's "Ace in the Hole," you knew being a reporter was where the action was.

But we now live in an era of diminished expectations, especially when it comes to newspaper dramas. In "State of Play," Crowe's investigative reporter manipulates everyone to get to the bottom of the story, which involves some good old government conspiracy. The film makes a halting attempt to introduce a contemporary story line -- his paper has an annoying young blogger on the same story -- but instead of pursuing the tension in that relationship, the film simply turns the character (played by Rachel McAdams) into a perky gofer for Crowe's big-shot journalist.
Annoying young blogger....

Well, at least there's a blogger in a movie, or are bloggers stock villains in a lot of movies these days?

Swine flu in New York City.

It's not just for Mexico anymore. Look out.

But don't worry, "Obama's health fine after trip to Mexico."


I've made a "flu" tag. I hope I won't need to use it too much.

Here's an excellent book: "Flu : The Story Of The Great Influenza Pandemic."
"It was a plague so deadly that if a similar virus were to strike today, it would kill more people in a single year than heart disease, cancers, strokes, chronic pulmonary disease, AIDS and Alzheimer's disease combined." Between 20 million and 100 million people worldwide died in the 1918 flu pandemic, but for years afterward this deadliest plague in history was almost completely forgotten. Histories and even medical texts rarely mentioned it. This disconnect between the flu's devastation and its obscurity is the starting point for [Gine] Kolata's incisive history. She explains how the plague spread, covers the various speculations about its causes and origins and gives an account of the search to retrieve a specimen of the virus strain once genetic science had advanced enough to unravel the virus's mysteries. Tissue samples from an obese woman buried in the permafrost of Alaska and from two soldiers who died in army camps preserved by the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in thumb-sized bits of paraffin prove to be the last remaining sources of the 1918 strain... Could such a deadly flu appear again?

Hey, Titus came back.

Somehow, the death of Bea Arthur brought back our long lost commenter. Did her ghost nudge him over here?