Oh fine, I’ll just call it then: An open thread.

Here we are again, gathered in the Student Lounge. Horde, have your say!

Standard FYI clause: I generally wait for 2 hours after Ta-Nehisi would usually open a thread (roughly noon, EST), and if none is forthcoming, I put one up here.

112 Comments

  1. Captain_Button

     /  June 29, 2012

    Just so you don’t call it late to breakfast.

    • Or for dinner.

      • koolaide

         /  June 29, 2012

        or a snack.

        • JHarper2

           /  June 29, 2012

          Or CAKE (or pie, for members of that faction)>

          • Ooh, especially for cake.

          • caoil

             /  June 29, 2012

            I desperately want some key lime pie today and am trying to figure out when I can make some this weekend.

            • caoil

               /  June 29, 2012

              On second thought, with it being Canada Day, perhaps I should make maple pie instead.

              • And then send some to me, so as to further my cultural learnings.

                • caoil

                   /  June 29, 2012

                  Super-fast rush courier to Emily’s house!

                  Maybe I’ll write “for anthropological study purposes” on the outside.

                  • helensprogeny

                     /  June 29, 2012

                    Still needing that internet pastry delivery system. Sadly I am technologically inept, or I’d be in my garage, figuring things on backs of envelopes and tinkering.

                  • “for anthropological study purposes” Heh!

                    And tell Canadian customs that I know who Laura Secord is (but don’t tell the Americans).

          • David L

             /  June 29, 2012

            Cake. CAKE. CAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAKE.

  2. Captain_Button

     /  June 29, 2012

    Does deciding that the individual mandate is a tax settle it, or just delay it until someone actually gets taxed. I heard something to the effect that you can’t sue over a tax that hasn’t gone into effect yet.

    • Congress has the power to tax. That’s the ruling. Anyone who brings a suit over the tax will have that suit dismissed post-haste.

    • scone

       /  June 29, 2012

      No – Roberts addressed that issue. The Anti-Injunction Act says you can’t challenge a tax in court until you’ve actually been taxed (to prevent people filing suit to delay the implementation of taxes). But Roberts somehow decided that the mandate was a tax for constitutional purposes and was not a tax for Anti-Injunction Act purposes.

      • David L

         /  June 29, 2012

        An example I saw cited for this sort of thing today: The tax code gives the IRS the ability to levy penalties for failing to file all of the necessary documents, even if everything you actually owe was withheld. Clearly, this is not a tax, but it is allowed under Congress’ ability to levy taxes.

        Extending that distinction to things which are not directly connected to taxation strikes me as a huge stretch.

        • Captain_Button

           /  June 29, 2012

          On NPR they had someone saying the penalty was (if I heard it right) $695 per adult, double that if you have kids, up to three times total. Or 2.5 % of your income, whichever is higher.

          But the kicker seems to be that while the IRS can withhold your refund, they can’t do any of the other things they do when you owe them money, no criminal penalties, no seizing or leining* assets, etc.

          So unless I am missing something, if you just make sure your taxes aren’t over-withheld**, you don’t ever have to pay the penalty.

          I am probably missing something.

          * Is that a word?

          ** But don’t be too under-withheld, because there are penalties for that.

  3. OMG! The ACA is upheld and Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes get divorces within 48 hours of each other.

    I CANNOT HANDLE THE JOY.

    • Captain_Button

       /  June 29, 2012

      Maybe they were only staying together for the insurance?

    • koolaide

       /  June 29, 2012

      The divorce news comes out on the Friday news dump the day after the ACA decision? Good job by their respective pr folks.

      • Tom has serious people. Remember Nicole’s never once talked.

        • koolaide

           /  June 29, 2012

          true. a certain group does like to sue…

        • koolaide

           /  June 29, 2012

          I’m now reading TMZ (and hating myself a little) and they’re all “Tom was blindsided” “Katie wants sole custody” and so forth.

          • I KNOW!

            • koolaide

               /  June 29, 2012

              I love the “We’re also told there is some “nastiness” here, evidenced by Katie’s move to get sole legal custody.” sentence.

              Yeah, cause it was going to ever be a smooth divorce?

      • dave in texas

         /  June 29, 2012

        I always had a big ol’ crush on Katie (hey! back off; old people get crushes, too) until she married Tom Cruise. That kinda ruined it for me.

        • I’m currently crushing on Tom Hiddleston. I’ll join you in the old persons’ corner.

        • Everybody wanted to be with Dawson’s Creek era Katie, and then everyone was completely weirded out by Tom Cruise era Katie. These are universal feelings.

    • Bob Jones' Neighbor

       /  June 29, 2012

      To quote South Park: “Tom Cruise won’t come out of the closet!” I think the context might have been different. Or not.

    • Why do you think they add the extra few months to the end of Katie’s 5-year contract?

    • koolaide

       /  June 29, 2012

      I am still lol-ing about tmz’s “what were the warning signs” story. srsly. Warning sign #1 was that they were a celebrity couple where one has, let’s be nice and say baggage.

  4. Captain_Button

     /  June 29, 2012

    Other ACA question: Has someone made up a chart for lazy people like me of what the subsidies and mandate penalties are for various levels of income? I think the high end tops out at an extra 2.5% of your income, but I’m confused about the lower end.

    • The Kaiser Foundation has a calculator for the subsidies: a single person’s subsidy stops at $46,000/year, which is pretty generous.

      • SO talk to me like I’m stupid. What does that mean?

        • Captain_Button

           /  June 29, 2012

          Since the government is going to fine you if you don’t have medical insurance soon, they will help you pay for it if you are poor. If you are really poor you get Medicaid, which will be easier to get (in theory). If you are not quite that poor they will pay something between $10,000 and nothing, depending.

  5. intangir

     /  June 29, 2012

    TTMLIS – Having just seen it come up again in the Good Police thread – where did ‘bath salts’ come from and why am I hearing about them absolutely everywhere? Until roughly two weeks ago, I had never heard of this as anything other than ‘things you pour into your bath to make them smell nice and/or bubble’. Why does it seem like it’s some overnight epidemic?

    • koolaide

       /  June 29, 2012

      The do seem to be the current SCARE DRUG story. They were blamed for that guy that chewed off the other guy’s face but I saw this week where the tox report came back w/ no bath salts drug (whatever its real name is) in his system.

    • Captain_Button

       /  June 29, 2012

      They aren’t really bath salts. They are drugs that haven’t been made illegal yet because whenever they make them illegal the makers change the formula just enough to duck the law while still having similar effects.

      But since you will have trouble selling “Legal stuff that gets you high just like illegal drugs” in stores they get labelled “bath salts”.

      • intangir

         /  June 29, 2012

        Well yeah I realize they aren’t actually bath salts – I’m mainly wondering what they actually are and why it seems like they are so suddenly in the news everywhere.

      • Actually, the U.S. already has a law for dealing with that called the Federal Analog Act, which specifies that a chemical that is “substantially similar” to an already illegal drug is automatically illegal.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analog_Act

        There are some ways to get around it, but “legal highs” are often on pretty shaky legal ground.

        • watson42

           /  June 29, 2012

          Interesting. Considering the amount of work and money that goes into carving out intellectual property/freedom to operate around chemical structures by pharmaceutical companies, I wonder how this law works in actuality. There isn’t, as far as I know, general agreement about what would be considered “substanitally similar” amongst med chemists and patent attorneys, not to mention the USPTO.

          • If you take a look at the Wikipedia article, it sounds like this has been debated in court as well. If I remember correctly, the law was passed initially to stop the distribution of fentanyl and phenethylamine analogs.

  6. Captain_Button

     /  June 29, 2012

    Tolkien geek: I’ve reading “The Children of Hurin” this week aka “Turin Turambar – the extended cut”. I’m like it better than the version I read in the Silmarillion, it isn’t as rushed. Haven’t read the Unfinished Tales version.

    Does seem to have a lot of objects lessons about not falling for the moody bad boy.

    • scone

       /  June 29, 2012

      That sits unread on my shelf. I’ve heard Turin Turambar called one of the saddest stories in the Silmarillion. I didn’t find that to be the case because Turin was such a dick.

      • I feel like in some ways, the Silmarillion could have been subtitled, “The Book of, ‘Man, What A Dick.'”

        • Captain_Button

           /  June 29, 2012

          I love this. Yeah, so much would be different if it weren’t for all the short-term thinking, poor impulse control, conclusion jumping, stiffnecked pride, and mithril-clad refusal to admit you were wrong.

      • Captain_Button

         /  June 29, 2012

        The longer version is still a dick, yeah.

    • Captain_Button

       /  June 29, 2012

      I should add that the color and black and white artwork is very good.

  7. dmf

     /  June 29, 2012

    for fridays and work with tangible results:

    This summer my nephew
    is old enough for his first job:
    mowing the lawn.

    I watch him lean his skinny chest
    to the bar of the pushmower,
    put his weight into it, and become,

    for the first time, a beast in harness,
    a laborer on the face of the earth,
    somehow withering and expanding at the same time

    into something worn and ancient, but still
    a kid withal. And I remember
    how bitterly I went into the traces,

    hating that Saturday ritual
    for a while, then growing inexplicably
    into it, gradually mastering

    the topography of the yard,
    sometimes using the back and forth technique,
    sometimes going for the checkerboard effect,
    or my favorite, the ever-diminishing square
    that left, at the lawn’s center, one
    last uncut stand of grass, a wild fortress

    I annihilated with a strange thrill,
    then stood back to take a look—
    to survey the field. To cast

    a critical eye on my work.
    Just as this kid is doing, standing
    at the edge of the mowed clearance.

    Taking his own measure. And liking it.

    “Tamed” by George Bilgere

    • JHarper2

       /  June 29, 2012

      Oh I like this.
      I had a friend who called a pushmower, an acoustic lawnmower, on the principle of an acoustic instrument. I have liked that for years, just not enough liking to use one though.

    • somehow withering and expanding at the same time

  8. Guys, I can’t do anything else today. Purrbot has claimed my left arm as her own.

  9. Thanks all for helpful and kind replies yesterday; sorry not to reply then, but Emily’s OT is the Open Thread at Three AM for me, so if I need to say something I tend to wake up, post, and fall back into bed. (Today also…). For the record, I am hoping to submit for publication a translation of a book published in Japan, relating to the topics mentioned yesterday. Will check out Verso, thank you dmf; am also looking at a bunch of university presses, thank you caoil. mythopoeia, glad you like the Bach too.😉 I’ve found a huge list of small presses, including the above, and am working from that; wish me luck.

    • Sorry about the timing! Damn time zones.

      (And also, of course: Excellent luck!)

    • dmf

       /  June 29, 2012

      if you could be more specific about what your topic is I could probably add to your list, good luck.

  10. dmf

     /  June 29, 2012

  11. koolaide

     /  June 29, 2012

    yay! unexpected free food at work. woot.

  12. Napsville is calling me

    • I think my favorite naps are on Sundays when I’m on the couch, the husband’s watching the footie, and my kids are doing whatever it is they do when I nap. I hear it all but not really, I have dreams but not really, and I always wake up happy.

  13. JHarper2

     /  June 29, 2012

    I read a story in the Globe and Mail yesterday, re: the debate between parents on: young kids, is it alright to put them on a leash in a crowd or on a crowded and busy street.

    The first comment: Fortunately this city has a number of good off-leash parks

  14. JHarper2

     /  June 29, 2012

    Oh, Happy Canada Day Sunday for all the Canadian Horde.
    True North Represent.
    Apparently we are going to have a number of southern migrants storming our borders seeking political asylum to get away from Too Much Health Care.

    • Just when you thought Laura Secord could rest in her grave.

    • Captain_Button

       /  June 29, 2012

      Really obscure science fiction reference: So they are Organ Draft Dodgers?

    • caoil

       /  June 29, 2012

      Happy Canada Day to you, JH2!
      I can’t wait to greet them and discuss subsidized daycare, and same-sex marriage, and our monarch, and a whole host of other things available to them.

      • JHarper2

         /  June 29, 2012

        And compulsory govt auto insurance!

      • doginajacket

         /  June 29, 2012

        Would I be *required* to same-sex-marry your monarch? That’s what I want to know.

        • caoil

           /  June 29, 2012

          Hm. I suspect that would probably be your own choice. Don’t count on her ditching Philip, though.

          Side note re: Elizabeth. I collect autographed pictures, and many years ago I wrote to both the Queen and the Queen Mum to ask for theirs. I got the most wonderful letters back from their ladies-in-waiting, apologizing to me that this is not a request they could accommodate. So I pasted the letters (and envelopes!) in my collection book.

    • watson42

       /  June 29, 2012

      wait a minute, I thought Canada Day was on July 1st. Has there been some strange warping of the space-time continuum or has my newfound employment made me completely out of touch?

      • caoil

         /  June 29, 2012

        Nope, you are still on the ball, July 1st is correct, but we shan’t see each other until Monday at the earliest.

        • caoil

           /  June 29, 2012

          (or at least, those who are not on other social media sites won’t see other people until then)

  15. koolaide

     /  June 29, 2012

    The $4.99 I spent on the WNBA live access (and full replays) has already been well worth the purchase price. Once the Olympic break is over, it’ll be even better🙂

  16. CitizenE

     /  June 29, 2012

    During siesta hours yesterday I got hooked into the the Rosol-Nadal match. The stuff of movies. Here’s a guy without a prayer in the world, one grass court match victory in a major tournament to his name, ranked 100th, playing Rafa Nadal center court at Wimbledon, fresh off his latest French Open victory. And just blowing him off the court again and again and again. An amazing match, anyone who likes to see tennis, or at least a historic tennis match, and missed it should try to see it if it comes up on some replay. Nadal was lucky, lucky not to be swept in three sets. And Rosol just blistered the ball in the final set. When asked about it Rosol said that he was more than just surprised, “it was a miracle.” But it didn’t look like one. For a few hours out there the guy easily looked like he was flat out better than one of the greatest tennis players of all time–a state of athletic grace. Usually, I like the women’s game better, more back and forth, thus more drama, but that match was the reason one loves spectator sports–inspiring, wonderful.

  17. I finally wrapped up and posted a review of two Guyanese rums bottled by El Dorado and Lemon Hart, both at 80-proof and on the younger side. The El Dorado rum is, in my opinion, one of the best values around.

    http://cocktailchem.blogspot.com/2012/06/rum-reviews-guyana-pt-ii.html

  18. koolaide

     /  June 29, 2012

    I think I’m going to have to root for Super Mario to score 2 more in the Euro final.

  19. koolaide

     /  June 29, 2012

    I totally laughed at this story about a 5 year old giving her sister a hair cut:

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/two-little-girls-explain-worst-haircut-ever-201420201.html

  20. David L

     /  June 29, 2012

    Somehow, I have failed to notice that this thread existed until just now, or I might have been here earlier. Or maybe not. I had a pretty restless night last night (let’s just say my date went well) and spent much of the afternoon thus far napping or in a state of semi-catatonia.

    Anyway, a happy Canada Day to those of you in the land of Loonies and universal health care.

  21. watson42

     /  June 29, 2012

    Unexpected downside of the new job: the internet is locked down to the extent that I cannot comment via Disqus, and wordpress keeps barfing. I guess I will be much more productive at work, but I MISS YOU GUYS. Dammit.

    • caoil

       /  June 29, 2012

      Stupid job firewall blasted thingies. We hates them, yesssss.

    • watson42

       /  June 29, 2012

      I feel like I should balance this with a nive upside to the job: Journal access! I have *so* missed being able to read about science without paying $32/article.

      Also @ Paul Wartenberg: The company has an entire library dept. It is, of course, science and industry focused, but they do all the things librarians would do. If you haven’t looked at large biotechs/pharmaceutical companies for jobs, maybe there are some opportunities there. I will keep an eye out on the internal job board.

      • It’s always nice when universities forget to shut down your online access. We’ve used that trick on a number of occasions because my current university doesn’t have great access to chemistry journals.

    • Ian

       /  June 29, 2012

      I totally missed the part where you found a job! That really makes my day.

      • watson42

         /  June 30, 2012

        Thanks! It’s a contact position – 6 months at a biopharma. A little off the career track, but still in my field. I hope it will lead to something, though they are undergoing a slow-but-steady reorg right now. Still, earning money is better than unemployment, and I will still look for something permanent.

        Other upside: I can pay for shop fees guilt free. 🙂

  22. caoil

     /  June 29, 2012

    I have an evening to myself, which means I will get to finish off the last three episodes of Slings & Arrows (season 3), and eat delightful chocolates while doing so! I am already giddy with anticipation (though a little sad that there will be no more dvds after this one).

    • I held myself back on the mainpage, but one of my secret powers is that I shared an apartment in Kensington Market with Don McKellar and his much lamented late partner Tracy Wright in the 80s. I could tell you some (really boring) stories.

      • caoil

         /  June 29, 2012

        !❤
        My partner doesn't much care for Don (I think that's the influence of the roles he chooses, where he's often playing a jerk) but I like him. And liked her, too.

        I'm not ashamed to say that the last episode made me cry.

        • Well. I can’t justify Don’s roles for your partner since he wrote most of them himself.

          However, I just realized that its dickety-something years since that time. Living in the market we had plenty onions to tie to our belts.

        • Also too. If you ever get an opportunity to see Trigger, Tracy’s last film, please check it out.

  23. doginajacket

     /  June 29, 2012

    Is it too late to hoardsource? On my way home today my Zune 120 died. Clearly I won’t be replacing it with another Zune. What should I get? I don’t actually use all 120 GB, but I’m used to not worrying about how much space I’m using. With the Zune dead I can’t check how much space I actually was using, but it was less than a third. What do I need to know about converting my collection and getting my podcast subscriptions started up again in a new system?

    • doginajacket

       /  June 30, 2012

      Ok, probably no one’s even here, but an update anyway. I took the broken Zune in to Best Buy and they managed to fix it, so I’m saved for now. But I’m still taking recommendations because the day will come when it’s gone for good.