The this-might-be-a-fool’s-errand Open Thread.

It’s yours… (unless and until TNC should decide that it’s yours over there. In which case it’ll still be yours. You’ll just have two).

Standard FYI clause: I generally wait about 2 hours after Ta-Nehisi would typically open a thread (roughly noon, EST, back when such a thing was typical…!), and if none is forthcoming, I put one up here.

129 Comments

  1. oh thank god. another minute and i might have fallen asleep at my desk.

  2. baiskeli

     /  July 9, 2012

    Amazing Picture of Higgs Boson discovery at the LHC

    • So.Very.Awesome.

      • baiskeli

         /  July 9, 2012

        Thanks.

        Amazing what a glass of wine, a sketchpad and free time will do.

    • I am dumb.

      I don’t understand the Higgs Boson thing. Like AT ALL. I even read the “if you don’t understand the Higgs Boson, read this” article on the Atlantic and I still don’t get it.
      I am as dumb as Robert Wright.

      • Bookwoman

         /  July 9, 2012

        The most helpful thing I read (from Wright, I think) was that concepts like Higgs Boson can only be properly explained mathematically. Particle physics just isn’t very amenable to analogies or metaphors that might help the non-physicists among us actually understand what’s going on.

        In other words, I now feel free to ignore the subject entirely.🙂

        • helensprogeny

           /  July 9, 2012

          Solidarity. I get it that it’s a Big Thing. You have my applause and congratulations. Now I’ll just sit quietly over here in my ignorance and read about Tom and Katie.

      • dmf

         /  July 9, 2012

        meh, all of us this side of understanding nonlinear algebra are in the dark so it’s not as bad as being as dumb as Robert Wright.

        • helensprogeny

           /  July 9, 2012

          I didn’t understand ANY part of algebra, so I’m totally fucked here.

      • baiskeli

         /  July 9, 2012

        I found the first paragraph of the Wikipedia article extremely helpful. However, my brain exploded when I started on the 2nd paragraph.

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

      • osbenz

         /  July 9, 2012

        I find it assuring that, ontologically speaking, the reference to particles on the quantum scale may simply be some shorthand. The SEP’s entry on quantum field theory* got some doozies. To wit (emphasis added):

        The fundamental difficulty to find and to understand the nature of the basic entities of the quantum regime might, looking at QFT, lead to a solution which only makes it necessary to explain why we have the impression of ‘elementary particles’. In that case there would be no need to take ‘elementary particles’ ontologically serious. Some newer results seem to make it almost impossible to maintain the wide-spread view that quantum field theory is just as well a particle as a field theory, despite of its supposedly misleading name.

        That is to say, what been being referenced as a “cosmic molasses” (the Higgs field) may well be one type of molasses that undergirds all of reality. The particles are just momentary manifestations. That said, the ontological argument for fields is hardly fullproof (emphasis added again):

        There are two lines of argumentation which are often taken to show that an ontology of fields is the appropriate construal of the most fundamental entities to which QFT refers. The first argumentation rests on the fact that so-called field operators are at the base of the mathematical formalism of QFT. The other line of argumentation is indirect. Since various arguments seem to exclude a particle interpretation, the allegedly only alternative, namely a field interpretation, must be the right conception.

        So, basically, the math starts at the field and further math muddies up the particle interpretation. Finally, the conclusion argues for ontological modesty (as it well should):

        Atomism can be seen as one form of reductionism with its assertion that everything can be reduced to some basic building blocks. In order to clarify possible ways to understand this assertion and some of its consequences it is helpful to distinguish different notions of reductionism. One reductionist position is that all scientific theories can and should be reduced to a fundamental theory which is generally taken to be found in physics. Another reductionist position is more modest. It agrees with the first reductionist view that the reduction of higher-level theories to lower-level theories is possible in principle. However, the modest reductionist thinks that a reduction to the lowest possible level is often neither practically feasible nor even desirable. The question whether QFT is an atomistic theory hinges on the understanding of atomism. The answer could be ‘yes’, if atomism is understood as the availability of reductionist explanations, and ‘no’, if atomism is understood as the claim that all there is are particles and the void. However, looking at effective field theories, even the ‘yes’ with respect to reductionism could turn into a ‘no’ since there is no fundamental level of particles/fields any more (see Cao & Schweber 1993).

        I find that highlighted bit compelling. We humans may well have to accept that our collective ability to grok reality may well be inversely proportional to the absolute spatial gap between ourselves and what we measure (see: constructive empiricism).

        * http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/quantum-field-theory/

        • efgoldman

           /  July 9, 2012

          What a strange language in which to write.

        • Dex

           /  July 9, 2012

          Honestly, I find those quotes more defeatist than assuring. Fields one by one, cells, then organelles, molecules then atoms, then electrons, protons and neutrons, then umpteen other subatomic particles*. So often we’ve been able to drill further and further down. Particularly that last part you cited would seem to be an argument to stop searching when in fact the answer to the problem posed is to put full effort toward drilling further down and, if unsuccessful, deal with the consequences. Put another way, we should accept that further reduction is not possible only after we’ve proven that it cannot be further reduced and not before. The idea of feasibility really shouldn’t enter into it at all.

          *Obviously, there is some overlap and differing in order among the various levels here.

          • osbenz

             /  July 9, 2012

            I should have been more clear. I’m assured in my inability to intuitively grasp the particle/field duality as the state of the science/philosophy appears to be reaching the same limit. Ain’t no one a cretin for struggling on this matter.

            Now, as to the defeatism, I’ll certainly cede that giving up the reductionist pursuit should only happen after all avenues have been sought. Rather, I worry that the road presently traveled is getting awfully narrow. Alexis Madrigal had a good piece on this recently (centered about some Stephen Wolfram speculation). Ultimately, though, I increasingly lean towards scientific anti-realism as the spatial dimension increases between us and the objects we study so I’d label this barrier as more realist than defeatist. Hopefully, I’m proven wrong, but I believe that limits exist as to how much we, collectively, can learn about reality. Blindness due to spatial scale is what I suppose. And we squinting hard to see the Higgs boson.

      • taylor16

         /  July 9, 2012

        I’ve had a physics-shaped hole in my brain since high school. I used to try to understand it, but eventually just gave up. So I’m with you – while applauding the brilliance of our scientists, I didn’t even attempt to understand what was going on this week. Just a “yay!” for people who are smarter than me.🙂

      • Higgs Boson = sub-atomic coordinator.

        The end.

        • corkingiron

           /  July 9, 2012

          Higgs Boson = sub-atomic donut shop.

          • helensprogeny

             /  July 9, 2012

            Where the universal police hang out?

  3. today we will begin a series of posts running through the Paris Couture shows, starting with Versace. http://wp.me/p10bqa-2sl
    Next Food Network Star Recap: http://wp.me/p10bqa-2rV
    Plus Hobbit pics and poster, Game of Thrones pics and DOOZERS!!! DOOZERS!!!!!

  4. BJonthegrid

     /  July 9, 2012

    Hey people!

    • :: waves enthusiastically ::

    • Can I go back to the beach now? Today is all normal and boring and I’m not wearing a bathing suit.

      • Captain_Button

         /  July 9, 2012

        Per TNC if you go to South Beach you might find Jesus.

        • JESUS TAKE THE SOUTH BEACH
          TAKE IT FROM MY HANDS
          BECAUSE I CAN’T SUNBATHE ON MY OWN……

        • David L

           /  July 9, 2012

          Based on my grand total of three hours on South Beach, that’s only true if you’re talking about Jesus, the Cuban-American waiter.

          • helensprogeny

             /  July 9, 2012

            Deeply true. From someone who once lived on South Beach. (Though long, long ago. Things may have changed.)

      • BJonthegrid

         /  July 9, 2012

        Hate the beach! That loose soil beneath my feet that attaches to everything irritates me. Sadly, everyone else in my house loveees the beach.

  5. Captain_Button

     /  July 9, 2012

    I pity da fool!

  6. Yesterday I put up a small post about a great bourbon/apple brandy/passionfruit cocktail, The Avenue:

    http://cocktailchem.blogspot.com/2012/07/classic-cocktails-avenue.html

    In other news: so much Springbank. An online retailer is having a sale and I managed to pick up a couple of Hazelburns and a cask-strength Springer. Not sure which I’m going to open first.

    • BJonthegrid

       /  July 9, 2012

      Man does this sound good!

    • taylor16

       /  July 9, 2012

      At my husband’s work last week, I discovered a lovely new (to me) spirit called Skinos. Have you heard of it?

      He made me a cocktail with Skinos, a splash of club soda, some fresh lemon and basil and a little bit of simple syrup … and wow. I think I could’ve drank about fifteen of them. It was slightly sweet but not too sweet … slightly citrusy but not too citrusy. Man. So so so good.

      We don’t have it in the liquor stores here yet, but luckily I know the vendor who sells it to my husband. I think I’ll have him order “the restaurant” a few extra bottles this week.🙂

    • Dex

       /  July 9, 2012

      Hi Jordan,
      Completely off-topic, but I’ve been seeing a lot of brightly-colored cocktails in bars this summer. I had a Bicycle Race last night and I know the orange came from Aperol, but where do the bright pinks (i.e., not the pink of, say, grapefruit juice; far more saturated and bright than that) and purples come from? Are bartenders playing with colors of fruit juices by mixing and adding acids (like citrus juice)? I’m assuming that no self-respecting bartender would ever be caught adding food coloring to their drinks. I can think of the bright red of Campari, but I can’t think of other highly-saturated colors other than that of Blue Curacao.

      Any thoughts/ideas on this?

      • Pink usually means grenadine. There are a lot of classic recipes that call for a dash to add some color to the drink. Purple is harder. I’ll have to think about that.

  7. dmf

     /  July 9, 2012

    • Bob Jones' Neighbor

       /  July 9, 2012

      Nice camera work and outstanding editing! NOT a waste of 6 minutes and change.

  8. David L

     /  July 9, 2012

    In 10 days off work, I completely lost my adjustment to getting up at a reasonable hour. I’m pretty dead on my feet today, and I can’t afford to be because these July workdays are 125% of a normal workday (we’re doing 10×4 instead of 8×5) and the person who I’m taking over a project from is leaving at the end of the day tomorrow.

    On a related note, when your boss comes to find you because you forgot about a meeting because you’re just not awake enough to remember that you have a 10:00 meeting and are not actually working but staring at a blank screen? Kinda embarrassing.

    • David L

       /  July 9, 2012

      On reading that last paragraph: Apparently, I am not awake enough to realize that I’m repeating myself within the scope of a single sentence. It’s just one of those days.

    • I was tootling along JUST FINE this morning until the starbucks wore off.

      • David L

         /  July 9, 2012

        The caffeine kicked in while I was in the meeting. Thank goodness.

        • Captain_Button

           /  July 9, 2012

          Trying come up with a “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” take-off quote but can’t get it to jell.

          • we were somewhere around expense reports, and the end of the PowerPoint, when the caffiene began to take hold?

  9. I spent much of the weekend clearing films off my DVR. I watched, in order, ‘The Treasure of the Sierra Madre’, ‘The Philadelphia Story’, and ‘The Tree of Life’. If you want to include the days leading up to the weekend, I also watched ‘Galaxy Quest’, ‘Wicker Man’ (the original), and ‘Priscilla, Queen of the Desert’.

    Some people have gender identity issues. I have genre identity issues.

    • Captain_Button

       /  July 9, 2012

      Do you also have TID (Trope Interference Disorder)?

    • Bookwoman

       /  July 9, 2012

      Ha! I’m trying to imagine that pivot from “Doggone it, C.K. Dexter Haven, either I’m gonna sock you or you’re gonna sock me” to the weirdness that is “Tree of Life”. A girl could get dizzy.

      • Of the three over the weekend, I liked Philadelphia story the best. It made sense, had a plot and I didn’t know how the plot would turn out until it did. And my new favorite line: “Can you use a typewriter?””No, thanks, I have one at home.”

        • Bookwoman

           /  July 9, 2012

          It’s one of my favorite movies ever. Everyone is just brilliant in it and the dialogue sparkles.

          • And I loved the father and the uncle. They don’t know what’s going on, they don’t care and where’s the booze?

          • koolaide

             /  July 9, 2012

            I, too, love that movie.

    • Galaxy Quest is the best Star trek movie ever made.

  10. Captain_Button

     /  July 9, 2012

    Listening a Tolkien seminar on who is the biggest jerk in Beleriand and the morality of Elf Motels like Gondolin and Eol’s forest.

    • The Tolkien Professor podcast? It’s been a while since I listened to them, but it’s good stuff.

    • Lizzou

       /  July 9, 2012

      Oooo, are we speaking of Fëanor?

      • Captain_Button

         /  July 9, 2012

        Not in this session, but they did cover that in earlier ones. By now he is dead, so the leaders are Curufin and one of the other Sons of Dick.

  11. caoil

     /  July 9, 2012

    I don’t know how you eastern seaboard folks coped with that heat and no power. Kudos to you, because after two days of 30C I’m about ready to stab something. Possibly my coworkers, for going on and on about how nice it was, and no it wasn’t that hot in my area, there was a breeze (not inside my house there wasn’t) blah de blah de blah. It was still registering as 35C inside the house at 9pm, so I think I know how hot it was and how homicidal I felt!

    • Bob Jones' Neighbor

       /  July 9, 2012

      Hold it! That’s a mere 86 Fahrenheit. After the last couple of weeks here in South Carolina, I’d be wearing a sweater at 30 Celsius. Okay, maybe not.

      • dmf

         /  July 9, 2012

        we were around 103 the other day and there were still teenagers sporting ski caps in the park, who says thc is harmless…

      • caoil

         /  July 9, 2012

        Maybe at 29 degrees? 😉
        I would not be able to cope with the heat you’ve had. I’d have to pop on a bathing suit, call in sick to work, and sit in cool water in the bathtub all day just to get through it.

    • Lizzou

       /  July 9, 2012

      As someone who grew up in SC, VA and Louisiana, I feel the need to laugh at your heat intolerance. But. As someone who had to move from Canada cause she couldn’t handle the winter… I’ll shut my mouth now!

    • Dex

       /  July 9, 2012

      We were so relieved last night to be able to open the windows at our place without baking. I went to bed at midnight on I think Wednesday and it was still 36C outside. I picked a lousy time to paint and renovate the kitchen.

      My poor, very pregnant wife, suffered terribly these last two weeks. Extremely uncomfortable, lots of swelling. I’m going to be paying for this summer’s pregnancy for many years to come.😦

      • efgoldman

         /  July 9, 2012

        I’m going to be paying for this summer’s pregnancy for many years to come.
        You don’t know the half of it.

        • I once stood before my academic adviser at the University of Chicago, my pregnant belly firmly planted between me and his desk, and melodramatically said “I’d like to talk to you about my future,” meaning “…over the course of summer school because this kid is likely to come before summer school is done.”

          He looked me in the eye, looked at my belly, looked me back in the eye and said “30 years of heartache.”

          • efgoldman

             /  July 9, 2012

            When mrs efgoldman was preggo, the Boston Globe ran a space filler which gave the estimated cost of raising a child until 18. At the time (1980) it was something like $375K.
            That, too, didn’t cover the half of it.

            • Dex

               /  July 9, 2012

              You people are mean. You are supposed to be telling me how raising kids is all fun, frolic, and rainbow-farting unicorns.

              • corkingiron

                 /  July 9, 2012

                Corkingiron’s three rules of parenting:

                One: It is always easy to see what other people are doing wrong raising their kids.

                Two: You must make decisions, but are no right answers.

                Three: The odds of you getting “gork” (spit-up, snot, explosive diaper leaks, or any combination thereof) on you rise in direct proportion to the market cost of whatever it is you’re wearing.

                Good luck.

                • wearyvoter

                   /  July 9, 2012

                  Market cost and wash and wear vs. dry clean only.

                • efgoldman

                   /  July 9, 2012

                  To add efgoldman’s corollary:
                  As mom-to-be’s belly grows, any dad who isn’t scared spitless that he’s going to fck it up probably doesn’t deserve to be a dad.
                  [36 years old, I had no damned idea what I was going to do with that thing. Turned out OK, though.]

              • wearyvoter

                 /  July 9, 2012

                The tiny unicorns don’t fart rainbows. I won’t say what they produce, but it does involve extra diaper wipes (and possibly a hose).

              • Well… it is that. It’s just that that stuff makes your heart ache, too. It’s all heart ache, baby. Heart ache and embarrassingly timed tears.

    • carlosthedwarf

       /  July 9, 2012

      This morning, the temperature in my bedroom fell below 80 degrees for the first time since…last Wednesday? last Thursday?

  12. Lizzou

     /  July 9, 2012

    Anyone else check out the Running of the Bulls pictures on TheAtlantic? I don’t consider myself a big “against animal cruelty” person; but those pics? Sickening. I got the distinct impression I was looking at thousands of people act like stupid 16-year-olds whose brains haven’t fully developed yet.

    • baiskeli

       /  July 9, 2012

      Yeah, those pictures seriously angered me. I’m at the point where I’m rooting for the Bulls.

      • Oh, I’ve always rooted for the bulls. Anyone the bulls can take out is proof that Darwin was correct.

    • Captain_Button

       /  July 9, 2012

      Yeah the bullfighting pictures near the bottom were disgusting.

    • I looked at them and thought “the people watching from balconies are the smart ones”. Though having been around huge parties, the smell after everyone is done (or asleep) can be almost as bad as being in the thick of things. Though the pressing crowds are pretty much my idea of hell.

  13. baiskeli

     /  July 9, 2012

    So a Kenyan (Chris Froome) won Stage 7 of the TDF. Kudos!

    Still remember his crash when representing Kenya at the 2006 Time Trial World Championships where he t-boned a UCI official

    • Dex

       /  July 9, 2012

      I’ve always thought that there should be a bunch of Kenyan runners who could cross over to cycling in the way that Clara Hughes crossed over from cycling to speed skating.

      • baiskeli

         /  July 9, 2012

        I think it’s a matter of the high cost of cycling, plus the lack of an established road cycling culture. There are pro Kenyan racers, though not at the top level, and they’re mosty in Mountain bike racing.

        Once those 2 things are addressed we’ll begin seeing changes. I think currently Ethiopians/Eritreans dominate the lesser UCI tours in Africa (Tour of Rwanda, Tour of Burkina Faso, Tour of Eritrea). I remember an article some time ago about how pro European racers were shocked just how hard and competitive the Tour of Burkina Faso is. Tour of Rwanda could be big in the future, Rwanda is not known as the land of hills for nothing.

        http://en.tourofrwanda.com/

        There is also this article but it smacks a bit too much of stereotypes and is very wrong on most of the facts (especially the no black african pro cyclists)
        http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/blog/2008/sep/16/tourdefrance.cycling1

        I suspect we will see Eritreans break out onto the world stage first (ironically, similar to what happened with Long distance running). Eritrea as a country if fanatical about road cycling
        http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2006/jul/30/features.sport7

        Cycling, by and large, is about a big engine, and people with big endurance engines tend to congregate in 3 sports, running, skiing, cycling. A lot of Elite U.S cyclists (i.e. Tyler Hamilton) took up cycling after leaving another sport, and by and large, I’ve noticed the people who start racing on a lark and progress through the categories like a knife through hot butter were former elite athletes in another sport (i.e., skiing, running etc). Cadel Evans came from mountain biking. I know a former long distance runner who started racing on a lark and went through CAT5,4,3 almost to pro in one season. But she had insane times for the Boston Marathon prior to that.

        • Dex

           /  July 9, 2012

          It’s unknowable, but I’d also love to know the incidence and sophistication of doping in other sports as compared with road racing. They’ve always been the world leaders in that stuff, dating back generations.

          • Dex

             /  July 9, 2012

            (I meant cyclists, and not Kenyans, were world leaders in doping. Sorry if that wasn’t clear.)

            • baiskeli

               /  July 9, 2012

              I guess doping has been in every sport (and Baseball and Football have laughably inept anti-doping controls.

              But pro cycling as a sport is brutal on the body, and there has always been doping (Tom Simpson dying during the TDF due to Amphetamines, Jacques Anquetil, Bjarne Riis,Eddy Merckkx etc were known to have doped or even openly admitted it).

              The only grand tour winner I can unapologetically say I think never doped was Greg Lemond. I think the reason it was so prevalent in Cycling is because at it’s core, cycling is pure physics, how many watts per kilogram can you produce at threshhold. I have a photo I took standing next to Alberto Contador, Roberto Heras and Joseba Beloki. You just can’t appreciate how tiny this guys are. Lance Armstrong was considered huge for a cyclist. For Grand Tour contenders, it’s all about power to weight ratio and they go to ridiculous lengths (Michael Rassmussen would weigh his food, and also weigh his poop according to some accounts). Below the magic number for Watts per Kilograms, you don’t stand a chance of winning. Elite cyclists are freaks of nature, but even among freaks of nature, one wants to gain an advantage, especially if doping is a known secret (and it was for a while) and your teammates would consider you a bad co-worker if you did not dope.

              My favorite quote comes from the 90’s. “when I saw riders with fat asses climbing like airplanes, that’s when I knew…” -Lucho Hererra, Colombian Professional Cyclist talking about the 90s when EPO hit the pro cycling world. The Colombians had just begun dominating climbing at the TDF and other Grand Tours, and then EPO hit, and they faded from the scene. The Colombians had talent, but they just didn’t know what was up, the more established European teams knew the score. I also remember the huge Festina doping scandal of 1998. This was also the period when many cyclists would die of heart attack in their sleep (EPO thickens the blood, too much, and your heart cannot pump it, so cyclists would dope then wake up every couple of hours to do jumping jacks).

              I actually think doping has decreased. Part of the reason the last 2-3 TDF’s have been so brutal (you can see the cyclists are spent at the end of the stage) is that they’re no longer doping to recover quicker (i.e. Floyd Landis and the testosterone patch).

              • Which does beg the question: are pro cyclists going to be able to compete at the level many fans have come to expect if doping really is done for? While they’re pretty far out, the there are limits on what the human body can do on its own. Push too hard and it’s likely you’re hurt yourself in a career-ending fashion. Kind of like the concussion discussions, even sub-critical levels of impact might simply wear down joints and ligaments to the point where they start failing more regularly. It’s going to be a peculiar ride over the next 5-10 years.

  14. Your hardworking federal bureaucrats at DOD have a new book out:

    Freedom by the Sword: The U.S. Colored Troops, 1862-1867

    Publisher: Defense Dept., Army, Center of Military History“

    In what may be the definitive operational history of black troops in action during the Civil War, [author] Dobak describes the differences in how freedmen and runaway slaves were recruited, how they lived, and how they were trained. Most important, it considers how gallantly these men performed in combat at a time when many of their own leaders questioned whether they would be willing to fight for their own freedom and for that of their families. Much of the documentation comes from the ‘War of the Rebellion’ series.” – http://govbooktalk.gpo.gov/2012/07/03/notable-federal-books-2012/

    • And somewhere a Tea Partier is pitching a fit because this book exists.

      • Captain_Button

         /  July 9, 2012

        Nah, he is just asking where the companion book about the black confederate troops is.

      • Lizzou

         /  July 9, 2012

        *like*

  15. I know everyone reading this is totally on board with making health care as universally accessible as possible in the US anyway, but just in case you need more anecdotal evidence from Canada:

    The person who cleans our house every few weeks didn’t show up this morning. This afternoon her adult daughter came instead, because (it turned out) her mother was in the ER with what sounds like a kidney stone. So we had the requisite “oh no” conversation, the “is there anything we can do” conversation, and it wasn’t until I went back into my office that I thought about the conversation we didn’t have: I didn’t have to think about organizing with all the other clients of our housecleaner to help pay for her treatment. She will, I know, get the exact same treatment I get for kidney stones, in the exact same clinics. It’s basically OK care, competent and mostly compassionate and reasonably efficient (you do have to wait a while for lithotripsy sometimes) and everyone with kidney stones in this half of Ontario goes to the same set of clinics. I can just worry about this person I know being in pain; I don’t have to worry about her being bankrupted at the same time.

    The moral of the story: even for middle-class professionals who would be well-insured in the US, there are significant benefits when everyone around you has equal access to health care. 99% less guilt, for a start.

    Oh, and the other moral of the story: drink more water. No, more than that. No, really. You can ingest up to four liters a day without doing yourself any harm, and in hot weather, you should aim for that. Kidney stones suck, and they suck even harder when you don’t give your kidneys something to work with.

    • baiskeli

       /  July 9, 2012

      Thanks for this.

    • BJonthegrid

       /  July 9, 2012

      This post makes me ashame of my country. At my job, we had a sub-contract janitor have surgery and we (middle class employees) donated so the janitor who didn’t have healthcare could eat and pay her rent after her surgery.

      • I’m from the US originally and have participated in that kind of collection for colleagues and friends so many times. What a relief not to have to do that any more! Here’s hoping that the current improvements to access evolve into something more Canadian-ish.

        • caoil

           /  July 9, 2012

          I just cannot even wrap my head around having to do that for someone.

          • helensprogeny

             /  July 9, 2012

            It’s pretty routine here in Tucson to see people having car washes to raise money for funerals. Which makes me weep, every time.

          • When I was in my 20s and living in New York without health insurance, that’s what I would have done if I’d gotten seriously ill – asked my friends to organize a fundraiser of some kind. Luckily I never got sick. Unluckily many of my friends, who were gay men, did get sick (this was ~1984 through ~1994) and we all got very familiar with the workings of medicare and medicaid and the other inadequate care available to the chronically, mortally ill at the time. It was pretty bad. I’ve been kind of obsessed with universal access to health care ever since.

    • taylor16

       /  July 9, 2012

      You know that I like this story. Although it kind of just makes me sad for the patients I talk to every month, who are still slowly paying off surgeries they had in 2008.😦

  16. baiskeli

     /  July 9, 2012

    My heroes for today: Matthew Swaye and Christina Gonzalez

    http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20120702/west-harlem/harlem-couple-branded-professional-agitators-nypd-wanted-poster

    HARLEM — The NYPD has created a “wanted” poster for a Harlem couple who film cops conducting stop-and-frisks and post the videos on YouTube — branding them “professional agitators” who portray cops in a bad light and listing their home address, DNAinfo.com New York has learned.

    The flyer featured side-by-side mugshots of Matthew Swaye, 35, and his partner Christina Gonzalez, 25, and warned officers to be on guard against them. It was spotted by multiple people, including the couple, when it was taped to a podium outside a public hearing room in the 30th Precinct house last Thursday, where residents met for precinct council meeting.

    “Be aware that above subjects are known professional agitators,” read the flyer, which bears the NYPD shield and a seal of the NYPD’s Intelligence Division. It also gave the home address of the couple.

    But seriously disturbing behavior by the NYPD

    • Bet they’re folk heroes among the non-police residents.

      Have you sent this to TNC?

      • baiskeli

         /  July 9, 2012

        No, I’ll email him (can we email him?)

        • I don’t think he has a publicly-accessible email anymore. When he shut that down he told everybody that they could always find him on Twitter, but now…. However will we let him know about cool things?

  17. koolaide

     /  July 9, 2012

    The NBA thread at TNC’s place makes me want to talk WNBA w/ my fellow Hordians. Anyone here watch/follow WNBA action?

  18. efgoldman

     /  July 9, 2012

    mrs efgoldman and I just got home from Brave.
    Possible Spoiler Alert!
    My daughter (also red-headed, blue-eyed, and stubborn as a granite block) told me there were “mother/daughter issues,” but not that they were at the dead center of the whole movie. It made mrs efgoldman laugh and cry, both. And Pixar certainly got the teenage girl eye-rolling, sighing, door-slamming part right.
    [We used to grade them on a scale of 10. Stopped that stuff pretty fast. “That was only about a six. You can do better…” works wonders.]
    I liked the music a lot. mrs efgoldman, who knows these things, told me it was Celtic, to be sure, but much more Irish than Scots in character.

  19. Oh man, can I just have a hug? I hate jobs you have to compete for, especially when the competition is based on a) who can click in fastest (so if you’re taking time to judge “Am I the appropriate person?” you lose out), or b) mysterious standards you’re never told about. Especially troublesome when personal interactions also sometimes seem based on b).

    • I HUG YOU I HUG YOU I HUG YOU.

      But I do it not at all in the creepy way that the above came out. Good luck, good luck, good luck!

      • Many thanks–not creepy at all, much needed. It’s not a big real full-time job, just little daily freelance things, so there are always (theoretically) other chances, but it’s just not a setup that suits my temperament. Anyway, the hug helped *hugs back*.

  20. Ok I just posted about that one scene in the most recent Louie AND YOU NEED TO GO READ IT NAO:

    https://emilylhauserinmyhead.wordpress.com/2012/07/09/louis-c-k-louie-and-that-one-scene/

  21. Tenar Darell

     /  July 9, 2012

    Hi baiskeli, if you can’t find a contact for TNC on his main page at The Atlantic, you could try this part of the site. http://www.theatlantic.com/contact/.

    Maybe they will forward to him.

  22. Hello, everybody.

    Last night as I was puttering around after supper, I got a phone call. I thought it was some kind of survey at first. I tend to agree to do those because I figure I need to hold up my end of the bell-curve so I didn’t hang up. However, it turned out to be a screening/sales-pitch to get me signed up as a participant in the “Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging.” They are only asking for a 20 year commitment, LOL.

    I am awaiting my information package in the mail now, but I think I will probably agree to it. I feel like I owe the Canadian medical system, given that without it I would either be very sick or living under a bridge somewhere or both. And apparently they will only contact you every 3 years or so, so there’s that.

    Speaking of aging, I was supposed to go up in balloon in honour of my 50th birthday, (which is receeding rapidly into the past) but it was cancelled again, for the 3rd time, due to bad weather. *sigh* Tomorrow I will have to get another date set up and wait again. I’m starting to be sorry I asked for it. All I’ve gotten out of it so far is 3 very spoiled nights sleep. (It’s a 2 hour drive away and happens – in theory – at dawn, so we have to get up at 3:00am to go. But you don’t know until 11:00pm whether it’s happening or not.) Grr.

  23. wearyvoter

     /  July 9, 2012

    Husband and I took a long drive yesterday to attend a visitation for a friend who passed away last Wednesday. I think I’ve already posted the back story over here on an earlier open thread. (I’m losing track. Didn’t sleep much last night.) The place was crowded. We saw several folks we hadn’t seen in years, many from our group that has managed to reunite over the past few years through Facebook. As annoying as some of its features/bugs may be, Facebook served a valuable function:It’s probably the only way that many of us who are among the far-flung would have heard in time to make it to the visitation.