Thread for all your opening needs.

Have at it.

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.

172 Comments

  1. baiskeli

     /  July 11, 2012

    This article pretty much says it all (Florida, yet again).

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/07/08/florida-accused-of-concealing-worst-tuberculosis-outbreak-in-20-years/

    According to the Post, the coverup began as early as last February, “when Duval County Health Department officials felt so overwhelmed by the sudden spike in tuberculosis that they asked the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to become involved. Believing the outbreak affected only their underclass, the health officials made a conscious decision not to not tell the public, repeating a decision they had made in 2008, when the same strain had appeared in an assisted living home for people with schizophrenia.”

    That decision now appears to have gone terribly awry, partly because the disease appears to have already spread into the general population but also because just nine days before the CDC warning was issued, Florida Governor Rick Scott had signed a bill downsizing the state’s Department of Health and closing the A.G. Holley State Hospital that had treated the most difficult tuberculosis cases for over 60 years.

    Keep in mind Rick Scott has vowed not to accept federal “Obamacare” funding to expend Medicaid (which among other things, provides TB medication). Also, he closed the states only State funded Tuberculosis hospital, 3 months AFTER the CDC said that Florida was suffering “the largest uncontained TB outbreak in the last 20 years”.

    I guess this is what you get when you live in an Ayn Rand “F*ck you, I’ve got mine!” Tea Party wet dream. I don’t think some people appreciate how f*cking scary this is. I’m from a place where we get TB Vaccinations as children for a very good reason (it’s cause me grief to no end because it means in the U.S when given a the Mantoux tuberculin skin test I come up positive). Tuberculosis is a scourge, it’s f*cking deadly and if it takes a foothold in the general population (especially if it’s the drug resistant kind), it will cause chaos, it will cost large amounts of money to solve if you are able to solve it. If you get it and recover, you will likely carry the effects for the rest of your probably shortened life.

    Welcome to GOP/RonPaulF*ckistan, land of freedom, where you’re free to die from diseases that most other civilized nations are able to control/prevent.

    Can we get an underground railroad going to get Paul Wartenberg out of Florida?

    Oh, and Mitt Romney had this to say in front of the NAACP (and deservedly got booed)

    I will eliminate all the expensive non-essential programmes I can find, that includes Obamacare

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/11/romney-courts-black-voters-naacp

    Cause you know, Health care, totally non-essential.

    • Captain_Button

       /  July 11, 2012

      On another forum, one guy said that while the government had no business paying for health care, locking up people with contagious disease was a legtimate government public safety function.

      I wanted to ask if that meant sick people with no money should be locked up without care until they died or got better, but II get in enough pointless agruments online as it is.

      • baiskeli

         /  July 11, 2012

        The ‘friend’ I de-friended on Facebook? ObamaCare was one of his hobby horses (along with immigrants, Obama, Democrats etc).

        At core it’s about naked resentment sans-logic. Even if you told them it would be cheaper to treat people than quarantine them it still wouldn’t make a difference. The article states that TB caught early costs $500 to treat, caught late or when it becomes drug resistant, over $275,000, over 500 times more expensive. I saw a great quote

        You can’t reason someone out of a position they didn’t reason themselves into

    • I mos def want an underground railroad to save our friend Paul, but I keep thinking about how this is kind of a national problem. Because last I checked, TB doesn’t recognize state borders.

      /crawls into corner

      • Captain_Button

         /  July 11, 2012

        Not to worry, you just sue the person who gave it to you in civil court, right?

        • dave in texas

           /  July 11, 2012

          Not in the dozens of states that have some mutant version of “tort Reform.”

      • baiskeli

         /  July 11, 2012

        Yeah I know, but God!, there are times…… Someone need to redo Nina Simone’s Mississippi Goddamn! and call it Florida Goddamn!

        • No, it’s still Mississippi Goddam! And Alabama and Texas and Arizona and Kansas and Oklahoma and Georgia and…

    • helensprogeny

       /  July 11, 2012

      But not that upgraded missile system. Gah!

    • taylor16

       /  July 11, 2012

      Believing the outbreak affected only their underclass,

      This mindset is just awesome. I mean, seriously.

      Let’s just pretend for one minute that this rationale even makes sense (the outbreak only involves the “underclass”, who don’t matter, so let’s cover it up).

      Who do they think are the people who do jobs like handle our f*cking food and, I don’t know, clean hotel rooms and sanitize doctors’ offices and stuff like that come from? Because those jobs aren’t being done by Mitt Romney’s sons.

      And if those menial wage workers have incredibly contagious diseases and bring them with them to their dishwashing jobs at La Petit Snob Cafe or wherever the “worthy” people in Florida eat? Guess what, dickbags? You’re gonna get sick too.

      I mean, this “cover it up” decision doesn’t even make sense from the selfish rich person perspective. We all share the same motherf*cking world and air, you know.

      (This is a similar argument to the one I make when people argue against illegal immigrants having healthcare access, by the way. “Who do you think does a lot of the dishwashing in the restaurants you eat in, pray tell???” That usually elicits a long silence….)

    • koolaide

       /  July 11, 2012

      Yeah, when I said at TNC’s place yesterday that reporting stories depress me about the state of our country, this was one of the stories I’d very recently seen. I want to be optimistic about the future. And then I read…

      sigh.

    • Electronic_Neko

       /  July 11, 2012

      Typical callous and short-sighted Republican mindset. I can only hope Floridians kick Rick Scott out of office ASAP, since he is continually screwing them over.

      My favorite Mitt @ NAACP line was: “I believe that if you understood who I truly am in my heart, and if it were possible to fully communicate what I believe is in the real, enduring best interest of African American families, you would vote for me for president.” No one’s putting tape over your mouth, Mitt. Go ahead and tell us about yourself.

      • baiskeli

         /  July 11, 2012

        Yeah. His speech had many clunkers, and that was just one of them. He also invoked his fathers Civil rights record (bad move considering it contrasts horribly with his).

    • r_bargis

       /  July 11, 2012

      My mom worked as a state TB DOT (directly-observed treatment) nurse for over a decade and outbreaks like this really worry her. It’s easy to think that sending a nurse to someone’s house or place of employment almost every day for several months – especially when most of the patients are immigrants, and not necessarily legal ones, either – is a complete waste of money. “Why am I paying to treat an illegal immigrant’s TB?” Somehow it NEVER gets through a policy-maker’s brain or press release that TB is a very contagious disease that’s mostly been eradicated in the US and the only way to keep it that way and limit the spread of drug-resistant strains is to treat the people who bring new cases here, be they illegal or not.

      But all anyone ever hears is “we’re treating poor people and illegal immigrants FOR FREE?! THAT IS A WASTE OF MY MONEY!”

  2. Captain_Button

     /  July 11, 2012

    Gratuitous The Fifth Element reference. “You must … open me.”

  3. Ok peeps–I need to make a CDD for my niecelings to atone for my SIL and her husband having to listen to Ikea everyday in the car since December.
    Some thoughts of rock and roll for toddlers includes early Michael Jackson, pre-1965 beatles, pre-1990 Madonna. Also a glee hit? and naturally Everythings Better With Muppets, because everything is better with Muppets.

    any suggestions from the horde?

    • There is no such thing as too early to learn about the Starchild, who came down in the Mothership to bring the holy Funk to the people.

    • chingona

       /  July 11, 2012

      My kids are really digging the Eurythmics these days.

    • chingona

       /  July 11, 2012

      Though, my son’s favorite song when he was three was the Pogues’ Navigator.

    • SWNC

       /  July 11, 2012

      My kid also likes the Pogues. Zydeco, too. The “Dance Magic Dance” number from Labyrinth is her favorite video, but the song is plenty catchy on it’s own, too.

    • chingona

       /  July 11, 2012

      NOT for the mix-tape, if you care about your SIL, just for the Horde’s entertainment. Also, better with Muppets. Cookie Monster does Call Me Maybe.

      • if you scrolled down, you would see that was part of my blog flog.

        • chingona

           /  July 11, 2012

          Sorry. I was just a posting fiend. My son loved this video, and then he paused and said, “I know this song. Somebody was singing it. It was really annoying me.”

    • chingona

       /  July 11, 2012

      This story is kind of the opposite of your project. We were at a birthday party earlier this year in which the party favor was a mix CD made by the kid, who had just turned six. The mom kept apologizing to all the other parents as she handed it out. It was heavy on the Chipmunks and Hannah Montana.

    • Bob Jones' Neighbor

       /  July 11, 2012

      Motown! because… Drop butt!!!!

  4. efgoldman

     /  July 11, 2012

    Had a lovely barbecue on Saturday, with many of my daughter’s rotten friends, incuding two Hordeists new to us: Ryman and Might be lying. They are as rotten as the rest of the bunch. Unfortunately, when they meet me and mrs efgoldman in person, and can see that we’re little, old people, they get all respectful and like that, because they were clearly brought up right. Gotta’ fix that….

    • : )

      I would’ve kicked you both in the shins, no worries.

    • Having seen your daughter, I would doubt you are very little old people, unless you have shrunk. I’m just saying she’s way way way taller than me.
      My parents, on the other other hand, have been mistaken as being related to the Tooks.

      • SWNC

         /  July 11, 2012

        Heh. Me and the spouse, we’re both hobbit-sized, too.

      • He’s not kidding. I had outgrown them both by the time I was eleven. I’m close to a foot taller than my mom.

        • O_O

          My kids are going to to this to me, I just know it.

          And I will still refer to them as The Short People.

          • I dunno, as I seem to remember I think *you’re* close to a foot taller than my mom.

            • I make a big impression!

              I do. For good or ill. People who have spent time with me are forever surprised to learn my height. Don’t know if that’s the case with you, but I’m only 5′ 3″ & 3/4, which is probably about 6 inches taller than your mom?

              And both the husband (5′ 8″-ish) and I have a LOT of tall genes in our family. The two of us are the shrimps. The boy is within 1/2 an inch of me at this point.

              Which is probably more information than you necessarily needed, but there you have it.

              (Not that I’ve been thinking about this since the boy and I measured each other the other day. Or anything).

    • My god, Two…..that’s quite brave. Those people rampaged through Europe!

      • efgoldman

         /  July 11, 2012

        I would have liked more.
        Hell, you could have shown up in an Abrams, impressed the neighbors, and taken care of my lawn problems, all at the same time.

  5. Captain_Button

     /  July 11, 2012

    One guy showed up at my lunch group who looked a lot like Renly Baratheon to me.

  6. Blog flog: Apropos of our discussion last week of how wearying the gloom and doom in contemporary entertainment is, here’s my blog post about how awesome optimistic art can be, using TNG as an example: http://testudomeles.blogspot.com/2012/07/wonders-of-optimism.html

    • SWNC

       /  July 11, 2012

      Great post. Like you, I’ve gotten soft in my old age. I completely agree with you about all of this:

      I’m married, I have a job that I don’t hate and I’ve discovered that even an unremarkable life is quite nice.

      but for me, having a kid is what finally pushed me over the edge. (Totally cliche, but true.) I have a really, really hard time with children getting hurt in my entertainment. I used to eat up the George RR Martin and Joe Abercombie, but I just can’t do it anymore.

      Based on the recommendations of the Horde, I’ve started reading Kate Elliott. She’s a fantasy writer who strikes a good mix: awful stuff happens in her books, but good stuff, too. And sometimes her characters are nice to each other, just because people are sometimes nice to each other, for no good reason at all. It makes a refreshing change from the grim.

      • cofax

         /  July 11, 2012

        Yay! I love Kate Elliott.

        I had read her Jaran novels, and then didn’t pay attention to her for a while until I saw her on a panel at Wiscon named (and I’m not kidding): “What These People Need is a Honky”, all about genre television and the use of actors of color to play aliens and whatnot. In any event, she was really cool on the panel and told the story about having to get the art on the cover of her new novel to reflect the ethnicity of the character portrayed, who was not white. And it was a struggle for her, who had been pretty successful for the publisher. (That was Spirit Gate, I think.)

    • Speaking of optimistic entertainment, who else is super excited for the start of Breaking Bad’s 5th season? It’s like looking into a sky filled with rainbows and unicorns, and then all those unicorns descend on you and gore you in the groin.

      • Ian

         /  July 11, 2012

        I’m still super-excited about season one. Really looking forward to it. Someday.

  7. caoil

     /  July 11, 2012

    Oh, sure, on a day I’m leaving work early you are actually somewhere I can participate! It’s all a plot! *sniffs dramatically*

    Okay, now that the drama’s out of the way…I said on twitter last night, but it bears repeating: if any of you haven’t read (or seen) ‘The Englishman’s Boy’, get thee to a library! I read it a few years back but last night we watched the movie adaptation and it is also excellent, I suspect in large part due to the writer of the book being the screenwriter. It’s very sad in parts, and not something to watch with the kids, but an important story around a historical event. Any of my fellow Canadians seen/read it?

    • *hands you a tissue*

      *can’t talk about any of the other stuff b/c I’ve neither read nor seen and I’m not Canadian*

      • caoil

         /  July 11, 2012

        (you should read it anyway…I think you’d find it interesting)

  8. Because I can’t edit…

    Can we just discuss how cool Melinda Gates is: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/11/melinda-gates-challenges-vatican-contraception

    • The contrast between Bill and Melinda Gates and the late Steve Jobs is a very sharp one.

      • taylor16

         /  July 11, 2012

        A-freaking-men.

      • Yeah, it was pretty rankling after he died. I will admit that there are forms of human excellence other than ‘being a good and generous person’ but pretending that Jobs was one was just…eesh.

    • baiskeli

       /  July 11, 2012

      So agree with her. Was listening to a related story on the way in to work today on NPR that talked about this.

      • Yeah, what’s cool is that this isn’t about ‘reducing population growth’ in poor countries per se but about giving women in said countries the power to not have kids if they don’t want to. Which will probably reduce population pressures, but as a result of people having the freedom to plan families, not as the result of top-down efforts to keep the poor from reproducing.

        • baiskeli

           /  July 11, 2012

          Yeah, whenever it’s phrased as “reducing population growth” you’ve already lost.

          I’ve been in some really ugly discussions that boil down to ‘those irresponsible Africans reproducing like rabbits and straining the worlds resources”. My stock response is “those gluttonous Westerners having a single person consume as much as 100 people in the developing world”.

          Alexander Cockburn (I think) has a great anectode about reducing a student in a U.S university to tears. She stated that maybe disease in the devloping world wasn’t such a bad thing because it kept the population down. He came back with ‘Well, since the typical Westerner uses as many resources as 100 Bangladeshi, it would actually be better for the planet if your loved ones died’. Harsh, but sometimes people need to have a mirror to reflect their callousness back to them

          Also, also when it’s phrased as “reducing population grown”,it allows Christian wingnuts (both in the U.S and in the developing World) to point to contraceptives as yet another ploy to destroy the ‘x’ race.

          Someone I know who works in contraceptive services in developing countries vents a lot about how people who phrase it as the latter (population control) are essentially harming the drive to provide contraceptives.

          It really is about giving people (especially women), agency in their lives. Study after study has shown that when women have safe, reliable access to contraceptives, rates of population growth plummet. The Nigerian official interviewed in today’s NPR program made this point eloquently.

          • Captain_Button

             /  July 11, 2012

            But on the flip side “reducing population growth” makes it sound like you are hurting or at least threatening people, which is what conservatives generally prefer for governments to do.

            Whereas “providing contraceptives” makes it sound like someone, somewhere might get something for free that they don’t deserve. Can’t have that, it saps their moral character.

            • baiskeli

               /  July 12, 2012

              That is so true. Conservatism is very “Old Testament” (revenge etc)

    • Women who kick ass are cool.
      Women who kick the pope’s ass are coolest.

  9. chingona

     /  July 11, 2012

    Very strange day on the scanner. We had a report of a man putting ducks in a bag at a park. (So far, UTL – unable to locate.) A beagle attack. A report, still unconfirmed, of dug-up coffins. And a woman calling about a toilet bowl left in her front yard eight days ago. No one has removed it.

  10. I’m going to be meeting a Twitter pal this evening, and I’m super-duper excited! (@GertyZ) The future is kind of an odd place, all told.

  11. dmf

     /  July 11, 2012

  12. chingona

     /  July 11, 2012

    My daughter turned two today. I tried to take a picture of her this morning to post on Facebook as a happy birthday picture, but as soon as she saw the camera, she wanted to have it. When she was not allowed to have it, she threw herself on the ground and screamed. Putting the camera away resulted in more screaming. She then spent the remaining five minutes before we had to leave the house wandering around crying and then occasionally crumpling on the ground. So yeah. She turned two today.

    • SWNC

       /  July 11, 2012

      Happy birthday, chingona fille! I hope everyone in your family gets lots of cake. And happy labor day, chingona mere! As the mother of a two-year-old, you also get a nice glass of bourbon.

      • chingona

         /  July 11, 2012

        I was looking at the pictures we took right after she was born. She didn’t exactly have the easiest exit, and she looks like someone punched her in the right eye. And her expression is pure “I’m gonna get the mo-fo who did this to me.” So maybe it’s just payback.

    • wandering around crying and then occasionally crumpling on the ground.

      I truly, genuinely love the age of 2-5 above all others, and the above is veryvery funny when it’s not your kid. But not so much when you need to get out the door.

      Parent: “But I wanted to show the world how wonderful you are!”

      Child: “Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiillllllll!

      Happy birthday to all!

    • Rob in Madison

       /  July 11, 2012

      My son is two and a half. Today we had to go to the toy store to get a gift for a friend’s son instead of going to the children’s museum (as we do a lot). As a result, folks in the apartment building were treated to my son whining, “I don’t WANT to go to the toy store. I want to go to the MUSEUM!”

      Any changes to that plan, of course, would have been met with total resistance as well. The best advice I’ve seen for this time period seems to have been from Baby 411, where the author suggests that the parents have an extra glass of wine in the evening.

      • chingona

         /  July 11, 2012

        This is our second time through two. I thought her brother had a strong personality, but I really had no idea. Some of this is two, and some of this is her personality. It used to be a 40-minute drive to the pediatrician because we’d moved but not yet changed doctors. At her first visit, she cried – practically choking on her rage – the entire way there. Any other week-old baby would have passed out after five minutes of that. And she just kept going and going and going.

        But when she’s not mad, she’s the sweetest, most loving child who cannot stop giving hugs and kisses.

        • koolaide

           /  July 11, 2012

          I know a child like this. When she is not mad, she’s sweetness and light but when she’s in a mood, Beware! I kept hoping it would soften/change as she went from toddler to child, but no.

          • chingona

             /  July 11, 2012

            This is my fear. My son can be a very willful, intense kid. One of his challenges in life will clearly be learning how to moderate and channel that, and one of our challenges as parents is helping him learn how to do that and not losing our own shit over it. And then I look at where he was at two and where he is now, and then I look at her at two and extrapolate … and then I kind of quake in my boots.

            • koolaide

               /  July 11, 2012

              Yeah. The parents of the child I know tremble in fear of the teen years.

    • wearyvoter

       /  July 11, 2012

      Happy birthday to your 2-year-old! I always had to remind myself at times like that with my daughter that some of it was frustration at just not having the ability to use all the words that were needed.

  13. I have an ongoing work project that requires me to do info searches on people, starting with the State Judiciary web site. I get to find all the naughty people. Anyway, one of the people I searched was recently pulled over and ticketed for the offense of “not carrying a medical examiner’s certificate”. As the only medical examiners I know of are coroners, I’m perplexed by this one.

    • koolaide

       /  July 11, 2012

      um, maybe that was the person digging up coffins that chingona heard about on the scanner earlier…

    • snailspace

       /  July 11, 2012

      Maybe the person claimed to be dead, but had no documentation to back it up?

      • Captain_Button

         /  July 11, 2012

        Spending a year dead for tax reasons?

        (Full Disclosure: American Express was telling people I was dead for years, though they promised to stop doing that.)

  14. Things that are neat:

    http://kotaku.com/5925192/kotaku-reviews-now-running-in-the-new-york-times

    None of mine are in this month’s round-ups, because I didn’t review any mainstream games this month. (I’ve got two MMO assignments, they take longer and run after a month of logs.) But there’s always next month. And the month after. And so on.🙂

    • DUDE.

      It’s a good thing I love you, because I might be swamped with preemptive jealousy otherwise.

      DUDE!

      • Blogging blogging, just keep blogging.

      • Speaking of blogging, in the world of blogger problems it’s really hard to pair the girls together and the guys together in a mixed gender show where everyone is really androgynous.

    • taylor16

       /  July 11, 2012

      Oh my god, that’s awesome!! Congrats to everyone there!!

    • Impressive. Who’s gonna cover the explosive trajectory of Wargaming.net?

  15. A metaphor, if you’ll indulge me.

    The Obama campaign needs to do one very simple thing. They need to take a big rectangular crate. They then need to fill it 1/3 of the way full with Bain Capital, 1/3 with Romney’s personal predilection to stash money overseas to avoid paying taxes on it, and then the final 1/3 with Romney’s policies which involve putting more money into his own pockets by way of the tax code. They should then take that crate, tie it to Mitt Romney’s feet, and toss the whole thing into the ocean to see how long he can swim.

    There are some people on our side who are going to complain that this the politics of muck and we should not be a part of it. Those people should be offered a nice hot cup of shut the fuck up.

    • dmf

       /  July 11, 2012

      sounds like more of the same to me, why will this kind of wonkery work this time around?

      • Ian

         /  July 11, 2012

        This doesn’t sound like wonkery at all. And when was the last time around?

        • dmf

           /  July 11, 2012

          every election in my lifetime since at least Reagan, we always point out the Reps are serving their oligarchical dark overlords and by and large people (at least swing voters) don’t care, so if we don’t focus on offering some constructive, even pipedream, hope we will lose.

          • Ian

             /  July 11, 2012

            We did win last time. I thought the attack on McCain’s ownership of many homes was a good one, as was the emphasis on Clinton as a privileged through her connection to her husband. The 2008 Obama campaign was largely positive, but not by any means entirely positive. Mitt is extremely vulnerable to this stuff. Have to do it. Should do it. It’s not only effective, it’s correct.

          • Swing voters do care, and then timid-assed Democrats say don’t do it, it won’t work, we shouldn’t do class warfare, we should be positive, and then they lose. With dignity.

            • chingona

               /  July 11, 2012

              Voters claim to not like negative campaigning, but it often works.

          • Think of politics as a http://www.worldoftanks.com battle. Even sides – at the beginning. The team that plays with the most insight, cunning and ruthlessness wins, sometimes crushing its opponent. The key to victory is exploiting your enemy’s weakness and taking their strengths out of the game. See that tank up ahead, with the huge gun? It’s turret rotates slowly. Your tank is faster and smaller, with much less firepower. So you rush that enemy, coming in close, then circling, faster than his turret can move. He can’t hit you and he can’t reposition, as you circle, firing shot after shot into the weakest parts of his armor. You’ve also “spotted” that big enemy for your artillery. They pound him high while you hit him low. Within 30 seconds, that big bad enemy is a smoking hulk. WoT is the real deal. So is national politics.

      • dave in texas

         /  July 11, 2012

        Sounds more like truth than wonkery to me.

    • Precisely.

      Except you left out concrete, proving, once again, you ain’t from New Jersey.

    • osbenz

       /  July 11, 2012

      Yep. I think that’s the plan too. Already awash in the negative advertising out here in the Pittsburgh media market. White working-class apathy FTW.

    • CitizenE

       /  July 11, 2012

      This Presidential election will be won or lost in a few swing states. The strategy you are professing is the one being used there. But on the ground in all the legislative districts, in the Senate races, it’s all about the economy, stupid. The Dems fighting an ideological war there will out populist the Repubs in the districts where they are in a majority, but elsewhere, they will get their ass kicked because the big money has the fix in. The only way to turn that around is to find ways to appeal to the extreme middle, and “your momma” for those folks is not really all that effective. Obama wins is better than Obama loses, but the right has been armed with monkey wrenches, and a Repub legislative branch will insure at least two more years of right wing soap opera wrench in the gear tossing competitions. What’s more a Romney loss will definitely insure the R’s will get even more whacko the next time around, and we will be looking at a distinct bull goose loony as a candidate then. The Dems need to go back to Kos strategy, go after districts and Senate races that are close and they can win, and put all in there. We need a legislative branch with balls especially with Obama as our President, a man who would very much like to turn the whole thing over to that branch of government by temperament. I am not confident, however, that is a result coming in this election.

  16. Captain_Button

     /  July 11, 2012

    We refuse to let Palestinians build homes, then punish them for building homes.

    This has the bonus that we can then complain about what animals they are to live in such overcrowded conditions, right?

    • Somehow I didn’t notice this earlier!

      And I think you have something there. They’re not clean and have too many kids, and so on.

      /crawls back into the corner

  17. David L

     /  July 11, 2012

    Someone in my office made either ham or bacon at about 11:30 this morning. It’s now 2:15 and I can still smell it. A coworker said that it was rude to fill the office with that beautiful odor but not share it. I wholeheartedly agree.

    • Captain_Button

       /  July 11, 2012

      So you are saying they should have brought enough for everybody?

      • David L

         /  July 11, 2012

        That would have been nice. Especially since I hadn’t had breakfast.

    • David L

       /  July 11, 2012

      While I am whining about office related things. There is a massive thunderstorm outside: Therefore it is cool and dark with the sound of rain, but I don’t get to curl up and sleep, which is what I would like to do in this weather.

    • koolaide

       /  July 11, 2012

      mmmm. bacon.

  18. snailspace

     /  July 11, 2012

    O my Horde…

    We are deciding what game to play next: Diablo 3, or Skyrim? We like story, and action beyond hacking and slashing (puzzles are especially good). Input is appreciated.

    • Does any Diablo game even have any puzzles? I haven’t played 3, but I know what 2 looked like. Hacking and slashing. Looking for cool items amidst piles and piles of junk.

      • snailspace

         /  July 11, 2012

        I don’t know! We’ve never played either of the other 2 games, but after Mass Effect and Dragon Age, I want good story more than anything else.

        I mentioned puzzles because I also just played Botanicula and had such a great time solving it that I kind of wanted another puzzle hit; maybe too much to expect from a typical kill-big-things-and-loot-the-corpses RPG.

        • Try Skyrim first. You might not like it, but it’s more likely to be up your alley than Diablo. Either way, you’re going to do a lot of corpse looting.

          (I still think Fallout 3 is the best RPG of the last 10 years, but that’s kind of my thing.)

        • Craig’s right, there’s pretty much nothing but clicking in Diablo III.

          If you’re a big ME/DA fan (as I am) then he’s also right that Fallout 3 and New Vegas (particularly New Vegas; I adore 3 but NV is just a better-made game, wearing the same look and combat) are good options.

          If you’re into puzzles and don’t care much about combat, I’d recommend “Resonance,” which is a new indie adventure game that’s all puzzles and dialogue.

          • snailspace

             /  July 12, 2012

            Thank you! Will look into those. I liked your ME3 review and I’m glad you weighed in on similar games.

            Ooh, new puzzle-solving crack…

        • xelgaex

           /  July 11, 2012

          Of the two, Skyrim is more in line with what it sounds like you’re looking for. Diablo has a story but really the draw is the never-ending search for better loot.

          • snailspace

             /  July 12, 2012

            Thanks for all the Skyrim recs, folks! So many good ideas now…

    • Play http://www.worldoftanks.com, or live a deprived life.

    • osbenz

       /  July 11, 2012

      Counterpoint*:

      [W]e explore how prevalent racially integrated neighborhoods have become from 1990 through 2010. We find significant growth in the presence of integrated neighborhoods during this time period, with the share of metropolitan tracts that are integrated increasing from just under 20 percent to just over 30 percent.

      * http://furmancenter.org/files/publications/Pathways_to_Integration_May_2012_2.pdf

      (might be paywalled; I’m at the lab)

      • dmf

         /  July 11, 2012

        how are they defining integration?

        • osbenz

           /  July 11, 2012

          A non-white group must comprise at least 20% of the population.

        • osbenz

           /  July 11, 2012

          And mixed minority tracts are classified as non-integrated for the sake of examining integration through a white lens.

  19. Rob in Madison

     /  July 11, 2012

    I’ve been trying to figure out a good time to post an update on the OTAN, but kind of missed my window. At any rate, I haven’t had the chance to post much but have had a lot of good news:

    * We moved from the middle of nowhere, PA back to Madison. We’ve celebrated by doing fun things nearly every weekday evening.
    * I got a great job teaching high school physics. I’ll start in the fall.
    * We started the process of buying a house.

    Just wanted to share some good news here. I’ve been reading posts more often than I’ve been able to post, too, and miss getting the chance to check in with you all.

    • taylor16

       /  July 11, 2012

      Rob, great to see you!!!!! Yay for moving and for great jobs!! And houses!!

      Did you finish up grad school, or are you now a grad school absconder like I am?🙂

      • Rob in Madison

         /  July 11, 2012

        Thanks! I ended up doing one semester at Penn State, then finishing my program at the liberal arts school my wife was working at.

        By the way, she went from a tenure-track position to a job outside academia. And is (like you) really happy about the decision — we’ve been actually doing fun things *on weeknights*! She doesn’t work on the weekend! It’s been great.

        • taylor16

           /  July 11, 2012

          That is all great news!

          And yeah, I have to say … the last 18 months have shown me that academia is just simply not for everyone. Others’ mileage might vary, but I’d do it again a thousand times over just to have my weekends and evenings (and general mental space that does not get occupied with work 24/7) back. I’m so glad she made that decision and is happy with it.

          Hope to see you around more often!

    • koolaide

       /  July 11, 2012

      Yay for all the good things🙂

    • efgoldman

       /  July 11, 2012

      I got a great job teaching high school physics. I’ll start in the fall.
      Rolling bowling balls down the corridor is a good lesson.
      My kid had a unique and unusual physics teacher.
      They did something like playing in traffic, also too.

      The only things I remember about my high school physics class are:
      1) The teacher was a round woman who wore very sharp spike heels. The wooden floor behind her desk looked like someone shot it with a shotgun. Many several times.
      2) Physics is the class I was in at the moment of the Cuban missile deadline in October 1962. We were all waiting for the sirens and the signal to duck.

      • wearyvoter

         /  July 11, 2012

        Your HS physics teacher was a living demonstration of the power of PSI applied to a shoe heel of very little square inchness.

        Another good project for physics. Slinkies in the hallway. One student on each end. Snap the ends of the Slinky simultaneously and make your own standing wave. (Harvard Project Physics survivor, class of 1976.)

      • Rob in Madison

         /  July 11, 2012

        The guy I worked with was great in this way, too – I ended up having students shoot arrows on the football field to learn projectile motion, roll down a hill in a go-cart to learn about acceleration, and build fake roller coasters to learn about energy. It was good practice – I’m planning on having students work with cars that my two-year old got as a present for the first days’ lesson (there is actual physics involved, just FYI).

  20. some poor homeless guy just came by delievering yellow pages.

    I waited until he left to throw it in the recycling bin. Honestly–who the hell uses the yellow pages?

    • koolaide

       /  July 11, 2012

      raises hand, then ducks behind desk

    • chingona

       /  July 11, 2012

      Two or three times a year, I’m glad I have it. Like, when the powers out for a few days.😉

      • Electronic_Neko

         /  July 11, 2012

        Last time I used the yellow pages when the power was out, it was to order pizza. Dominoes somehow routed my call to a shop in New York. I live in Minnesota. The driver and I were really annoyed and confused by each other until we finally figured that out.

      • r_bargis

         /  July 11, 2012

        Yup, power outages. The only reason I keep a copy (and even I keep it in the basement)

        Where I’m from in WV there are a lot of little businesses that aren’t reliably on the internet in any way and the yellow pages are essential. No one Yelps about the lady down by Glengary who runs a small cake business out of her kitchen, or the valley bow & gun club, or the little country store at the crossroads of Rt 9 and Butts Mill Road.

    • baiskeli

       /  July 11, 2012

      Oh, wait. I thought that was a free novel. No wonder the plot made no sense.

    • efgoldman

       /  July 11, 2012

      who the hell uses the yellow pages?
      mrs efgoldman, who just received a almost new laptop from the daughter, uses the dead-tree phone books. As I’ve said before, she’s absolutely sure that there’s a gremlin in the machine who’s whole life is devoted to thwarting her. “The [expletive] machine won’t let me…”

    • Sorn

       /  July 11, 2012

      Raises hand. How else do you know who to google?

  21. CitizenE

     /  July 11, 2012

    From the latest of paraplegic gentlemen, Staff Benda Bilili, who have long worked with homeless street kids, and hit the international big time via a couple of movies and a recording contract with the wonderful Crammed Disc records: the young handsome guy playing the Jews harp instrument, one of his own invention, got his start with them when he was only 12: “Bouger Le Monde” (Move the world)

    • CitizenE

       /  July 11, 2012

      They are from Kinshasa, DRC

      • CitizenE

         /  July 11, 2012

        And I should say they are only limited below their waists, having the use of their upper limbs.

  22. What the shit is wrong with Molly Ball? Really. Does she not realize how stupid she sounds?

    • wearyvoter

       /  July 11, 2012

      From the looks of her other posts over the past several weeks, I have my doubts.

    • LizR

       /  July 11, 2012

      I strongly advise not reading the comments past Chunk’s opening take-down. They get gross, fast.

  23. wearyvoter

     /  July 11, 2012

    Feeling very mortal this week. Very, very mortal. My inner 25-year-old is still screaming into the night about the unfairness and rudeness of death intruding on someone who was told that his heart surgery came with a 99 percent survival rate. Heading into my mid-50s, I should know better, and that we all have to die sometime. However, I’m still thinking why him and why now.

    We live about 3 hours away, and I’m working on a piece of snail mail to send in about 2 weeks, offering my shoulder services if friend’s wife(who is also a friend) would occasionally feel better venting to a friend who knew them back before they were married and who does not live in the immediate area.

    There’s one other thing I’m thinking about also. They had lots of pictures at the visitation. Pictures from when friend was in his 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s. The ones from the most-recent 5 years are sort of striking in that there’s a puffiness / redness that started showing up in pictures that were taken about a year ago. (Not age-related puff. This looks more like the stuff that comes with beginning heart problems, which is, of course, why they operated. There was a reddish flush that didn’t look like sunburn. And the color balance in the photos was otherwise good. My dad had that look in his mid-40s just before a heart attack sent him to the great beyond.)

    • I’m so sorry. I know why people say stuff like “we wouldn’t appreciate life if there wasn’t death,” but honestly? Fuck that. I’d be just as happy to appreciate life a little less, thank you very much. People dying sucks, and it especially sucks when they’re anywhere south of about 97. Being mortal sucks.

      I’m so sorry for your loss.

      • wearyvoter

         /  July 12, 2012

        Thank you. I’m melancholy, but I can’t begin to imagine how his wife is feeling right now. All I know is I want to take ABL’s patented barbed wire-wrapped broomstick and beat Death with it. Repeatedly. (I am clearly in the anger stage.)