|Current Topic: Miscellaneous|
||NYT Sampler for 15 July 2007, Part III
|| 7:43 pm EDT, Jul 15, 2007
People like to see what they perceive as the little guy winning, because in today’s society that is a rare occurrence.
"Society should place an initial emphasis on abundance," Mr. Buffett argued, but "then should continuously strive" to redistribute the abundance more equitably.
Luckily for mankind, Perkins has retired from his job as an infidel dog and now works on the side of the angels.
This weekend, they were trying something that was new, yet as old as human desire.
"Mom, we killed women on the street today. We killed kids on bikes. We had no choice."
Somehow that was one of the most poignant sights -- that immaculate woman exquisitely dressed, and caked in blood.
"Why take any risk?" they ask.
The more he spoke, the more I saw babies.
"They brought him in one day and brought his head in another." "You don’t get that playing the game in your living room."
The president was assured no one was finding out much.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates said "the biggest challenge is finding a statutory basis for holding prisoners who should never be released and who may or may not be able to be put on trial."
"I might have had the hefeweizen," he said. "But I’m not going to kill them for it."
Experts say that sex-selective abortions in India reduced the number of girls per 1,000 boys from 945 in 1991 to 927 in 2001.
Four decades after their smashing military victory over Egypt, Jordan and Syria, Israelis generally concede that in many ways the war was a disaster.
||NYT Sampler for 15 July 2007, Part I
|| 7:22 pm EDT, Jul 15, 2007
Tall and blond, he had an easy laugh, played on the lacrosse team and liked to dance.
Then, for reasons that seem to have something to do with making a lot of money, he made the unusual decision to go to work as a minion of Lucifer.
"At least we would have a direction."
If there were any purists on hand who were unhappy, their voices were drowned out in the cheers.
Unfortunately, this is a predictable outcome of a system driven by competing entrepreneurs rather than by reasoned policy.
"Normally you get only one chance in a lifetime to do something really special and meaningful, and that’s if you’re lucky."
"Everything just fell into place," Mr. Boucher said.
"Since there are people on both sides who don’t like it, maybe it’s the right thing."
And like the most fulfilling rituals, it involves a fantastic fetish.
What fabulous freedom there is in just giving something a try, with no expectations.
They were driving down to Texas in a converted school bus to a nudist festival called Rainbow. We were invited, and of course we went.
Officials say resistance from families is a major recruiting obstacle.
"It’s very different," Mr. Azar said. "It’s like making love to a rubber doll."
Several hours later, the Nissan was still in the street, and the driver’s door was open, revealing blood, scattered bills, a black bra and a gold stiletto pump inside.
He was charged with conspiring to cause explosions.
"There are two schools of thought on this."
But rational analysis doesn’t hold sway with the pregnancy police.
He did not... [ Read More (0.5k in body) ]
||NYT Sampler for 8 July 2007
|| 7:29 pm EDT, Jul 8, 2007
For serious politicians and analysts, the "global warming" scare is passé.
Imagine if you could offset the whole Ten Commandments.
As big consumers of oil, you and I are intervening powerfully in Africa -- and perhaps unwittingly furthering graft and bloodletting.
"That’s when all hell broke loose," Mr. Williams said.
But now the glue is gone.
He likens it to a school of fish moving in a particular direction until a new leader suddenly emerges, everything shifts in that direction and somehow the crowd arrives at something close to an aesthetic.
Genetic engineering is too big for ethics. It changes human nature, and with it, our notions of good and bad. It even changes our notions of perfection. The problem with perfection in the age of self-transformation isn’t that it’s bad. The problem is that it’s incoherent.
Why Bush and the military are emphasizing Al Qaeda to the virtual exclusion of other sources of violence in Iraq is an important story.
Nothing amuses him more than the wincingly awkward silences that freeze a room in the moments after someone blurts out something embarrassing in a trying-too-hard attempt to look cool.
"The only explanation I can think of is the critical-mass explanation."
It will be dredged up from the ocean bottom, mixed with water and pumped to shore as a slurry that will spew out onto the beach.
Amazon folklore, in fact, is full of fanciful creatures that are used to explain unwelcome or embarrassing phenomena. The boto, for example, is a type of dolphin that is said to be able to transform itself into human form, wearing a white hat to cover its air spout, and seducing and impregnating impressionable young virgins.
It was ... [ Read More (2.6k in body) ]
|| 8:34 pm EDT, Jul 1, 2007
I'm compelled to check whether anything good or interesting has arrived. It hasn't. Still, it might, any second now.
I had expected to be as irritated by Michael Behe's second book as by his first. I had not expected to feel sorry for him.
Why has the pace of fundamental innovation in military technologies slowed? Why, six years after 9/11, is there no mega-research project -- along the lines of the crash Manhattan Project that 62 years ago produced the first atomic bombs -- to address the plausible security threats to the United States in the 21st century? These two questions say a lot about how innovation happens today, and why concerns about national security, which once motivated civilian scientists and engineers to make crucial contributions to military technologies, may again shape innovation priorities.
"Do these discoveries blow people's minds? Yes."
"What matters is who is in the know in the Washington crowd."
These are people who, whether pegged as nerds or rebels or plodders, have taken control of the stories that form their identities.
"Some of our folks went to Washington to dry the swamp and made partnership with the alligators," he said.
They urged the district to move beyond what they said was a preoccupation with social engineering ...
In the United States, Mr. Chertoff held so-called principals meetings.
As he described the practice, one of his assistants shook his head no and politely corrected his boss. Finally, the director confessed, "I don't know what we do."
I think America needs a whole lot more persuading and a lot less bossing.
Mr. Blair's greatest talent is his ability to persuade, shame and wheedle people into doing things they would just as soon not do.
Many of us think of invention or innovation as a wholly conceived, br... [ Read More (2.3k in body) ]
NYT Sampler, 1 July 2007
||Top Picks from Sunday NYT
||10:22 pm EDT, Jun 18, 2007
If you read only one or two articles referenced in this week's NYT Sampler post, I recommend that you check out Julian Dibbell's feature story on The Life of the Chinese Gold Farmer, and Lisa Sanders' story of medical diagnosis, Full-Body Failure. Both articles are from the Sunday NYT Magazine.
||NYT Sampler for 17 June 2007
|| 9:31 pm EDT, Jun 17, 2007
Everyone else started with the bloody diarrhea. Maybe that was the wrong way to think about it.
As a matter of everyday practice, it is the farmers who catch it in the face.
We crave endings for the same reason that some religious sects look forward to the Apocalypse - because it's the ending that gives shape and meaning to the otherwise random events that precede it.
... goat, the most widely consumed meat in the world ...
... as much gratuitous bouncing as the rating will permit ...
"When someone calls you in and says 'I have to let you go,' and offers no explanation, you connect the dots."
Those sounds of silence suggest that the White House is grappling with a dilemma.
US Ambassador Says Iraq Not Hopeless
The question that the conference was really exploring was this: How can we make every African family richer?
Twelve hours a night, seven nights a week, with only two or three nights off per month, this is what Li does - for a living. ... earning an effective wage of 30 cents an hour, more or less.
Don't you understand that these places can't change and that you're much better off having someone with a heavy hand, who can have some kind of order versus disorder?
"We're kind of saying, What is the next boom?" said the Senator. "I think it is a hard question to answer and I think it's wise for us to talk kind of beyond the boom-and-bust path we've been on. Why does it have to be a boom and bust? When will we get ourselves on a more sustainable path?"
Think about it for a moment. How far do housing prices have to fall before a slump becomes a bust?
"This is all black," said Ms. Wang, dismissively. "... [ Read More (2.0k in body) ]
||Once more, into the archives ...
||11:07 am EDT, Jun 9, 2007
Now, after three billion years, the Darwinian interlude is over [*].
Oh! I feel it. I feel the cosmos!
"I need to be managing a sexier project [*] to boost my career."
"As a friend of mine said, it takes half a second for a baby to throw up all over your sweater. It takes hours to get it clean."
Terrorists terrorists terrorists terrorists terrorists terrorists terrorists.
"You can't talk sense to them," Bush said, referring to terrorists. "Nooooo!" the audience roared.
The reality is that, despite fears that our children are "pumped full of chemicals" everything is made of chemicals, down to the proteins, hormones and genetic materials in our cells.
Every time Bruce Schneier smiles, an amateur cryptographer dies.
"It looks like politicians are poised to dominate the political discourse of the country for years to come," said analyst Maria Lawson of the Free Enterprise Institute.
Homer: Not a bear in sight. The "Bear Patrol" is working like a charm!
Your mind is for having ideas--not holding them.
"I think the mistake now is holding back when you've got a good idea."
Watch all of this video. It's astounding.
||NYT Sampler (and more) for 3 June 2007
|| 4:17 pm EDT, Jun 3, 2007
One law enforcement official played down Mr. Defreitas’s ability to carry out an attack, calling him “a sad sack” and “not a Grade A terrorist.”
He's the slacker of the bunch, and a cross between a sad sack and a prophet.
“I knew it wasn’t about me, a 22-year-old girl from a small town in Tennessee who just wants to help the world. But you can’t help but take it personally.”
Matt Gross is "seeking low-cost high adventure on a 12-week road trip across the United States." His next stop is Tennessee. Can you suggest something?
The CIA acknowledged that the dates of Ms. Wilson’s employment had mistakenly been disclosed, although a spokesman said that did not mean the information was no longer classified.
“Frankly,” said the spokesman, Mark Mansfield, the release of the information in 2006, in response to a query from Ms. Wilson about retirement benefits, was “an honest-to-goodness administrative error.”
The device still lacks the control needed for pro sports or safecracking, but it's an honest-to-goodness bionic arm.
From here on, it’s nothing but “National Bingo Night” (an actual, honest-to-goodness ABC show airing at 8 p.m. Fridays), and “Pirate Master” (an actual, honest-to-goodness CBS show premiering May 31).
"It's nice to see a billionaire jump up and down with honest to goodness excitement, not like, 'Oh yeah, I just made another million bucks today."
Honest to goodness, these people have nothing better to do than debate how close strippers should be allowed to get to patrons and how much they can take off and when.
"They’re trying to get the cat back into the bag.”
In Israel, a man clad only in underwear and a T-shirt wrestled a wild leopard to the floor and pinned it for 20 minutes after the cat leaped through a window and hopped into bed with his sleeping family.
"This kind of thing doesn't happen every day," said Arthur Du Mosch, 49, a nature guide.... [ Read More (1.2k in body) ]
|| 5:10 pm EDT, Jun 2, 2007
Somehow I missed this at the time.
The use of the transitive, action-packed verb do has a long history of being followed by a direct object with no intervening article like a or the.
Its vogue began, I think, early in the past century with the question to a prospective domestic employee: "Do you do windows?"
The narcotics lingo of the 1960s advanced the usage: Addicts would do acid, do speed, do drugs; no native speaker would say "do the drugs." But when Hollywood agents and producers began replacing have with do in "Let's do lunch," a backlash set in; it was ridiculed as jargon.
Undersecretary of State John Bolton brushed aside a query about a carrot-and-stick approach to Iran with a subtle "I don't do carrots."
What makes this web of reactionary ideologues a menace to the world is that they believe complex, historic problems have simple, instant, military solutions.
Democrats have been recycling Bolton quotes from his speeches and writings over the years in an attempt to portray him as a unilateralist hostile even to the existence of the world body.
In July 2003, he condemned North Korea's Kim Jong-il for living like royalty, while for millions of his people, life was a "hellish nightmare". Pyongyang was incensed, labelling him "human scum" and refusing to continue negotiating with him.
... and for a few variations on the theme ...
"I don't do mending!" She said, "Asking a quilter to do mending is like asking Picasso to paint your garage."
"Females - I can't take much of them. That's why I have a lot more male friends, because females are very bitchy, and I can't do bitchy."
"I don't do dumps. I've done a Dumpster or two, but I don't do dumps."
I don't do rats. Snakes, yes; spiders, if I have to; big ugly men with guns, only in emergencies, but not rats, not ever.
I don't do it as much as I used to. You come in — the fantasy is that you wear medical clothing and it's an emergency situation — but you know a lot of times, people bring in many, many people ...
Alice: I don't do Jersey!
Bob: You're missing lots of great food. Really. A true Crumb Tracker never fears crossing the river.