6/29/07

i minus 2h31m...

...and the line in front of the Cingular store next door has grown to 32.

6/28/07

"Swarm over, Death!" he said, smiling winningly

John Derbyshire sure had a banner day over in the fever swamp. After a quick bout of racism, he posted some poetry:
Come, friendly bombs, fall on D.C.!
It's not fit for humanity.
There's nothing there but villainy.
Swarm over, Death!

Come, bombs, and blow to kingdom come
Those pillared halls of tedium—
Hired fools, hired crooks, hired liars, hired scum,
Hired words, hired breath.

Mess up this mess they call a town—
A seat for twenty million down
And rights to the incumbent's crown
For twenty years.

The post is gone[1] now, and Derb hasn't posted since. Odd.

In the post Derbyshire explained that his inspiration lay in the Congressional debate surrounding the now defeated immigration bill. He wrote that he had refrained from blogging about the bill until after it's defeat because it made him so darn mad. The poem was presented -- successfully! -- as illustration of that madness.

And with that I yield the floor to Hilzoy.

Update: A commenter at Obsidian Wings found the rest, including the full text of Derbyshire's post. Here's the remainder of the poem:
And get that lobbyist who'll spin
His case to congressmen, who'll win
Amendments, raking fortunes in
For racketeers.

And smash his desk of polished oak
(Paid for by honest working folk
Toiling 'neath taxation's yoke)
And make him yell.

But spare the lesser worker bees,
Federal and private employees,
Working for meager salaries
In government Hell.

It's not their fault they cannot see
How power stifles liberty,
How citizens who once were free
Become enslaved.

From childhood they've been raised to think
That federal power solves everything
They can no longer smell the stink
Of power depraved.

Spare these folk; reserve your fire
For those who wallow in the mire—
That smug, smooth, chauffered, canting choir
Of puffed-up fools.

Come, friendly bombs, fall on D.C.!
Leave it as it used to be:
Potomac winding to the sea
By tree-fringed pools.


Double Plus Update: Well what do you know. Turns out some of the other posters in the fever swamp took issue with Derb's poem. Naturally, their criticisms have also been deleted. Once again, though, an intrepid blogger endorses Derb's artistic fancy and preserves reference to the content.

----------
1 Luckily, intrepid blogger Pat Santy (who apparently has a doctorate in sanity) endorses Derb's call for the violent overthrow of the guv'mint and has done us all the service of preserving (some) of his words.

Predictions

  • By 2017, most new American sofas will include cupholders. Also, they will be much larger.
  • In early June of 2008, Dick Cheney will declare himself to be a planet, thus restoring the Solar System to the traditional nine.
  • The Rolling Stones will continue to tour.

6/27/07

impecunious

[Origin: 1590–1600; 'im-', before + 'pecunious', wealthy]

adj.
Having little or no money.

The levers of power are almost within my reach

Here's a first[1]. Flipping through the channels on super basic cable I saw somebody I actually know on C-SPAN. Wow.

----------
1 Ok, technically there was also that time when I was watching a blogger panel from YearlyKos and one of the questions from the audience came from an oddball Ann Arbor local who signs up for public comment at all of the city council, county board, and regents meetings. But (a) I have assiduously avoided making that guy's acquaintance; and, (b) I was streaming YearlyKos over the internet rather than watching it on TV.

6/26/07

6/25/07

Sip on this

It seems to me that the Bong Hits 4 Jesus was correctly decided, and obviously so. You got a problem with that?

You should really read this

This post at splodinvark. Read the post, but don't neglect the comments, which are excellent (I'm not talking about my own little throwaway quip). Take the quiz if you are still interested.

There can be only one

All the usual suspects will soon be posting informed Supreme Court commentary about today's decisions, but consider this. The dearly departed William Rehnquist served until he was nearly 81 years old. If Chief Justice John Roberts stays on the Court until he reaches a similar age, he'll be there through 2035.

Kind of takes the shine off your hopes for practical immortality treatments in our lifetime, doesn't it?

National Security, hey

I guess if you were the sort of person who would be inclined to read the Post's Cheney expose then you wouldn't need a link from me to find it. Anyway, this paragraph, discussing an incident from late 2001, jumped out.
One lawyer in his office said that Bellinger was chagrined to learn, indirectly, that Cheney had read the confidential memo and "was concerned" about his advice. Thus Bellinger discovered an unannounced standing order: Documents prepared for the national security adviser, another White House official said, were "routed outside the formal process" to Cheney, too. The reverse did not apply.

Planet Unicorn, hey

Julia, who some of you may remember from her tenure as recycling co-ordinator for the third floor of Putnam Hall, sent me this video on Friday. She also sent me a link to this comic. I think it was not a productive day at work.

6/22/07

We are your friends


You may have read this today from any number of news sources.

There have been no recorded earthquakes to explain away the phenomenon, even though it is a good theory.

This one is even better.

A toast to the Bellmen

DR and I have been discussing the qualities of arguments in a comment thread recently and it has me thinking about how a person's style of argumentation affects the course of the argument, and it's persuasiveness as well.


Reflecting on this led me try to compare different argument styles found at the Bellman to the experience of drinking. Both of them can get your thoughts all screwed up, after all.


Arguing with DR is like drinking scotch. Strong with a serious bite and you get fucked up in a hurry.


Arguing with Jason is like drinking Jagermeister. Not only do you get fucked up, but you have a fun time doing it, in a vaguely European way.


Arguing with Joe6Paq is like drinking Irish coffee. You didn't even realize you were drinking, but you end up hammered nonetheless.

Arguing with Maray is like drinking a fine wine, smooth and seductive, but with a kick that makes you wish you hadn't started drinking on an empty stomach.

Arguing with DefCon1 is like drinking a Long Island Iced Tea, lots of texture with different strands weaving in and out before you finally end up puking out your nose.

Arguing with Tyson is more like slamming Tequila shots. The next thing you know you wake up in an alien landscape and you cannot remember how you got there or why there's blood all over your clothing.

People misled by their own illusion

Blessed science has now revealed that eldest siblings are a little smarter than younger siblings, and that this condition is the result of family dynamics. Amid all the discussion of the NY Times article hyping the study, I haven't seen any mention of the part that jumpted out at me.
Moreover, researchers said yesterday that the results — being published today in separate papers in two journals, Science and Intelligence — would lead to more intensive study into the family dynamics behind such differences. Though the study was done in men, the scientists said the results would almost certainly apply to women as well.
...
Because sex has little effect on I.Q. scores, the results almost certainly apply to females as well, said Dr. Petter Kristensen, an epidemiologist at the University of Oslo and the lead author of the Science study.

So we've got a study which only looks at men and which unearths a result explained by family dynamics, and, we're told, the results will "almost certainly apply to women as well." This is just crazy talk. Even granting that 'sex has little effect on I.Q. scores' from some perspective or other, surely sex must be relevant insofar as I.Q. is impacted by family dynamics.

6/21/07

At least I know I'm free

Zapped!

(via)

The Ladder of Law Has No Top and No Bottom

How many documents have been classified since 2003? We don't know. Why don't we know? Because Cheney's office is not part of the executive branch.

What?

6/20/07

As long as we're talking Latin American politics today

This made my jaw drop:
Edwards, by contrast, sees a non-structural problem here. Bush, on this view, has basically denuded the United States of what you might call the moral capital it built up during WWII and the Cold War era. We've become, in essence, bad guys on the world stage. |Yglesias|


Here are two quick sentences from Greg Grandin that help explain why:
Latin America in particular has long been the Achilles' heel in the hard armor of U.S. virtue, and even the most triumphal of Cold War scholars have been forced into moral contortions to explain away U.S. actions that contributed to the torture and murder of hundreds of thousands of individuals. Aside from making visibly disastrous and deadly interventions in Guatemala in 1954, the Dominican Republic in 1965, Chile in 1973, and El Salvador and Nicaragua during the 1980s, the United States has lent quiet and steady financial, material, and moral support for murderous counterinsurgent terror states... |link|

"The Truth"

Monkey sends an interesting political spot:

6/19/07

Like the Northwest Mounties

James Fallows has something to say about search engines.

Make it nice for everyone

Without question this study (via) is the best scientific work to date on the question of toilet seat etiquette. I was particularly impressed by the author's perception that men as well as women pay a cost when inappropriately positioned toilet seat incidents occur. My one criticism is that the study failed to model my preferred solution, which is that the seat and the lid both be placed in the down position when the toilet is not in use. Not only does this solution equalize labor, but it also (as Safety Neal has pointed out to me on more than one occasion) prevents particulate fecal matter from being extruded into the air during the flushing process.

News from the grad labor movement

Partner benefit criteria revised

Prediction

Something very like the following will appear in a forthcoming edition of Harper's Index:
Number of emails sent to Karl Rove's RNC account during Bush's first term: (a very large number)
Number of those emails preserved in accordance with the Presidential Records Act: 130

6/18/07

Muscle and blood and skin and bones

If you haven’t already, you should check out this week’s New York Times Magazine article on gold farming. For what it’s worth, it seems to me that the phenomenon is somewhat paradoxical from an economic point of view.

On the one hand, it illustrates the capacity of the free market to detect and meet consumer needs. Some players of MMORPGs do, in fact, desire to avoid the drudgery of slowly gathering the resources necessary to level up. That fact is perceptible to entrepreneurs, and it turns out that China, with its combination of relatively low labor costs plus relatively sophisticated technological infrastructure, is able to house firms capable of meeting that need at a price acceptable to consumers.

On the other hand (and this is the point where you would expect me to decry the fact that the needs are, apparently, entirely artificial and utterly trivial, but I won’t), the phenomenon also illustrates the capacity for firms in a free market to act in ways that ignore, or even actively frustrate, consumer needs. Take, for example, Blizzard Software. Their response to the existence of a market for gold coins, and the subsequent hordes of Chinese gold farmers playing World of Warcraft, has been to file lawsuits against resource auction sites and to attempt to identify and close the accounts of gold farmers. But Blizzard could, if it wished, create salable gold coins itself at no cost, thereby adding the whole revenue of the World of Warcraft gold farming industry to it’s bottom line as pure profit. Surely this is something that the people at Blizzard have noticed, and yet they’ve decided not only to leave money on the table, but also to attempt to prevent other firms from filling the market niche that they’ve left open.

A useful heuristic?


Slavoj Zizek applied this to the puppet regimes of Eastern Europe under the iron curtain:

The Trilemma: Of the three features—-personal honesty, sincere support of the regime, and intelligence—-it was possible to combine only two, never all three. If one was honest and supportive, one was not very bright; if one was bright and supportive, one was not honest; if one was honest and bright, one was not supportive...

But it applies just as well to the Bush regime. Sincere conservative supporters are not bright. Bright conservative supporters are not honest. Bright and honest conservatives are not supporters--and so are ruled out, and we are left with Larry Kudlow and Ramesh Ponnuru. |DeLong|

Follow the link for DeLong's list of conservatives worth engaging. But here's a question that strikes me. What is it that we want from conservative thinkers? DeLong introduces the post by writing that, "As good Millian liberals, we want to promote authentic, articulate, and intelligent advocates of other points of view." Well, okay, but I'd like to fill in some details. Is it that we have some kind of disinterested interest in conservative minded folk achieving a sort of authentic fulfillment through their participation in the political process? Or is it, rather, that we realize the limitations of our own, liberal, viewpoint and want to encourage conservatives as a way of generating the best possible political decisions?

I would guess that it must be the latter, partly because that formulation does a better job of getting at what's distinctive about Millian liberalism but mostly because otherwise it's not clear at all why we liberals have reason to care one way or another about the quality of conservative thought (as opposed to caring that conservative thought have, as it were, a room of its own). But then there's DeLong's next paragraph:
I think we should recognize that the intelligent, honest conservatives out there are not Bush supporters, and turn that to our advantage in selecting honorable intellectual adversaries.

So DeLong doesn't think that making the best possible political decisions requires letting representatives of every ideology into the debate. Fair enough. I don't think so either. But it strikes me that a whole lot of what passes for conservative thought -- even among those conservatives who have withdrawn support for the Bush Administration -- isn't worth a hill of beans. So why care about it at all?

To put this a little more concretely, consider the first name on DeLong's list: John DiIulio. An honorable guy, I suppose, and admirably committed to the principle that presidential administrations should seek to achieve their goals through the implementation of policies. On the other hand, his signature contribution to American political debate is as an advocate for the idea that insofar as government provides social services it ought to do so by funneling the money for those services through faith based organizations. If you think, as I do, that this idea is so unproductive as to actually be pernicious, then what is the point of inviting DiLulio into the debate? Whatever it is, it isn't that he's going to help you see a truth that you otherwise would have missed.

In fact, I think that there are two things that liberals want from their conservative interlocutors. They want first of all, to be entertained by a good lively argument. On this front the thing that's disappointing about the Bush loyalists is that they are committed to a position which is so bizarre that they can't defend it without resorting to tendentious mendacity. Second and more importantly, liberals want a foil. To bring things back to Dilulio for a moment, no matter how bad his ideas are, one thing that's clear is that those ideas have broad political support. And so it is for a great number of truly bad conservative ideas. Liberals want to believe that if only those ideas could be made explicit and debated honorably then they could be demonstrated to be faulty.

I guess we all know why that's crazy, but here's a nice bookend quote anyway:
And, of course, the candidates aren't mistaken for thinking that a focus on shallow trivialities is what wins elections. We all recall that when Bush lied constantly and Gore sighed and rolled his eyes in frustration the press . . . murdered Gore for being visibly frustrated rather than Bush for, say, completely misportraying his tax proposals. |Matthew Yglesias|

Monday music bullets

  • Over at Pandagon they've been discussing hipsterdom's impending Journey revival. It's high larious.

  • As I am not a thief, I don't yet own possess the forthcoming record from the Beastie Boys. Even and so, I anticipate buying it so I spent some time this weekend preparing my palate. You know what surprises me? The way I'm surprised by the quality of Hello Nasty every time I listen to it. That's a good record.

  • In other Beastie related news I finally broke down and decided to buy To the 5 Boroughs only to discover that none of the brick and mortar retailers around here keep it in stock. Naturally, I ended up getting some jazz cds. The guy behind the counter was impressed by the line ups on the Sonny Clark and Dexter Gordon records (which gave me a chance to spread the Jazz Discography Project gospel), but his attitude toward the Duke Ellington & John Coltrane record was somewhere between toleration and condescension. I can only assume that he's never heard it.

  • In 90s alternapop nostalgia news, I was listening to Morphine the other day and it occurred to me, for the first time I think, that the reason Mark Sandman planned to throw his drugs away when they found a cure for pain wasn't that he wouldn't need them anymore once his pain had been cured, but rather that he valued pain and couldn't abide drugs which threatened to eliminate it. Such are the perils of not listening closely to the lyrics.

6/15/07

Reader participation Friday, video game handles

I know that Joe6Paq has, for at least the last 20 years, consistently used the initials W - A - R to commemorate his video game high scores. For myself, I switch it around these days but back when three letters was all you got I tended to use J - T - K. On Guitar Hero my band is named 'Mars Has No Bars'.

Feel free to leave your handle in comments. I'd also be interested to hear sociological or semiotic analyses of the phenomena.

6/12/07

Every crime in Oklahoma was added to his name

I guess I agree that Mudcat Saunders hasn't covered himself in glory as a guest blogger at Swampland, but I think it's too much to say that the "Actual content of the posts once the blubbering self-pity, crude attacks on large groups of people based on cultural stereotypes straight out of GOP anti-Dean ads, and insincere apologies are boiled off [is] too small to be measured."

Take, for example, this:
“The rural vote determines presidential elections,” said Dee Davis, president of the nonpartisan Center for Rural Strategies, which sponsors the poll. “Democrats don’t win unless they make rural competitive, and Republicans don’t win without a large rural victory. So you’d think that would mean the candidates would have a spirited debate on the things that matter to rural Americans, but we haven’t heard yet.”|Mudcat Saunders|

Ok, so it's actually Dee Davis who's providing the content, but give Saunders credit for highlighting it. What's interesting to me here is that Saunders proposes to deal with the evenly divided electorate not by running a vanilla campaign aimed at so-called swing voters but instead by recapturing voters that the Dems have lost. The idea isn't exactly original, but it's a lot more attractive than the swing voter strategy, and it's good to know that the Edwards camp realizes that a narrowly divided electorate doesn't compel you to run a middle of the road campaign.

Not that there isn't plenty to argue with here. For one thing, the GOP has wounded itself so badly these last few years that it's not so obvious that the electorate is all that evenly divided. More to the point, it's not so clear that it's the rural vote that Dems should be focusing on. Saunders ploy, and this is part of what has pissed off so much of Left Blogistan, is to woo rural voters by triangulating against coastal elites. On the one hand this is a good idea, since the coastal elites aren't about to pick up their toys and go home. On the other hand, it's not really the coastal elites as such who don't fit in a coalition with rural voters. It's all those folks that the coastal elites are tolerant of.

Quote of the day

"As a man, the plight of pregnant rape and incest victims may be hypothetical but as a former fetus, the plight of aborted innocent human life is as real to me as rape is to most women." -- Joseph E. Schmitz

6/11/07

Travel advisory

Hey, I'm contemplating heading down to Texas for a week or so in July or August. Would any weekend in particular be a good time to be in Austin?

Get your war on

On the BBC news hour this morning a reporter asserted, completely without evidence, that Iran has been supplying the Taliban with fancy new shaped munitions roadside bombs for use against British and American forces in Afghanistan. It's possible, I guess, though last I heard Iran was in the hands of the Shia, the Taliban were a bunch of crazy ass Sunnis, and the two didn't get along very well.

At any rate, would it be too much to ask that these sorts of charges be backed by a significant body of evidence before being publicly aired? I seem to recall that playing fast and loose with the facts can lead to popular support for unprovoked wars of aggression.

Also, if I were Iran's head mullah in charge of manufacturing shaped munitions roadside bombs I wouldn't export. I'd stockpile.

6/10/07

Sopranos blogging

Even though it'll probably be a year or so before I get around to watching it, here's my prediction for the final episode: There will be ducks.

6/8/07

Friday comment whoring, dumb things I've been required to do at work edition

While working for CIS in Houston I was at what they called an in-service meeting where all attendees were compelled to stand, join hands, and sing Whitney Houston's "The Children Are Our Future".

Beat that.

6/7/07

Suck it

Speaking of medical interventions in human flourishing, I've been wondering if our attitudes towards performance enhancing drugs in sports track our attitudes towards cosmetic surgery in daily life. Liposuction, to take one example, seems to be disapproved of (or at least riduculed) in most circles, and this even though many of us are carrying around more fat than we'd care to. My suspicion is that disapproval of liposuction stems from its status as a short cut. Physical fitness, the thinking goes, is attractive at least partly because it provides evidence of personal virtue, but the person who appears fit after liposuction hasn't led a virtuous life at all. On the contrary, the mere fact that they have lost weight through surgery rather than exercise seems to demonstrate that they lack the discipline to master their appetites.

It's important to be very clear here. The disapproval of liposuction is seperable from the disapproval of gluttony. That is, it has primarily to do with the feeling that the liposuction patient has gotten something that he didn't deserve.

As it happens, I'm pretty skeptical of the notion of desert, so I'm not convinced that this gives us a good reason to disapprove of liposuction. That's really no surprise though, since I can't quite understand why people object to the use of steroids by athletes, and that seems to be the performance enhancing drug that most closely tracks the liposuction case.

6/6/07

Real real gone

Greetings from the land of super basic cable! In the pop culture wasteland that is my life, one of the few things that keeps me going is that even with super basic cable you can watch good movies. For example, both Jackie Brown and The Big Lebowski are in pretty heavy rotation this month.

But here's something odd. The super basic cable versions of both movies have entire characters cut out. So with Lebowski John Turturro gets screen credit but doesn't appear in the film, and in Jackie Brown, Ordell knocks on Beaumont's door and the next thing you know he's showing the body to Louis. Chris Tucker never makes it on screen.

Even so, it's better than MASH reruns and mostly better than the Ann Arbor Planning Board.

This is exactly what I've been saying

NYC's republican mayor.:
"There are lots of threats to you in the world. There's the threat of a heart attack for genetic reasons. You can't sit there and worry about everything. Get a life. You have a much greater danger of being hit by lightning than being struck by a terrorist."

Yep. Don't give up your civil liberties. Don't go invading other countries. Get a life.

via TPM

Nothing to say...

...except that this is really awful.

6/5/07

baramin

[Coined in 1941 by Frank Marsh from the Hebrew words 'bara', create and 'min', kind]

n.
A lineage of earthly life which is believed by creationists to be created by God during the Creation Week, corresponding in some functional aspects to the secular concept of species.

(hat tip)

Good news from the internet

This album kicks ass:
If you liked The In Sound from Way Out, you will like this. I hope it comes out on vinyl. More good news:
Mike D said that "even though The Mix-Up is a "post-punk instrumental" album, the Beasties have no plans to ditch vocals for good. In fact, they are currently planning another version of the album that will feature collaborations with "a pretty wide array" of "mostly newer" vocalists.

6/4/07

Keep them poor and stupid, please!

So, rather than type the whole article into the blog, I'll let people go read it. You can find the Catholic Advance online now. Here is a link to the May 25, 2007 edition. Go to page 2 and read, "Father Nielson: we're the richest people in history." Also, you philosophers out there might get a kick out of the article just above it, "What are the Eucharistic 'accidents'?" (I know I haven't had one since I was 2 or 3, but....)

Anyway, here is the link (pdf).

Update: I used my extensive knowledge of HTML to embed the link - dr

Ad astra per aspera

A union representing 570 space shuttle program workers at the Kennedy Space Center voted to strike, less than a week before the planned launch of the shuttle Atlantis. |CNN|

The Intention Experiements will not cease until we are all frozen and dead

This is unfortunate.

Their first project was to make a geranium leaf glow. "We wanted to start from the ground floor," says McTaggart. "First we had to establish that we could have an effect—any effect. This type of study would enable us to record every single hair's breath of difference—even by a single photon."

The first experiment was carried out using the attendees of a conference in London on March 11. The 400 delegates were asked to send intention to increase the light emissions of a geranium leaf 6,000 miles away at the University of Arizona— to make the leaf "glow and glow."

The University of Arizona's lab had prepared two matched leaves, so that one could act as the control. Images of each leaf were simultaneously sent over the internet from Tucson to London. The audience flipped a coin to choose which leaf to send their intentions to, and the scientists were only told which one after the experiment was concluded.

While meditative music played, the audience sent intention to the leaf to "glow and glow" for 10 minutes. After the intention period, the leaves were placed in a biophoton imaging system and photographed for two hours.

The results astonished the scientists. "The results of the glowing intention were so strong that they could readily be seen in the digital biophoton images," says Dr. Schwartz, who analyzed the leaf compared to the control. "In addition, the increased biophoton effect was highly statistically significant."

If one sets aside one's natural skepticism about such matters, this is a very interesting result. One would want to dig a little deeper, and perhaps try to reproduce the result a few times with different labs participating. Maybe use a rhododendron next time, or a fern.*

But not the Intention Experiment! Fresh off their make-a-plant-glow-so-dimly-that-it-cannot-be-detected-by-the-human-eye success, their next "experiment" is to combat global warming:
The next Intention Project will be a big one: to change global warming by using group minds to lower the temperature of the earth. McTaggart says, "If we find we have a significant effect, the implications of it—that our collective thoughts could tackle global warming—will be extraordinary."

God help us if they have actually harnessed a true, measurable effect, here. What if they do manage to significantly "lower the temperature of the earth? Do they have a team of climatologists on staff running computer models to figure out what effects a sudden cooling might have? I fear for our planet.

Our only hope is to counter their cooling vibe by burning as many fossil fuels as possible!

* UPDATE: A little browsing on their site reveals that they've tried it a few times, and at least once they used string beans.

As cold as yesterday's mashed potatoes

I suspect that most of you aren't particularly excited about Danilo Di Luca's victory in the Giro d'Italia. Perhaps this is because you assume that any achievement in the sport of cycling is necessarily tainted by the spectre of performance enhancing drugs.

My view of the matter is a little different, and though I understand that there's probably nothing to be gained by arguing about it, here's something that confuses me. When dealing with sickness, we generally consider treatments with drugs to be less radical than surgical interventions. In sport, however, things seem to be reversed. An athlete can undergo mulitiple surgeries without anyone raising an eyebrow, but the use of steroids or EPO sparks worries about the legitimacy and authenticity of athletic performance.

I have heard the argument that performance enhancing drugs, unlike surgical interventions, change the essence of the athlete. Metaphysically I'm not sure what to make of this, but that's neither here nor there. The root of the idea seems to be that surgeries restore capacities lost through injury whereas performance enhancing drugs create formerly nonexistant capacities in an illegitimate way. But even leaving aside difficulties about the creation of capacities[1], this doesn't seem to be an accurate description of the workings of all performance enhancing drugs. Many of the most effective performance enhancing drugs, that is, achieve their ends by artificially increasing an athlete's ability to recover from the physical stresses of competition or training. What's wrong with that?

----------
1 New capacities can be created in various ways, but not all of these methods are frowned upon. For example, creating new capacities through mere training or practice is thought to be legitimate, and obviously so, but it's not clear (to me at least) why. Moreover, there are surgical interventions (Tommy John Surgery, Lasik) which are treated as unobjectionable even though they create capacities.

6/1/07

Slow week at The Bellman


Mark promised us some Catholic humor, but I think he overdosed on Jesus last weekend, and is actually sick today. So, in the mean time, let me kill any momentum this blog had by asking.....

David Tennant: Is he a great Doctor, or the greatest Doctor?

Season 3 is halfway over in ol' England, and I've been 'renting it. At the end of Season 2, I woulda said that he's a "good Doctor," but now I've ratcheted my esteem all the way up to "the greatest Doctor." He's really got a bead on the character.


Also, his new chica is the cutest one in, let's say, 900 years of travel through time and space.

In other news, the new Sage Francis album is pretty good. I didn't know he was white, tho. Like da man says:

divagate

[Origin: 1590–1600; From Latin 'dīvagātus', to wander off]

verb
1. To wander; stray.
2. To digress in speech.

uxorious

[Origin 1590-1600; From Latin 'uxōrius', from 'uxor', wife]

adj.
Doting upon, foolishly fond of, or affectionately submissive toward one's wife.

See the light that's right before my eyes

In all of the 90s alternapop nostalgia blogging going around, nobody seems to be talking about Urge Overkill. Why is that? I never cared for them much myself, but for awhile there they were well nigh inescapable. And if nostalgia blogging can sustain mention of The Gin Blossoms, surely there's room for some Urge.
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