November 2004 Archives

Because I Know That Everyone Wants to Do More Shopping

You’re spent the past few days in the midst of the epic post-Thanksgiving shopping season, fighting off hordes of shoppers with paper bags, but there’s just that one person who you just can’t find the right gift for (indeed, it might even be you!). Well, it’s lucky for you that I’ve just added some new shirts to the cafepress store!

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They’re just the thing, and everyone will be wearing them next year! So get on the bandwagon early!

(I know that some most of these are redesigns of shirts I had once ‘retired’. Sue me.)

Getting Closer Every Day

The Bruner was kind enough to pass on this bit of Menken verbiage:

As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

— H.L. Menken, Baltimore Evening Sun, 26 July 1920

I Know That A Lot Of You Read This Site Using an RSS Feed

So you might have missed the link in the sidebar that says “Hey, somebody’s birthday is coming up soon!”

Who Knew?

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Who knew that picked pickled crab in chili sauce could be to damn good?

Who knew that soju could be so evil?

Happy Thanksgiving, Everybody

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What are you doing reading the internet on Thanksgiving?

Go forth and eat bird.

Copyright This, Pal

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In the middle of this facinating New Yorker article about copyright and the limits thereof, the author mentions the fact that the guitar riff from “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was lifted virtually note-for-note from “More Than a Feeling.” The web being what it is, it wasn’t long before a guy put the two riffs back-to-back so everyone could hear it.

Check it out.

Brand Democrat

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Damn tootin’ straight.

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Click on the image to go to the source.

50 Things

From Buche: 50 Things I Learned From The Movies.

Some highlights:

  • WOMEN IN PRISON ARE THE CLEANEST PEOPLE ON THE PLANET, SINCE THEY SEEM TO SHOWER EVERY FIVE MINUTES.
  • MOST EXTRATERRESTRIALS SPEAK FLUENT ENGLISH OR JAPANESE.
  • THERE MUST HAVE BEEN A PLAGUE THAT AT SOME POINT WIPED OUT MOST BLACK PEOPLE, SINCE WE SELDOM SHOW UP IN THE FUTURE.
  • IT MUST BE ILLEGAL TO BE LESS THAN STUNNINGLY BEAUTIFUL IN ITALY, SPAIN, BRAZIL, AND FRANCE. THERE ARE APPARENTLY NO AVERAGE LOOKING PEOPLE IN ANY OF THESE COUNTRIES…EXCEPT GERARD DEPARDIEU AND ROBERTO BENIGNI.

And, of course

  • WHEN HE WASN’T KILLING PEOPLE, THE FRANKENSTEIN MONSTER WAS A PRETTY COOL GUY.

I remember seeing an earlier version of this list that got passed around via email. While you’ve over there, you might want to check out his exegesis on why the Incredibles might be the best superhero movie ever made.

Weather Report

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With apologies to Robert Cray, the forcast calls for hangover.

And slighly chapped lips.

Start Me Up

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So I get up early this morning: objective—to go to the DMV to get my NY driver’s license.

Problem 1: My earphones have decided to start crapping out today. Problem 2: Upon arriving at the DMV, I discover that I forgot to bring my passport, which the NY DMV requires to prove date of birth (note that driver’s licenses from other states is not sufficient to prove date of birth of New York, but it is good enough to serve as one form of identification).

So I try to make some lemonade, and head down to the Apple Store to buy some replacement headphones—except that the Apple Store doesn’t open until 10 a.m.

The good news is that it was a nice walk up through the village to school…

(BTW, it seems to me that my comments section has, as of late, become very Y-chromosome heavy, leading me to wonder if and how the gender balance of my readership has shifted…)

They're Taking Over

Two more pairs of the zipper-adorned jeans were espied in the lobby of school today.

One working theory that I’ve come up with is that the zippers, made of shiny metal and set against matte denim, are actually supposed to catch the eye and draw attention.

This is, admittedly, something of a self-serving theory, but it seems to work…

Fashion?

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So I’m walking down Park Avenue this morning and I see not one, but two young women sauntering about wearing jeans that have zippers for the back pockets. So I’m wondering… these are useful because they snag on cloth-covered chairs and scratch wooden ones? I just don’t get it.

Disloyal

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WTF? The White House has ordered the new CIA director, Porter Goss, to purge the agency of officers believed to have been disloyal to President George W. Bush.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but professional intelligence officers aren’t supposed to be loyal to the President: they’re supposed to be loyal to the country.

Of course, if you believe that the leader of a country is the personification of the country itself, then this sort of thing makes sense… on the other hand, these guys thought that they personified their country, too, and they didn’t turn out so well.

Like I said

(from hereitype, who notes “what the fuck have we come to that I am now defending CIA agents…”)

252.2

As I sift through the detrius of just what exactly qualifies (and what doesn't) for 'equitable distribution', it seems to me that the simplest solution is to avoid getting married in the first place (or at least don't get divorced in New York).

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Once More, This Time With Feelings

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Yet another friend graces the august pages of the Times: Modern Love: Traveling the Too-Much-Information Highway.

Congrats, Heather…

These are presented in no particular order:

Science Wins Again!

Or, how to turn rotgut vodka into something drinkable by using a Brita filter.

One wonders what it’d do to rotgut tequila.

BFF

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My new best friend is the 1-liter size Diet Coke.

Oh, and I said something in Contracts today, entirely expecting the Prof to explain in excruciating detail just how exactly I was wrong (after all, that’s what law professors are paid to do), and he surprised the shit out of me when he said “I agree with you.” Damn. I must be getting the hang of this. Of course, I totally was non-comprehending when we went on to the next case…

Answer Time (Finally!)

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See this post for an explanation of what’s going on. Sorry it took me so long to get these up, but stuff was happening…

What is the etymology of the word ‘bagel’? Can you take it back to the Indo-European for us? Break it down.

There are two schools of thought about the origins of the word “bagel”. The first, familiar to students of Middle High German, is that the English word derives from the Yiddish beygl, which, in turn, draws from the Middle High German böugel, which comes from Old High German word for “ring.” The other school of thought, entirely unencumbered by facts, argues that the word is a corruption of the Chinese phrase meaning “boiled doughy thing that white people eat”. The fact that bagels were eaten and were, in fact, called bagels long before they were introduced into China has been entirely ignored by proponents of this second school of thought.

I think your FAQ is just fine, except for that one question that’s, like, all crossed out. Why do you feel the need to update it?

It’s more than a year old, and there’s some stuff in there that’s simply factually incorrect.

Also, what’s the toughest division in the NFL?

That depends. If you mean “the toughest division to play in”, that’s probably the AFC East, simply because the Patriots are beating everything they see like a drum. If you mean “the toughest division to win”, that’s probably the AFC South, where everyone’s expected to be in the hunt until close to the end of the season.

index-7.jpgMore pr0n.

That’s not a question, that’s a request. But whatever. There ya go.

Do you expect the political climate in Hong Kong to get worse (i.e. less democratic) or better in the next five years?

Probably worse. The irony is that the primary factor in the development of the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong is meddling from the mainland, but the mainland is, as usual, utterly unable to grasp the concept. Then again, the CCP never was much good at wu-wei, so it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise…

What would you estimate are the chances of China invading Taiwan before the 2008 Olympics?

Depressingly high. A look at PLA procurement plans indicates that they’ll be prepared to launch a major amphibious invasion sometime in the year 2006. Since it seems unlikely that they’d invade South Korea or Japan, that leaves one likely target. I had a much longer answer written that disucssed the history of Chinese foreign policy in light of their decision to cross the Yalu, but it got eaten.

What’s your favorite Saint Etienne song?

That’s hard to say. I don’t think that I have a single favorite Saint Etienne song. I have, in the past, held up “Zipcode” as a near-platonic pop song, and I think that the album version of “Hobart Paving” is one of the great unknown ballads. And the disco melodrama of “Sylvie” is, to use an overused word, utterly irresistable. I could go on like this for a while…

Why law school?

That’s a surprisingly complicated question that comes with a correspondingly complicated answer. But certainly this was not an insignificant factor.

Three favorite places in New York City?

Riverside Park. The middle of the Brooklyn Bridge. The red velvet seats at the Metropolitan Opera. (As with the Saint Etienne question, I could keep going and going and going…)

Ideas about what you want to do post-school?

Take a well-earned vacation. But seriously, I think that I’d probably go into either some kind of internet law or international law.

Oatmeal, grits, or cream of wheat?

Oatmeal. Though grits are quite good if you add enough cheese.

How did you become a Red Sox fan and why do you remain a fan?

I spent my elementary school years in the greater Boston area, specifically in the town of Brookline. The first baseball game I ever went to was at Fenway Park in the summer of 1978, and my first memory of watching televised sports was watching the Sox lose that famous playoff game against the Yankees that fall.

Do you believe in life after love?

Yes, but be prepared for life after love to be brutish and painful.

More Poetry

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Just remember that we elected Nixon twice, too, and look how that turned out.

We are sooooooo fucked.
We’re so fucked, soooooooooo fucked.
Fucked, yes we are.

Interestingly enough, there are those who feel that comparing G.W. Bush to Richard M. Nixon does Nixon a disservice.

A Poem About The Election

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With apologies to Tony Pierce, haiku about the election:

Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck fuck.
Fuckity fuck fuck fuck fuck.
Fuck fuckity fuck.

ARRRRRRRRRRRRRGH.

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This shit’s killing me.

Reversed

Don't Forget to Exercise Tomorrow

If you don’t know where your polling place is (or are not sure), www.mypollingplace.com has a polling place locater.

Also, for New York voters, after you vote, don’t forget to go get your free porn.

(first link via kottke; second by way of Amy Langfield)

(We)Blog Wiki

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Rebecca MacKinnon has set up a Blog Wiki.

(I know, you're now asking "Paul, what's a Wiki?" A Wiki a particular kind of website that allows anyone to edit the content on that website. The etymology of the word is apparently from the Hawaiian for 'quick'. No, I don't know why either.)

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Newsweek looks at the war and discovers (shock! horror!) that it’s actually going rather badly.

(Via the metafilter)

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