Happy Birthday, Slublog

Filed under:Cool — posted by Anwyn on August 31, 2007 @ 8:26 am

You don’t know that it’s a year closer to death, dude. It could just be a year closer to whenever they perfect time travel. Or teleportation. Or Ordinary Joe Goes to Mars at Near the Speed of Light.

Yes, all right, they’re all still one year closer to death. You’re so “glass half empty.”

“I Think It’s Nasty”

Filed under:Heh,Not Cool,Television — posted by Anwyn on August 30, 2007 @ 8:25 pm

I gotta start watching more Tucker Carlson.

Update: Okay, seriously, everybody from Tucker to AP (comments to the above thread) to See-Dub to See-Dub’s dad apparently has one of these “Yeah, happened to me” stories about being propositioned in the men’s room. Tucker’s dead on that gay groups need to be disavowing this sort of thing early and often, unlike “It’s My Culture” George Michael.


Take That, Bloodsuckers

Filed under:Cool,Not Cool — posted by Anwyn @ 8:01 pm

Mosquitoes, meet Shelob.

H/t Dave in Texas at Ace’s.

Petitedov Explains It All

Filed under:Blogging,Heh — posted by Anwyn @ 6:16 pm

She totally gets you but will never use the information to her advantage.

So she says.

I’d watch my step anyway, if’n I was you.

Me, she loves.

Lilekspeak: I Can’t Believe He Said That

Filed under:Blogging,Television — posted by Anwyn @ 6:07 pm

Scrotumy. Oh yes he did.

And listen here, Lileks, I cannot make the time from all this strenuous blogging to watch Deadwood, no matter how good you … say … it … is … and, um, I don’t even … have Netflix?

No, I did not just admit that. TiVo takes up all my TV time and affection, thankyouverymuch.

Sigh. How can I not watch something the dialogue of which Lileks says is “filigreed ornation?” I can’t not watch, that’s how. Eventually.

In the Land of the Prairie Gods

Filed under:Mothering,Sad — posted by Anwyn @ 5:32 pm

So I saw this over at Dawn Summers’s, moused over the link and saw it was to someplace called “indychannel,” hazily thought “independent” for “indy” … and then saw that the story took place in Lafayette. Alas, “indy” did not mean “independent” at all.

“So I approach the car, and the windows came down and there’s a toddler on his knees, controlling the steering wheel,” Barrett told 6News’ Jennifer Carmack on Thursday.

Barrett said she saw Holly Schnobrich buckled in the front passenger seat, and the 3-year-old was crawling in the back.

Lafayette, Indiana. Where the engineers go to school but where most of them aren’t born and raised … except this guy. If he’s driving at five, he should do fine.

Holly Schnobrich told investigators that she let Weston drive because she was too impaired to operate the vehicle, police said.

According to a probable cause affidavit, she admitted taking the prescription painkiller Percocet and vodka.

“(Schnobrich) informed the officer that she took Perocet not for pain control … but she took it when the children acted up,” Tippecanoe County Prosecutor Pat Harrington said.

My heart bleeds for the kids in Child Services, but I devoutly hope to all the PGs (who must have been watching over this child) that Prosecutor Harrington fixes it so that that wreck of a “mother” never gets the chance again to ruin those bright kids.

Weston said the incident won’t stop him from wanting to drive in the future.

“I want to be a race car driver when I grow up,” he said.

Update: Over to you, Gib, for the funny closer.

Question of the Day

Filed under:Blogging,Heh — posted by Anwyn @ 2:34 pm

Does Ace’s mom actually read his blog?

And if so, a) does that explain a lot or b) is she simply the most self-posessed mom evah or just blessed with an extremely strong heart?

Wishing you continued good health, Mrs. Acemom.

Bonus Ace. Mmhm.

You’re So Vain

Filed under:Heh — posted by Anwyn @ 1:26 pm

It’s scary what you might get if you image-Google the name of an ex. I’m just sayin’.

No, it’s not you. STOP GOOGLING. Sheesh.

Stuff I Should Have Blogged Already

Filed under:Church of Liberalism — posted by Anwyn @ 8:17 am

1) Dear CNN/Christiane Amanpour: When a guy from the network that gives house room to Keith Freakin’ Olbermann tells you that your “documentary” on religious ideologues was biased, skewed, and downright dishonest in its comparisons of the other two to the poor victimized, driven-to-the-wall adherents of violent Islam, maybe you’ve got a little problem. Like “turn it off after five minutes” problem. And maybe I’ve got an even bigger problem than Amanpour, in that my church sent out an email encouraging people to watch this sham and then show up at church on Sunday ready to finish up and discuss a program by … Bill Moyers. I passed.

2) Are you really telling me that the difference reported in the study between the book-reading habits of liberals and conservatives, the one the president of the American Association of Publishers (I’m so proud), Pat Schroeder, cited in order to crow like the queen of the yard (h/t Slublog) was one book? One? Without reference to what else liberals and conservatives do with their time or even what they actually read? And that the guy who actually did the study says the one book is within the margin of error?

Ace: Yes, dummy, that’s what I’m telling you. Learn to read, for goshsakes.

Eah. Even if it were statistically significant, I would have put up my John Adams and The Last Lion and Team of Rivals and The History of England against The Audacity of Hope any day.

3) You mean doctors prefer charging what the market will bear for a service, and getting paid up front, to charging what a market interference says they must charge and getting paid much later? I’m shocked. (H/t The Headlines of the Creator of Worlds.)

I Ain’t Your Huckabeery

Filed under:Politics,Priorities — posted by Anwyn on August 29, 2007 @ 4:05 pm

Okay, that was lame; I’ve just always liked that Val Kilmer quote from Tombstone.

And speaking of lame, here’s Huckabee’s pronouncement that cigarettes used according to the package directions will kill you and secondhand smoke is “deadly” as justification for his ridiculous blanket smoking ban, fact in Arkansas and projected fact in the country at large if he became president. Mary Katharine Ham and Tom the Funkypundit both take him to task for presuming to dictate choices of the individual, MKH acknowledging smoking as a vice while she does so.

Being a nonsmoking bystander, I am far less supportive of the rights of smokers to light up wherever they please than the Funkypundit is. I occasionally choose to go to places I know will be smoking to have fun with friends, but that’s exactly the point: it’s my choice. Though in other places and on other occasions, it’s usually possible to choose to go elsewhere rather than endure smoke, sometimes it’s not, and those times are enough to make me fully supportive of the government banning smoking in property they directly own or control, such as airports or municipal beaches.

That said, though, I absolutely do not support the government declaring what shall not be permitted in privately owned establishments and am far more supportive of the rights of property owners to decide for themselves whether or not smoking is allowed in their establishments, according to what kind of an atmosphere they like and how it affects their bottom line. Even putting junk science aside, Huckabee’s employee-centric approach is laughable, arguing as it implicitly does that most people have no choice in where they work and no say in whether or not that workplace is smoke-free.

And there’s the problem with the nanny state that most of the more libertarian-leaning bloggers I read tend to overlook in favor of the “don’t tell me what not to do” approach (which, obviously, I mostly support as well): It promotes an utterly supine posture in the citizenry, a complete lack of ability to stand up for oneself, civilly but assertively and effectively, whether to the smoker next to you at that concert or to your boss about the clouds in the break room. Ask people for what you want. Now and then you’ll get it, and the other times won’t kill you. Literally won’t kill you.

It’s Too Much

Filed under:Politics — posted by Anwyn on August 27, 2007 @ 5:05 pm

Fred, my dear, when a gentleman flirts this long without making a move, eventually a lady is forced to conclude, however tearfully, that he has no serious intentions at all. Maybe if you’d kept quiet except for position statements, and not projected any dates at all as to when you’d announce. Alas. I don’t mean to say that I’ve given up, but please step out soon …

Update: Dean Esmay is relatively convincing that the reason he’s not announcing is because of the people at Law and Order who would lose out on revenue and livelihood if they have to pull his episodes. Maybe so, and I love a good-guy explanation as much as the next girl, but if that’s the case, what’s all this pussy-footing around, “maybe” September and maybe October? NBC knows when these episodes will air and there’s no reason that I can see why Fred shouldn’t know it, too. He should simply avoid speaking about when he will announce, and if asked, say “When we’re ready.”

Right? I’m not the savviest Jenny on the block regarding political maneuvering, but if that’s the explanation they should be handling it better, I think.

H/t for the Esmay to Xrlq, who wonders if Schwarzenegger had a similar explanation when he entered the California race. My question: did Ahnold do all this public procrastinating of projected dates first?

Fall TV 2007

Filed under:It's My Life,Television — posted by Anwyn @ 4:13 pm

I caught two minutes of Desperate Housewives last night. I don’t know if I can bring myself to watch it despite Nathan Fillion’s presence. One thing’s for sure, I’ll just have to catch up via episode recaps, because I can’t slog through enough of it to find out what happened the last two seasons and I don’t want to be completely lost.

More bad news from Yes, I’m So Behind the Rest of You world: I’m not into the first season of Heroes. At all. I’m scared for the little boy, scared for the cheerleader with the scary dad, irritated by the guy running for Congress and his brother (yes, your brother puts his Congress run ahead of everything–does that give you the right to wander about his campaign headquarters blabbing about flying at the top of your voice? No). So far the only ones I really like are the cop who can hear thoughts and the addict artist. More slogging ahead before I jettison it, though …

And now, the question on everybody’s minds, what new shows will Anwyn add this fall? Wait no longer. You can always tell what a Baggins would say on any question before you ask him, and similarly you can always tell which shows Anwyn will watch if you know enough about which actors she likes–which is easily told based on which shows I loved in the past. So this fall’s new dramas are:

Private Practice, the Grey’s Anatomy spinoff that previewed last spring. If it doesn’t do better than the rather turgid, Ally McBeal-esque-without-Ally McBeal pilot, it won’t last long for me.

Dirty Sexy Money, starring Peter Krause of Sports Night Six Feet Under fame. I know him from Sports Night, though, because I don’t get HBO and haven’t watched Six Feet Under. If it doesn’t do better than its title, it won’t last long for me.

Big Shots, starring Joshua Malina of Sports Night The West Wing fame. This I’m a little more hopeful for, although I have my doubts about a writer who names a character “Karl Mixworthy.” And I always hated Christopher Titus every time I saw a commercial for, well, Titus.

The Bionic Woman. This one’s mostly out of sheer geek curiosity rather than any particular attachment to the cast, although I love Mark Sheppard and know that Katee Sackhoff will be at least guesting. Could be a knockover. Could be a dud.

Too many shows, is what it really amounts to, but at least with the cancellation of Veronica Mars, What About Brian (shut up), Standoff, and Studio 60, it’s no more than I attempted to watch last year.

I’m Going to Have a Heart Attack and Die from “Not-Surprise”

Filed under:Mothering,Television — posted by Anwyn @ 10:36 am

The shoddy science behind the study that said Baby Einstein was bad for the baby. Study, quoted from Time:

These products had the strongest detrimental effect on babies 8 to 16 months old, the age at which language skills are starting to form. “The more videos they watched, the fewer words they knew,” says Christakis. “These babies scored about 10% lower on language skills than infants who had not watched these videos.”

Strongest detrimental effect certainly implies that the effect was negative across the board, with the strongest negative in babies eight to sixteen months old. But no! From Junk Science:

Baby DVDs and videos weren’t associated with reduced vocabulary development among the study’s 17- to 24-month-olds. For the older toddlers, watching baby DVDs and videos correlated with a similar positive effect on vocabulary development as story-telling and music-listening.

Did the alleged adverse effect of baby DVDs and videos disappear with age or was it entirely bogus to start with?

The researchers admitted in their study’s fine print that they didn’t directly test whether baby DVDs and videos had an actual positive or negative effect on vocabulary acquisition. They also quietly acknowledged that the study’s correlative nature “precluded” drawing causal inferences and that their results could have been affected by biased and incomplete data.

While they remembered or were compelled by the Journal of Pediatrics’ editors to note these “major limitations” in their write-up, Drs. Zimmerman and Christakis seemed to suffer mental lapses when it came to statements they made in media interviews.

And why let a few facts including the researchers’ history of alarming parents about children watching TV, DVD and videos (more than 10 publications since 2004) get in the way of their scare?

I didn’t blog it when the study was making the news a few weeks ago because this mommy simply didn’t care and suspicioned there might be more to the story than the study said–The Bean watched Baby Einstein videos for an hour a day from the time he was six months old, and at three and a half, he could read (yes, read independently books he’d never seen before, not just recite books he knew by heart (yes, he is amazing! Thank you!), although of course he did that too).

Basically, the study called some parents up and asked them how often their children watched these videos. And then, as “the fine print” says, according to the Junk Science article, “didn’t directly test whether baby DVDs and videos had an actual positive or negative effect on vocabulary acquisition.”

A test that didn’t test what it said it tested. Who knew? Moms knew. Moms know that no matter what studies say, the problem comes if you use TV or whatever to replace a significant amount of interaction with your baby instead of in addition to it. And a study like this simply takes the most alarmist route in insisting that must be the case in any household where babies watch videos. How insulting that is to your average parent, who bends over backwards to work with the baby for the baby’s optimal development.

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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace