Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Eschew the pink ribbons

Now is the time to withdraw your support from the Komen Foundation.

Your blogger is angry again

People complain about smug vegetarians, but what about smug meat-eaters, who, by the way, are wrong. And--I'm so sick of this question--why is the alternative to meat presented as fake meat? Are these meat-eaters so meat-centric that they don't realize that there are legions of happy vegetarians who don't (regularly) consume fake meat? That there are plenty of natural, tasty alternatives? Check out the latest installment of Recipes for Health and tell me how many of these entail meat?

Update: The bf's response to the Food and Wine piece:"Was she paid by the meat lobby? Not only is she wrong, but she seems like a terrible and manipulative person."

By the way, the bf and I left a restaurant the other night because they had not a single vegetarian dish. Not a one. Not even substantive vegetarian appetizers. And I'm not even talking vegan; I mean vegetarian. It was a travesty. I could have sucked it up and had seafood--although I truly prefer not to--but he doesn't eat seafood, so he would have been stuck. And a dining experience should be fun, not strained. So we left.

While I have your attention: what makes for a hyperpolyglot? I agree, there are diminishing returns after five or so.

Monday, January 30, 2012

It's a fucked up ol' world but this ol' girl/Well, she ain't givin' in

(Cowboy Junkies).

In this day and age, there are honor killings in Canada and a father who killed a woman for bearing a girl.

Appreciate the body you have. The answer is nothing: there is nothing wrong with your body.

Monday evening roundup

The insulting hypocrisy of anti-choice.

Can you believe this horrible woman? My mother comes off as open-minded and tactful in comparison.

Making "gift" frequent flyer miles taxable is f*ed up.

Yeah, the dismissive "mommy blogger" label is ridiculous. let's take to calling any male blogger or columnist who mentions his kids a "daddy blogger" or "daddy columnist." That means you, John Kelly, Tom Friedman, and Gene Weingarten.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday evening roundup

The Onion one-ups (or doesn't--you decide) Grist's Oklahoma bill coverage.

Jewish communities have got to hold themselves to a higher standard of civility and discourse.

That explains the lack of rhyme or reason in online reviews: merchants are offering incentives for glowing ones.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thursday evening roundup

The Spanish justice system misfires, with global consequences.

Nagging will break you up if you don't find a more constructive way to communicate.

I applaud Grist for pointing out the absurdity of the Oklahoma bill, but I wonder whether the graphic is necessary.

Is DC really that rude? Really?

The Onion is funny:

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wednesday evening roundup

Forgive me if I've already blogged about the McDonald's Twitter backlash; it's so awesome, it's worth posting twice.

Meat and processed food are bad for the planet. So is industrial agriculture, and that's manifesting itself locally.

Josh Ozersky is wrong. I can see what he means: all things being equal, a cook not limiting him or herself according to health considerations has more options; but that doesn't mean he/she will necessarily come up with tastier food. I make very healthy, very tasty food all the time. Furthermore, sugar, fat, and salt are addictive; people who are used to a plethora of the three will not immediately appreciate foods that have less of them, but that's not to say they can't come to appreciate such food with time.

Now then, on nutrition--first of all, a disclaimer: I haven't read this whole thing because it's long-winded, but she makes some good points and some questionable points. I agree that we shouldn't broadly extrapolate our own health experiences (within reason). I roll my eyes when people go on about how everyone would benefit from giving up wheat and/or gluten; I know that I feel worse when I give up wheat. I'm Russian; my people eat wheat. I have to be careful about my quinoa consumption. I know one is an ancient grain and one has had the $hit modified out of it over the centuries, but I've never had any problems with it. And this is why I don't argue that veganism is dietarily ideal for everyone; I didn't go vegan to feel better, and I was almost surprised when I did. I went vegan for environmental/animal cruelty reasons (see above), which was huge in the adjustment period before I reached the point where I naturally didn't want dairy or eggs. Also huge was focusing on all the great food I'd never thought of before, rather than on the things I "couldn't" eat. But you've heard this all before. The take-away here is, what works magic for you isn't necessarily a panacea for everyone.

On the topic of Trader Joe's: it would be three strikes, but I've nowhere else to go. I discovered that one of the lemons in the bag I bought on Saturday had gone completely moldy, and one of the apples in the bag of organic Pink Ladies turned out to be a conventional, waxy Braeburn (you really could taste the pesticides); and, weeks ago, my boyfriend was mislead by store employees into buying non-vegan "soy" cheese with casein in it. Sigh.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tuesday evening roundup: home, sick edition

Let's talk about singlism, stigma, and cats. I blogged a little about this last week, but here's more: I know Citibank and Honda are patting themselves on the back for appealing to independent women, but I take exception to the us vs. them (and have-a-life vs. have-a-relationship) constructs that they're promoting with these ads. Why is taking care of your leap list and being in a relationship mutually exclusive? The Boston Magazine article touches on that construct as well. It also discusses the whole single-woman-with-cat myth (most cat owners are families, but single people are still anxious about it). It's pretty comprehensive in its coverage of a wide array of 'singlist' frustrations (for eg., why is my colleague's kid's soccer game perceived to be more important than my theater ticket?) It's never come down to that at my workplace, but the idea of the idea is annoying. Bottom line: I don't appreciate the bundling of traits into false dichotomies; the misconception that you have to be either single, adventurous, and connected to society or partnered with your head up your own ass is just as detrimental as the misconception that you can be either married, fulfilled, and happy or single, alone, and pathetic.

Confession: I spotted this article on overparenting as I read the one discussed above, but I haven't read it.

I'm certainly not delighted, nor smug, about Paula Deen's predicament, but I don't understand why she she's shocked by the lack of empathy, given her influence and her choice to deceive her audience for years.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Monday evening roundup: your-blogger-is-angry edition

Mr. Frothy Mix surprises just when you thought he couldn't get more clueless or offensive. Look, you can tell women what they "should" do. That is your First-Amendment right. The point is, what they ultimately do is their choice. And trying to take that choice away doesn't save any lives.

I thought this piece about vegetarianism would make me angry, but it didn't. The argument is, stick with what you can handle, and if vegetarianism is overwhelming, start with less-meat-tarianism. Fine. But I still disagree with the headline claiming it's better for the planet (which, by the way, factors in dairy and its enormous carbon footprint). This attack on soy does make me angry, for a similar reason (i.e., misleading headline). It's not soy that's the problem--as the article itself makes clear; it's processed soy. But then, why focus on processed soy? There are worse processed foods for you, and some of them also masquerade as health foods. That's one reason why I'm loath to recommend Made Just Right, even though those are some pretty cool recipes. It's that relying on processed fake-dairy foods is contrary to everything I, personally, believe in. I hated it about "Everyday Food" (hey, I had frequent flyer miles to redeem) and I hate it about the vegan equivalent. I feel as strongly about unprocessed food as I do about plant-based food. I see little point in going vegan if you're going to regularly make crap. Occasionally making crap is fine.

Let me not slam another source of excellent vegan recipes here. I was going to roll my eyes at her embrace of the Vitamix, but I have to admit that I have serious Vitamix envy. I tried to deny it. Actually, I think I've successfully denied it. But I have to admit that, all things being equal, i.e. if I had $500 to burn, I'd be all over it. After I'd burned other bundles of $500 on more important stuff, of course.

Alright, back to my rant. Look, sanctimom: I don't hate your kids, and I didn't even hate you before your blog post. Don't turn this into my hating your kids, just because I hate your stroller when it gets in the way. How dare you turn that into a childism issue? Oh, and you forgot another type who hates your kids: the wary traveler. They (we) really f*ing hate your kids, and rightly so... but we hate you even more when you're not even bothering to comfort them. And why does someone's not wanting kids at her wedding make her a bridezilla? Who cares if it means you can't attend? All that means is that you can't attend. Since when is the wedding about you, anyway? I don't think this woman hates kids; she just wants a peaceful ceremony. Does that make her a monster? And wait, even the hipster is about you, now? Let me break it to you: the hipster is an equal-opportunity asshole; he/she is rude to everyone.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday evening roundup

So wrong and such an argument for equal rights. If it's a matter of confused employees, it's ten times more offensive than a confused employee harassing a nursing mother.

The Onion on the Keystone decision.

Carolyn comes through again, this time about letting a daughter be herself.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thursday evening roundup

Making abortion dangerous is anything but pro-life.

Some of CAP writers' rhetoric is definitely tacky, but is it anti-Semitic?

Thinspiration is a very unfortunate thing, but I never blamed Kate Moss for it and I don't blame Kate Middleton now. If we're concerned because little girls aspire to be princesses, maybe we need to work on reversing that trend, not on blaming women who happen to be thin.

What would you trade for McNuggets?

Why are some meat eaters so paranoid that vegetarians are out to convert them?

On reviews

Customer reviews are a funny thing. I’m thinking in particular of theater and restaurant reviews. They appear to reflect less on the show or restaurant than on the reviewer and his or her biases. With theater, that goes for professional reviewers as well—they’ll asses a show based on what they think it should be—what it would have been had they written it—rather than on its own merits.

Theater reviews yield a lot of false positives, even among professional reviewers. I’ve never seen a phenomenal play get a bad review, but I’ve seen many bad or mediocre plays get great reviews. Then again, the universe of phenomenal play is a small one; I see very few. Many plays are good, some are mediocre, and a handful are inexcusably bad. So, phenomenal plays generally get rave reviews, but so do plays that I find merely good or mediocre. I still don’t understand why Peter Marks and Hilton Als so emphatically sent me to see “Oklahoma!” It was good enough, but hardly outstanding. I’m more careful in my reviews; I don’t want that kind of blood on my hands. If I’m going to send my friends out to see a show at an expense and opportunity cost, it better be worth every minute and every penny. When I review a play, I have one standard for “phenomenal”: I don’t have to think about whether I liked it or not. It’s not a choice; it’s a no-brainer. Recall my review of “Venus in Fur.” If I have to think about whether a play is good, it usually comes down to “good, but.” But what can bring a play down from “phenomenal” to “very good” is when it drags. It’s still excellent; there’s just too much of it. Enough to make me wonder whether I’d rather be elsewhere, even for those extra 10-20 minutes. See “Little Murders.”

I saw a quite awful production last weekend that’s gotten great—and interesting—reviews. It’s the specifics that fascinate me—people wrote that they loved the story even if they didn’t care for the acting. A friend of mine echoed this perspective—she agreed that the main character was egregiously miscast, but felt that the story was strong enough to carry the play. To me, the poor production betrayed the story. I wanted the actors to help me interpret the reality of the play, but they didn’t give me enough to work with. I could only shrug.

I’ve only recently taken to reading restaurant reviews. Left to my own advices, I eat at home, but as a business traveler or a date, I find myself in restaurants more and more, so I’ve been turning to Yelp more and more. Yelp reviews as a body are sociologically interesting—there’s so much variation among reviewers of the same place, largely because most of them don’t take context into account. They’ll slam a hole-in-the-wall for being a hole-in-the-wall. They’ll slam an Indian place because they don’t like Indian food, or because it’s not what they were in the mood for that day. When I review restaurants, I take my biases into consideration (I don’t have a problem with holes-in-the-wall, so context isn’t really an issue). I love to give restaurants credit for having a meaningful vegetarian/vegan selection, and especially for clearly marking vegan dishes, but I know that kind of thing is less important to omnivores (particularly those without food allergies). Moreover, I love it when waitstaff have answers when you ask what’s in the food, and f*ing hate it when they cop an attitude instead, but I also factor in the environment: I didn’t mind when, in a very authentic Mexican place in rural Arizona, where I was on business, the restaurant staff had to ask a series of people and eventually duck into the kitchen to let us know which item on the menu contained neither meat nor lard. They were very nice about it, too. Now, I would expect staff at a restaurant—especially a nice restaurant—in DC to answer that question in fewer steps, and also to be nice about it. That’s context. Here’s more context: if I found myself at a steakhouse—and I have, mostly dining with colleagues when traveling for work—I wouldn’t criticize the place for not having extensive vegetarian or vegan options.

More about biases: Some reviewers of a café that we’ll be checking out on Saturday love that the café is in an underserved neighborhood; others see it as an incursion, as a symbol of gentrification.

What do you think? Have reviews helped you, confounded you?

Thursday morning roundup and ramble-rant

Is your chocolate cruelty-free?

Why is Virgina's Attorney General wasting my money?

North Korea has upscale restaurants across Asia.

The Economist on Newt Gingrich's food-stamp-president rhetoric. Also, an update from Gail Collins.

This is a tough one. I don't defend bad hosts, but if people don't want to host, they shouldn't have to. And I agree that showers are kind-of awful. Carolyn's analysis is spot-on.

Guys, here's what not to do on a first date. Oh, and don't be this guy.

This women-secretly-only-want-a-husband shit makes my blood boil. It’s harmful as well as offensive, in that it perpetuates limiting beliefs that keep women from achieving optimal happiness. The main limiting belief is the false dichotomy between independence and happiness in a relationship. It’s not that women merely can be “independent” and complete and still be in a relationship; have to be. Not having your own life only drags you down as a couple. And having a partner enhances all the wonderful things already in your life; it doesn’t detract from them or obviate the need for them.

And then women become afraid to admit that there's room for a relationship in their lives. The Cafe mom says it well. Why is there this idea that admitting you want to be in a relationship somehow makes you needy or desperate, or in any way detracts from your feminism. Why? How? Instead of my arguing that it doesn’t, you try to explain to me how it would. There’s a difference between “wanting to be married for the sake of it” and wanting to share your already fabulous life with the right person. What century do we live in? Mind you, that’s Britain, but why does being open to marriage send a signal that women are “only” interested in “marriage and babies”? A year or so ago, a friend of mine sent out an e-mail to everyone she knew, essentially saying “I’m single and I’m looking. Send any single guys you respect my way.” We all thought it was awesome. It was anything but needy or desperate. It was a strong woman taking control of her life. You reach out to find a better job; why not reach out to find a better partner?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tuesday evening roundup

The biggest lies of the SC debate.

Burger King now delivers.

Calvin Trillin publicizes the Asshole Correlation Index.

Got pork?
Hog raising is a dirty business—and the environmental damage it creates has provoked rising opposition to Smithfield’s operations within US borders. In Virginia in 1997, federal judge Rebecca Smith imposed the largest federal pollution fine to that date—
$12.6 million—on the company for dumping pig excrement into the Pagan River, which runs into Chesapeake Bay. That year the state of North Carolina went further, passing a moratorium on the creation of any new open-air hog waste lagoons and a cap on production at its Tar Heel plant. In 2000 then–State Attorney General Mike Easley forced Smithfield to fund research by North Carolina State University to develop treatment methods for hog waste that are more effective than open lagoons. Despite North Carolina’s well-known hostility to regulating business, in 2007 Easley (by then governor) made the moratorium permanent. In the face of public outcry over stench and flies, even the anti-regulation industry association, the North Carolina Pork Council, supported it.

In Mexico’s Perote Valley, however—a high, arid, volcano-rimmed basin straddling the states of Veracruz and Puebla—Smithfield could operate unburdened by the environmental restrictions that increasingly hampered its expansion in the United States. Mexico has environmental standards, and NAFTA supposedly has a procedure for requiring their enforcement, but no complaint was ever filed against GCM or Smithfield under NAFTA’s environmental side agreement. Carolina Ramirez, who heads the women’s department of the Veracruz Human Rights Commission, concluded bitterly that “the company can do here what it can’t do at home.”

For local farmers like Fausto Limon, the hog operation was devastating. On some warm nights his children would wake up and vomit from the smell. He’d put his wife, two sons and daughter into his beat-up pickup, and they’d drive away from his farm until they could breathe without getting sick. Then he’d park, and they’d sleep in the truck for the rest of the night.
The no-longer-Colbert superPAC's bold ad. See the related interview: video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

The reactions to this awful J-Date ad are varied. I'm not going to close-read or analyze the ad; I'd rather focus on that second linked analysis of it. Everyone's entitled to the lessons she's learned from her own experiences, but I know so many women--including myself--whose experience has contradicted the idea that Jewishness (which is not the same thing as Judaism) is an indication of shared values or even spirituality. I know Jewish women--including practicing Jewish women--who are happily married to non-Jewish men or to men who are Jewish because they converted, to marry (so what does that tell you about Jewishness as a source of the shared values that brought them together?). I have a friend who is a devout Catholic, for whom it's important to date someone of any religion but who has a relationship with God. For my boyfriend, it was important to date someone who isn't very religious. In fact, my spiritual-but-not-religiousness--my belief in meditation--isn't something he really gets. I could joke about how we share Banana Republic as a place of worship... and we do. But my point is, even though he's not Jewish, he and I share values, more so than I could with many Jews I know. My point is, young Jewish ladies, date Jewish men if that's important to you, but be open to the possibility that there are lots of non-Jewish men out there who share your values and maybe even your spirituality.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Sunday evening roundup/ramble

I've been meaning to blog about this all day. I think the better question--and it's been asked by many newspapers and magazines--is, "what is left and right anymore?" I don't see how the concepts that the interviewees credit to the right, are the exclusive purview of the right.

I've heard friends say that they're "more and more libertarian everyday." Well, I heard one friend say that. It was in reference to carseat laws; who is the government to tell her she can't take the kid out of the carseat for a single second? But I've heard other friends--other government employees--talk about the inefficiencies they see every day. I don't blame or disagree with them. But isn't that an issue of more efficient government, not more or less?

Two articles, from last week's Outlook section, on the role and limits of words.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sunday morning roundup

The Times looks into who are the one percent.

Ernessa, I really loved your Martin Luther King Day post and tips for when not to make important decisions.

For more on writing/creativity: Susan Cain on introversion, privacy, and productivity.

Israel's troglodyte-extremist problem.

NoVa's troglodyte problem. Secession, anyone? On that note: Reston, a soulless ant colony? Also: Pearlstein on the decline of exurbs.

The anonymous haters come out in full force against a very honorable woman. You've gotta love it when people who have no idea judge/slam someone who has had to make very difficult choices.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Saturday morning roundup

France's lead advocate for the disabled is quite the superman.

Classic racial identities are losing relevance, especially for Latinos.

Is Colbert's potential candidacy any more of a joke than that of the other candidates?

I neither always agree, nor always disagree, with Kathleen Parker. She usually makes interesting, valid points; sometimes she misses the(quite obvious) point. Today, however, she's my hero.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday evening roundup

What the Obama administration has gotten right (note absence of environmental success stories on that list).

When is a gift that doesn't fit the recipient's personality a clumsy hint, and when is it just a gift? I can't say I blame the grandmother, although the whole thing reminds me of an old advice column where the columnist advised a man who wanted to let his "otherwise sophisticated" girlfriend know that not shaving one's legs wasn't socially acceptable. The columnist suggested he give her razors as a gift. Isn't that hilarious?

Really, HuffPo? These ads make me yawn.

Some ideas for what to do with any Twinkies you may have around.

Sloths are cute.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Malcontent Thursday evening roundup

I got a Groupon for this self-proclaimed environmentally-friendly restaurant. Since Founding Farmers was such a disappointment, I was excited about another alternative. But let me tell you--no restaurant with so few vegetarian options is environmentally friendly. In fact, the meat-centric menu makes the whole concept a joke.

Whether 20-somethings are asking too much is a great question, but this article doesn't really get at it.

If you ask me, a little bit of Gene Weingarten goes a long way.

Thursday morning roundup

This journalist set up the contrast between the giant Mao statue and the five-figure, bejeweled eyeglasses as "striking." It doesn't sound that striking given the epidemic of commercialized Che imagery. Anyway, the more important point is that the Taiwanese election has many, including the Taishang, on edge.

Immigration is a huge boon when you manage it.

Gail Collins on the Palmetto State primary.

Mark Bittman writes that we're eating less meat. Apparently, that's not so easy in the midwest.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tuesday evening roundup: environmental edition

Guess what industry doesn't want you to know about toxins in anihttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifmal products?

Pepsi's ironic defense of Mountain Dew.

Did I tell you that I more-or-less definitively gave up seafood a while ago? It had been occasional/last resort for a while, but I'm really done. Here's an example of why.

On a brighter oceanic note, check out this newly discovered ecosystem.

If you're still buying European olive oil, you're probably overpaying and getting screwed.

Yeah, why is bacon so fetishized?

Psychology Today on choosing a mate.

I did tell you to be careful with your yoga practice, but I didn't tell you to quit.

Tuesday morning roundup

It's still an uphill battle for Egyptian women, but the blue-bra girl continues to inspire and motivate.

Charles Blow fact- and logic-checks Santorum.

Sorry, Russia House. Even at half-price, your Russian fare is neither authentic nor vegetarian-friendly enough for me. "Pierogis." Ha!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Monday evening roundup

Got mercury?

What's more romantic than Occupy DC?

The Post's website has way too much going on.

The Onion on Rick Perry.

Oh, here's a despicable comment about the First Lady.

Recycling hotel soap is brilliant.

Here's one thing I won't be making just because I can.

You've got to be f*ing kidding me. I've been thinking about how you really, really shouldn't change yourself. I mean, you should, in that you should always be thinking about genuine self-improvement. If you're an asshole, by all means, get some therapy and see if you can not be one. But changing who you are because of what you think other people want can only end in tears. You only end up confusing yourself.

Look, I'm not an expert on relationships or dating, but right now I'm in a very happy relationship with someone who not only accepts me for who I am, but likes me for who I am. And I am a talkative, crass, vegan with a cat. I just had dinner with a couple of friends who said, "when you told us you were vegan, we thought, 'does she never want to have sex again?'" I have another friend who implored me not to tell potential dates that I was a vegetarian, much less vegan. It may be that veganism a turn-off for 99 percent of single men--at least this is what many friends of mine appear to believe--but why am I going to date those men anyway? Years ago, I was out on a date with a guy who asked me if I'd ever deep-fried a turkey. When I told him I was a vegetarian, he damn-near fainted. Why on earth would anyone do that? "Meat is so good," he insisted. The concept of altering one's eating habits for ethical reasons was completely ridiculous as far as he was concerned. Now, do you think he would have been a good match for me? I would rather be "rejected" by an infinite number of those guys than attract one by lying about who I am.

You can, and you will, lose your f*ing mind reading "what men want" advice columns. They've made me sick, struck me as wrong, ever since I was a pre-teen. I recently came across one that made me wonder what century we were living in; one guy said, "just don't ask me to do the dishes."

You can go on "there's a Jack for every Jill," or you can question that sometimes and realize you're still better off on your own than betraying yourself.

Monday morning roundup

Greeks are resilient and determined. And they're rediscovering life on the farm.

The Russian regime has yet to figure out that the propaganda of our grandparents' time doesn't work in the internet age.

There was actually a lot of good stuff in yesterday's Post, but I don't have time to link to it now. I'll get it this evening.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

A very annotated Saturday morning roundup

Haitians (usually) succeed in finding work and dignity in Brazil.

The Arab Spring (and its aftermath) is often compared to post-communist transitions, but Professor Owen offers up 19th century European revolutionary and opposition movements. Which is fair enough. But what he neglects to mention with regard to whttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifhy Islamist groups appeal to voters is that in a number of Middle Eastern countries, Egypt for a very good example, the Islamist party is associated with social services that the state never bothered to provide.

Cutting defense spending may be necessary, but cuts in R&D will likely be an unintended consequence. Still, keep this in mind:
Military spending does not compare well economically with many other forms of government spending, some experts say. Professor Pollin calculated in a recent analysis that $1 billion in spending on health care produced an economic benefit about 14 percent larger than spending on defense. The impact of spending on transportation, education and energy were even larger.
A few presidential campaigns have taken on some unfortunate racial rhetoric.

Especially given the circumstances, Michelle Obama is awesome.

Ezra Klein's rambling ode to advertising was sent to me, unsurprisingly, by someone who works in advertising. He makes a few interesting points, but leaves out many others, like the BBC model (which is more effective than the NPR model). I also think of cases like the former Soviet Union--or just about any existing society without a free press--where the government may control the media, but the media is thus overwhelmingly worthless and people find ways to figure out what's going on. I use the former Soviet Union as an example because it was pre-internet and pre-social media. Newspapers reported propaganda, but people didn't turn to newspapers for information; information spread by word-of-mouth. Yes, free press is still tremendously important, and journalism matters beyond what word-of-mouth can convey. But advertisers needn't pat themselves smugly on the back, thinking they're singlehandedly credited with bringing about a free society.

On a more personal note, what I want to know is why Google thinks I'm fat. I got an ad for "Woman Within® - Plus Size" in my Gmail Sidebar.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Wow, or Friday evening roundup: hate edition

I disagree with Mitt Romney on many issues, but I don't abide disparaging him on the basis of his religion. Similarly, it's pretty f*ing disgusting to disparage Rick Santorum (with whom I happen to disagree on just about every issue) on the basis of how he mourned his dead newborn. This whole thing also shows how the blogosphere gives writers the opportunity to bloviate without thinking.

Meanwhile, this horrendous embarrassment to civilization can only backfire on Ron Paul, even if he distances himself from the sponsors.

See also:

Friday morning roundup

It's been cited as progress in Afghanistan that a girl was severely abused and people actually cared.

Read Sally Quinn's column in that light and also in light of the comments about breastfeeding in public that I linked to the other day. Maybe that really is part of the issue: the haters can't deal with breasts' serving their original purpose.

Interregional migration in Latin America has changed.

Newsflash: it matters to have good teachers.

Check out these muscly vegans!

Be very careful with your yoga.

I got caught up in this this metro mess the other day. The tracks don't love sudden temperature changes, apparently.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wednesday evening roundup

Guess whose graduate program is (still) officially awesome?

What the hell is wrong with (some) men? How far up their own asses must their heads be to think that women breastfeed to show their breasts? Do they really not understand the concept of breasts, i.e. that they're there for feeding babies?

The editors of Marie Claire tell the nice editors at Esquire what changing gender roles don't mean.

Here's some more great advice for men, in an entirely different vein.

See how this headline skews the study results, while this one tells a different story? Also, note a key variable: "little exercise." If you're exercising, you need those carbs.

Was away for over a week, forgot how f*ing annoying my cat is. She just won't stop whining.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Tuesday evening roundup

Hugo Chavez isn't that far off. We export lots of toxins that causes cancer (mind you, they're not directed at leftist leaders). And they're available for domestic consumption, too. Check your cleaning products.

Food and Water Watch rounds up the top (i.e. most ludicrous) food news of 2011.

Speaking of ludicrous food news, an Economist blogger's idea of good food in and around National Airport makes me sad.

Children in the Congo

are starving.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Monday morning roundup

In much of Afghanistan, poppy cultivation continues to be an attractive, if not irresistible, source of livelihood.

China's parallel grievance system endures and kind-of works in the absence of a functioning/effective court system.

I caught a couple of episodes of Downton Abbey at my parents' house, it wasn't bad.