Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday evening roundup and ramble

Emirati women have done well for themselves and their country.

Yes, exactly: we discussed the First Amendment thing with regard to the now-forgotten Tosh episode (and by the way, even rapists know it's not a joke). Anyway, this issue resurfaces over Chick-fil-A: the First Amendment guarantees your right to speak, but it doesn't protect you from the (non-violent) responses to what you say. And people do have a right to buy according to their values. Unfortunately, I doubt my vegetarian values would allow me to support The Heart Boys restaurant and their values of inclusion, but if they have any vegan sides, I'm there.

Lest you had any doubts, a survey confirms that few women dress for men. This is interesting because my impression is that many guys think that women dress for them. I've heard/read guys talk about how women take summer as an opportunity to show skin. Really, guys? I've had about a gazillion conversations at work over the last few weeks--prompted by complimenting women's dresses or being complimented on my dresses--about how we wear dresses because (1) they're easy--one outfit! and (2) it's too hot to wear pants. But really, why are we gonna dress (to show off) for men, when most of the men who appreciate a nice outfit aren't interested in what we've got, anyway? Crazy thing is--though not surprising in light of my last point--men do dress to impress women (see question #13).

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Phone call

My parents and I talked this morning. We discussed what I would do today (mostly, see "Sweeney Todd") and established that they hadn't heard of it. Although they'd probably recognize the music, because I used to listen to the soundtrack all the time. Anyway, I got home to a message from my mom, about whether I ended up with two Magic Bullets.

A.: I have a bunch of plastic containers, one electrical units, and two blade-things. What are you missing?
Mom: Most of it.
A.: When did you notice you were missing it? Because you gave me mine at least four years ago.
Mom: So! I haven't used it since!
A.: No need to get defensive. I'm just trying to get to the bottom of this. I want to know whether you haven't used it in years, and so would have noticed part of it was gone.
Mom: Most of it's gone.
A.: Okay. Do you have the electrical unit? The part that plugs in?
Mom: I have very little.
A.: Do you have the electrical unit?
Mom: I don't know where it is.
A.: Could you answer the question, please!
Mom: I am answering the question!
A.: No, you're not. I don't want to send you mine if yours is just hiding somewhere. I don't have time.
Mom: Hmph!
A.: Just tell me what parts your missing.
Mom: I really need this now. I want to make a compress for the bee stings.
A.: Okay, but even if I go to the post office tomorrow morning, which I really don't have time to do, you still won't get it until mid-week, so it behooves you to try to find yours.
Mom: How was the performance?
A.: It was very good.
Mom: What did you see?
A.: "Sweeney Todd."
Mom: Huh, I haven't even heard of that.
A.: I think you know the music.
Mom: Anyway, you'll check.
A.: Yes, I'll check.

Sunday morning roundup

Drought threatens Indian crops, too.

Let's hope Joyce Banda succeeds.

France owns up to the Vel d'Hiv operation. A new book on (and called) The Second World War doesn't entertain pretenses of delicacy. As reviewer Gerard DeGroot puts it,
Good military history should stink of blood, feces and fear. Beevor’s book stinks. It reconstructs the great battles but weaves in hundreds of tiny instances of immense suffering.
As I'd noted in my travel notes, Czech Republic has come a long way. A Czech official reflects (in the context of what may lie ahead for Burma):
I remember when I returned to my homeland after 40 years of exile and traveled throughout the Czech country. I was appalled by the dilapidated buildings and devastated towns. Even the forests had been destroyed by acid rain. Havel, then our president, asked for a report from my trip. Upon listening to my findings, he told me: “You have been away for a long time. The buildings will be restored when their owners get them back. The forests will rejuvenate again when we get the cleaning filters for the power plants installed. The towns will rebound soon. But it will take a very long time to repair the damage to the souls of our people.”
Yes, yes, this story of  government bullying of Kafkaesque proportions is infuriating and, as George Will points out, makes us all a little libertarian. But examples of abuse are not arguments against reasonable regulation. Say, the kind that might have prevented a massive oil leak from threatening Lake Michigan.

Steve Pearlstein urges us to quit pinning the financial crisis (and every other crisis going back to the fall of the Roman Empire) on the repeal of Glass-Steagall. More from him on the topic of financial regulation here.

A new book on child-rearing begs parents to ease up on the pressure. What else isn't good for kids? A depressed, controlling parents who sees the world in black and white and doesn't care about the impact of her "biblical" lifestyle on her daughter.

For at least the third time in less than a year, I find myself reading "in defense of poor, overwhelmed parents" treatises that to me reflect how out of control our child-worship culture has become. No, I don't think the question of why there were small kids in Aurora is one of the more important questions to be asked about the shootings, but I'm also not sure why this rambling ranter is so defensive about it--so intolerant of people who would ask that question, among others. I'm not talking about 12-year-olds or even six-year-olds; I'm not here to question the judgment of parents in terms of what movies are right for their kids. I'm here to question the judgment of parents who bring infants to movies--any movies, not just violent ones, not just midnight showings--because it's just not fair to other movie goers. But what irks me more is the "logic" that new parents are so put upon that they're entitled to wreak havoc on society at large in any way they choose, and those of us who don't want to accommodate them at all times are being judgmental. It reminds me of that defense-of-the-pregnant-woman:
I am that mom. Cart full, aisles crowded, trying to remember if we need breadcrumbs or if I’m on snack duty this week while half-paying attention to my whiny and grabby girls.
I try to appease them with snacks fresh off the shelves and do my best to save the wrappers for checkout. Sometimes I grab a snack for me, too.
Plus, many of us who’ve been pregnant know those intense hunger pangs can come on fast and vicious. If food doesn’t come quick, than a fainting spell will.
Yeah, that's funny. I know a lot of women who have been pregnant (and also many who have gone shopping with kids). They say no to them instead of appeasing them, or they bring snacks instead of opening food they haven't yet paid for. It's called living in a society and not on a deserted island.

You know I'm the last to suggest that parents should stay home and deprive themselves of entertainment; all I'm saying is, don't make your outings everyone else's problem by bringing your kids. And if you can't make it work, write it off as one of the tradeoffs that comes with having kids.

DC is cooler than New York but less cool than Houston.

In spite of the glowing review, I'm on the fence about Craig Brown's new circles-of-name-dropping book.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Saturday evening roundup

A late-term aborter tells her story.

I think the bigger issue is that what's just an aspect of life for some people, for others is something that requires a label, and that label is "multiculturalism."

Along those lines, why are men's plays, plays, when women's plays are women's plays? Recall my recurring bitterness over Adam Gopnik's statement that JD Salinger evoked the universality of human experience. As Kathleen Chalfant says,
Even plays written by men that are “particularly masculine and talk about issues particular to men, are never called ‘men’s plays.’”

Some things make me wish I had a TV. This is not one of those things. Nor is fast food marketing to stoners.

Saturday morning roundup

If you're not careful, you can end up eating a $hit-ton of antibiotics, among other things.

The beef industry flexes its bully muscles over meatless Mondays.

What's wrong with small houses?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Quick Friday morning roundup

Strip clubs thrive on political conventions. This may or may not surprise you:
As further evidence of the clubs’ nonpartisan appeal, Don Kleinhans, the owner of the 2001 Odyssey, said when the Promise Keepers, a male evangelical group, came to town years ago, business was rollicking.
“We had phenomenal numbers all weekend, and they walked in wearing badges and name tags and weren’t shy at all,” he said.

Dave Brooks promotes duality.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thursday evening roundup

Surveillance of dissidents in Russia is anything but subtle.

Did the Economist know what it was getting into with the last line of this article? The Guardian picks up where the Economist left off.

 The Post's beautiful story about a bike ride that puts the Aurora shootings in context.

Thursday morning roundup

Israel's challenge in handling a a large influx of refugees is understandable, but tribalism doesn't help the country rise to that challenge.

A retired policeman grasps for middle ground in gun laws.

Europe's gay rights laws vary, not in a way that's conducive to integration.

Rising temperatures are having an impact on the nation's infrastructure.

One woman describes her three-week experience without power (pun intended) as "classic Kafka with Stalinist overtones."

Jet fuel prices have fallen, but airline fuel surcharges have remained constant.

Retailers starting to do business in cities are learning to adapt to the needs of city shoppers.

How do you gain by foregoing dairy? Let Mark Bittman count the ways:
...[in] roughly 1,300 comments and e-mails... people outlined their experiences with dairy and health problems as varied as heartburn, migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, eczema, acne, hives, asthma (“When I gave up dairy, my asthma went away completely”), gall bladder issues, body aches, ear infections, colic, “seasonal allergies,” rhinitis, chronic sinus infections and more. (One writer mentioned an absence of canker sores after cutting dairy; I realized I hadn’t had a canker sore — which I’ve gotten an average of once a month my whole life — in four months. Something else to think about.)
Of course, it may not be the problem (see the further discussion about production methods, etc.), but you have nothing to lose except symptoms, weight, and carbon footprint.

Yesterday was the pony swim at Assateague. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wednesday evening roundup

I have no choice but to think slightly less of Baltasar Garzon.

The Onion on Syria's chemical weapons.

I'm certainly pro-immigrant and pro-foreign-language, but I have to empathize with the anecdote here:
In 2004, then-Maryland Comptroller William Donald Schaefer (D), a former mayor and governor, chastised immigrants who don’t speak English well after a Spanish-speaking cashier at a McDonald’s had trouble understanding his order.

“I don’t want to adjust to another language,” Schaefer said. “This is the United States. I think they ought to adjust to us.”
I agree. I don't spend a lot of time in fast food places, but I do occasionally call customer service--and this is more an outsourcing issue than an immigration issue--and when you're already at the point where you have to pick up the phone (i.e., your issue is too complex to resolve online), the last thing you need is to struggle to be understood. Look: my parents are not easy to understand, and I travel enough that I'm constantly depending on other people to understand me in my native language. I'm not suggesting that it's everyone's job to learn English; I'm merely saying that it's not a terrible thing to want to be easily understood.

In other linguistic matters, forensic linguistics is a fascinating thing. This made me think about how much we misunderstand each other in life, in general.

Some handy household tips. I know #8 may come in handy for those of you whose small child tends to fall off the bed ;).

I certainly won't disagree with much of Joanna Blythman's message, but I have to ask, who is she to draw the line for too cerebral? Why is " avoiding meat to save the planet" a bad thing? Where I do hear her is the obsession with ultimate nutrition at the expense of everything else. As you know, I'm all about food that tastes amazing that happens to be healthy. I could only roll my eyes when (1) mom asked me what was so healthy about whatever I was eating at a given moment; (2) RM asked me whether roasting food--as I was doing at the time--increased the nutritional value (actually, I shrugged and said probably not, but I liked the way it tasted); and (3) someone recently asked me the opposite, about how isn't food healthiest, raw? Well, maybe, but I personally like it cooked (most of the time), and I'm hardly malnourished. Not every food decision is driven by a complex nutritional calculation; in fact, none is. If you eat real, plant-based food, you don't have to sweat the details. Apart from the B12 supplements if it's not already added to other food you eat.

This morning I quickly linked to that delightful Post article about McDonald's in Russia. I think I told you that I had mixed feelings about the landmark McDonald's in Budapest: a symbol of the beginning of the end of the Soviet Union, yet also a symbol of everything wrong with the food system. Anyway, as Russia politicizes McDonald's, it's time to pick a side in the Chick Fil A battle.

You know by now that it's silly for most meat-eaters (i.e., any who don't subsist entirely on grass-fed, organic meat) to think vegetarians are the ones getting too much soy (we'll save the "is there such a thing" debate for another day), but here's Stephen Colbert's reminder that corn poses a similar paradox:

Quick Wednesday morning roundup

Russia's war on burgers.

Granderson and Bruni  (tangentially) on Christianity.

Carolyn's advice for nurturing without helicoptering.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Phone calls

Last week, I think, mom called and asked what was new. I told her about the last play I saw, my brunch with friends, and seeing a family friend whose birthday it was the weekend before. Mom said, "Oh. Well, you know, everything happens later in our family. It's genealogical." Upon processing, that statement translates to, "I meant, are you seeing anyone? I guess not. Well, that's okay. Your grandmother married late, and so did I." I would like to, but won't, spare you the reminder that I can't win with mom: if I respond to her "what's new" with "not much," I'm taken to task for being secretive and uninterested in conversing; if I talk about all the great things I'm doing with my life, I get an, "it's okay, you're still young."

So it continues. She probed again this weekend, not realizing that I'm not going to tell her about every date. Does she remember that she found out about F. only when she tried to set me up with someone else? At least dad cares about everything else that's going on, although I could do without either of them having me try to translate or spell the names of the plays I see.

Anyway, mom called yesterday, just as I was getting home from work. I wouldn't have minded--and listened to her carefully--but at the end of the conversation, she made a a snide comment about my minimal participation.This was especially rich because she didn't ask whether it was a good time for me to talk, just launched into her story. I put her on speaker and listened--and even responded appropriately. It's just that, as I listened, I proceeded to toss my apple core and tea bags into the compost, open the door, turn off the alarm, feed the cat, make dinner, and pack lunch for the following day. If it was mom's preference to have my undivided attention, she might have asked me whether it was a good time for me to talk; since she did not--since she launched straight into her monologue--I gave her as much attention as I could, while I proceeded to do what I needed to do.

She wrapped up her story--about how she got stung by a bunch of bees while doing yardwork--by expressing frustration about now having to worry about it. She's so often outdoors, so often out and about, in the woods or in the mountains; how could she possibly reconcile herself to having to get herself to an emergency room should she get stung? I reminded her that I'd been living with that very conundrum for over ten years now. I did not remind her that whenever I did remind her of my allergy to wasps, hornets, and bees, she generally lectured me about how bees and pollen are healthy and I should love them and make the most of the healthy chemicals that they injected into me. No, it did no good to point out that anaphylaxis wasn't just God hugging me respiratory organs tighter. Anyway, she ended the conversation unconvinced that my ten-year propensity to avoid bee/wasp/hornet stings was related to her new-found one, and apparently offended that I said too little while she told her story.

Tuesday morning roundup

Mexico's middle class is burgeoning but not quite stabilizing.

Drought threatens more than agriculture.

Device addiction has become so scary that even Silicon Valley is worried.

Jon Stewart reads from the bible:

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Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday evening roundup

Did the NCAA fall short by letting the games go on?

F*ing pancreatic cancer took Sally Ride.

Art-from-trash is awesome.

I've never been a fan of Chick-Fil-A (see this intellectual property BS), so it's vindicating to see their own hatred cost them business. Maybe the youngest Palin can help them make up for the business. That poor kid will probably be horrified when he grows up.

Monday morning roundup

Forced abortions are, a reality in China, are a terrible thing.

In a less nefarious effect of the one-child policy, fashion magazines have found an audience in China. Can you help me figure out the math here?
Lena Yang, general manager of Hearst Magazines China, who oversees nine publications including Elle and Marie Claire, says that the typical reader of Hearst Magazines in China is a 29.5-year-old woman who is more likely to be single than married. She has an average income of about $1,431 a month and spends $938 a season on luxury watches, $982 on handbags and shoes and $1,066 on clothes.
Here's the explanation:
Ms. Yang says these women often live at home and turn to their parents and grandparents to pay for them. The study also showed that many readers in their 20s saved little.
“Most of them, they are a single child,” Ms. Yang said. “That means they don’t have to pay for their rent. So all of that goes to pocket money. They have the parents support them and the grandparents. They actually have six persons to support them.”
But don't expect the magazines to use their in to address the weighty issues (like reproductive rights) plaguing the country:
“We’re pretty low-risk,” Mr. Edwards said. “Cosmo and Elle and magazines like this are not deemed to be highly likely to offend the relevant government bodies.”

The Post aptly characterizes Latin America's generation of "democratically elected authoritarians."

A dialogue about gun control is, apparently, too much to hope for.

So is an embrace of pollution limits from an industry that advertises and depends on pristine environments.

If you must break the law, at least put some clothes on.

Please visit the National Gallery, especially in memory of Herb Vogel. I love this:
Mr. Vogel could not always articulate why he liked certain works of art more than others or what he looked for when collecting. Sasaki, the director of the 2008 documentary about the Vogels, ended up focusing the camera on his eyes, which instantly grew wide whenever he saw a new artwork that he admired.
“I just like art,” Mr. Vogel said in 1992. “ I don’t know why I like art. I don’t know why I like nature. I don’t know why I like animals. I don’t know why I even like myself.”

Wow, my mom isn't a professional profiler--in fact, she's often a terrible judge of character--but she has the same knack for evaluating relationships from a distance. It's eerie. But what spoke to me even more was the part about how we all have the capability to profile effectively; we just will ourselves out of using it, and then, when a relationship sours, we acknowledge all the signs we ignored. But there's something to be said for that:
Might I have avoided heartache by heeding my mother’s advice? After all, she was right both times. But a relationship that doesn’t work out isn’t a waste. There is no exact science or crystal ball. Profiling is a surface art; real love isn’t. As Hemingway once said, “The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.” Likewise, the best way to know if you are meant to be with someone is to be with him.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sunday morning roundup

When does war start to permeate daily life?

Signs of discontent in China's "part Jersey Shore, part Martha's Vineyard."

Listen up: it's not for the people sitting in the comfort of their own home to pass judgment on people's behavior amid crisis and confusion. We went over this with regard to the late Kevin Carter (I'm talking to you, St. Petersburg Times): either get off your own ass and put it in danger and/or confusion or risk--did the Times launch some sort of response to the famine? or shut the f* up.

What are the implications of global warming for Maine's lobster industry?

Pepco's "f* you" to its victims customers.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Saturday evening roundup: gender roles edition

In light of my rant the other night--or rather, the advice that inspired it--Roger Ebert's words about his wife are all the more heartwarming. Especially, "You never get anywhere with a woman you can't talk intelligently with."

On a related note, Ann Hornaday points out that Hollywood's celebration of strong females fades with their age:
In “Celeste and Jesse Forever,” opening later this summer, Rashida Jones plays a similarly put-together and on-track young woman who, as she navigates a complicated relationship with the far less directed man in her life (played by Andy Samberg), is made to look either uptight, witchily judgmental or miserably alone — before she sees the light and realizes that she’s the problem, what with her intelligence and high expectations and all.
As the perky, pliant belle ideal that Dano’s author creates, Ruby Sparks (played by Zoe Kazan) seems to be just the latest iteration of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, an archetype first discovered and named by Onion film critic Nathan Rabin, who described the recurring character as a “bubbly, shallow cinematic creature that exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures...”
“Quirky, messy women whose problems only make them endearing are not real,” one observer tells Dano’s character, adding later, “You haven’t written a person. You’ve written a girl.”
But as clever as “Ruby Sparks” is in puncturing the male wish-fulfillment fantasy of unconditional acceptance and worship, Kazan’s Ruby never gets to be her own fully realized character, instead playing a role similar to that of the Magical Negro, who exists chiefly in order to help the white male hero find transcendence, meaning and the happy ending that was somehow never in doubt.
The man-children of these movies — from Ted and Jesse to the male characters in ”Lola” and “Ruby” — may grow up, but at no real or psychic cost. Their female counterparts, meanwhile, are made to suffer, look needy or ridiculous, or simply accept the fact that it’s their ambitions and aspirations that need curtailing. 
On a more practical note: How to spot a hot metro car. Now tell me how to spot a moldy one.

Saturday morning roundup

North Korea, even more so than before, is becoming one, big prison.

Racial dynamics and disastrous land reform aside, does anybody think the world needs more tobacco?

If you thought you'd heard the wackiest of the conspiracy theories, check these out.

UBS is very good at breaking and dodging the law.

Another story about the price of glorifying the military.

With regard to milk as part of school lunches, it is true that milk is a food like any other: it has nutrients, it has calories, etc. Other foods also have those nutrients, but milk has been argued to be the most efficient vehicle for them. It has also been argued that it has too many unhealthy properties to be the vehicle of choice. Also fair. But even the reality that the article acknowledges--that it's a food like any other--is a step forward from promoting milk above other foods. If it's a food like any other, why require it?

Buses in DC are horrendously unreliable; they consistently screw those who can least afford other alternatives.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday morning roundup

Even without manipulation, the Libor is sketchy.

Non-functioning 911 after the derecho had fatal consequences.

David Brooks gives the President props for his foreign policy.

Japanese rice has lost its cachet.

Political ads featuring news reports are compromising journalism.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Thursday evening roundup

Meacham on Douthat on Christian morality.

Respect for the military doesn't mean blind glorification.

A Fox News anchor has a sick sense of humor.

Get your neoMcCarthyism coverage here, here, and here. Also, here's another, local case of cross-partisan decency.

This letter to Carolyn makes me so sad. I just want to say to this woman, own your look and you'll be fine. Nobody will be thinking, "who's that one bridesmaid that's heavier than the others?" Unless they're jerks. Play it right, and people will look up and say, "who's that beautiful, glowing woman who holds her own with a different style than the others?"

The Post's Master of the Obvious strikes again. Remember when she said that when you get unannounced vegan guests, you can serve them vegetables? Now she has advice for gardening on a hot day: work earlier in the day and keep something chilled to drink in the fridge. Man, do you think I could get paid to give freelance advice along the lines of, "when there are dark clouds in the sky, why not grab your umbrella?" Did the Post gut its investigative journalism division so it could pay for this stuff? Oh, wait, it gets worse: someone's getting paid to tell us that fresh food is better than processed food. Only it's worse, because she makes it about fresh vs. frozen, which is not the issue (frozen fruit and vegetables are quite good for you). So it's simultaneously obvious and misguided. That's no small feat.

Speaking of obvious misguided, y'all know how I feel about the lie that healthy food--or healthy living, for that matter--is more expensive. I'm glad someone else is pointing out the absurdity of dollar-per-calorie as a measure, but if you need someone to tell you to eat in and comparison shop, you probably need someone to tell you to take an umbrella when you see dark clouds. Also, there are so many things wrong with this sentence:
However, it’s one thing to understand that grains and legumes are a cheaper source of protein than free-range chicken; it’s quite another to try to get my meat-loving husband to have rice and beans for dinner every night.
Between this and the Post entries discussed above, I wonder if we've crowdsourced journalism to the point of making it meaningless. When did this article become about people's habits, rather than the comparative costs of eating healthily? And I know she's just throwing an example out there, but rice and beans? Every night? For the record, I, a vegan, have rice and beans (as a meal) about never.

Since we're trading in the obvious: there's even more research to support the fact that exercise is really good for you.

Thursday morning roundup

Activism in Pakistan's tribal areas can be deadly.

North Dakota reels from the oil boom even as it profits.

Whoa, did Gail Collins (and her editor) misuse "whom"? Just because she's referring to someone who will be picked, by the time that person will be, he or she is a subject, not an object, and thus a "who," not a "whom."

This Opinionator piece on weddings is a waste of space until the last paragraph:
There are snapping turtles at every wedding, under the tables and on the dance floor, snapping warnings about the uncertainties of the future, the impermanence of our bodies, the fickleness of love. But the best things, the eating and drinking and dancing and kissing, happen only when we ignore them.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wednesday evening roundup

Venezuela is even less free than it was a few years ago.

Sen. McCain honorably takes on those who would dishonor his office.

Fact Checker breaks down the crony-capitalism accusations.

Who'd have thought: ads should be persuasive as well as funny. Here are some really funny ads.

Brooks and Collins make some interesting points and counterpoints.

This cracked me up because I suspect F. liked Gracie more than he liked me. They were soulmates, those two.

Read the last sentence of this and contribute your classy joke in the comments. Then do the same for this.

Wednesday morning roundup

Mali is going to hell in a handbasket.

More signs of overwhelming discontent with political leadership in China.

More signs of civil society in Russia.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tuesday evening roundup, Part II

I got so caught up in my rant that I forgot to check HuffPo before I posted. This will make up for it:

WTF?? Seriously, who comes up with this conspiratorial crap?

From another Post: Petri on veep selection. Gems:
Andy Borowitz has been having a field day with this on Twitter. “McCain: "Romney had all his money hidden in Switzerland. Sarah Palin was better, because she had never heard of Switzerland.”
Sarah... lives in a more remote area of the world? She has never strapped an animal to the roof of her car that was not already deceased?  
McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt implied that it wasn’t that Mitt had any dark secrets but rather that he and McCain, combined, simply had too many houses.

I never in a million years thought I'd link to the Pirelli calendar, but there's something intriguing about the pictures on slides 8 and 20. That something: sloths. I mean, there's also the nudity factor, but that's all over the internet--you don't need the calendar for that.

Tuesday evening roundup and rant

In case anyone is still wondering why women, especially, don't find rape funny.

Wow, CNN: that's a sensationalist headline. Thing is, as it stands, when dirty coal loses, everyone else wins. I'm sorry that some families depend on it, but perhaps they can seek out safer and even more lucrative employment with less damaging consequences for surrounding communities and the air in general.

Carolyn recommends that parents don't let their kids associate screaming with appeasement.

I couldn't agree more about the damage that teen magazines can do to girls (and that Cosmo and such can do to women). But, there's a but. Actually, there's a whole rant. Let me step back. First, let me direct your attention to this incredibly offensive advice to daughters about boys, which a well-meaning friend (WMF) sent me, with the message that it was "all true." Here's an excerpt:
Your attractiveness to men begins and ends with your physical appearance. I am sorry, daughter, but this is the way it is. You must do all you can to improve your physical appearance.
  1. Keep your weight down. It is not fair that women are judged more harshly than men for weight issues, but they are. Excess weight is the most challenging attractiveness issue women face. Many women could improve their physical appearance greatly if they would simply lose weight, or keep their weight at a reasonable level. To put it bluntly, don’t get fat.
  2. Learn to wear tastefully applied makeup that works for your skin tone and facial structure.
  3. Get a good hairstyle that works for your facial structure and body type. Long hair is more appealing to men than short hair.
  4. Don’t smoke. Don’t drink to excess. Don’t use illegal drugs. All that partying ages a woman.
  5. Learn to dress well for your body type. Wear clothes that flatter your body type.
Get help from a fashion consultant or cosmetologist if you need it.
You will be more attractive in your teens and 20s than at any other time in your life.
Okay, I buy numbers 4 and 5. Take care of yourself and dress well for your body type. If you're going to wear makeup, apply it tastefully and match it to your skin tone. But if you ask me, makeup is for people who have shitty skin because they eat crap and don't exercise.

As for not getting fat... well, two-thirds of the people in this country are overweight, and a lot of those people still manage to find love. If you don't want to get fat, don't get fat, but let that decision come from within, from what you want; it's not about being attractive to anyone else. More on this below, but first, here's the part that's even more offensive to me (as much as my mother would agree with it):

To keep a man, you must offer more than looks, age and chastity. You must cultivate a pleasant personality. Optimism, cheerfulness and an upbeat outlook are key here. Men don’t want a pessimist, or a woman who complains and nags. Be kind, pleasant, optimistic and non-demanding. This is not to say that your needs are not important. They are. Just recognize that his needs are important too. Your wants and needs do not always come first.
Don’t be crass, rude, vulgar, profane, sarcastic or caustic. Don’t complain about his hobbies or interests. Men absolutely hate it when their women complain, grouse, or bother them about things. Men absolutely hate being around a pessimistic woman who can’t find anything good about her life, her circumstance, the people around her, or herself. Men do not like gossiping, sniping or sarcasm from women. Most of all, men absolutely do not want to be with women who act like, talk like or look like men.
Sure, there's some truth to that: everyone's needs are important. No one's needs always come first. And yes, nagging is a drag on every relationship, and so is pessimism. Here's the thing (see the start of my rant): none of these issues apply solely to women. Everyone should cultivate a pleasant personality. I don't take offense with the idea that it would behoove women to cultivate a pleasant personality; I take offense with the idea that that wisdom applies solely to women. Men hate being around a women who can't find anything good about her life? Well, then, we're even: I hate being around men (and women) like that, too. As for chastity, see this. I'll leave the last sentence untouched.

Look, I can be crass, profane, sarcastic, and caustic. Oh, you know what else about me men apparently find scary? I'm a vegan. And you know what else? All of these things are a part of who I am, and I'll either be with a man who accepts me for who I am, or I'll be single. But I'm sure as hell not going to become another person, and I don't see why anyone--male or female--would want to date someone who doesn't value herself enough to be herself.

As for weight: Sure, I prefer to look the way I do now, at about 20 percent body fat, than I did a year and a half ago at about 30 percent body fat. I loved my body then, as I do now; I never thought I was a better or worse person based on my fluctuations in weight, and I frowned upon the Date Lab douchebags (and others) who outwardly expressed their preference for thinner women (good for you). I don’t think everyone should feel the way I do; I hope everyone is, whatever her percent body fat, within (health-based) reason, comfortable in her own skin. Nobody should be hounded, the way I was by my mother (which was also counterproductive), over her weight or shape. But, conversely, nobody should be made to feel bad or weak or less of a feminist, for preferring a different shape. The one redeeming sentence in that horrendous Skinny Gossip post was about how it’s apparently socially acceptable to be thin only if you don’t work at it. Crystal Renn got slammed for losing weight. That's not any more obnoxious than slamming her for gaining weight. Fat can certainly be a feminist issue, but it doesn’t have to be a feminist issue. Accept the way you look, and accept the way you want to look, too.

As discussed above, and generally on this blog, I've never been one for double standards: many of the same things often advised to women, apply to men. I'll go further: as far as I’m concerned, facial hair looks as bad on most men as it does on most women, and lingerie as ridiculous on women as on men. It does not behoove men to speak effusively of their cats on a first date anymore than it does women. It wouldn't be funny to suggest that it might be funny if Daniel Tosh were raped.

Of course, others may ascribe to double standards. My ex-bf, whose facial hair I could never bring myself to care for, recoiled when he saw a picture of me, on a friend’s phone, with an eyeliner-drawn mustache (remember my Che Guevara Halloween costume?). “Yes, it’s a double standard," he said. "But it’s still creepy.” Shrug. IMHO, so was his facial hair, so, no, it's not a double standard.

So I’m the first to say that the way women look shouldn’t define them—see the NOW manifesto. But I won't deny that both men and women—and women to a greater extent, and no, it's not fair—are judged by their appearance. We all make judgments about people based on what they look like, dress like, etc., whether we want to or not (and sometimes even I want to). I’ve been lectured in diversity classes about how I’m less likely to take seriously a job applicant who’s covered in tattoos, and while that's not actually true, what is true is that there's a universal, inherent preference for attractive people in this world. It’s not just a social construct. So to even things out, let's start applying the same standards to men: if you look like $hit, I'm not going to take you seriously.

There are other ostensibly gender-based issues that are best seen in a gender-neutral light.  For example: relationships. Have you ever understood why a woman's interest in relationships might detract from feminism, why a human preference for companionship can be perceived or spun into a sign of weakness? That spin, unfortunately, makes it difficult for some women to acknowledge that they’d be happy in a relationship. Why? Does anyone ever accuse men who want a relationship of being weak or insufficiently independent? It’s true for both genders that the happier and more complete you are as an individual, the happier and healthier you’ll be in a relationship, which will in turn make you happier and healthier as an individual. Being open to love is not a character flaw. It's anti-woman is suggesting that a woman has to choose between feminism and love and dating.

So next time someone says something about how it would behoove women to be one way or another, let's apply the same standard, universally, to both genders.

Tuesday morning roundup: guess the theme

Can Cuba's lack of oil serve as the opposite of the resource curse?
Professor Mesa-Lago said one impetus for reform may be Cuba’s dimming hopes of tapping offshore oil deposits. Repsol, the Spanish oil giant, decided in May to leave Cuba after its second well came up dry. Other companies are exploring different sites, but the dry well dented Cuba’s prospects of reducing its dependence on Venezuela, which provides billions of dollars’ worth of oil each year in exchange for a range of Cuban services.
Russia has no such advantage, but even outside the major cities, there's potential for change in spite of reprisals:
Antontsev, who has a radio show, said his listeners don’t respond when he has programs about laws cracking down on protest, but the phones light up when he talks about bad roads.
“They don’t see the direct link between elections and the condition of the roads,” he said. “People will become dangerous when they see the reason for their misfortune.”
Alexander Kruglikov, a longtime Communist, said the authorities are making a big mistake in suppressing dissent. “I have to say that the Soviet Union fell apart because there was no real opposition in the country,” he said with a wry smile. “No one was listening to individual voices.”
This column on Belarus's distinguished political prisoners comes a few days after friends and I were talking about the Soviet-era nostalgia sweeping Eastern Europe. I think I've had this conversation with more than one set of friends, one of whom said that people were buying old, crappy products because they reminded them of the old days. I heard about this a bit in Hungary--not so much "at least the trains ran on time;" more, "at least our pensions were guaranteed." Financial security is nothing to sneeze at, but it (obviously) needn't come at the expense of personal and political freedom, no matter what the Asian Tiger theorists will tell you. Anyway, in one of these conversations, I said, "if people want to go back to living under that system, they still have Belarus." We can only hope that won't be the case for long.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Monday evening roundup

Excellent ToshGate analysis:
The problem isn't a failure of men to see rape as horrific. It's that many of them do not perceive that rape itself lies on the far end of a broad spectrum of ways in which the idea of rape, the invocation of rape or the threat of rape is used to intimidate women or to regulate their behavior...
A comedian who shoots down an audience member who objects to his rape jokes by joking about her being gang-raped on the spot isn't being funny. He's using rape to shut up a woman who crossed a boundary by speaking out of turn. That is unacceptable. Tosh was free to say what he said, of course. But that doesn't mean it wasn't morally repugnant.
I just learned about Caitlin Moran, but I think she's awesome:
“When I talk to girls, they go, ‘I’m not a feminist,’ ” she said. “And I say: ‘What? You don’t want to vote? Do you want to be owned by your husband? Do you want your money from your job to go into his bank account? If you were raped, do you still want that to be a crime? Congratulations: you are a feminist.’ ”
As usual with Room for Debate, lots of talking past each other without necessarily disagreeing (in this case, about parenting styles). Here are the two best.

Point and counterpoint.

Monday morning roundup and ramble

Reading tea leaves in North Korea's hemlines.

It's wonderful that the heat wave means less runoff to the Chesapeake, but it's sad that we're not doing more for the Bay, like reducing the farm waste and other pollution that could flow in in the first place. Oh, yeah, certain "interest groups" oppose that. You can partly go around them by avoiding animal products.

Meet the man who sings while making Metro pocket guides. In other Metro news, it sucked to be you if you tried to use the system this weekend.

Some generic language tips for tourists.

Forgive me for starting this ramble by (re)stating the obvious, but I have a context to set: there are a lot of misconceptions out there about veganism, ranging from the extreme but not uncommon belief that it's a cult, to the incorrect but not uncommon view that it's unhealthy. Many people who ascribe to the latter misconception focus on protein (lack thereof, inefficient sources, etc.), and I've addressed that in the past. Another--albeit one that concerns people less--is that a vegan diet is low-fat. But it needn't, and in my view, shouldn't be; fats are satiating and nutrient-rich. I consume more fat now than I did when I ate dairy products.

The third misconception is about micronutrients. At a gathering last night, someone said that she'd read that some vegans were found to have certain vitamin and mineral deficiencies. To which I responded, there are certain omnivores that have vitamin and mineral deficiencies. There are probably more such omnivores, proportionately. Absolutely you can follow an unhealthy vegan diet. You can also follow an unhealthy non-vegan diet.

By the way, if you think I'm going around inviting these conversations, you've fallen prey to another misconception: that vegans go around aggressively lecturing people about the evils of animal products and benefits of a plant-based diet. Come to a party with me sometime. I don't even tell people I'm vegan, until they ask me why I'm not eating a certain thing (often, the host or someone else will say it). And then, people ask questions, and the topic will keep returning; I do not seek it out. People who aren't necessarily interested in trying it for themselves are still curious about how it might be done. People tell me I look great, point out that I've lost a ton of weight, tell me my skin looks great (even my mother!)--tough life, I know--and ask what my secret might be. Who am I to hold back?

Another thing that came up last night--and at Whole Foods the other day--was the imagined nexus between vegan and gluten free. There were lots of samples at WF and one woman was serving samples of GF muffins. They were labeled as such, and every time someone came up to her table, she said they were gluten-free. She'd already said that once to me before I asked if they happened to be vegan. No, she said, but they are gluten free. Well, that's nice, if you have Celiac's or another gluten sensitivity, but it's irrelevant if you're vegan. It neither makes your food healthier, nor vegan. Similarly, last night people were saying, oh, how do you make a cake without flour. I pointed out, not once, that flour was vegan. The issue was eggs (and sometimes butter). This question kept popping up in variations.

The other misconception was that I was somehow depriving myself by not partaking in the pizza and cake. I'm sure they were very good, as everyone said. But no, you're not making me hungry. There was plenty for me to eat, with the guacamole and hummus and fruit. No, I'm not craving the other food. It's no effort or restraint to not have any; they're just there. They're not calling to me.

And even as my hostess apologetically suggested that they were making me hungry or envious by having this apparently delicious cake in front of me, she talked about how when she doesn't eat dairy, she experiences less swelling, inflammation, and pain in her legs. But she finds dairy addictive, finds that she has to have it. Yes--see Mark Bittman's article, which I posted earlier--dairy is addictive, but you can break free (if you want; if you find that it makes you feel better). One key is to get enough fat (this friend mentioned that she craved dairy less when she ate avocado). Here are some other sources:

Soy (beans, milk, tempeh, tofu)
Nuts, peanuts, and seeds (including nut/seed butters and pastes, like tahini)
Grains (brown rice, wheat, quinoa)
Oils (olive, canola, rice bran) –controversial, some say you should stay away from expressed oil. If you have a heart condition or other condition, perhaps, but if you’re healthy, it’s all about moderation
Cacao (powder, dark chocolate)
Fruit/vegetables (coconut, avocado) 
If you're cutting back on dairy, add some avocado and tahini to your food. I'll be surprised if you go back.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sunday morning roundup

Biodiversity is a public health issue.

People do have a thing against cyclists. A former neighbor who's a judge told me as much when he talked about a case where the driver was clearly at fault, but "juries hate cyclists." I also noticed something was up when many people, hearing that I was hit by a car a few years ago, first asked whether I was on my bike (implying, perhaps unintentionally, that I was at fault pretty much for being in the way).

If anything, I find it easier to make friends in my 30s. But it's true, it takes several rounds to cement acquaintances with friends of friends, even amid the best intentions.

This article is about the bigger issue of the income gap between most couples and most single parents, but this part stuck out to me, as "why people stay in bad relationships" has been a frequent topic of conversation, all over the place:
Ms. Schairer has trouble explaining, even to herself, why she stayed so long with a man who she said earned little, berated her often and did no parenting. They lived with family (his and hers) and worked off and on while she hoped things would change. “I wanted him to love me,” she said.
In fact, I'm going to a gathering tonight where I'll surely hear a variation on, "I thought if we just..." Sigh.

Check out this DC-after-Dark photo slide show.

Friday, July 13, 2012

WTF, mom and dad?

At 8:16, my parents left me a message. I was out (Friday night, go figure). I checked the message just now, when I got home. I am 35 years old, which, for our our purposes, means I don't feel the need to excuse myself from social situations to take phone calls or check messages. Just because I have a cell phone, doesn't mean I have to answer it. That's why God invented voice mail. I will get back to you at my convenience, unless you indicate some urgency in your message. But this message indicated no urgency; it was, "hey, we're just checking in, how are you, how's the weather?" I figured, maybe I can just called tomorrow, because I'm kind of tired and I'd like to go to bed. And I know that when I'm tired, mom irritates me without even trying, and I'm already kind of irritable, so, yeah, best wait until tomorrow.

So why do I get an e-mail from my parents at 10:16 saying, "where are you?"


Friday evening roundup

Very smart analysis of Tosh-gate

From the same source, very smart analysis of the Skinny Gossip post:
As long as we live in a culture that tells women that being admired and desired for the way we look is merely the normal condition of womanhood, something fundamental to our sex, it will be considered acceptable to evaluate women for their decorative value. As long as it's considered acceptable to pass public judgment on women's bodies, often negatively — to snark on and condemn and make fun of things that are truly beyond an individual's control — in public, then it's open season on all of our bodies. As long as women are in competition with one another to have the "best" body, we all lose. As long as there persists a single, narrow beauty ideal we are all instructed to live up to, none of us will live up to it. This game is rigged. There will always be some critic who can tell us where we are found lacking.

Coddling your kids does them no favors.

David Brooks disses elites, but in an intelligent way.

Look, I'm not a huge drinker (okay, the last couple of months has been an anomaly, but I've still managed to hold onto my phone). I don't need a drunk phone, but I definitely want a less expensive phone to carry around to certain places where there's a not negligible probability of loss or damage.

This article is about overconfidence in the realm of finance, but we were just talking about this analogy for dating: "Overconfident lotharios who ask out every woman they see, and who aren’t fazed when they get turned down, are over time likely to do better than wallflowers who never ask anyone out."

Another topic that has permeated many conversations recently: where have all the men gone? How many times have I heard/said the plea, "man up"?

What women want, sartorially.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Thursday evening roundup

Anne Applebaum on the elite.
Cheating potential: are you part of the 98 percent?
Okay, carrageenan is officially sketchy.

Really? I know Metro's annoying, but it's better than driving.

The following statement is untrue: "Of course, no one would suggest replacing milk with wine in school cafeterias to build strong bones"? No one? Really? I would suggest that.

Have you dressed your geese today?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tuesday morning roundup

Would anyone else love to see Disney Co. sue North Korea?

Are these signs of a nascent civil society in Russia?

Some lessons in consumer math.

I'm increasingly convinced that Lori Gottleib hates women. I started out agreeing with her, but she could have stopped after a paragraph--before descending into mean-spirited rant, full of its own double-standards. This, coming from someone who has a book chapter on how feminism destroyed her life. Take this analogy, which should offend men as much as women:
Would a man be taken seriously if he wrote a 15,000-word article stating that he's entitled to both marriage and the freedom to have sex with any woman he wants? Or would he be told to grow up and get real? In today's society, he can choose marriage and the compromises that come with it -- sexual commitment, financial commitment, emotional commitment, along with a bevy of childcare and Mr. Fix-It commitments -- or he can choose to remain single and maintain his freedom but give up the joy that marriage and raising kids might bring him. He might dearly desire both situations, but he can only have one.
 Is she really equating a woman's desire to have a thriving family as well as a thriving career with men's (alleged) desire to have a family and sleep with as many women as they'd like? Really? Even if she is, here's an article in the same publication about a man who did just that (but left other people to write about it).

I can agree with her--it's a common theme in many gender-based articles and responses to them--that some of these issues apply across genders. And I also agree that AMS's original article was annoying and entitled (I'd also call it rambling), but I acknowledge that in all that rambling, she makes valid points. LG's response says more about her than it does about the subject she so viciously maligns.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Monday morning roundup

The tradeoff between extracting and moving natural resources, and the environmental and human impact of doing so, flares in Appalachia, Burma, and Montana.

The emotions of indulgence.

Maybe the pacu is to blame for the manliness crisis sweeping the nation?

Sunday, July 8, 2012


I have a lot of CSA veggies this week, since my CSA-sharers are out of town. Nothing like a ton of food you didn't choose to get your culinary creativity going. Today, I combined two of the soup recipes that Martha Rose Shulman recently posted--I used fennel, garlic, and potato as well as pureed zucchini and curry. It turned out amazing. Instead of sauteeing the veggies, I roasted them first--I know it's a bit hot for roasting, but I had the oven going anyway because I had some sweet potatoes and marinated tofu I had to roast. I separately roasted the cubed zucchini, diced onion, sliced garlic, whole small potatoes, and layers of fennel. I ended up using 3 zucchini, 1 yellow squash, half a small onion, 2 cloves of garlic, just a few layers of fennel, and a quarter cup or so of cooked brown jasmine rice. Plus olive oil and water. Plus curry and paprika (and salt if it isn't already in your curry powder). Yum.

On Wednesday, the day the veggies came in, my fridge was bursting with Swiss chard. I cut up the leaves and stems and sauteed it with a little bit of onion, plumped raisins, and sunflower seeds (pine nuts will also do). Once it was soft, I added some umeboshi (plum vinegar). I usually cook chard with balsamic, but the umeboshi worked really well--it was softer and also added just enough salt.

I've also been making a ton of pesto. So much basil comes in that I make pesto once or twice a week (first world problem, I know). I used to make it without replacing the parmesan, but I've since come to love the umami that nutritional yeast adds. If we get scapes in the CSA bag, I just use those; otherwise, garlic. Oh, and I've been using pecans instead of pine nuts (toasted first)--works really well. The pesto is amazing with pasta (my favorite being Whole Foods brand organic, whole wheat linguine).

Speaking of basil, I tried some home-made (not by me) basil-infused vodka last night. It was really tasty, as was the sangria. It was a really fun night in every way.

I'm become somewhat habituated to people commenting on my apparently dramatic weight loss, and I have to admit that I love it. Especially when it's phrased tactfully ("you're even tinier!"). I also love responding by telling people about my high-carb diet and its daily portions of pasta, chocolate, and wine. Those are just the most sensational sources of carbs. There's also the oatmeal, fruit, sweet potatoes and other root vegetables, and legumes.

Big Sunday morning roundup

Did the New York Times eliminate its fact-checking budget? Take this article about the International Criminal Court. Yes, like almost every other international institution, it's reach is hampered by the P5. But sloppy claims like the following can only keep the Court from getting stronger:
The United States never agreed to be subject to the International Criminal Court because of constitutional issues and worries that its citizens, especially soldiers and spies, could be brought before the tribunal. This is no idle fear, given the human rights scandals that have exploded in Iraq and Afghanistan involving United States personnel.
The constitutional issues are imagined, and so are the worries. It is indeed an idle fear, because the Court can only investigate and try crimes against citizens whose countries are unable and unwilling to to try the cases themselves. In the case of the Iraq and Afghanistan human rights scandals, the US has tried those cases.

Hu Jia sees change in China as inevitable. Argentina is attracting drug traffickers. Malian refugees have plenty to be resentful and angry about.

Kathleen Parker notes a political and interpersonal truth: "Comments offered in jest or offhandedly nonetheless can be wounding."

Scientists with PhDs are facing a tough job market.

Is uncertainty actually good for the economy?

As when I saw "Be Careful or the Sharks Will Eat You," I am amazed at the determination and resourcefulness of refugees:
In August 1967, when Col. Rustan was 20 and a student at the University of Oriente-Santiago in Cuba, he looked up from his desk in the college library one evening to see his father standing before him.
“This night we’re leaving,” said his father, who had escaped from prison through a ruse.
Col. Rustan left his textbook open on the table and fled. With his father, two sisters and a brother-in-law, he climbed inside a railroad boxcar carrying sugar cane.
They jumped from the moving train as it approached the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo and waded waist-deep through a snake-infested swamp before reaching a tall security fence topped with barbed wire. Col. Rustan carried his younger sister on his back over the fence, then scaled a second fence inside the perimeter of the naval base. After they were picked up by U.S. forces, the Rustans asked for political asylum.
Col. Rustan went on to do this:
In the early 1980s, the Air Force adopted Col. Rustan’s ideas for protecting aircraft from lightning with the installation of special strips that deflected electrical current. Since then, not a single plane has crashed after a lightning strike. 
Barney Frank gets married. This is so sweet:
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill said they began to see changes in their usually cantankerous colleague. “I should’ve known you were here,” said one leading House Republican after bumping into Mr. Ready in a hallway. “Barney was nice to me today.”
The Post's 'derecho' coverage underwhelmed. For those without power, officials' and politicians' directing people to web sites for more information added insult to injury. Here's a graphic depiction of power outages (and restorations) over the last week. See also the pretty chart of how f*ing hot it is.

This article about organic creep addresses two very different issues: to what extent are certified organic foods (1) actually organic and./or (2) marketed by small businesses rather than Big Food. I appreciate both issues, but Big Food can still produce organic food. I am more concerned about the first--the easing of standards to accommodate producers: organic should mean organic; I'll leave scientists to fight it out over things like carrageenan, but synthetic herbicides have no place in organic food. The second issue is less salient for me and others who don't by a lot of processed food; I have little risk of regularly supporting Coca-Cola, Cargill, ConAgra, Kraft, or M&M Mars because I very rarely buy packaged products. Earthbound is sort-of in the middle: do I care that it's a big, corporate entity? As for Organic Valley, it goes to show that you just can't go right with milk. And here's an example of why I just gave up on eggs:
Ms. Fuldwider has also voted to let organic egg producers give their chickens just two square feet of living space, when Cropp requires its own farmers to provide five.
Speaking of milk, Mark Bittman cured his life-long heartburn by giving it up. He writes,
But the bucolic cow and family farm barely exist: “Given the Kafkaesque federal milk marketing order system, it’s impossible for anyone to make a living producing and selling milk,” says Anne Mendelson, author of “Milk.” “The exceptions are the very largest dairy farms, factory operations with anything from 10,000 to 30,000 cows, which can exploit the system, and the few small farmers who can opt out of it and sell directly to an assured market, and who can afford the luxury of treating the animals decently.”
Osteoporosis? You don’t need milk, or large amounts of calcium, for bone integrity. In fact, the rate of fractures is highest in milk-drinking countries, and it turns out that the keys to bone strength are lifelong exercise and vitamin D, which you can get from sunshine.
It took me a minute to see that these summer safety tips were a joke--largely because only half of them are.

I could give a shit about Kate Upton but this thinspiration bile is disgusting.

Is Takoma Park post-hippie?