Friday, April 29, 2005

apparently, it's not a matter of choice

A British friend told me this story, and i could hardly believe it until i came across the article on the BBC:

"A pregnant 13-year-old girl in Florida has been told she cannot have an abortion because she lacks the maturity to make such a decision. A state court granted an injunction which prevents the girl from terminating her pregnancy. The American Civil Liberties Union says it will launch an urgent appeal against the ruling."

Read more here

Thursday, April 28, 2005

darth vader

If you're feeling really geeky, check out Darth Vader's blog .

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

W.E.B. DuBoisenberry

Last year, slate's Timothy Noah reported on Dariy Queen's new drink, the Mulatte, which sounded (and looked) not unlike a name referring to bi-racial people. The story is here .

Now there's a new ice cream in town from a Swedish company called Nogger with a questionable logo that seems to have an urban flair:
Say it ain't so. Read more here .

When I visited Sweden last year, about half the teens in Lund were dressed like black kids from Brooklyn. The VJs on their version of MTV looked latina and blondes at all. I'm guessing some Swedish marketing exec (with the obligatory Swedish Chef accent) said: "Da kids love the black US urban style. I got the best idea fer a campaign! You see...the kids use this word a lot..."

Monday, April 25, 2005

zap public televisions

Check out a wonderfully subversive gadget here . It's a universal control that turns off any tv that you happen to be near...which means that the next time you find yourself in an airport terminal with the never-ending loop of commericals and the occasional cnn headline blaring on a tv set, you can do something about it.

John Brown

I just read Adam Gopnik's review of a new biography of John Brown by David Reynolds ("John Brown, Abolitionist") in The New Yorker .

Here is a man who, as Gopnik points out, comes down on the right side of all the civil rights issues over a hundred years before movement's in the 1960s. He was a feminist, anti-slavery, and believed in equality for all people.

"...He was also, as even an admiring historian cannot deny, a man of violence and, by almost any definition, what we would now call a terrorist - a man who believed that the government of the United States should be met with violence because it supported and perpetuated opression. He believed that there were no distinctions to be made between innocent and guilty in a society determinted to perpetuation an evil...He led his sons out into the fields of Kansas at night to massacre unarmed men while their families listened, and insisted afterward that he had been right to do it: that where legislation and compromise had failed only violence would succeed."

One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter, and the distinction isn't black and white.

whites only

The Times reports on the continuing existence of racial convenants between homeowners, which restrict who they can sell their house to. These covenants are illegal but still exist:

"RICHMOND, Va. — Nealie Pitts was shopping for a house for her son three years ago when she spotted a for-sale sign in front of a modest brick bungalow here. When she stopped to ask the owner about it, at first she thought she misheard his answer.

"This house is going to be sold to whites only," said the owner, Rufus Matthews, according to court papers filed by Ms. Pitts, who is African-American. "It's not for colored."

Read more here .

Thursday, April 21, 2005


If you want to be able to power your way over traffic AND save gas, your day has come. Wired reports on a new hybrid hummer being built for the army:

"The vehicle is powered by a small, three-cylinder diesel engine and two hybrid motors. It would cost about $20,000 to manufacture and could replace a $65,000 Humvee, Almand said. The vehicles are expected to get about 50 miles per gallon, compared to the Humvee's current 11 mpg."

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

kitty cannon

If you like kittens, then stop reading this post. You have my sincerest apologies.

If you don't like kittens then play this highly addictive (and slightly sick) game. Happy procrastination!

Friday, April 15, 2005

Ain't no way to put it subtle...

This was reported in the NY Post , so it must be true. A student at Vanderbilt asked Justice Scalia during a Q&A session if he thought the government had any business legislating consensual sodomy. After the answer, the student asked Scalia whether he sodomized his wife.


Scalia, whose wife was in the audience, pleaded the fifth. That's totally a "Yes".

mad scientists

The Times reports on something we already knew. Women scientists face more hurdles than men in academia:

"Mel Hochster, a mathematics professor at Michigan, belongs to a committee of senior science professors that gives workshops for heads of departments and search committees highlighting the findings of numerous studies on sex bias in hiring. For example, men are given longer letters of recommendation than women, and their letters are more focused on relevant credentials. Men and women are more likely to vote to hire a male job applicant than a woman with an identical record. Women applying for a postdoctoral fellowship had to be 2.5 times as productive to receive the same competence score as the average male applicant."

Thursday, April 14, 2005

no pill for you!

I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Check out the newest debate over "pharmacists rights" . A number of states are trying to pass laws that allow pharmacists to refuse to dispense drugs that violate their moral and religious beliefs. This means that they can refuse to provide birth control, the morning after pill, caffeine products (if they're mormon) name it.

I can't help but think that this not going to screw people like me who live in big blue liberal cities with thousands of pharmacies.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

the orginal implants

Today's Slate has a slideshow of the history of breast augmentation. Apparently, wanting a larger chest isn't a new phenomenon. Who knew?



bush's ipod

I always find it amusing how Europeans look down on Americans for our trashy media/culture, but find the time to give us hard hitting news items like what Bush listens to on his ipod . Nice one BBC.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Lashonda Washington

Slate has an interesting article today on the differences between white and black names, and the degree to which it factors into a person's success. You can read the article here . Perhaps the most interesting thing is the list of names that come with the article. Here's a list of the top 20 names for white and black girls:

The 20 Whitest Girl Names

1. Molly
2. Amy
3. Claire
4. Emily
5. Katie
6. Madeline
7. Katelyn
8. Emma
9. Abigail
10. Carly
11. Jenna
12. Heather
13. Katherine
14. Caitlin
15. Kaitlin
16. Holly
17. Allison
18. Kaitlyn
19. Hannah
20. Kathryn

The 20 Blackest Girl Names

1. Imani
2. Ebony
3. Shanice
4. Aaliyah
5. Precious
6. Nia
7. Deja
8. Diamond
9. Asia
10. Aliyah
11. Jada
12. Tierra
13. Tiara
14. Kiara
15. Jazmine
16. Jasmin
17. Jazmin
18. Jasmine
19. Alexus
20. Raven

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

mitch hedburg

The comedian Mitch Hedburg died last week of heart failure. Usually, the media focuses on stuff i could care less about (e.g. the pope's death), but the Onion does it up right by reprinting a recent interview with him.

Here are some of his classic one-liners:

"This shirt is dry clean only. Which means... It's dirty."

"I bought a doughnut and they gave me a receipt for the doughtnut... I don't need a receipt for the doughnut. I give you money and you give me the doughnut, end of transaction. We don't need to bring ink and paper into this. I can't imagine a scenario that I would have to prove that I bought a doughnut. To some skeptical friend, Don't even act like I didn't buy a doughnut, I've got the documentation right here... It's in my file at home. ...Under "D". "

"I'm against picketing, but I don't know how to show it. "

"I used to do drugs. I still do, but I used to, too."

"The depressing thing about tennis is that no matter how good I get, I'll never be as good as a wall."

"My friend asked me if I wanted a frozen banana, I said "No, but I want a regular banana later, so, Yeah."

"I don't have a girlfriend. But I do know a woman who'd be mad at me for saying that."

Monday, April 04, 2005


Eugene told me about a pretty interesting blog/project .

An artist had anonymous people send in a secret that they've never told anyone before. They're pretty addictive.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

The Immoral Minority

I'm not sure how much coverage this is getting in the States, but there's an interesting article on Iraq war veterans from The Guardian that shows how they are basically used and then spat out with nothing after the military is done with them. And just for extra kicks, it has some Brit astonishment at naivete of believing American Dream propaganda. Good weekend fun.