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It turns out that mentioning Moby Dick "may not be suitable for children." OK, point taken.

URLs du Jour


  • Hope y'all had a good Father's Day; I did. It helps to have two great kids. And, as Joel Achenbach explicates, being Dad is a pretty easy gig:
    There are great fathers out there, without question, but the grading scale has always been absurdly generous. You get points just for showing up. Pick up a baby? Huge points. Change a diaper? The crowd roars and cheers.

    To be considered a good father you basically have to be just a tiny bit better than Darth Vader.

    But you probably don't need to be a father, or even a social sometimes-conservative to be a little saddened by Heather Mac Donald's article about Hallmark's new cards, "For Mother on Father's Day," marketed in their African-American specialty line.
    There were no "For mother on Father's Day" cards among the rest of the store's Father's Day offerings, only in the "black" section (though of course the 48 percent Hispanic and 25 percent white illegitimacy rates are no cause for celebration). No evidence yet of same-sex marriage or "You've got a new turkey-baster baby!" greeting cards, either, but if Disney is offering gay marriage getaways, Hallmark will surely follow.
    (Via Joanne Jacobs.)

  • It's been kind of interesting to observe the voting record of our new Democratic Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter. (And when I say "interesting," I mean "painful.") The recent outrage (extensively described at Granite Grok) was Congresswoman Carol's vote against Tom Tancredo's amendment to a Homeland Security funding bill which would deny DHS funding to communities who have designated themselves "sanctuary cities" refusing to cooperate in enforcing Federal immigration laws.

    Forty-nine House Democrats were either scared or sensible enough to vote for Tancredo's amendment, and it passed easily. Apparently Shea-Porter doesn't think she even needs to pretend to be moderate in order to win re-election. It'll be interesting to see how that works out for her. (And when I say "interesting," I mean … I guess I mean "interesting.") The attack ad writes itself.

  • Speaking of immigration, Jonathan Rauch has a column on the topic, and it's Postrel-recommended, which means its almost certainly on the right track.
    On the legal side of the immigration equation, there are easy trade-ups to be had. In fact, even a National Journal columnist with no apparent qualifications could write a better bill.
    Bad news is that Rauch doesn't have much to say on what to do about the illegals already here, other than point out that a saner legal-immigration policy would do a lot to stem the future illegal flows.

  • On another topic entirely, honest: Stuart Buck has an aside to this fascinating abstract, which I'll quote in full:
    In a study testing whether the relationship between exercise and health is moderated by one's mind-set, 84 female room attendants working in seven different hotels were measured on physiological health variables affected by exercise. Those in the informed condition were told that the work they do (cleaning hotel rooms) is good exercise and satisfies the Surgeon General's recommendations for an active lifestyle. Examples of how their work was exercise were provided. Subjects in the control group were not given this information. Although actual behavior did not change, 4 weeks after the intervention, the informed group perceived themselves to be getting significantly more exercise than before. As a result, compared with the control group, they showed a decrease in weight, blood pressure, body fat, waist-to-hip ratio, and body mass index. These results support the hypothesis that exercise affects health in part or in whole via the placebo effect.
    Short-but-sweet summary: it doesn't actually matter if you exercise, you get all the benefits from exercise by simply believing you're exercising. I am desperately trying to figure out how I can use this knowledge to avoid Planet Fitness in the future.

    Perhaps cracking open "about two to three ounces" of pistachios is all the exercise I need to live forever. Yeah, that's the ticket.

  • I kinda liked this NYT correction, via Language Log:
    A graphic last Sunday about health and safety issues misspelled the name of a new diagnosis for the shoulder pain caused by playing tennis on Wii, the video game console. It is acute Wiiitis, not Wiitis.
    If Kristen Wiig has a Wii, I hope she avoids acute Wiiitis.

    And it seems to me if we get pains from excessive blogging, we should call that ASCIIitis.

    Thankyouverymuch, I'll be here all week.

Last Modified 2012-10-19 1:11 PM EDT