Wednesday, May 04, 2005
- This weekend, I finally got to see the much-vaunted Our Lady of the Underpass on drives to and from O'Hare. Verdict: in person, it really does look like...a salt stain. Oh well. Apparently we humans love to perceive patterns whether they exist, or not. [interesting article at Scientific American on the "Turn Me On, Dead Man Effect"; remember when Paul was Dead?]
- It's a slow news morning in Chicagoland. CBS2 Top Story: Cows Temporarily Block Traffic In Lake County
- From moos to boos: PC World offers us an advance peek at Microsoft's new operating system, code-named Longhorn. I'm sorry, but this OS is about the fugliest thing I've seen onscreen for a long time. By the way: apparently, you'll need a jigawatt-powered PC just to use it. I think I'll stay with XP for the foreseeable future; hell, maybe Longhorn will finally make me go
to the dark sideMac. And just who hired those GUI designers, anyway?
- Postsecret is a blog of reader's anonymous postcards, each containing a secret that the sender has never told anyone before.
The creative aspect is great - you make a 4"x6" postcard on which to write your message, and on the best ones the art really complements the secret. The resulting pieces are beautiful and funny and heartbreaking and terrible. Like life. [via Wither in the Light]
- Goofus and Gallant in the 21st Century: "Goofus: 'Soylent Green again?!?' Gallant: 'Mmm! Tastes just like chicken!'" [via Rebecca's Pocket]
- Anthony Lane's New Yorker review of Inside Deep Throat:
As a caustic Norman Mailer remarks, "The worst thing to be said about us Americans is that we sell our souls for a giggle." You may declare yourself groovily attuned to the liberties afforded by pornography (remember Warren Beatty and Jack Nicholson standing shoulder to shoulder with Harry Reems), or you may rush to enshrine your distaste for it in frightened legislation, but you are falling into the same trap. The thousands who congratulated themselves on their ruttish bravado, simply by virtue of having seen a trashy little flick in Times Square, were no less deluded than the millions who fell away in strangulated horror at the revelation, during the Super Bowl broadcast of 2004, that Janet Jackson, in her capacity as a female mammal, possessed a nipple. [read full article]
- Howard Zinn on How To Keep Your Chin Up In Times of W [via Burnin']
- A disturbing news story featured on The Well-Timed Period, re: Segregated Medical Care:
The protocol of six Catholic hospitals run by Centura calls for rape victims to undergo an ovulation test.[via Feministe]
If they have not ovulated, said Centura corporate spokeswoman Dana Berry, doctors tell the victims about emergency contraception and write prescriptions for it if the patient asks.
If, however, the urine test suggests that a rape victim has ovulated, Berry continued, doctors at Centura's Catholic hospitals are not to mention emergency contraception.
- Eat what I say, not what I pay: what the government wants us to eat according to the new food pyramid isn't what it's paying our farmers to grow:
...corn and soybeans receive a good chunk of the $15 billion in subsidies to farmers that the Agriculture Department is doling out this year. And while that might seem logical because the food pyramid advocates a plant-based diet, most of the corn and soybeans grown in the U.S. are used to fatten cows, pigs and chickens, while the pyramid recommends that consumers eat more fish and beans.Which is probably why McFood remains as cheap as it is, while we pay through the nose for fresh produce. Why does fruit cost almost $3.00 a pound (that's what apples or pears cost at the neighborhood Dominick's supermarket) these days? Steak is sometimes actually cheaper than fruit!
Corn and soybeans also are used to make artificial sweeteners and partially hydrogenated oils that the food pyramid urges Americans to avoid. Such oils also are derived from cotton, another heavily subsidized crop.
That disparity points out an awkward truth about the USDA: what it urges people to eat to remain healthy does not match what it pays farmers to grow. In fact, fruit and vegetable farmers receive no subsidies from the government, though fruits and vegetables should make up the largest share of Americans' diets, according to the new pyramid. [read full article, via Rebecca's Pocket]