Category Archives: Etc

Quick Quiz

What do the following names have in common:

Dean, Felix, Gustav, Ike, Noel, Paloma

Answer will be posted (below the fold) tomorrow unless someone gets it in comments. Don't Google this; it's too easy.

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Could Be a Good Day

It's not even lunchtime yet, and I've learned two interesting things.

(1) The NYT brings me the lovely and occasionally necessary word, “shatara,” which it defines as “the Arabic word for cunning and guile with a hint of deception.” It even gives an example:

An example of shatara once overheard in Beirut: “I’m not going to cheat you,” a landlord told a prospective tenant. “Well, I am going to cheat you, but not a lot.”

I encountered shatara when shopping for a shirt in Egypt, and I gather it was the hallmark of certain legendary Deans.

(2) The reason modern Western carrots are orange is because they were bred that way, in the 16th and 17th centuries, in tribute to the Dutch royal House of Orange (via Boing Boing – see the nice 'carrot rainbow' photo).

Now, I admit that neither of these additions to my information store is absolutely essential. But like any dragon curled around its hoard, I am very happy to have them.

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For My Relatives and Friends in DC

Snowpocalypse With Soundtrack

Yes, it's a Baltimore weather forecast, but it's right next door….

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Too Busy To Blog

Work. Work. Work.

Little things to tide us over:

  • A modest proposal § Unqualified Offerings: “In the future Costco will run law schools.”
  • Bumper sticker spotted on the road: “When do we get to vote on your marriage?”
  • Gary Farber notes that Jerry Falwell's Liberty Counsel has launched a new program called Adopt a Liberal™. “This program encourages people to pray for those in leadership to restore poor leaders to right thinking.”
  • FedThread looks cool.
  • So does TinEye which offers handy browser plug-ins.
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Geek Child Care

Uber-geek childcare video: Linux Baby Rocker, found via boingboing's Scripting a PC CD-tray to rock the baby to sleep.

Cute & cool.

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Notes from the Meritocracy Factory

Blackboard – Test Prep – Just Following Orders – An Evil Essay –

The author, who has an SAT-prep-firm, took the test in order to see how essays are graded. As an experiment, he wrote the most morally evil essay he could, praising Nazi eugenics. The official SAT rules don't talk morality, promising high scores to an essay that,

effectively and insightfully develops a point of view on the issue and demonstrates outstanding critical thinking, using clearly appropriate examples, reasons, and other evidence to support its position.

And, indeed, he got high marks.

I am sure this explains something, but due to the low quality of the reasoning in his work while in government I am loath to say that this something is John Yoo.

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Jimmy Carter Breaks With His Church on Treatement of Women

Jimmy Carer again demonstrates that he's a much better person than he was President: Losing my religion for equality.

This can't have been easy for him.

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