Political Tidbit

There hasn't been one of these in a while because there hasn't been campaign news of any substance for a long time. Barack took the lead and kept it. Now it has come time to end the primary. Two thoughts:

1. How can going all the way to the Convention to pick a candidate be death to the party? The Convention was created in order to pick a candidate! If we really can't wait that long, let's move the Convention back to June.

2. HRC is going to lose. That has not changed since Barack took the lead either, so what can I add to this discussion? I think her gripe that the media handed this to Obama has some validity to it. She is SO close to him in delegates that any Solomon-like solution should really happen at the Covention with the two candidates on equal footing. This is not a sprint where winning by one step is all that matters. If you win by 1-3%, the other person still represents 47% or more of your own party. Here, she might even represent the popular majority of the party.

I am not advocating any change in the system. HRC is as politically savvy as they come. Her failure to recognize the need to clean up in caucuses lost her this election and she should have seen it coming.

What I want to focus on is her complaint against the media. Sure you're not getting the attention you deserve Mrs. Clinton, and do you know why? Because they want it to end so they can move on to the next story. They were willing to stir it up when it looked like MI and FL would hold new primaries - but that's it. The Obama/Clinton saga is done as far as their story arc is concerned. Next comes Veep speculation, then Convention coverage, and then the general election - all of which together will equal the TV time Obama/Clinton got loe these many months.

"Easy is Hard"

This talk has three notable things:
1. David Pogue, tech writer and nerd for the NYT. I don't normally like him, so take that into account when I tell you that you need to see this.
2. It looks like a big email forward - and it is delivered in the same frenetic manner.
3. It is right. Look at how hard it is to make an interface easy - and look at how much people are willing to pay for it.

HULC - No, not that one, or the new one. A bionic one.

HULC - Berkley Bionics's Human Univeral Load Carrier - is available for pre-order. This is an exoskeleton capable of carrying 200lbs with relative ease. I don't think the unit can handle running or crouching, but it is a boon for long pack work - say climbing Everest or Kilimanjaro.

Price tag folks?

Space, It Sells Itself.

Virgin Galactic, future purveyor of LEO (Low Earth Orbit) - actually not even that high - flights for $200K is looking for a space ambassador. You reach out to high rollers and entrepreneurs for flights and during flights and you get to fly for free and see space and be weightless and, and and and and and (head explodes).


Orifice Politics

[ Warning - this content is a little more explicit than some other posts ]

Slate reports on an Adolscent Health Journal survey that shows that well over 3/4 of people who has lost their "vaginal virginity" have also lost their "oral virginity." Their what? How do you lose something I never even knew you had?

Also, this is a perversion (I know, isn't it delicious?) of the concept of virginity. Originally, virginity was determined by the rupture of the female's hymen. Apparently, the new conception of virginity isn't about piercing, and it isn't about entry either. Clearly things go in and out (in and out) of people's mouths all the time. What determines virginity now is not if but what is placed in an orifice or, more remotely still, for what purpose an orifice is employed.

Taking this idea to it's logical extreme, why not presume a virginity for every part of ourselves not yet sullied by the sex act. Mental virginity until the first sexual thought, sleep-away virginity until the first make-out session at camp, residential virginity - which really should be subdivided by the type of room in your house ... and we should probably include the car, the yard, motels, hotels, resorts, and the ocassional deserted-but-still-public place.

Or we could just go back to calling "oral virginity", "the first time they had oral sex."


Tokyo security occassionally pass a test suitcase through with a bag of weed to keep the dogs sharp. They should start keeping their people sharp, too. The security personnel had started using passenger's actual bags for the tests, placing weed in there when the passengers weren't looking. The dogs found the baggies, and people went on their merry way -- until now. This past week, a dog missed the baggie and the passenger wandered off unwittingly one dime bag richer.


The Bar Exam, Can You Swing It?

Um - you just have to read this Craigslist for yourself. A guy took the bar, then took to swinging, and decided in retrospect that the one would have vastly improved the other. Why deny others this insight?

Let me say this: if you haven't done this before, I doubt studying for the Bar is the right context in which to start. Then again, either way you're screwed (couldn't help it).

The Great Leap....Downward

Update: Turns out frenchy never left the ground. They filled the balloon with helium and it began to rise. It continued to rise, and continued, and continued, and continued, until they realized that it wasn't tethered to anything. It's probably better this way. What else did could a team that forgets to tie down the balloon neglect in your super-sophisticated pressurized life support suit?



The Great Leap....Downward

This is the flight pattern of Michael Fournier, who has not yet attempted this jump because of high winds. A few notes - he will break the sound barrier at 761 mph, then he will accelarate to nearly ONE THOUSAND MILES AN HOUR before the thicker air slows him down, and he will free-fall for over seven minutes. Unreal. Good luck sir.

Did we mention he's a senior citizen?

Long Weekend,

For the record:

* Congrats to SMS on her MS in Aerospace Engineering! Fear the galactic turtle!
* If you think going to weddings, you should try officiating. It is a blast. That, of course, does not hold a candle to actually getting married - or being married. Enjoy PR Flemings!
* KB celebrated the first anniversary of her 29th bday. We salute her!
* BBQ - yum.
* A lot of people have forgotten that the first Indiana Jones flicks were good because they were campy. We remember, and we liked it.

- I am back - more soon.



Last night, RSC and I went to Elektra, Strauss's opera, at the Kennedy Center. It. was. awful. And even a lay person could appreciate that.

First, Elektra is not a strong opera to start with. The music is nice, but the main character does absolutely nothing. Elektra's mother, Clytamnestra, conspires with her lover to kill Agamemnon, Elektra's father, upon his return from war. The opera opens with Elektra camped out at the doors of the house. She does not avenge her father's death. She waits for Orestes, her brother. He then kills their mother and her lover - off-stage. Elektra, overcome by just hearing the events through the walls, dies. Right. Hey Rick, how about involving the characters in what is actually happening?

Second, this is a singing thingy, so don't drown 'em out. If I can't hear the notes, they might as well lip-sync.

Third, when the singing falters the sets and lighting usually swoop in to hook you. Not here. The set was at once plain and messy - the angular walls might have retained their power in a start white, black, or gray, but with the smears of color and washed-out photographs the set took the appearance of a rough sketch instead of a finished idea. What the set lacked, the lighting only served to highlight. There were characters that sang in the dark. The dark! And not the type of "I am backlighting you dramatically," dark. No, this was "there are a lot of jumbled lights on the stage and I just don't happen to be in any of them," dark. And the spot-lighting was a mess. I spent half the time wondering if the actors had simply missed their marks.

Harvard Law Review Has Lost It's Collective Mind

HT to www.abovethelaw.com for this nugget:

Harvard Law Review - the same one Obama headed up - just published a Note (a law student piece) titled Never Again Should a People Starve in a World of Plenty. (pdf) The piece basically says that you have a moral obligation to provide your legal services to the poor of the world, not to the rich and powerful.

That HLR would publish this tripe is beyond comprehension. I don't disagree with the sentiment. Rich, powerful lawyers should (and many do) do as much good for those less privileged. I understand that some are put off by the elaborate events, yacht parties, and golf tournies that double as fundraisers, but that is a matter of style over substance.

The point here is that HLR is not Newsweek's "My Turn" column - it is an institution of rigorous legal thought. HLR would never consider publishing a Note that was simply an editorial of recent Supreme Court decisions and offered platitudes instead of footnotes and analysis. There is no room in journals, certainly not Harvard's, for bare editorializing. What possessed HLR's editors to ignore that? They had at least 20 other Notes to choose from.

Lens Shake.

Someone was getting married during the recent Chinese quake. Some else was taking photos of them just as it happened. See the photos here.



Cabon nano tubes are amazing. They have helped create "the new black," a substance that absorbs over 99.995% of light striking it, and they are thought to be the building blocks of structures like the space elevator or new medical devices. Just one teensie problem, they are small and fibrous. A study shows that, when inhaled, they cause inflamation of the lungs (not unlike silicates and asbestos).

Is this is the kiss of death? Actually, I think this is a sign of progress. This is science seeing the unintended consequence of another great idea and working to test for and prevent it up front. Of course, there will be other unintended consequences to nano tubes...but that is always a function of venturing into the unknown.


This Was Not In My 'After Dark' Collection.

Flying Toasters weaseled their way into the hearts of the technorati long ago. Flying penises - they still make us giggle nervously. Of course, that didn't stop what one must assume were protesters from deploying just such an "un-manned" aerial vehicle during a political opposition rally by disgraced chess great Gary Kasparov. As if anyone attending that event needed further proof that they had crossed over the rainbow...

You think I'm kidding don't you? Go ahead - read it.

[ HT - www.gizmodo.com ]

[ p.s. I dub thee phallus day: the Burj Dubai will today become the tallest structure on earth. ]


Torts on Sports

A family is suing the maker of an aluminum bat after their son suffered a serious brain injury while pitching after being hit by a line drive off that bat. They are also suing the store that sold the batter/team the bat (Sports Authority), as well as Little League for giving the bat it's seal of approval. There are a million comments to make on the case as well as the use of metal bats for most amateur games - and I will reserve them all to focus on this luscious tidbit and to keep it short:

The kid was not injured at a Little League game. The kid was pitching in a Police Athletic League game. Little League was fingered as a culprit because they gave their "seal of approval." From a purely legal perspective, the argument has some elegance to it: Little League got paid for the seal, so it should step up and take responsibility if it's seal promoted sale and use in kids' games. On the other hand, naming Little League seems like overreaching.

What if Rafael Nadal lends his name to a tennis racket that is shown to be defective, breaking from stress and causing it's holder injury? People likely bought the racket because of his name. Is he liable? Now I understand that this is not a "seal of approval," but the remainder of the facts track perfectly.

Also, does it matter whether Little League did any product testing before granting the seal? I imagine that it would - but I also imagine that they didn't. That part of the case is intriguing - comparing people's impression of what the seal meant with what Little League intended it to mean.

Can You Tell I Am A Tad Obsessed?

This is an animatronic Wall-E (semi-autonomous) caught on tape on the streets of LA.

Wall-E Spotted in LA! from Blink on Vimeo.

Political Tidbit

Progressive Media USA - a leftist independent foil to the swift-boat groups that launched a media blitz against Kerry in 2004 - has announced that it will not launch it's own planned blitz because Obama has asked it not to. The reality is that he told his deep-pocket supporters not to donate, which has a more direct effect, but the result is the same.

Come the fall, the swift-boaters have sworn that they will be back. The Obama campaign is subject to finance laws that limit the money it can take to fight these ads. Second, without an outside media group hitting back, the campaign itself will have to take on these messages or risk having them go unchallenged. I'd much rather have third-party groups lobbing the racist tag than have the campaign lend credibility to the attacks by addressing them.

I understand the desire to centralize the dem. media machine. I am just not sure it is the wisest course. Perhaps tacit control over a third-party via back channels would be best, even if that is classic back office Washington politics. I mean, there is a reason that machinery evolved to what it is.

The Right Kind of Lawyer

Thomas Goldstein is head of Akin Gump's Supreme Court. He's argued 18 cases before the high court. And we respect him because he hasn't lost his sense of humor about the whole thing.

HT www.abovethelaw.com


Marital Bliss for the Boy Scout Set.

This is an actual psychological questionaire used in 1957. Spouses would simply grade one another and turn it in to the shrink, who would compile the data for social psych studies. (See more here from the APA).
My favorite: your wife gets 10 merits for taking the kids to church and going herself. She gets yet another merit for letting you sleep through the same.
[ HT to DCFearless]


I Got To See Inside My Head This Morning

I got to see inside my head this morning because yesterday morning, at about the same time, I lay stomach-down on a bench and perched my chin on a pillow made of the same foam as a car bumper. From the four-foot diameter plastic doughnut before me came lasers in multiple cross hairs. The bench lifted me into the doughnut where I could see that the doughnut had rings that began to spin.

I got to see inside my head this morning because the doctor wanted a CT scan. Looking over it, we stepped back from my nose, through my eyes, into my brain, and out somewhere near the top-most edge of the spine. I could tell it was me because the first shot was a profile, and the flesh adorning my bones formed a very familiar silhouette. There were a lot of black spots. These, he explained, were my sinus cavities. I am already perturbed by the thought that we only consciously use 10% of our brains. Now I have learned that, in addition, about a quarter of my head is completely hollow.

I got to see inside my head this morning to point to a little grey deposit between the blank of my sinuses and the ghost-white of my bones. This is inflammation -- remnant of an infection. While there is still plenty of cavity around it, this is what makes it harder to breath. This is what motivates me to take the pills and puff the puffs for another two months. I don't have time to mull over the significance of the voids in my head. For now, I am their champion.

I got to see inside my head this morning and it convinced me to help make it a bit more hollow.

Humans as Meta-Organism



I finally joined. It is rare that someone has a fresh feel for this network, so let me share what it feels like to be web-initiated, but a FB rookie.

First, Facebook is not merely big, it is teeming with activity. The sheer volume of data pumped through your homepage is amazing. It's like having a 2 second conversation with everyone you've known since grade school every single day. As someone who blogs and gchats regularly, I found the internet to be the equivalent of a close-in suburb - busy, but not unmanageable. I realize now that the metaphor is incorrect. I was at a cafe wondering where everyone was. Yesterday, I walked into the bar next door and found a crush of people partying like it was the end of the world.

Second, FB is extremely voyeuristic. It is a giant game of "I'll show you mine if you show me yours." I'll post photos of me, sure - but I get the guilty pleasure of poring over your tales of vactions gone wrong, long nights at the bar, trips to places I've never been, weddings, boyfriends, announcements of sexual leanings. It's like being a gossip columnist at a large high school, snooping, getting tips, rumor-mongering, and engaging in endless stupid games. (Poking, I'm looking at you).

Guaranteed Second Strike - on the internet.

The U.S. air-force wants to prevent attacks on defense computer networks by unleashing a denial of service attack on those it perceives to attack its system.

For the unitiated, a "denial of services" attack is like ramming every M&M in a king size bag into your mouth at the same time. There is nothing wrong with M&M's per se, but all together they will clog your mouth, making it impossible to react by swallowing or chewing, and will ultimately result in choking, i.e. a system crash.

A defensive denial of service attack is doing the same thing, but only in response to an incoming attack. One problem: attackers funnel their attacks through multiple unwitting intermediaries. A defensive denial of service attack would slow down countless civilian networks on its way to the attacker -- if it ever made it. If one wants to attack from Point A to Point B, one could route an attack on the U.S. Air Force through Point B, so that both you and the entire U.S. Air Force are attacking the same spot. Make that spot outside the U.S. and you could have diplomatic fall-out.

Go back to the drawing board boys.


Space Manufacturing

On Earth, we can make alloys. That's a homogenous metal mixture, like lemonade. In space, scientists hope that eliminating gravity will permit them to combine metals of differing weights at the molecular level. I have no idea what the applications are. Suggestions include lighter aviation parts. Here's what I do know - this is the first viable commercial use of space that I have seen. With projects like SpaceShipOne, here comes the revolution?

Hardbook - Not Original In *Any* Way

An external harddrive is nothing more than a box for a harddrive that could fit inside your computer. It is not exciting or, in most cases, worth the money. That goes double for "Hardbox," which is supposed to fit in nicely with your dwindling collection of the printed word. What rankles me is the choice of font on the spine - Lumos makes this look like an installment of Harry Potter.
I can't tell what annoys me - that this is "literary" design allusion is tawdry, or that the designers figured techies wouldn't have anything more substantial than HP on their shelves.


Things You Already Knew Because You Are Smarter Than Me

"Lame!" is an historical exclamation. To wit, Prof. Volokh:

I'd always thought that "lame" as in "lame argument" or "lame excuse" was
relatively modern youth slang. Then I ran across it in a 19th-century source,
and so decided to check the OED. It turns out that the definition of "[m]aimed,
halting; imperfect or defective, unsatisfactory as wanting a part or parts,"
"[s]aid esp[ecially] of an argument, excuse, account, narrative, or the like"
dates back at least to Chaucer's Troilus and Cressida: "blame me not if
any word [of my work] be lame." Then there's Shakespeare, in Othello, speaking
of a "most lame and impotent conclusion." Most lame, dude! And Swift, in
Gulliver's Travels, "The theory of comets, which at present is very lame and

Fine, but at least we can claim credit for the phrase: "totally lame."

In other news:

* Cavil means to raise trivial objections.

* While it is wrong to incorrectly split an infinitive with an adverb, like so, you will likely be surprised to learn that is not incorrect to split the "bare infinitive" (be) from a "modal auxiliary verb" (will, would, can, etc.) with an adverb. Some people believe that this is a poor stylistic choice. Those people need to read the Chicago Manual of Style and Modern English Usage.

Raw Milk and the Free Market

Raw milk, the unpasteurized white stuff that has the audacity to come out of a cow bearing microbes, is illegal in the U.S. and in most countries. Heating the stuff got rid of over 90% of the cases of things like e-coli. Not bad. On the other hand, there are (possibly credible) assertions that pasteurization also kills a lot of good bacteria - both those that help and those that hurt us just enough to spark an immune response.

Now, I am not for overturning the raw milk ban. I think that the cost of offering a product known to carry dangerous pathogens to a public that is rarely educated enough to understand what that means will surely result in higher public-health costs.

That said, I wonder whether a limited mechanism for acquiring the stuff might be reasonable. Raw milk is a small enterprise, so prices will be high. They can be higher still if you regulate the practice and require people to test cows for the bacteria we worry about most. That will drive the cost to at the very least double that of regular milk, so only the truly committed will buy it. Add to that a continuing prohibition on serving it to anyone under, say 18, and I think you have a reasonable solution.

I understand that the claimed immunological benefit of raw milk is best felt early in life, but I'd need to see hard evidence on a large scale showing that it is so before I would permit parents to serve it to kids willy nilly. And this isn't the first product we won't serve to kids...there is no reason to fear feeding honey to infants now that it is pasteurized, and absolutely no ill-health effect of alcohol on the body of, say, an 8 y.o., but we regulate both of those due to...you guessed it...the public health cost.

Political Tidbit

It looks like we will have the first viable black candidate this election cycle. Race is not an issue for me; I couldn't care less if Barack was green or Hillary was a hermaphrodite. I also know that race is going to be a huge issue going forward.

1. We'll hear a ton about what black America will do. Will we see more of them at the polls? Let's admit that this question is a little racist and then let's ask: is it wrong for blacks to vote for blacks because of their race, or similarly for women to vote for women? Is it racist, then, for white men to vote McCain?

2. Separate from de facto racism, I am sad to say that I think there will be a lot of overt racism in an Obama/McCain race. It will be interesting how much of their time the candidates (both of them) will spend downplaying and decrying such practices. It could be a real distraction.


It's 8 inches long, white, vibrates, and sinfully entertaining. It's the Wiimote, but before you guffaw yourself to the next entry, know that your first guess was also Nintendo's.

Nintendo needed a company that knew how to make high grade, vibrating, plastic hand-held devices. So they turned to Immersion, an unmentionables OEM. Immersion, operating under a different LLC for Nintendo, makes Wiimotes, while the rest of the company makes...me-motes?


Fossella? I don't even no-eh!

Vito Fossella is upping the recent political scandal antie, particularly in NY. Hey gov Patterson, you had an extramarital affair? Well I have a 3 y.o. love child!

Of course, Patterson survived that revelation, Vito Fossella (whose name still does nothing but evoke the dark, soft focus of the Godfather for me) might not.

That's Vito and Laura Fay, his paramour. I will give him props - for once, our elected official is chasing some worthwhile tail.

Communication Balance

Flippish notes that Facebook, among other social networking programs, is causing is social circles to collide. Unlike having two circles of friends happen upon each other during a night out at the movies, Facebook provides a constant transparency between circles. One set of friends will always see when the other set of friends is chatting up last night's highlights. And some people have linked to their boss or their mom - you get the picture.

Flippish is right, and notes that he finds himself editing the content on Facebook accordingly. This is the first step to balance.

Facebook is overused right now (spoiler alert: I am not on Facebook), just like email was overused 5 years ago, and chat rooms were overused before that. They throw our communications balance for loop. People stopped calling when there was email. Then they realized that having a written record of every conversation could come back to bite you in the butt -- or they realized that it was lot less personal than a phone conversation -- and phones (or Skype) are now back in vogue.

You can run the same analysis for phones and (finally!) Blackberries. Both made their owners accessible anywhere, any time. The result: people eventually stopped answering every call or responding to every email. Instead of being actually unreachable, they set their own boundaries.


But that doesn't mean that each of these technologies hasn't permanently changed our interaction. I can't remember what it was like to set a time and place with a friend and just trust that we could meet there. I can remember being a lot less frustrated at having to wait 5 minutes without knowing their whereabouts. That's long gone.

Email, cell phones, and now Facebook, blogging, RSS feeds, and twitter will change our interaction and we will establish a new balance. Facebookers, I recommend you take a page from us bloggers. We don't use names (by and large), we edit our content so as to avoid conflicts with friends, coworkers, or clients. And you know what? We can still speak our mind. In a room, with friends, over good food and good wine, we can still rant and rave and be outrageous. There is no paper trail, no record, and no colliding social circles.


TED - They Might Be Giants

Many of my friends not merely nerds, but precisely the type of nerds that appreciate TMBG. They should also appreciate www.TED.com :

Chip Off the Old Bloch

Scott Bloch, head of the Office of Special Counsel (OSC), is under investigation by the Office of Personnel Management and the the FBI. They raided his offices this week looking for evidence of mishandled funds and discriminatory practices. Now, GOP legislators are calling for him to step down.

For those keeping score at home: that's 2 agencies of the executive branch investigating a third, with Congress providing its unwanted opinion from the bleachers.

Silly question: What's with all the rigamarole? Bloch is a political appointee, serving at the pleasure of the president. Instead of investigating him, why doesn't Bush just oust him? Cui Bono?


Or you could just use Google Desktop Search

...still Xobni (www.xobni.com) is pretty cool. It opens a search panel right inside your Outlook window and provides search capabilities that are faster and better than Outlook's. Outlook operating like Gmail? I'm in!

Political Tidbit

Obama now has an even-more-commanding lead. What the parties need to consider:

Clinton: Seat Michigan and Florida. They are her only hope. I think the DNC will never give in to this per se, but will likely agree that Michigan and Florida can be seated in the second round and onward at the Convention. That could wreak havoc.

But if I am Clinton, I understand that I've lost and that the primaries will soon end, robbing me of my leverage. Once the primaries are done, I clearly have fewer delegates, and hanging on at that point can seem vindictive. I would start thinking about what I want short of the presidency while I still have the leverage to ask for it. Madame Secretary perhaps?

Barack: Find a compromise on MI and FL and make it public. Go there, shake hands, and work with the DNC to find a compromise for the Convention. Heck, if Clinton drops out, just seat them. You are now running for the general and you need to get in tight with DNC so that your candidacy seems to be not yours but the party's.

McCain: Hang back and see what HRC flings at Obama. Get on TV about 1.5 times a week to remain relevant. Talk policy only.


Never Thought I'd Say This, But I'll Have a Circumcision - Thanks.

Committee for Refigerator Defenestration

Fridge removal, a photo essay.

For those not already aware, our synagogue's fridge went out some time between the first and second night of passover, making for an interesting second seder. The olfactory experience was akin to southeast Asian markets or the more colorful side of the cheese counter.

We need a new fridge, and we have one picked out, but to get it in means getting 500-600lbs of the old one out. A few measurements a week ago told us that we could get it out the window -- that is, out of its spot, across the kitchen, over the sink, and out the window, while avoiding the cabinets, lights, stove, hands, feet, arms, eyes, et. al.

Stumped 1: Fridge won't budge.

The cabinets were built around it, the floor was laid around it. Heck, it's not clear how that they didn't just build the kitchen around it the first time. The fridge was recessed 1 inch below floor level without wiggle room. A dead-lift was well beyond our abilities, so MH suggested the most complex machine we'd use that day: an auto jack from my car:

Stumped 2: Across the kitchen

The fridge, now loose, was really hard to move across the kitchen. Turns out that yanking copper water line out of the wall will make any fridge feel a lot heavier. The schematic diagram noted that the water line ran into the left kickplate of the fridge. We'd damn-near demolished that part, so getting the pipe out that way was moot.

The fridge water line was attached to the cold water line into the kitchen, so we went to turn off the water to disconnect it. Turns out that, to do that, you'd have to go to the master shutoff out in the street. That, of course, could leave us without bathrooms after we cut the pipe until we figured a way to seal it, and we couldn't guarantee that as an option.

Solution: just cut the line and see what happens. We tightened that valve that split the fridge water from the main cold water line and hoped it would seal the pipe. If that didn't work, we'd route the water line into the sink and down the drain. Luckily, it didn't come to that.

Using a straight screwdriver as chisel, we cut the copper.

Stumped 3: Up and Out the Window

Getting the window out was easy.

Tilting the fridge was easy.

Getting the thing up was a different story. A recipe for fridge removal:

2 former side panels
1 2x12 board, 10ft tall
3 bricks
1 annoying
drawer handle.

Tilt fridge. Once tilted, bottom corner of fridge will wedge under handle of drawer. Send MH over the sink to lift the fridge using a squat press to bring fridge back to vertical. Remove drawer handle. Repeat. Fridge will now be caught on overhanging counter. Send MH over sink to lift fridge to vertical again. Obtain 2x12 board. Place vertically between fridge and counter. Tilt fridge. Board will be pressed to vertical and offer no leverage at all. Send MH over sink to ...you get the idea. Obtain 3 bricks. place bricks at base of board so that it has to retain a 70 degree angle. Tilt fridge. "Walk" fridge up board until about 50 degrees. Place former fridge side panels to help glide protruding pieces of fridge uneventfully through window. Send AJ to spot trajectory. Heave - stop. Center. Heave - stop. Center. Place second fridge side panel against side of window to stop excess drift towards MH. HEAVE HEAVE HEAVE HEAVE slide slide slide until compressors at top of fridge exit window and their weight slings fridge onto patio. See figure 1.

Figure 1.
Take "Success!" photos:

Join us in a few weeks for our next adventure: Installing a NEW Fridge.

"Fraudulent Inducement of Sex."

Sex under false pretenses is a tort in almost every state. The Feminist Law Prof's blog applauds this move as a step forward in protecting a woman's right to chose, particularly, it asserts, because of all the dangerous STDs out there. My reactions:

1. The blog's other posts are about equality of the sexes. "Fraudulent inducement" is not about force, but guile. Women may be physically smaller on the whole, but eons of history show us that they are anything but guile-less. Do feminists really want to protect women from men who promise to call, or say that they'll buy you something, or, as I assume comes up, want to have unprotected sex and swear up and down that they are disease-free? How does that empower women?

2. This law, unlike the rape laws, would appear to apply to both parties equally. Perhaps it is a shock to women out there, but women go out and seek sex as men do. Sex in the city is an exaggeration, not a fiction. Should men who think you are 27 when you are 35 have a cause of action? What about telling them that you are disease-free? Seems to me that the tortious communication of a disease runs both ways.

3. I would need to read these laws to see how serious the tort has to be. Infecting people with HIV...well that doesn't need a new law -that's reckless endangerment +. What then constitutes "fraudulent inducement of sex" that couldn't be avoided by people being picky and using some common sense?

And before I get a million notes on this: I understand the difference between this and date rape. Make sure your comment makes the same distinction. This is something less than date rape. Consider also that the law is not always the best solution - some wrongs are just wrongs, not crimes.



Yes, there are five of them, just not those five.

What intrigues me is that the board should be so sensitive to the swinging of some pretty light weights. I guess the friction is just that low. Marvelous.

Nice is a Four-Letter Word

Yale 1L claims that the nation's "best and brightest" may dazzle on paper, but fail to live up to it in person. I've seen it first-hand, but instead of lamenting the fact that these people aren't nice, I will simply ask: Do you expect different?

These people beat out thousands of other candidates to make it to top schools. The will go on to beat their elite classmates for even harder-to-find positions. In those positions, they will compete with others - be they companies, countries, political opponents, and so on - because to be the best means to beat the best.

I have met the very, very few who do not have to conciously work against their competition -- those who are so smart and so talented that the competition simply ceases to be a factor. Those people can be nice; they can be magnanimous; they might not even notice how hard everyone else has to try to compete with them.

The rest of those climbing the social, economic, and business ladders of the world don't have that option. One day, they will have to beat someone they know well for a corporate management position. Or they will have to back out of a politically sensitive deal, leaving a friend in a lurch. Or, simply, they will have to fire one or some or even a thousand people. These aren't nice things to do, but they will do them and they will find within themselves plenty of reason why doing so is right. For many of them, those reasons will load into the family mini-van for a drive to the Saturday morning soccer game.

And if that wasn't cynical enough for you, consider this: we purport to operate in a free market and "nice" may be anathema to that system. Nice is, well, nice, but isn't economically efficient.


This Will Make Them Well-Rounded...

That's right boys and girls, Lawsuit! the board game. www.lawsuitgame.com . Don't like your neighbor? Sue em! Don't like the verdict? Appeal! Don't like attorney's fees? Settle! The only thing more ridiculous than the game is the marketing.
Coming soon: Project Manager!, Administrative Assitant!, and you won't want to miss action-packed Actuary!

Digital Takeover.

In related news, I am hearing about GTA IV damn near everywhere. How many copies is thing expected to sell? From the sound of it, it's bigger than Halo.

Gas Tax "Holiday"

Worst. Policy. Ever.

Everyone else has noted that (a) this won't save people much (maybe $100 for the summer) and (b) might not save people money at all if the gas stations don't pass all of the savings along.

My problem is that HRC and McCain are supporting it. This is the worst sort of short-sighted political pandering and both are buying into directly, describing it as a "nice benefit" for American families. This is no benefit for American families. What are they going to do with that fraction-of-$100? At most, it will go to buoy higher food spending as prices "sky-rocket" at the supermarket.

So what exactly is this if not an attempt to buy votes? Of course, that's nullified as both parties are in on it -- and Bush himself might end up taking credit for the whole thing. Another expensive program that buys nothing. Anyone interested in a bridge?

Oh, and you might wonder why I mentioned "sky-rocketing" food prices. I shop in the DC Metro area (Boston and NYC before that), and I haven't seen any rise in prices. I think prices here are SO high that any increase would simply lower demand. I certainly don't need plums at $3/lb.