Sunday Link Encyclopedia and Self-Promotion

First of all, let’s support these nice people who decided to promote our favorite blog (meaning, my blog, of course) and give them some well-deserved hits.

How you can make good use of those smaller blocks of time.

And this is a great way to lose an election: ““I want to make sure every new computer sold in this country, after I’m president, has installed on it a filter to block all pornography.”” Hello, Nanny State and its presidential candidate who wants to police our morals. Hey, Libertarians, how come there is not a peep out of you on this subject?

National MS advocates are appreciative of Ann Romney’s efforts to help boost the profile of the disease and raise money for the cause, but they are opposing her husband’s campaign health care policy proposals, many of which are mirrors of GOP legislation currently pending in Congress. MS advocates believe many of the proposals would be extremely harmful to most people with multiple sclerosis.” Talk is cheap. It’s the actions that count. Rather than “boosting the profile of the disease” (???), these hypocrites could try to avoid victimizing people with the disease.

Amazon.com is offering to pay up to $2,000 per year towards educational costs for its warehouse employees if they pursue Associate’s degrees in certain high-demand fields, including fields like aircraft mechanics that have no obvious value within the company. ” I have no doubt that Amazon was pushed towards this decision by the relentless exposure of the horrific working conditions at its warehouses. This is yet another instance of bloggers effectuating positive change by their writing.

A beautiful tribute to Robert Hughes.

Missouri is stupid and is about to get even stupider. Don’t believe me? Read this article.

Canada vs the US. Very visual and filled with useful information for online discussions.

The Butovo massacre.

Are you following the show trials in China? I am because they are an eerie reminder of the history of my own country in the 1930s. Here are post 1 and post 2 on the subject.

Let’s feed the trolls! I agree.

Science Education Standards: Can New Recommendations Help ‘Mediocre To Awful’ States?”

In the corner of the world where I grew up, keeping kids from seeing sex always seemed to be more important than keeping them from seeing violence. Today, and in my own parenting, I feel the opposite.” I adore this blogger.

Why men should take women’s studies courses. Very insightful.

It isn’t often that I find a feminist blog I really like but Nerdy Feminist is a brilliant blogger who runs just such a blog. Here is a great post from her on last name changes.

The latest environmental disaster caused by an oil company.

A phenomenal post on the fundamentalist hypocrisies on the subject of love.

Long before I had heard of Prager I subjected my bride-to-be to such a test. . . Dear one took the rigors of that  trip 30 years ago like a trouper, and passed the test with flying colors.  We got married the following summer and remain happily married 29 summers later. When I told the story to a feminazi some years back she gave me a hard and disapproving look.  She didn’t like that I imposed a marital compatibility test upon my lady love.  Bitch!” You refer to her as a Nazi and a bitch and you think she disapproves of you because of your pathetic personal life? Maybe this poor excuse for a philosopher needs to take an elementary course in formal logic.

How fundamentalist women reduce stress. It’s hilarious, people.

How to show Twitter bullies their place.

And for my Russian-speaking readers (who, as I now realize, are a lot more than 3), here is a beautiful post IN RUSSIAN. Special thanks go to reader el who introduced me to this talented blogger.

On Romney’s choice of Ryan as a running mate: “The good news is that this really is a sign of desperation on the part of Team Romney.  Romney’s basically thrown out his entire game plan, and has gone with a veep choice who effectively upstages him the way Sarah Palin upstaged John McCain.  He hadn’t really wanted a campaign about issues; he’d just wanted to be the businessman who would come in and set things right with his business know-how.  Now that his time at Bain’s been gleefully shredded by the good guys, he really had to shake the Etch-A-Sketch and get a reset.” I wanted to say the same thing but this blogger said it much better than I ever could. How do you feel about Romney’s choice of Ryan as a VP?

There is no limit to how stupid and insensitive people can be about certain topics: “It’s a little like a doctor having permission to do things to your body that no other person (maybe a lover) would EVER be permitted to do.  Is there a more explicit and invasive rape than a colonoscopy?” If you say yourself that the doctor has a permission, what possesses you to use the word “rape” in this context? I would hope that in bloody 2012 people were capable of remembering that the difference between rape and not rape is free, uncoerced consent.

The most idiotic post of the week: this poorly written confusing rant suggesting that in order to “afford” art programs, universities need to drill for oil. Or have somebody else drill for oil. Or whatever. Why is it that every ignoramus seems entitled to offer opinions about academia?

And the feel-good post of the week: a mother uses her Kindle to help her with breastfeeding. I warn you, though, the amount of cuteness (in the best sense of the word) in this post is overwhelming. If you don’t feel like letting go of your bad mood at this point, don’t read this post. It is destined to make you start smiling goofily.

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19 comments on “Sunday Link Encyclopedia and Self-Promotion

  1. I had a guest author write about Canadian winter, which is delicious to read about in the midst of my Arizona summer.

    I also wrote about summers with my backyard slide, wherein we tried to turn a standard swing set slide into a water slide.

    And a little bit about what happens when I learn that people I’ve cared about are actually assholes. (The post contains mention of rape and relationship abuse, for folks who’d prefer to know that before deciding whether to read.)

    • The post on Canadian winters made me cry because it’s so beautiful. Do read it, everybody. It will help you understand how much I sacrificed for my career. Oh, to hear the snow fall at least one more time. . .

      • I haven’t lived in Canada — I’m thinking about Michigan winters here — but I miss the sound of dry snow that squeaks when you scuff your boots in it. That was always the sound that let me know we’d get just enough snow for it to be pretty, but not so much that everything would turn sloppy.

  2. I actually agree with the colonoscopy post. This is an invasive and expensive procedure that MDs now push in coercive ways.

    I said to my MD: look, it takes a day of preparation, a day in the hospital, and a weekend to recover from, you say, and it costs $500 out of pocket. If you really think I should be checked out for this cancer, can you not just do an old fashioned rectal exam?

    MD: Well, this is a Catholic area and we are not too comfortable with that kind of examination. I haven’t done one in some time….

    I said: well, let me think about it, maybe next year. I thought: oh dear, here I am, living in a place which has another culture, imposing alien, U.S., colonialist, Protestant cultural values on this poor MD by suggesting he do an examination with which he is not comfortable.

    I asked a friend, also an MD, about it. She said: a rectal examination is just part of a regular visit and extra money is not made, but extra money is made via referrals for colonoscopies.

    So … coercion, for dark motives.

  3. “In the corner of the world where I grew up, keeping kids from seeing sex always seemed to be more important than keeping them from seeing violence. Today, and in my own parenting, I feel the opposite.”

    I agree. Back in the 1990s I saw two movies within a week. In one a husband makes love to her wife, and you get to see a naked breast. In the other a rapist breaks her shirt open and then cuts her boob of. Guess which one was rated R (i.e. can be seen by youngsters so long as an adult is with them) and which one was rated NC (no one 17 or under can see it).

  4. Odd sadistic tone in that philosopher’s piece. On the trip, he made all the decisions, and he wanted it to be uncomfortable, and apparently wanted to see how much she could “take” and how agreeable / obedient she would be.

    Odd, too, that he thinks the idea of spending time together and thus seeing how compatible one is or not is novel, and that the idea of travel together as a way to get to know each other is new.

    Somewhere long ago I heard that “testing” your partners or prospective partners was not a good idea. Then once, during my worst relationship ever, I realized I was “testing” this guy and that in the context it seemed rational to me. It was a bad sign, and I understood then why people said “don’t ‘test’.”

    • The guy is a total creep.

      As for testing, I wonder why he skipped the most popular test among insecure losers, the one where you get somebody to get your partner drunk and see if they can seduce him or her.

      • God, even more juvenile. And here I thought that at least these relationship “tests” were given inadvertently, and that those who gave them would try to learn *not* to be passive aggressive or otherwise manipulative.

        Although on second thought, they have these tests in the Arabian Nights, Don Juan Manuel, and so on, in Homer, I guess, so they’re old … and always about oppressing women somehow, I would suppose.

  5. What are you thinking about this?
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/10/business/supermarkets-try-customizing-prices-for-shoppers.html?_r=2&hp

    At a Safeway in Denver, a 24-pack of Refreshe bottled water costs $2.71 for Jennie Sanford, a project manager. For Emily Vanek, a blogger, the price is $3.69.

    The difference? The vast shopping data Safeway maintains on both women through its loyalty card program. Ms. Sanford has a history of buying Refreshe brand products, but not its bottled water, while Ms. Vanek, a Smartwater partisan, said she was unlikely to try Refreshe.

    So Ms. Sanford gets the nudge to put another Refreshe product into her grocery cart, with the hope that she will keep buying it, and increase the company’s sales of bottled water. A Safeway Web site shows her the lower price, which is applied when she swipes her loyalty card at checkout.

    Safeway added the personalization program to its stores this summer. For now, it is creating personalized offers, but it says it has the capability to adjust prices based on shoppers’ habits and may add that feature.


    Now grocers like Safeway and Kroger are going one step further, each offering differing methods to determine individualized prices. Hoping to improve razor-thin profit margins, they are creating specific offers and prices, based on shoppers’ behaviors, that could encourage them to spend more: a bigger box of Tide and bologna if the retailer’s data suggests a shopper has a large family, for example (and expensive bologna if the data indicates the shopper is not greatly price-conscious).


    In a 2005 survey conducted by Professor Turow, most adult respondents did not know that retailers could legally charge different prices, and more than 90 percent said they would dislike it if their supermarket charged different prices to different people within the same hour.

    “It comes down to understanding elasticity at a household level,” said Stuart Aitken, the chief executive of dunnhumbyUSA. The companies also track how frequently someone buys a product, at what times of the year and when the last purchase was made.

    • I don’t see anything wrong with this in principle but I think these companies will soon have major lawsuits on their hands when it comes out that some of their pricing choices are related to race or ethnicity.

  6. Pathetic travel-test guy is approximately 90 years too late. The classic travel test story was the 1925-ish sound movie ” It Happened One Night” with a very young Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert.

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