Wednesday, July 04, 2007
The Thirties. Take this quiz!
That's reasonably close. I would've said '30s/'40s. Or as the Little Brother once said, "You were born old." Thanks, bro. It's true, though.
And on an even more random note...
What Kitchen Utensil are You?
Hmm. I'd have said "bowl" because I use them much more often than plates. I guess I do have a tendency to expound whilst cooking, a natural outgrowth of which includes emphatic gesticulation while holding cutlery. Knives are pretty darned useful, too, though.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
However, as the Great and Wise Nomad Mom--who would be an outstanding President but who'll never take the job--is wont to say, "if Ted Kennedy can make it through, so can you." Just now, I've come across another weapon for her arsenal for whenever I end up taking the bar and if, God forbid, I ever end up in a courtroom due to some truly evil stroke of misfortune:
Phew! I feel better already. Don't worry, though--I've no plans to run for Senate, President, or First Lady of anything, or even to try a hand at cattle futures. In all fairness* to HRC, though, hindsight appears to offer a cautionary lesson on hype for aspiring political power brokers: very few of those aspirants will in practice be consistently brilliant strategists or truly great politicians.
But the hype was at times nearly overwhelming. To take just one example, it was often said that Mrs. Clinton had been judged one of the top lawyers in America. But both books point out that she failed the District of Columbia bar exam when she took it fresh out of Yale Law School. (Bernstein’s recounting of her years at Yale give the impression that she trained as much to be a social worker as a lawyer.) Of the 817 people who took the exam with Mrs. Clinton, Bernstein tells us, 551 — that’s 67 percent — passed, “most from law schools less prestigious than Yale.” The fact that Mrs. Clinton failed is not a scoop — after keeping it a secret for many years, she revealed it in a little-noticed
passage of her memoir, Living History — but it will receive new attention now. (She was also, by the way, unimpressive in the courtroom, and Bernstein reports that her worried Rose Law Firm partners “began steering her practice toward nonjury work.”)
*However, having one's White House portrait painted with one's hand on one's book is, well, tacky. On that point, I am unshakeable.
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Bookies are certain Harry's a goner.
William Hill Plc, a London-based bookmaker, is so sure of Harry's demise that it stopped accepting wagers and shifted betting to the possible killers. Lord Voldemort, who murdered Potter's parents, is the most likely villain, at 2-1 odds, followed by Professor Snape, one of his teachers, at 5-2.
``Every penny was on Harry dying, and it became untenable,'' said Rupert Adams, a William Hill spokesman. ``People are obsessed about this book.''
[...] Rowling has refused to give any clues about which characters will be killed off. Writing on her Web site last month, she asked people not to spoil the ending for fans by speculating about the outcome.
``I want the readers who have, in many instances, grown up with Harry, to embark on the last adventure they will share with him without knowing where they are going,'' she wrote May 14.
I do hope Harry survives, but as I always tell amused friends, I'll be even more devastated if Ron & Hermione die. I say "Ron & Hermione" because I think they are entertwined and one will not survive the end without the other. (Yes, I know, hopelessly sappy romantic.) I have only a few other simple requirements for JKR:
At least some of the Weasleys must survive.
And perhaps the most important of all, Remus must live, marry Tonks, and live happily ever after, because no one deserves it more.
But as for Harry's fate? You'll find no opinion here! Honestly, I enjoy reading and listening to others' predictions, but I've tried hard not to formulate any of my own speculations on that point. (Which is probably to everyone's surprise.) This time, I don't want predictions to burden the reading experience; I want to see what JKR has been plotting all these years.
HT: Marginal Revolution
Monday, May 28, 2007
I hope this means that both Rosie and The View can now slide back into their respective obscurity, and nevermore will I be subjected to news reports of "what ridiculous, and occasionally physics-defying, twaddle Rosie held forth on today" or, really, any other "who said what on The View." (Honestly. Women. I swear...) O Bliss! Nevermore!
Two--and significantly more important:
Thank you, on this Memorial Day, to the thousands upon thousands of brave men and women who have given life, limb, and sacred honor to defend this beloved country. "Thank you" is too small and insignificant, but it is the best we can do in honor of your heroism and sacrifice, of what you have done for us and for peoples around the world, and for what you continue to do.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Thursday, May 17, 2007
1. Wear fuchsia.
2. Tattoo enormous angel wings across their backs. (And if, for some wholly inexplicable reason, they have such a tattoo, they ought not jog by me, shirtless. Twice.)
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
*Actually, I think I got one right. The other 19, not so sure. Fortunately, most everyone else was probably in the same boat.
Friday, May 04, 2007
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Delightfully nerdy. (Would 'Mesh prove to be the champion of this game, too?)
From the RPS-101 Outcome Guide: Chainsaw DICES Turnip, Turnip STAINS Cup, Cup HOLDS Beer, Beer AFFECTS Chainsaw USE. Wow.
Monday, April 16, 2007
I am somewhat pleased by the fact that very few of the frontrunners in either party are particularly likeable. We have had 7 elections in a row in which we were supposed to
care about how much we "liked" the candidates [...]
We're not electing a dad or a mom or a best friend. We're electing someone who is supposed to: show up on time and sober every day, even when he's on vacation; work his (or her) tail off; juggle an enormous amount of responsibility; use good judgment with little information or time to respond; appoint reasonably competent people
to wield enormous (and sometimes lifetime) power; engage in hardball political negotiations with a sometimes-hostile and sometimes-stupid Congress.
I want a competent President who uses his head and who, at least occasionally, sees things "my way". I don't care if he or she is a jerk.
Quite so. We're electing a President, not a Prom King.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
I don't mean a throwaway "Cute shoes!" or an "I love that dress!" but rather a real, substanative compliment, one you will never forget and will always strive to fulfill because it concerns a trait or goal you value most highly. Though the speaker probably didn't know it would strike you so deeply, it did... And you gathered it into your head and heart so that you might try to incorporate it in order to one day be more deserving. In nearly twenty six years, I can think of exactly two--which is probably as it ought to be, else one's head should be sorely swelled.
Funny things, words.
Saturday, April 14, 2007
Thanks to TH.
Nor is it difficult to predict that Ahmadinejad & co. have been taking copious notes for quite some time. Whatever else they may be, naive and stupid they are not, particularly given their most recent success.
Sunday, April 01, 2007
Some year I'll remember to plan some sort of practical joke, but this year, it will have to be someone else's wit instead. A few days ago, I was noodling around YouTube, looking for Victor Borge clips to show El Novio, and I was pleasantly surprised to find several.
For your April Fools' amusement, some vintage Borge--comedy with a musical touch:
Warning: since this is comedy from a slightly different day and age, you may find it lacking in shock and offense. You may, however, laugh anyway.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Courtesy of Cute Overload, purveyor extraordinaire of warm fuzzies and the greatest site on the interwebs.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Monday, March 19, 2007
You are The Star
Hope, expectation, Bright promises.
The Star is one of the great cards of faith, dreams realised
The Star is a card that looks to the future. It does not predict any immediate or powerful change, but it does predict hope and healing. This card suggests clarity of vision, spiritual insight. And, most importantly, that unexpected help will be coming, with water to quench your thirst, with a guiding light to the future. They might say you're a dreamer, but you're not the only one.
What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.
h/t Jeff the Baptist
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Application for a Boys' Night Out
Application for a Girls' Night Out
Hehe...Yes, I'm sure those have likely been floating around in cyberspace for years, but (1) they're still hilarious and (2) see blog subtitle above.
Sunday, March 11, 2007
The Today show conducted a survey that stated guys actually enjoy "chick flicks." That's all well and good, because far be it for us gals to stereotype what gets men choked up. Yet, looking at their Top 7 Movies That Make Guys Cry list, something seems amiss. Do guys really know guys who cried in The Notebook? In Titanic? In even Gladiator?The rest of their top four are Dead Poets Society, Rudy, Saving Private Ryan, and Legends of the Fall.
Intriguing! I have to agree: a few of the titles Today lists don't really seem to belong on that list. For the male reader(s) out there, which is more correct, the Today list or the Amazon list? Do both miss the boat? What movies, if any, have tugged at your heartstrings or have otherwise strongly affected you emotionally? Why? By all means, please weigh in; I'd love to hear!
Yes, I looked for a video clip of the classic Tom Hanks/Victor Garber "Dirty Dozen" scene from Sleepless in Seattle (possibly one of the Nomad Dad's favorite movie moments ever), but couldn't seem to find one floating around there on teh interwebs. I would've figured it would be out there. Anyone else know where one is?
Thursday, March 01, 2007
At any rate, perhaps that will reassure El Novio: if even Mike Slackenerney can write a thesis, I'm sure I can too, someday. (I don't think you're actually reading this, but you can be reassured all the same.) Today, however, is not that day.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Recently I was on a panel about language "usage and abusage." The idea was for me and three other language specialists to answer the audience's questions about why there is such an epidemic of "sloppy grammar" afoot in America. "Why are people using interface as a verb?" "What's with ‘nucular'"? [...]
The reality that animals and plants have changed eternally has gained a pride of place in enlightened conversation, such that creationism is on the defensive. On the other hand, the general public has yet to join the 21st or even 20th century when it comes to language. The educated person is taught that a language is something enshrined in its "right" form in dictionaries and Strunk & White, such that any departures from this book and guide are "mistakes."
In fact, it is every bit as inherent and inevitable for languages to change as it is for animals and plants to. What we are taught to recognize as "mistakes" are simply tomorrow's version of the language.
Valentine's Day provides an object lesson, in that humble yet marvelous word — love. A simple, proper word, some might believe. But, in fact, like all words, it has a chaotic mess of a history.
It is one of several offshoots of a little piece of lexical kudzu that some bands of land-hungry Neolithic farmers infected in Europe. We only know so much about them. Apparently they were eager to make the world safe for horses, wheels, and patrilineal inheritance, and they emerged either on the steppes of southern Russia or in what is now Turkey. But the language they brought with them when they spread westward into Europe is the seed for most of today's European languages.
In that language there was a word, leubh, that meant "to care" or "to approve of." In each region of Europe these people's language spread throughout, leubh settled in with them and morphed into different shapes and meanings, rather like Web log became blog.
By two millennia ago, this was happening to leubh in the language that was soon to become "Englisc." The word love was one outcome — one may well have love for something that one cares for or approves of. Love was as a noun, but quickly started being used as a verb as well. That is, when you say, "I love you" to someone, you are using a word that began as a noun just as fax, interface, and green-light did.
Yet we would have little interest in an early Englisc-speaking shepherd scolding us for using love as a verb. And love was only part of the story anyway. Meanwhile leubh also morphed into what we know as leave — not as in departing, but as in the archaic expression "I give you leave to … ," or in other words, it meant "approval." This leave is more alive to us as it was bound into the word belief — belief means approval. Like other nouns, belief was turned into the verb believe.
Plus, notice the jump from leubh to leave: people started "mispronouncing" leubh just as you-know-who pronounces nuclear as nucular. But the planet keeps spinning and we have no sense that the "proper" pronunciation of belief is "beleubh." It was the same with the transformation of leubh into love. Every time we say love or belief, we are, technically, mispronouncing leubh!
[...] One could note that the word love is the descendant of an ancient word that contained within it desire, approval, belief, and permission. That's sweet, but a tad antimacassar.
The word love that we will hear in such proliferation today is one dollop of restless horsemen's heedless splattering, unconcerned with its multifarious fates, of leubh all over Europe.
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Oooh, tissue differentiation! Most interesting, no? Dr. Cheng's most recent Big Splash is the identification of the gene causing the golden mutation in zebrafish, the putative cation exchanger slc24a5. Should be a good talk all around!
In order to discover new vertebrate genes that control tissue differentiation, we have performed a screen for histological mutants using larval array technology developed in our laboratory. Both organ-specific and multi-organ mutations were found, including
one with cytological phenotypes highly reminiscent of cancer. We expect the mutations to affect key decision points in processes including cell polarity, cell proliferation, and cell-cell interaction.
Monday, February 05, 2007
Aw, heck, why don't they just introduce a resolution declaring, "We, the Senate, like all the good parts of the war and disapprove of all the bad parts. We demand all credit for anything that goes right, and reject any blame for anything that goes wrong"?
If only. Think how educational, how enlightening it would be for your constituencies--oh wait, no, so much for that idea.
Sunday, February 04, 2007
In my view, the theoretical justification for Chevron is no different from the theoretical justification for those pre-Chevron cases that sometimes deferred to agency legal determinations. As the D.C. Circuit, quoting the First Circuit, expressed it: "The extent to which courts should defer to agency interpretations of law is ultimately 'a function of Congress' intent on the subject as revealed in the particular statutory scheme at issue.'" An ambiguity in a statute committed to agency implementation can be attributed to either of two congressional desires: (1) Congress intended a particular result, but was not clear about it; or (2) Congress had no particular intent on the subject, but meant to leave its resolution to the agency. When the former is the case, what we have is genuinely a question of law, properly to be resolved by the courts. When the latter is the case, what we have is the conferral of discretion upon the agency, and the only question of law presented to the courts is whether the agency has acted within the scope of its discretion-- i.e., whether its resolution of the ambiguity is reasonable. As I read the history of developments in this field, the pre-Chevron decisions sought to choose between (1) and (2) on a statute-by-statute basis. Hence the relevance of such frequently mentioned factors as the degree of the agency's expertise, the complexity of the question at issue, and the existence of rulemaking authority within the agency. All these factors make an intent to confer discretion upon the agency more likely. Chevron, however, if it is to be believed, replaced this statute-by-statute evaluation (which was assuredly a font of uncertainty and litigation) with an across-the-board presumption that, in the case of ambiguity, agency discretion is meant.
It is beyond the scope of these remarks to defend that presumption (I was not on the court, after all, when Chevron was decided). Surely, however, it is a more rational presumption today than it would have been thirty years ago-- which explains the change in the law. Broad delegation to the Executive is the hallmark of the modern administrative state; agency rulemaking powers are the rule rather than, as they once were, the exception; and as the sheer number of modern departments and agencies suggests, we are awash in agency "'expertise."' If the Chevron rule is not a 100% accurate estimation of modern congressional intent, the prior case-by-case evaluation was not so either--and was becoming less and less so, as the sheer volume of modern dockets made it less and less possible for the Supreme Court to police diverse application of an ineffable rule. And to tell the truth, the quest for the "genuine"' legislative intent is probably a wild-goose chase anyway. In the vast majority of cases I expect that Congress neither (1) intended a single result, nor (2) meant to confer discretion upon the agency, but rather (3) didn't think about the matter at all. If I am correct in that, then any rule adopted in this field represents merely a fictional, presumed intent, and operates principally as a background rule of law against which Congress can legislate.
If that is the principal function to be served, Chevron is unquestionably better than what preceded it. Congress now knows that the ambiguities it creates, whether intentionally or unintentionally, will be resolved, within the bounds of permissible interpretation, not by the courts but by a particular agency, whose policy biases will ordinarily be known. The legislative process becomes less of a sporting event when those supporting and opposing a particular disposition do not have to gamble upon whether, if they say nothing about it in the statute, the ultimate answer will be provided by the courts or rather by the Department of Labor.
Scalia, Judicial Deference to Agency Interpretation of Law, 1989 Duke L.J. 511, 516-517. Hmm. Perhaps you had to be there :)
Thursday, February 01, 2007
Thursday, January 25, 2007
As you might imagine, I'm looking forward to the concert :)
"[O]ver 90 percent of earmarks never make it to the floor of the House and Senate-they are dropped into committee reports that are not even part of the bill that arrives on my desk. You didn't vote them into law. I didn't sign
them into law. Yet, they're treated as if they have the force of law."
They're treated as if? That is to say, earmarks do not have the force of law, since "committee reports" are not part of the statutes passed. So who exactly treats them as though they were legal mandates? Why, the executive branch agencies whose funds Congress is appropriating in each spending bill. In other words, the officials who (in general) answer to the president in actually spending the money Congress appropriates-they're the ones who are treating nonstatutory earmarks "as if they have the force of law." Which they don't have.
Could the president then take unilateral action to ignore earmarks and spend the appropriated funds on other agency purposes consistent with each agency's statutory authorizations? It sure looks that way. What keeps presidents from doing this is not any constitutional principle supporting the earmarks practice (and by the way, when did "pork barrel" become "earmarks"? can we call them "pigs' ears"?). It's relationship maintenance between the branches of government, loftily called "comity," which presidents are loath to violate. And agency heads especially hate the idea of ticking off members of Congress.[...]
"Pigs' ears!" Hmmm. Interesting. I'm only two weeks in, but that sounds all right to me. I admit that until the speech the other night, I was unaware that earmarking practice included extra-statutory insertions: I had oh-so-naively assumed Congress only sneaked them onto bills and the like. Silly me. Although--is extra-statutory placement of earmarks a constitutionally permissible practice?
Regardless, methinks Mr. Franck makes a good point with his final remark.
The end Bush seeks may be frustrated by the means he has recommended. If every earmark gets a vote in Congress, it gets put in the text of the spending bill, and henceforth has statutory protection from executive nullification, since there is no line-item veto, and there won't be one any time soon. If, on the other hand, the presidentIndeed :)
undertook to spend every dollar appropriated on executive-branch priorities in each agency, ignoring all nonstatutory earmarks, then after the howling died down we might well see some reduction in the magnitude of the practice.
* If you're interested, my other courses are International Intellectual Property; Law, Biomedicine, and Bioethics; Advanced Human Genetics; and professional ethics for grad students/future researchers.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
I have a sneaking suspicion the Nomad Little Bro & Friends might line up to participate, too...
Saturday, January 20, 2007
There was a time I wanted to be an Egyptologist, and like so many others, every encounter with the artifacts of that past civilization (including breathlessly narrated television programs) still tugs at my insides and probably always will. If you are also one of those folks, well, enjoy the links!
Friday, January 19, 2007
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Hmmmm. Ouch. Surprising? Not very. I can't help but wish law students and law professors were clued into these sorts of things, though. I worry that all too often "regulate!" or "legislate!" is their very first impulse. So she says as she heads to day 1 of Admin Law...
What would happen if a woman had absolutely nothing and no one to henpeck?
I can only imagine that to be an extremely frustrating state of affairs. :)
Sunday, January 14, 2007
Ph.D. Blues (Prins/Wilhelm)
I'm a Ph.D. student,
I'm working night and day.
I'm writing a dissertation,
and get a lousy pay.
I thought I'd be in business,
but I could not decide.
I waited and I waited,
and ended up in science.
Getting a degree.
If you don't know what to do.
I was looking for adventure
I was looking for the truth.
I started out with reading,
all pieces I could find.
Spent two months at the xerox,
till I was half blind. [Which is what I should be doing. -Ed.]
Happily, I'm not yet at jaded and bitter :) That seems to be a later stage of grad student development.
*Yes, yes, I know we chose it. Nevertheless...