February 2008 Archives



minus Garfield

Who would have guessed that when you remove Garfield from the Garfield comic strips, the result is an even better comic about schizophrenia, bipolor disorder, and the empty desperation of modern life? Friends, meet Jon Arbuckle. Let’s laugh and learn with him on a journey deep into the tortured mind of an isolated young everyman as he fights a losing battle against lonliness and methamphetamine addiction in a quiet American suburb.

Knee slapping, thigh bruising, laugh out loud, rolling on the floor laughing, beverage of choice all over the computer screen funny.

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We are (not) family


Me: hey bro,

Some dude named Hector Lu- in Philly wants to be my friend. Is he actually related to us? It's not Tio Hector...

Bro: No, it seems our name is a lot more common than you think. He's adding all the people with our surname and planning reuinions, calling us family. I'm waiting for him to hit me up for money.

For the record, I did know how common our last name is -- I've googled it and seen all of the police records...

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Urgent prayers

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If you stumble across this, please say a prayer for John D, a college friend of mine. I just received a call that he is in the hospital in very bad shape. I was honestly too stunned to catch the specifics, but I think it was something with his lungs. I was told he's "fighting for his life."

Update: He's doing much better. Thanks to all who prayed. Anybody who wants to know what happened can email me for details.

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Another viable option


Maybe I'll vote for Bob Lott.

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The Catholic Quandary


John Zmirak captures it nicely:

If I (and millions like me) refuse to vote, or write in Ron Paul, and the Democratic nominee wins and promptly packs the Court with like-minded egalitarian feminists, are we not responsible for the loss of unborn lives and the further degradation of our Constitution—not to mention the actual, legislative policies that would be pursued by the (center-left) Clinton or the (far-left) Obama? Conversely, if we vote for McCain and he pushes forward with unjust wars, will the blood of those Iranians/Syrians/Lebanese (fill in the blank) be on our heads?
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For Babo

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"What's that Matthew?"

"It's my Hehcut!"

"What? Is it a plane?"

"Yeah! It's my Hehcut"

"Oh. I see. Hey, you drew it from two different angles! There's the side view and there's the view from above! That's really great! Is it a fighter plane?"

"Yeah! It's my Hehcut"

"Okay.... Babe, do you know what a 'hehcut' is?

"No, let me see... oh... did you see this on Babo's 'Dogfights' DVD?"

"Yeah! Do you like my Hehcut?"

"Yes it's great! Are you saying 'Hellcat?'"

"Yeah, that's right! It's my Hellcat!"

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All Kids Lie


"My son doesn’t lie,” insisted Steve, a slightly frazzled father in his mid-thirties, as he watched Nick, his eager 6-year-old, enthralled in a game of marbles with a student researcher in Talwar’s Montreal lab. Steve was quite proud of his son, describing him as easygoing and very social. He had Nick bark out an impressive series of addition problems the boy had memorized, as if that was somehow proof of Nick’s sincerity.

Steve then took his assertion down a notch. “Well, I’ve never heard him lie.” Perhaps that, too, was a little strong. “I’m sure he must lie some, but when I hear it, I’ll still be surprised.” He had brought his son to the lab after seeing an advertisement in a Montreal parenting magazine that asked, “Can Your Child Tell the Difference Between the Truth and a Lie?”

Steve was curious to find out if Nick would lie, but he wasn’t sure he wanted to know the answer. The idea of his son’s being dishonest with him was profoundly troubling.

But I knew for a fact his son did lie. Nick cheated, then he lied, and then he lied again. He did so unhesitatingly, without a single glimmer of remorse.

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"Poppy, could I please hold Baby Tony?"



Of course you can, Pumpkin.

This one's for Aunt Criss -- the boys are thrilled with their baby brother.

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Far too kind


Ross Douthat is far too kind to Mickey Kaus.

Kaus' fixation on immigration distorts his political analysis to the point of absurdity -- nearly every political victory or defeat can somehow be tied to a candidate's immigration stance and Kaus is convinced that his restrictionist view is an absolute political winner.

Yes, the hard right hates McCain for immigration, but only because they hate him for everything he does. This is why Giuliani and Romney got a general pass on their past open borders views by simply ignoring them, while McCain, who honestly acknowledged his ("I learned my lesson, America wants a secure border"), is still vilified.

The fact of the matter is that the talk show right hates McCain because he's beholden to nobody. He's absolutely his own boy, in league with nobody. He'll pander with the best of them, but at the end of the day, everybody knows he's going to do what he's going to do. While that trait is somewhat admirable to an extent, it's makes him simply unacceptable to the loyalty-first wing of the Republican party that still supports Bush and supported Giulani to his bitter end.

P.S. I realise that I promised a series of posts on the Republican candidates, but I decided life is too short to think about those clowns, and besides... I've been busy. I voted for Paul. He was the most reliable pro-life candidate (unlike McCain, Romney and Giuliani), and though I don't fully agree with his desire to end the Iraq war immediately (though that's better than every other candidate's shrugs), his foreign policy views were coherent (unlike Thompson, Huckabee and Romney), based on ideas instead of fear-mongering (unlike Giuliani) and unlikely to get us into a war with a crumbling Persian theocracy. Finally, he actually seemed to want to win (unlike Thompson). I'll likely be voting third party in the general election if I can find a pro-lifer who doesn't want forever-war in the Middle East.

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Three of a Kind

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Thug life


If you have an hour to spare, check out this fascinating NPR podcast. It's Sudhir Venkatesh reading from and discussing his book "Gang Leader for a Day." Venkatesh is a sociologist who for his dissertation studied the relationship between the Chicago crack-gang Black Kings and the Robert Taylor housing projects where they operated. If you've read "Freakonomics", you'll recognize Venkatesh from the why drug dealers live with their mothers chapter.

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The Hangover


Dixon was alive again. Consciousness was upon him before he could get out of the way; not for him the slow, gracious wandering from the halls of sleep, but a summary, forcible ejection. He lay sprawled, too wicked to move, spewed up like a broken spider-crab on the tarry shingle of the morning. The light did him harm, but not as much as looking at things did; he resolved, having done it once, never to move his eyeballs again. A dusty thudding in his head made the scene before him beat like a pulse. His mouth had been used as a latrine by some small creature of the night, and then as its mausoleum. During the night, too, he’d somehow been on a cross-country run and then been expertly beaten up by secret police. He felt bad.

-Kingsley Amis quoted here by Alexander Waugh

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Heads in the Sand

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Steve Kellmeyer:

[W]hy are pre-term births, and the cerebral palsy associated with them, considered news fit for Time magazine? Why, because the rate of pre-term births has skyrocketed over 30% since 1981! The rate has increased more than 20% since 1990, and now stands at 12.8% of all births.

Note the sentence in the first article: As the rate of pre-term births rise, so does the rate of "cerebral palsy, mental retardation, chronic lung disease, and vision and hearing loss." The cost of pre-term births is estimated to be 26 billion dollars, with average medical costs 10 times greater than that for a normal birth.

So, are you ready for our quiz?

Here it is! (drum roll please)

What is the number one cause of pre-term birth?...

Time magazine is silent on that issue.

The March of Dimes, which supports embryonic stem cell research, fetal tissue research and abortion, also seems to be at a complete loss, although - thank God - they are spending millions of dollars to try and figure it out.

But don't worry!
Here's where YOU can find out if you are qualified to be a real research scientist!

Read any one of the thirty-eight studies listed below, either alone or in combination, and see if YOU can figure out what might be causing the rise in premature births (HINT: the first study is the best, as it shows how undergoing a simple, safe and legal medical procedure can increase your risk of subsequent pre-term birth by a whopping 1155%).

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You gotta earn the right to live up here


Do you have a toddler two toddlers who love horses and cowboys? You could do worse than to get "The Man From Snowy River." Nobody gets shot, there're plenty of horses, and, for our 3-year old who makes tow cables out of everything from shoelaces to Mama's headscarves, there are even a scene where ropes and knots figure prominently. And though there's some mildly rough language, it's no worse than the boys hear from their old man when he loses it and there aren't nearly the kind of problematic elements raised by, say, McClintock, which was our previous favorite cowboy movie.

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Mama and child

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Mama-Lu's Etsy Shop

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from February 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

January 2008 is the previous archive.

March 2008 is the next archive.

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