I've written more than once about intestinal distress, but even if Ihadn't, I'd feel obligated to post this clip, which, like the link I posted earlier today, is from Japan, but which, unlike that link, defies comprehension. Warning: NSFW, and if you have anything in your mouth, swallow it before you watch this, because you might just spray it all over your computer otherwise when you start laughing.
February 2011 Archives
Thanks to my friend Spike for the link to this story in the Observer on low fertility rates among Mormon polygamists. My favorite bit:
the more women partnered with a man, the fewer children each of those women had. Exactly why is not clear. Like the Soay rams, men may simply not have had the stamina.... The failure of the Utah polygamy experiment should therefore not be seen as that surprising.
Every so often someone will ask me about the name of my blog, the whole self-portrait thing. The shortest answer is that it's an art form I'm really interested in. I think it's cool to see how other people see themselves, how they deliberately shape the way they are viewed in their environments.
Here's one of the coolest self-portrait series I've come across in a long time: a Japanese girl who takes photos of herself "levitating" around Tokyo. Here's a story in English about her self-portraits; here's Natsumi's blog. Enjoy.
check out this terrific SL Tribune op-ed by my friend Troy. Entitled The Case for Book of Mormon Socialism, it argues cogently that LDS scripture clearly roots ethics and righteousness in socialism, and that the apparent "de facto 14th Article of Faith" so many members believe in--namely, "the unquestioned virtue of unregulated capitalism"--is actually antithetical to what LDS scripture really teaches.
Very good stuff. Let's hope it actually sinks in.
J, One of my really good friends from grad school, loved the movie Blade Runner. He was always going on and on about how great it was. It was his favorite movie. He'd seen it a gazillion times. He'd written papers on it. He knew it so well that it was hard to discover something new in it when he watched it yet again. He wished he could erase every memory he had of it, so that he could experience all over again the joy of becoming intimately familiar with its each and every frame.
I would listening attentively and then nod politely when J would tell me this, which was long about, oh, 1997. I had seen Blade Runner when it first came out in 1982. My reaction was solidly in the "Good flick--definitely worth the price of admission, but I don't need to see it again" camp. Fifteen years later, all I really remembered about it was that A) it was really dark; B) Daryl Hannah did a bunch of back flips; C) Sean Young kept going on about some photo of her and her mom; and D) Harrison Ford played the lead. I didn't want to tell J that I hadn't found the movie as meaningful as he had, but I also had no particular wish to revisit it and see if maybe I'd missed something.
One of my favorite things anyone has ever written about Mormonism is this little section from "The White Album" by Joan Didion, which I had to look up recently:
I recall a conversation I had in 1970 with the manager of a motel in which I was staying near Pendleton, Oregon. I had been doing a piece for Life about the storage of VX and GB nerve gas at an Army arsenal in Umatilla County, and now I was done, and trying to check out of the motel. During the course of checking out, I was asked this question by the manager, who was a Mormon: If you can't believe you're going to heaven in your own body and on a first-name basis with all the members of your family, then what's the point of dying? At that time I believed that my basic affective controls were no longer intact, but now I present this to you as a more cogent question than it might at first appear, a basic koan of the period.
It always cracks me up.
The following is a public service announcement on a topic most people would probably rather not think about. Truth be told, I'd rather not think about it. But you just might be glad to know about this someday anyway, so I'm going to tell you what I've learned recently.
Here's a scenario for you: It's Friday. You meet a couple of your close friends and a dozen of your favorite acquaintances for a nice meal. Over the course of several hours, you have a couple of beers. You get a mild buzz but don't drink nearly enough to give you a hangover the next morning, and you're happy. People are good. Life is good. You have an absolutely fabulous Friday evening, and think that you've just started the weekend in one of the best possible ways.
You then go home, go to bed, and have an absolutely miserable Friday night.
Saturday morning you get up and type a question into your favorite search engine: Can alcohol cause diarrhea? In .11 seconds you get over two and a half million results, all of which inform you that the answer is a decided YES.
Turns out that alcohol impairs the body's ability to absorb water. As cells in the intestines absorb the alcohol you've consumed, its toxicity disrupts the cells' ability to absorb water. Your intestines are flooded with liquid, which has to go somewhere.
Second, carbonation, which is present in sparkling wine (including champagne) as well as most modern beers, ales and ciders, can irritate your GI tract. Carbonated water is more acidic, which can be good if you want to kill bacteria in liquid, but bad if your intestines are already upset. Also, more bubbles and gas aren't really a good thing to add to the mix if things aren't working the way they should be.
Also, with beer, there's the possibility of gluten intolerance. (That's right: if you can't have gluten, you can't have beer.) I don't think that's my problem because I don't generally have trouble with gluten, but others might want to know.
If you're 24 and rarely drink, you probably won't have any problem from a couple of beers. If you're 40-something with a history of GI problems, you might want to limit yourself to one vodka tonic. You might not feel quite so rosy throughout the evening, but you'll have a much better weekend over all.
To your health.
Here's a cool little vid on the Dunning-Kruger Effect:
We've all been in argument where we've been wrong (something we've discovered, it is to be hoped, to our consternation and contrition), and most of us have been in arguments where we've been right but our interlocutor is a complete IDIOT. It's easy enough to think of examples, but I always go back to the conversations I had with Another Person's FaceBook Friend, who liked to make statements like this:
FACT: Only four people I know of on Earth can actually tell us what the planet was really like 2000 years ago. (John and 3 Nephites)
Hey, Another Person! Since I know my blog is still in your reader, I hope you notice this and pass this on to your FBF. Let me know if he responds.