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California vs. U.S.A., part 34 March 14, 2007

Posted by pcorcoran in Article, California, L.A. Times, News, Politics.
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Once again, an activity which is legal under California law is ruled illegal under federal law.  Even when the “perpetrator” is a California resident.

The L.A. Times, in a somewhat melodramatic tone, writes “Dying woman loses medical marijuana appeal“.

It’s decisions like these which remind me: the original settlers of the 13 colonies were a peachy bunch who were so conservative and rigid that they were basically driven out of England as being intolerable prigs.

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Mapping Sexual Relationships February 23, 2007

Posted by pcorcoran in Article, Chart, Sexuality.
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Researcher James Moody has done some fascinating research on the sexual relationships between high school students in a single school. There is a nifty chart, too.

It’s surprising to me how few M-M and F-F relationships were mapped. My guess is that this information is not being shared with the researcher, not that this isn’t happening.

Map of Adolescent Sexuality

Devil’s advocate for global warming February 8, 2007

Posted by pcorcoran in Article, Economics, L.A. Times, Politics.
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The L.A. Times has an op-ed piece offering a cost/benefit analysis of global warming.  It’s pro-warming, surprisingly.  I cannot say that I agree with everything being said, but I always enjoy alternate viewpoints (to those I hear all the time) which get the gears turning between my ears.

One word of praise? February 2, 2007

Posted by pcorcoran in Article, Link, Politics, Racism, Washington Post.
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It’s always fun (for me) to see public figures roasted alive for their acts of unconscious racism.

On the one hand you have your conscious perpetrators: the Mel Gibsons and the Michael Richards of the world.  Sure, there is schadenfreude there too.  But that is bone-headed conscious stuff — the lowbrow purse-snatching and shoplifting variety.

The real gems are the unconscious ones like Senator Joe Biden’s recent gaffe.  That’s the busted-for-white-collar-stock-options-fraud variety, the drilling-through-the-side-of-the-vault-but-forgetting-about-the-alarm kind.

Biden’s racist gaffe?  He called Barack Obama “articulate”.  If you were to call me articulate, I’d probably say “thanks”, but it wouldn’t really boost my ego.  But Barack Obama?  Who on earth would be surprised to hear that he is articulate?  And why would that be any form of flattery, unless the implication is that it is somehow unusual?

Will wonders never cease? Here we have a man who graduated from Columbia University, who was president of the Harvard Law Review, who serves in the U.S. Senate and is the author of two best-selling books, who’s a leading contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, and what do you know, he turns out to be articulate. Stop the presses.

Har.  That’s telling ’em.

I think the word that Senator Biden wished he had said would be eloquent.  Now even I would be flattered by that.

“Justice for all”? February 1, 2007

Posted by pcorcoran in Article, N.Y. Times, News, Politics.
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NYTimes has an op ed piece about President Bush.  Apparently he is the first president to be convicted of a felony crime by a court of law without being arrested or even being investigated by federal law enforcement.  Nice work, if you can get it, that whole president thing.

$300 million is a lot of money. January 19, 2007

Posted by pcorcoran in Article, Economics, Link, N.Y. Times, Politics.
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$300 million is also how much we’re spending in Iraq every day.

(That is, of course, without putting a price tag on the 5 or so American soldiers and the 95 or so Iraqi citizens who die every day.  If we were to assume that a wrongful death suit would find an award of $1 million for each of these, then the number hits $400 million.)

The most shoplifted item in America is… January 19, 2007

Posted by pcorcoran in Article, Link, Slate.
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meat?

I don’t think that would have made it into my top 5 guesses.  Not only that, women are much more likely to attempt to steal meat than men (who tend to prefer Tylenol and batteries, often in conjunction with a drug habit, because of their street resale values.)

Amboy, California January 17, 2007

Posted by pcorcoran in Article, L.A. Times, Link, Photo.
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Amboy, California (Mark Boster, L.A. Times - Used without permission)

I like this L.A. Times article about Amboy, California. Mostly for the photo gallery that accompanies it.

This is a side of California that I love, the sparse, beaten, abandoned, desert side of it. The part which seems like it belongs in Nevada.

Silkie (“Black-skinned”) Chicken January 17, 2007

Posted by pcorcoran in Article, Chicken, Cooking, Link, N.Y. Times, Photo.
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Silkie Chicken Dish (Tony Cenicola/The New York Times - Used without permission.)

New York Times has an article about Asian cuisines, silkie chicken, and how they are beginning to capture the attention of the NYC restaurant scene. (This is bad news for the silkie if this becomes a serious trend.)

Sounds intriguing, assuming the gamey-ness isn’t overpowering, as gamey fowl can sometimes be. One of the techniques mentioned uses Chinese five-spice ingredients to braise, adding both galanga and Coke(!) to the mix.