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Wednesday, December 31, 2008


The situation for a peace-loving American Jew (like me!) is SO frustrating - I want it to stop, but I want Israel to be safe and to be able to protect itself like any country would, like America did! And the worst part is that you hear almost NOTHING on the news (I mostly listen to NPR and watch MSNBC and CNN) about the effect on Israel, only the effect on Gaza. I know it's bad there, but it's bad on both sides. Unfortunately, the people sticking up for Israel are mostly neo-cons like Pat Buchanan, who I totally despise. I think I've worn my teeth down with all the grinding!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Olympic sport closed to women

This made me good and mad ~

Gender barrier at the Olympics

No man or woman has flown farther than American Lindsey Van off the K90 ski jump built for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Van holds the distance record at the K90 hill in Whistler, British Columbia. But Van and other women contend they are barred from the 2010 games simply because they're women. Ski jumping is the last Winter Olympics sport closed to women. So Van and nine other women from six countries are suing to get into the 2010 games.


Monday, December 29, 2008

The revising history tour

I loved these comments on attempts to salvage Bush's "legacy," from my favorite blog, Hullabaloo:

. . . the logic behind Rice's view inexorably leads you to evaluate everyone in history through the lens of human progress --- which means that none of the great villains can be held responsible for their deeds and nothing can ever be learned from bad decisions of the past. As long as the world goes on you can always make the case that things will probably turn out ok in the long run. And that's hardly any comfort ---as the old saying goes, in the long run we'll all be dead.

In fact, in the short run a whole lot of Iraqi people are dead because of the United States' inexplicable decision to invade their country. It is what it is and it's offensive to compare temporary political resistance to a pragmatic humanitarian policy like The Marshall Plan to the worldwide revulsion at an invasion for reasons that made no sense, as Rice does. If Iraq becomes a sane and prosperous nation some time from now, it will never render that policy, based on lies and propaganda, to be a good one --- and Bush, Cheney and Rice will never get credit for any future progress because of it. They need accept that the best they can hope for is to end up among history's inept clowns instead of history's villains. It's not much, but it's all they've got.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Latest obsession

Holy cow. A friend loaned me the first 2 seasons of Battlestar Galactica on DVD and I've watched nothing else all weekend, not even CNN! Terrific cast, really compelling storylines. I'm completely surprised by how much I like it. I especially love all the strong, smart women - so many great roles for the ladies! Ironically, the final 10 episodes of the series will be broadcast starting in January. My father loved the original series, though I never watched it. Makes me want to go back and check it out, though I know it's a little hokey and dated, and totally testosterone fueled - in fact, the original Starbuck, Dirk Benedict, wrote a bitter essay, decrying the "feminization" of the new show - real neanderthal stuff.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Kind of disappointing

There's a lot of great movies in the theaters now, and I chose to see Slumdog Millionaire, which can reasonably called the most talked about movie of the season (at least among cinephiles), but I have to admit, it wasn't quite what I expected, especially since I really loved director Danny Boyle's 2004 movie, Millions. The whole fateful love storyline felt a little forced, especially toward the end (though I suspect it is very typical and very acceptable in Indian films). It was very well made and worth seeing, but I left feeling a tiny bit flat. Frustrating, since I'm in the mood to get blown away by something . . .


Friday, December 26, 2008

Vicious cycle

Home with the kids today. Let's see, I cooked and cleaned, and then cooked and cleaned, and then I took a break to go shopping and buy some more food that I can cook and clean up! Staying home is so fun.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Americans cutting back on alternative treatments

I thought this was surprising and fascinating:

The percentage of Americans using alternative, or complementary, therapies for head and chest colds dropped from 9.5 percent in 2002 to 2.0 percent in 2007, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The decline in popularity of alternative cold meds comes in the wake of numerous studies over the last few years that have shown that some of the so-called immune-boosting supplements, such as echinacea or high doses of Vitamin C, really don't do much good. In addition, government agencies have been increasingly cracking down on unproven claims from supplement manufacturers.

That’s very good news, says Dr. Ronald Glick, medical director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh-Shadyside. “It means that people are reading about the science and it’s making sense to them and they’re responding appropriately.”


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Melissa Etheridge on Rick Warren

My friend Laura sent me this terrific Huffingtonpost column by Melissa Etheridge regarding Rick Warren. I have to say that it's very nice for Rick Warren to say in a private phone conversation with Melissa that he "regrets" his choice of words, however, what he said publically is what most people heard and know about. Is he going back to his congregation to express his "regret" and to say how warmly he really feels toward gay people? Yeah, I doubt it (though apparently his website has removed some of the more blatantly homophobic language - I'm swooning with gratitude). I give Melissa a lot of credit for trying to see the good in people, but the end result hasn't changed - most homophobes still think Rick is on their side. Here's an excerpt:

I told my manager to reach out to Pastor Warren and say "In the spirit of unity I would like to talk to him." They gave him my phone number. On the day of the conference I received a call from Pastor Rick, and before I could say anything, he told me what a fan he was. He had most of my albums from the very first one. What? This didn't sound like a gay hater, much less a preacher. He explained in very thoughtful words that as a Christian he believed in equal rights for everyone. He believed every loving relationship should have equal protection. He struggled with proposition 8 because he didn't want to see marriage redefined as anything other than between a man and a woman. He said he regretted his choice of words in his video message to his congregation about proposition 8 when he mentioned pedophiles and those who commit incest. He said that in no way, is that how he thought about gays. He invited me to his church, I invited him to my home to meet my wife and kids. He told me of his wife's struggle with breast cancer just a year before mine. When we met later that night, he entered the room with open arms and an open heart. We agreed to build bridges to the future.


Monday, December 22, 2008

"Your hair is getting long"

I wish I had a dollar for every time someone said that to me. It's such a non-compliment - what can you say in response? "Thank you" makes no sense. "I know" is kind of rude. "Thanks for noticing"? There's no good answer.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Year of the Dog

This Molly Shannon vehicle from 2007 has a great cast and great performances - that must be acknowledged. But it was not at all what I expected. I thought I would be seeing a touching story of a bereft pet lover, instead it's a 90 minute ad for PETA. No real emotional growth on the part of the protagonist, no real emotion at all in the film. And the supporting characters, while funny and quirky (especially Laura Dern as the control freak sister-in-law), are exaggerated stereotypes. The whole experience is completely unsatisfying, unless animal rights extremism resonates with you. Thank goodness I watched the Making Of featurette, wherein the director, Mike White, says he wanted to put a character front and center who would be in the periphery in most movies. O.K., that helps me understand what he was going for, but I still wouldn't recommend this film (except to a couple of friends and family members who are unnaturally obsessed with their pets).


Saturday, December 20, 2008


I saw this on Facebook (thanks, Tom) - make a pledge for every second that Rick Warren speaks on inauguration day:


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Friday, December 19, 2008

Secretary of Agriculture

As this article notes, the importance of this post and this issue is far greater than the attention it receives:


Friday, Dec. 5, 2008
Will Obama bring change to agriculture?

by Gabriel Winant

Quick: Name the secretary of agriculture!

Can you do it? Until I checked just now, I thought it was Ann Veneman. Turns out that was two secretaries ago. She left in 2005. (It’s currently former North Dakota Gov. Ed Schafer.)

Agriculture is the policy area with possibly the biggest gap between importance and attention. Its ramifications are simply huge. In brief, the way we currently operate retards development in poor countries, makes us obese and sick and contributes a large share of our carbon output. Yet the issue is decidedly unsexy, and the job of agriculture secretary is often a token post for a Farm Belt politician, who presides over a department largely interested in the interests of agribusiness.

But there is a group of public figures who’ve been trying, for several years, to make it cool to pay attention to how deeply screwed up our agriculture policy is. Most prominent among them, of course, is Michael Pollan, author of "The Omnivore’s Dilemma" and "In Defense of Food." Earlier this week, Pollan, along with 90 other prominent advocates of agricultural reform, sent a letter to Barack Obama (who had acknowledged reading some of Pollan's work not long before) urging him to break with tradition and name an agriculture secretary interested in reform. Pollan and the other signatories, including Eric Schlosser, author of "Fast Food Nation," NYU professor Marion Nestle and Alice Waters, the founder of Chez Panisse and godmother of California cuisine, even offered some names:

Gus Schumacher, former under secretary of agriculture for farm and foreign agricultural services and former Massachusetts commissioner of agriculture.

Chuck Hassebrook, executive director, Center for Rural Affairs, Lyons, Neb.

Sarah Vogel, former commissioner of agriculture for North Dakota, lawyer, Bismarck, N.D.

Fred Kirschenmann, organic farmer, distinguished fellow at the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture in Ames, Iowa, and president of the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, Pocantico Hills, N.Y.

Mark Ritchie, Minnesota secretary of state, former policy analyst in Minnesota’s Department of Agriculture under Gov. Rudy Perpich, co-founder of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy.

Neil Hamilton, Dwight D. Opperman chair of law and director of the Agricultural Law Center, Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa.

Of course, all this raises a question: If the policy’s so rotten, why haven’t we changed it already? The quick answer is that farm states exercise disproportionate control over the political process. They’re overrepresented in the Electoral College, in the Senate and, most notoriously, in the presidential nomination process. In Congress, it tends to be farm-state members who seek seats on the Agriculture Committee to look out for farmers back home, while urban members don't do the same to look out for the eaters in their constituencies. On top of all that, people and PACs associated with agribusiness gave over $56 million in donations to federal candidates in 2008. That probably buys a fair chunk of influence, enough that Obama might not be able to -- or perhaps not even want to -- overcome what will surely be enormous pressure to keep the status quo intact.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Obama cabinet

I'm not thrilled, not disgusted, not surprised. I'm also not that impressed. He's picking some good people, and he's being practical - you certainly can't argue with that. But he's being very political, or at least it seems that way. Certainly not bold, not out-of-the-box, which is what I had hoped. As soon as he picked Clinton, I knew how it was going to be, and it has been. It can't be worse than 8 years of Bush, but I don't know if it'll be quite the sweeping change that we were promised.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

"Stuff is not salvation"

As always, Anna Quindlen is right on.

. . . But let's look, not at the numbers, but the atmospherics. Appliances, toys, clothes, gadgets. Junk. There's the sad truth. Wall Street executives may have made investments that lost their value, but, in a much smaller way, so did the rest of us. "I looked into my closet the other day and thought, why did I buy all this stuff?" one friend said recently. A person in the United States replaces a cell phone every 16 months, not because the cell phone is old, but because it is oldish. My mother used to complain that the Christmas toys were grubby and forgotten by Easter. (I didn't even really like dolls, especially dolls who introduced themselves to you over and over again when you pulled the ring in their necks.) Now much of the country is made up of people with the acquisition habits of a 7-year-old, desire untethered from need, or the ability to pay. The result is a booming business in those free-standing storage facilities, where junk goes to linger in a persistent vegetative state, somewhere between eBay and the dump.
[ . . . ]
Here I go, stating the obvious: stuff does not bring salvation. But if it's so obvious, how come for so long people have not realized it? The happiest families I know aren't the ones with the most square footage, living in one of those cavernous houses with enough garage space to start a homeless shelter. (There's a holiday suggestion right there.) And of course they are not people who are in real want. Just because consumption is bankrupt doesn't mean that poverty is ennobling.

But somewhere in between there is a family like one I know in rural Pennsylvania, raising bees for honey (and for the science, and the fun, of it), digging a pond out of the downhill flow of the stream, with three kids who somehow, incredibly, don't spend six months of the year whining for the toy du jour. (The youngest once demurred when someone offered him another box on his birthday; "I already have a present," he said.) The mother of the household says having less means her family appreciates possessions more. "I can give you a story about every item, really," she says of what they own. In other words, what they have has meaning. And meaning, real meaning, is what we are always trying to possess. Ask people what they'd grab if their house were on fire, the way our national house is on fire right now. No one ever says it's the tricked-up microwave they got at Wal-Mart.


Monday, December 15, 2008

"Yeah, so what?"

Nice to see that Bush hasn't lost his arrogance, even with record setting disapproval ratings and giving new meaning to LAME duck. As several talking heads noted, this interview should have been the take home story today, if Muntader al-Zaidi hadn't thrown his shoes - Bush admitted there was no Al Qaeda presence in Iraq before the invasion, despite endless statements before the war.

If you want to watch the great shoe toss again: click here.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

12 Days of Xmas

Hilarious 3 minute video of the a cappella group Straight No Chaser singing their, er, unique version of the 12 Days of Xmas, including one guy breaking into The Dreidl Song in the middle and then the whole group changing the tune to, well, I won't spoil it.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Psychology humor

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Golden Globe nominations

Now I know what to see when the movies finally come to a theater near me! I included television noms just because my boy, Jon Hamm, is on the list. And Jeremy Piven.
* * * * * *
Nominations for the 66th Annual Golden Globe Awards were announced this morning, with The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Doubt and Frost/Nixon scoring a leading five nominations apiece on the film side. As for television, In Treatment and Recount led the way, also nabbing five nods each.

The awards will be handed out in Los Angeles Jan. 11. Here's the complete list of nominees:



The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Reader
Revolutionary Road
Slumdog Millionaire


Burn After Reading
In Bruges
Mamma Mia!
Vicky Cristina Barcelona


Leonardo DiCaprio, Revolutionary Road
Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn, Milk
Brad Pitt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler


Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married
Angelina Jolie, Changeling
Meryl Streep, Doubt
Kristin Scott Thomas, I've Loved You So Long
Kate Winslet, Revolutionary Road


Javier Bardem, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Colin Farrell, In Bruges
James Franco, Pineapple Express
Brendan Gleeson, In Bruges
Dustin Hoffman, Last Chance Harvey


Rebecca Hall, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Sally Hawkins, Happy-Go-Lucky
Frances McDormand, Burn After Reading
Meryl Streep, Mamma Mia!
Emma Thompson, Last Chance Harvey


Tom Cruise, Tropic Thunder
Robert Downey Jr., Tropic Thunder
Ralph Fiennes, The Duchess
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt
Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight


Amy Adams, Doubt
Penélope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Viola Davis, Doubt
Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler
Kate Winslet, The Reader


Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
Stephen Daldry, The Reader
David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon
Sam Mendes, Revolutionary Road


Simon Beaufoy, Slumdog Millionaire
David Hare, The Reader
Peter Morgan, Frost/Nixon
Eric Roth, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
John Patrick Shanley, Doubt


The Baader Meinhof Complex (Germany)
Everlasting Moments (Sweden)
Gomorrah (Italy)
I've Loved You So Long (France)
Waltz With Bashir (Israel)


Kung Fu Panda


Alexandre Desplat, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Clint Eastwood, Changeling
James Newton Howard, Defiance
A.R. Rahman, Slumdog Millionaire
Hans Zimmer, Frost/Nixon


"Down to Earth," WALL-E; music by Peter Gabriel, Thomas Newman; lyrics by Peter Gabriel
"Gran Torino," Gran Torino; music by Clint Eastwood, Jamie Cullum, Kyle Eastwood, Michael Stevens; lyrics by Kyle Eastwood, Michael Stevens
"I Thought I Lost You," Bolt; music & lyrics by Miley Cyrus, Jeffrey Steele
"Once in a Lifetime," Cadillac Records; music & lyrics by Beyoncé Knowles, Amanda Ghost, Scott McFarnon, Ian Dench, James Dring, Jody Street
"The Wrestler," The Wrestler; music & lyrics by Bruce Springsteen



In Treatment
Mad Men
True Blood


Sally Field, Brothers & Sisters
Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
January Jones, Mad Men
Anna Paquin, True Blood
Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer


Gabriel Byrne, In Treatment
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Hugh Laurie, House
Jonathan Rhys Meyers, The Tudors


30 Rock
The Office


Christina Applegate, Samantha Who?
America Ferrera, Ugly Betty
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Debra Messing, The Starter Wife
Mary-Louise Parker, Weeds


Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Steve Carell, The Office
Kevin Connolly, Entourage
David Duchovny, Californication
Tony Shalhoub, Monk


A Raisin in the Sun
Bernard and Doris
John Adams


Judi Dench, Cranford
Catherine Keener, An American Crime
Laura Linney, John Adams
Shirley MacLaine, Coco Chanel
Susan Sarandon, Bernard and Doris


Ralph Fiennes, Bernard and Doris
Paul Giamatti, John Adams
Kevin Spacey, Recount
Kiefer Sutherland, 24: Redemption
Tom Wilkinson, Recount


Eileen Atkins, Cranford
Laura Dern, Recount
Melissa George, In Treatment
Rachel Griffiths, Brothers & Sisters
Dianne Wiest, In Treatment


Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother
Denis Leary, Recount
Jeremy Piven, Entourage
Blair Underwood, In Treatment
Tom Wilkinson, John Adams


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Cutest Homophobes

Thankfully I missed this abomination prior to the election - two kids sing a "Yes on Prop 8" song produced by Clay Music Ministry - as in "we are the clay and God is the potter" - that's such a beautiful bible verse used for such a ridiculous purpose. And the lyrics are just silly - if not enough people vote "yes," then gay people can have kids. Well, duh, they already do - it's not like Prop 8 has any impact on that!


10 Reasons Why Gay Marriage is Wrong

1) Being gay is not natural. Real Americans always reject unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, and air conditioning.

2) Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.

3) Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.

4) Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn't changed at all - women are still property, blacks still can't marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.

5) Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed; the sanctity of Britany Spears' 55-hour just-for-fun marriage would be destroyed.

6) Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn't be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren't full yet, and the world needs more children.

7) Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.

8) Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That's why we have only one religion in America.

9) Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That's why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.

10) Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven't adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans.

Plus, Gay marriage killed the dinosaurs! DUH!

From UCLA Facebook Group "Against gay marriage, don't get one"


Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Miller v Jenkins

My pleasure at the latest Newsweek cover - the religious case for gay marriage - is offset by the simply horrible companion story about a custody battle between two women - a totally nightmare scenario. The "biological" mother is trying to prevent the other mother from having any contact with their 6 year old daughter - among other things she said, "It would be like giving my child to the milkman." What kind of person is capable of making that kind of statement? Among other object lessons (like, don't marry a crazy person), this is damning evidence of the destructive power of religion.

ADDENDUM 12/11/08

Take that, assholes:


The Supreme Court refused to hear the case, so the lower court ruling stands - the "biological" mother must allow visitation. One for the good guys!


Monday, December 08, 2008

Bad hospital

This article in today's NY Times is SO unfair. I work at this hospital and it has an excellent local reputation. This article makes very selective use of old data and a couple of anecdotal examples to paint a scarily negative picture.

ADDENDUM 12/9/08

Here's the brief piece from todays' issue of our local paper, the Post Standard.

ADDENDUM 12-10-08

Here's part of the statement from State Health Commissioner Richard Daines: "University Hospital takes the most difficult cases without complaint, addresses quality of care concerns forthrightly, and is a leader in recruiting, training and deploying physicians to meet the challenges of rural medicine."


Sunday, December 07, 2008

Awesome tshirt, awesome website


Saturday, December 06, 2008

Houston Comets - RIP

This is not good news - the original women's professional basketball team has been allowed to perish.


Friday, December 05, 2008

Abortion rights battle

Thought-provoking post over at Hullabaloo:

These people [pro-lifers] get a lot of credit for being honest, good hearted citizens motivated out of moral compulsion. But very often they are conniving liars who go to great lengths to hide their real agenda. They are not honest brokers who are willing to hash out a compromise. They insist that women not be allowed to have abortions, period, and all that babble is designed to get them to that end, no matter what.

Pro-choice advocates don't care if there is never another abortion as long as it is what individual women choose for themselves. The pro-choice movement never says that women must have abortions, use birth control or otherwise do anything they don't choose to do with their own bodies, including having as many children as their bodies can bear if that's what they want to do. The "pro-life" movement, on the other hand, uses slick public relations techniques to further their agenda of forcing women to give birth against their will. And then they turn around and say that the pro-choice people are absolutists. It's maddening.

And I'm getting very, very tired of hearing Democrats repeat this crap. From Clinton to Obama and everywhere in between, this issue has been used as a bargaining chip, only to have the other side move the goalposts each time and and continue to demagogue them as advocates of immoral baby killing. (For all his trouble, Obama is routinely referred to as an advocate of "infanticide" among these people.) I'm sorry that people disagree on this. I wish we didn't. But the ball is in the court of the anti-choicers. They refuse to accept the compromise that has been written into law stating that abortions can't be easily obtained after the first trimester and more recently can't be obtained at all after the second. That's a compromise and a very real and serious one. And it's not enough. In fact, nothing will be enough until abortion is outlawed.And then they will begin the war on condoms in earnest. In fact, they've already started.

Sadly, I won't be surprised in the years to come to see the Democratic party offer up abortion rights as a "compromise" so that women might keep their right to birth control. That's where this is headed. They take pride in making such chump deals, pretending like they are profiles in courage. (I say pretending because for the most part they know exactly what they are doing --- in this case, they clearly want to get this *icky* issue off the table if they can. I see no real commitment to it on a philosophical basis except among a few elected women who are far outnumbered --- oh, and the American people.)


Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Media exposure impacts children

This is interesting research and the lead researcher is none other than Ezekiel Emmanuel, the brother of Obama Chief of Staff Rahm, and superagent Ari. That family is full of overachievers.

Report: TV, Internet Causing Kids Harm

TUESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- There's a strong link between media exposure and childhood obesity, smoking and sexual activity, according to U.S. researchers who reviewed 173 studies on media and health conducted over the past three decades.

According to the review, 80 percent of the studies concluded that higher amounts of television and other media exposure were associated with negative health effects in children and adolescents. The strongest association was between media and obesity. Of the 73 studies that examined media/childhood weight, 86 percent showed a significant association between increased media exposure and obesity.

The findings, by researchers from Yale University School of Medicine, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the California Pacific Medical Center, were released Tuesday by Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization that seeks to improve the impact of media and entertainment on children and families.

"This review is the first-ever comprehensive evaluation of the many ways that media impacts children's physical health," lead researcher Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel, of the NIH, said in a news release.

"The results clearly show that there is a strong correlation between media exposure and long-term negative health effects to children. This study provides an important jumping-off point for future research that should explore both the effects of traditional media content and that of digital media -- such as video games, the Internet, and cell phones -- which kids are using today with more frequency," Emanuel said.

He and his colleagues recommend that parents limit their children's exposure to media and make wise, age-appropriate decisions for their children. There should be media literacy programs in schools, the researchers said, and policy makers need to make media education programs a national priority.


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Goofy smile, check

Matt Taibbi is in fine form in this piece on the recount in Minnesota. I especially liked this section, which captures my experience perfectly:

In the eight years since the Supreme Court handed the presidency to George Bush, there has been very little humor anywhere, on either side of the hottest political battles: Whether it was the launch of the war in Iraq, or the opening night of Fahrenheit 9/11, or the trial of Scooter Libby, the operating vibe has always been earnest, bitter anger. When it came to Blue against Red, you just didn't joke about how much you hated the other side; you were just too pissed off to laugh about What They Did to This Country.

But there's something different in the air now, after the election of Barack Obama. All that hating shit just seems old somehow. Republicans are in shock, while Democrats are stumbling around with goofy smiles on their faces, like dental patients walking out of the office still high on laughing gas. For both sides, there are other, more serious things to worry about, like the imminent collapse of the entire system of international capitalism.


Monday, December 01, 2008

My new favorite author

Stayed up WAY past my bedtime two nights in a row to devour this book.