Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Rural Bicycling

Started at the eastern end and worked my way west, then returned. A 14-mile round trip. Very hilly; about 1200 feet of elevation at the eastern end and 743 feet at the western end.

In the upper left corner you can just see one of the many bends of the Shenandoah River.

At about the mid-point of the trip there is a very sharp hairpin turn. It's a lot of fun on a bike because it's sharply downhill on the way out; not so much fun to climb it on the way back.

I'm thinkin' about puttin' a still in my back yard. But how to keep the revenooers away? Any suggestions?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Foreigners And Their Crazy Laws

A Palestinian man has been convicted of rape after having consensual sex with a woman who had believed him to be a fellow Jew.

Sabbar Kashur, 30, was sentenced to 18 months in prison on Monday after the court ruled that he was guilty of rape by deception. According to the complaint filed by the woman with the Jerusalem district court, the two met in downtown Jerusalem in September 2008 where Kashur, an Arab from East Jerusalem, introduced himself as a Jewish bachelor seeking a serious relationship. The two then had consensual sex in a nearby building before Kashur left....

It seemed like a case of religious prejudice to me at first, but apparently this "rape by fraud" crime is applied even-handedly:

One such case was that of Eran Ben-Avraham, who told a woman he was a neurosurgeon after which she had sex with him, and was convicted of three counts of fraud.

Lying to a woman about being a doctor?

I suppose as he was taking off his pants he said to her, "This isn't exactly brain surgery..."

I'll be here all week. Remember to tip your waitress.

P.S. Suggested line of defense: "Your honor, I admit that I told her that I was a doctor, but she told me those were her real boobs!"

Monday, July 19, 2010

My Son The Comedian

He got hired this summer (actual paycheck!) to write and appear in a made-for-web comedy sketch show aimed at middle-schoolers. He'll be a college senior this year himself, so it's a great gig.

In this trailer, he appears as a wizard, a mime, a student and a guy trying to make a deal with a tomato.

The actual trailer is 15 MB, so here's a link:


P.S. I think that's him in the crocodile costume, too.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Evolution Of The American Popular Song...

...can take you by surprise if you, like me, haven't been paying attention for awhile.

Take last night. I hosted a group of six college girls, rained out of a camping trip, and gave them a place to stay for the night. Wipe that disgusting leer off your face; one of them is the daughter of friends of long standing and I've known her since she was a baby. The others were perfectly nice young ladies.

They arrived about ten o'clock carrying several cases of beer. They settled in the living room upstairs, set up a laptop to play music, and seemed to be behaving themselves. So I went downstairs to watch a DVD of "No Country For Old Men". Every now and then I could hear them singing along with their music.

At 2:00 AM, just as the movie was ending, they began to sing, at the top of their lungs:

Boom! I f***ed your boyfriend!
I f***ed your man.
Boom! I f***ed your boyfriend!
I f***ed your man.
Boom! I f***ed your boyfriend!
I f***ed your man.
Boom! I f***ed your boyfriend!
He put it in!

You know, when I think of popular songs, I think of Lennon & McCartney, or even Burt Bacharach...

Anyway, my choice of a movie was an ironic comment to the evening.

Well, this morning they cleaned up all the trash and beer bottles and took it away with them and the house is spotless.

But if their mothers had heard them last night, those girls would be grounded 'til they were 25!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Good News!

“The last two years have been a disaster for us,” said Representative Carolyn McCarthy, a New York Democrat and a longtime advocate of increased gun control.

New York Times

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Five Months Ago

So I'm not complaining about the heat.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Gun Show Loophole Has Vanished

The New England Journal Of Medicine has just published another article on gun shows ("criminogenic pumps", according to the abstract) by the ever-industrious Garen Wintemute, in which he manages to make this startling revelation:

Concerns about private-party gun sales and the importance of gun shows as a source of guns used in crimes have led to repeated calls for closing the "gun show loophole" — by which advocates usually mean requiring that private-party sales at gun shows be routed through a licensed retailer who will do a background check and keep a record of the purchase. President Barack Obama endorsed such a measure during his 2008 presidential campaign, as did President George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004. Legislation to close the loophole has been introduced in both the Senate and the House of Representatives, but no hearings have been scheduled.

In fact, there is no gun-show loophole as such. Federal law is silent on the issue of gun shows and permits private-party gun sales to occur anywhere. As a result, such a limited measure might well have no detectable effect on the rates of firearm-related violent crime. Gun shows account for a small percentage of all gun sales in the United States — between 4 and 9%, according to the best estimates available. Similarly, they account for just 3 to 8% of all private-party gun sales. Legislation to close the gun-show loophole would not affect the great majority of private-party sales, and motivated illicit buyers could simply find private sellers elsewhere.
The abstract is only a half-dozen paragraphs and is worth a read, if only as a masterpiece of using statistics to dress up an editorial. And vague statistics at that!

[I thought criminogenic pumps were a kind of women's shoe.]