Archive for December, 2010

December 31st 2010
Happy New Beer!

Posted under American history & fluff


In this lost American decade, I’ve stopped hoping for better years, and have scaled back my ambitions a bit.  This way, there’s less of a disappointing mess to clean up in the morning! 

Here’s hoping you’re enjoying a lovely evening with someone you love.  I am, and I feel so fortunate.


December 28th 2010
Holiday roundup: too lazy to post edition

Posted under American history & bad language & Bodily modification & conferences & fluff & Gender & jobs & wankers & women's history

No posts! (How am I still upright?)

Howdy, friends!  I’m still (mostly) on holiday break here, but I thought you might enjoy some thoughts from bloggers more energetic than I am right now.  I hope to be back later this week–I just don’t seem to have any original thoughts to share at the moment.  So, herewith are my recommendations for your bloggy perusals:


December 24th 2010

Posted under American history & art & fluff

No, no snow here.  It’s all up in the mountains this year so far.  Still, this is a pretty good little holiday song: “How I’m longing to skiiiii!” Remember, it follows a scene in which the principal characters are complaining about the dry, snowless weather, which explains their sojourn to Vermont to find snow.

“What is Christmas with no snow?” Continue Reading »


December 23rd 2010
Winter Wonderland

Posted under fluff & happy endings & local news


This is about the only version of this tune I can stand–I’ve always thought “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” a pretty dopey song, but Peggy Lee jazzes it up good for the Hi-Fis of the hepcats of 1967.  I hope your winter holiday celebrations are off to a nice start and that your travels haven’t been too hampered by the horrible winter weather that has afflicted just about every part of North America save this dry, warmish patch of the High Plains Desert.  (Seriously–3 and 4 FEET of snow on the Western Slope, and we got nuthin’ here.  Not that I’m complaining–much–but a few strategic inches of overnight snow would cover up the dead, brown grass and lend a festive air.)  Continue Reading »


December 22nd 2010
Christmas shopping for the kids just got a lot easier!

Posted under captivity & childhood & Dolls & Gender & wankers

All kids love log!

Have you heard the pseudo-scientific news?  Human girls are biologically programmed to play with dollies like little mommies!  A recent study suggests that female juvenile chimps play with sticks and nurture them like babies, whereas male juveniles turn their sticks into weapons or other manly toys–it’s scientifically proven.  Echidne has the goods, as I knew she would.  She’s got an interesting follow-up post on a 2007 study of a Senagalese chimp community that found that female adult chimps led the way in tool-making and killing in their communities–but as she notes, that study didn’t go viral now, did it?  She writes, “[I]t’s every bit as significant as the new stick study, only it shows female chimps as tool makers and as killers. So are we going to draw conclusions about human society from that one, too?”

One of the aspects of these studies that purport to show the essential or biological basis for gendered behaviors in humans is how selective we are in looking to the non-human animal kingdom for justification of human behaviors.  After all, what is “natural” behavior?  $hitting outdoors, scratching our crotches, and smearing our scent everywhere is “natural,” I suppose.  Human societies have developed multiple different technologies and etiquettes for dealing with all of these “natural” needs and urges.  Continue Reading »


December 21st 2010
Fight against America’s War on Teachers: it’s Thank a Non-Cokehead, Non-Abusive Teacher Day!

Posted under American history & childhood & jobs & students & unhappy endings & wankers

Not Mrs. Obenshain!

(Probably not a teacher.)

Yes, it’s that time of the season, friends:  the first day of winter, and the day my grades are due!  I’m feeling particularly pleased and generous today, in spite of this ridiculous story that holds up one abusive cokehead teacher as emblematic of all public school teachers in New Jersey (h/t RealClearPolitics yesterday.)  You think I’m kidding?  Take a good, long, trainwrecky look at it.  The author, the newspaper, and the entire state of New Jersey should be ashamed of it.  (Why do we never read stories like this in the newspaper about abusive, drug-addled investment bankers and how difficult it is to fire them in spite of their graft, corruption, psychopathy, and danger to the global economy?  Why are stories about professional male athletes like this actively suppressed, and their victims trashed whenever stories about them leak into the media?  Gee–I wonder!)

Can we teachers, professors, and other educators let this go unanswered?  I don’t think so.  So that’s why I’ve named this observance of the Winter Solstice the Thank a Non-Cokehead, Non-Abusive Teacher Day!  The warriors against America’s teachers have loads of worst-case-scenarios like the teacher in this story, but we never hear from all of the people who are happy with teachers.  We never hear about the teachers who stoop down to help tug off boots or tie shoes, even if they’re not your teacher (or your kid’s teacher).  We rarely hear about the hundreds of thousands of teachers who are spending their own money to keep their students in crayons, glue, and pencils.  We almost never hear about the days and evenings teachers spend after school tutoring their students, addressing parents’ concerns, and/or working with social services to ensure their students are living in safe, clean, and supportive environments.  You know, the kind of things teachers do that they consider part of their jobs, for which they’re never given any credit (or even any respect these days.) Continue Reading »


December 19th 2010
“I’m not a feminist, but. . . “

Posted under American history & Gender & GLBTQ & race & the body & unhappy endings & women's history

Mary Winter in the Denver Post, in an otherwise nice take-down of the inequities in the treatment of and advertising for women’s and men’s sexual dysfunction:

Call me cynical, but when the voice-over says, “This is the age of taking action,” my bar is set just a bit higher. And not to go all feminist on anyone,but I find it interesting that the female version of Viagra — a product called Zestra — still can’t advertise on most television stations, apparently because erections lasting four hours are acceptable prime-time conversation, but allusions to female sexual desire are not.

You may have seen the story on ABC’s “Nightline” this fall: two female entrepreneurs in California developed a botanical-oil-based product that in clinical trials was 70 percent effective in enhancing women’s sexual satisfaction, according to Zestra’s makers.

Now, you would not know it from the $300-million annual ad campaign for erection-enhancing ads for Viagra, Cialis and Levitra, but women suffer more sexual dysfunction than men do — 43 percent to 31 percent, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association.

In other words, the potential market for flagging female libidos is huge. But here’s the irony: When the makers of Zestra went to 100 television networks and stations to buy ads, the vast majority refused them. The few stations that did take their money would run the ads only after midnight or during the daytime.

(U haz editorz at the Denver Post?  Or is u now like the non-peer reviewed interwebz?)

Winter’s point is clearly and strongly a feminist argument–women’s sexual dysfunction is treated differently both medically and in television advertising.  Yet, she distances herself from the political movement that made her analysis possible by writing, “[a]nd not to go all feminist on anyone, but. . . ”  Continue Reading »


December 19th 2010
Darth Vader bested by canteen worker

Posted under art & bad language & fluff

“DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?” “You’re Mr. Stevens??”

More grading for me. “DEATH BY TRAY IT SHALL BE!”


December 18th 2010
It’s my problem-free philosophy

Posted under American history & art & childhood & fluff & students

Hakuna Matata!

This has been your post-exam week grading-frenzy weekend interlude. . . enjoy!  (And now you all know what I’m up to this weekend.)  Another interlude worth including here by Sebastian, “Under the Sea,” from The Little Mermaid (1989), but you’ll have to click the link because I’m too lazy right now to embed it.  “What more is you looking for?”


December 17th 2010
Dr. Crazy writes a letter. . .

Posted under bad language & jobs & wankers

And it’s about her schedule!  Read on:

So, yesterday I got to send my twice yearly email in which I explain to the person who does the scheduling in the department that the days of the week on which I teach are not negotiable. . . . No, Colleague, I am not willing to be on campus five days per week when I am also

a) doing really crappy service (which, incidentally, no one else will do, and it was difficult for them even to find a temporary replacement for me during my sabbatical this semester).

b) teaching a night class.

c) teaching an online class.

d) teaching four preps.

No, Colleague, I will not take one for the team.  If there is a problem with the schedule on the days of the week that I’ve requested for my teaching schedule, then that means that you will have to ask one or more of the people who do not do a, b, c, or d to change their schedules.  I know.  You think that I’m a real b!tch for expecting you to earn the course releases that you get for doing the schedule.  Continue Reading »


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