I also watched yesterday's Leverage, which was fun and nice and continues to make me :D. But I just realized I really want an Ocean's 11/Leverage crossover where Rusty and Sophie occasionally meet up to pull cons and drink cocktails and bemoan the clueless men in their lives (Danny Ocean and Nate Ford, respectively).
And here are some articles on language. The topic tonight was going to be torture because I am still upset about Obama continuing Bush's policy of extraordinary rendition, but I felt so happy after watching Psych, I decided to go with something lighter.
Hangman Spare That Word: The English Purge Their Language
Time Magazine, October 2008
"The available lexicon may soon get slimmer. The lexicographers behind Britain's Collins English Dictionary have decided to exuviate (shed) rarely used and archaic words as part of an abstergen"t (cleansing) process to make room for up to 2,000 new entries."
Short, interesting look at some rarely used and endangered words. I especially like "skirr" and "fubsy."
A Brief History of the F-Word
Time Magazine, April 2008
"Take away the right to say 'f___' and you take away the right to say 'f___ the government.."
A short, entertaining look at one of my favorite words, with some thoughtful discussion of the First Amendment thrown in.
Excuse me, do you speak Klingon?
Salon, June 2009
"Despite being unremittingly mocked by journalists and linguists over the past 120 years, Esperanto has innumerable advantages over every other proposed universal language. You've actually heard of it, for one thing."
Technically a book review, but also a fascinating look at invented languages. Well worth the read.
Why Swearing Helps Ease Pain
Time Magazine, July 2009
"According to a new study by British researchers, saying the F word or any other commonly used expletive can work to reduce physical pain — and it seems that people may use curse words by instinct."
Weird and wonderful and a great excuse for screaming out "Fuck!" next time you stub your toe. Also, it quotes Steven Pinker, and, boy howdy, do I have a mindcrush on Stephen Pinker.
Have a good weekend y'all.
Ah, so I forgot that yesterday was Thursday. So here are some articles a day late. Subject du jour: the ecopocalypse
The End of Wall Street's Boom
Portfolio.com, November 2008
"The era that defined Wall Street is finally, officially over. Michael Lewis, who chronicled its excess in Liar’s Poker, returns to his old haunt to figure out what went wrong."
Long and complicated. I understood maybe half of it, but the half I was able to understand did a good job of explaining the financial crisis and really pissed me off.
Wall Street on the Tundra
Vanity Fair, April 2009
"Iceland’s de facto bankruptcy—its currency (the krona) is kaput, its debt is 850 percent of G.D.P., its people are hoarding food and cash and blowing up their new Range Rovers for the insurance—resulted from a stunning collective madness."
By the same author as the previous article. Also long, but with less jargon. This is a fascinating account of Iceland's financial collapse, with interesting bits about Iceland's culture and history thrown in.
Too Poor to Make the News
New York Times Op Ed, June 2009
"How the recession affects the already poor."
Terribly depressing, but a worthwhile read. By the estimable Barbara Ehrenreich.
The Capitalist Manifesto: Greed Is Good (to a point)
Newsweek, June 2009
"The simple truth is that with all its flaws, capitalism remains the most productive economic engine we have yet invented. Like Churchill's line about democracy, it is the worst of all economic systems, except for the others….What we are experiencing is not a crisis of capitalism. It is a crisis of finance, of democracy, of globalization and ultimately of ethics….No system—capitalism, socialism, whatever—can work without a sense of ethics and values at its core."
An excellent and thought provoking piece.
Public Debt: The biggest bill in history
The Economist, June 2009
"Without bank bail-outs the financial crash would have been even more of a catastrophe. Without stimulus the global recession would be deeper and longer—and it is a prolonged downturn that does the greatest damage to public finances. But in the long run today’s fiscal laxity is unsustainable."
The Economist continues its habit of being lucid, intelligent, and reasonable. If more people were like The Economist, the world would be a better place.
Happy reading! More articles on the ecopocalypse available here.
In other news: Psych was adorkable as always. Oh Shaun, I could take your daddy issues so much more seriously if I didn't watch Supernatural. <3 Also, I need to stop watching my little sister's shows, because I just want to femslash everybody. *sigh* Also-also, why is the Big Bang Theory so god awful yet all the fic so good? That is unnacceptable.
La. Pumped out 1200 words of Supernatural crack earlier today, despite the fact I have dozens of other fic ideas I've been working on. We'll see where that goes.
Because I'm in LA, three interviews with three male actors: RPattz, the Zefron, and the man himself- George fucking Clooney. Two are from GQ and one's from Esquire, and yes, I really do read them for the articles.
The 9:10 to Crazyland
Esquire, March 2008
"George Clooney is also a brave man, and today he has agreed to spend a couple of hours exploring what the Internet has to say about George Clooney." Article written by the remarkable AJ Jacobs, who wrote the (highly reccomended) book The Year of Living Biblically and whose Esquire articles I always enjoy.
He's Hot. He's Sexy. He's Undead
GQ, April 2009
"He reads the gossip blogs and the Twilight fan fiction (“It’s surprisingly hard-core. And very well written”). He knows what the fake Robert Pattinson said on the fake Robert Pattinson Facebook page. (The fake Robert Pattinson claimed to have nailed Kristen Stewart. The fake Robert Pattinson was kind of like Chuck Bass, if Chuck Bass were uncouth enough to trumpet his conquests on somebody’s Wall.)" This is hilarious, but also kind of weirdly heartbreaking. I just want to hug the guy, if I didn't think it would traumatize him.
GQ, May 2009
"You get the feeling he knows he should be saying this, to the men’s magazine. That he knows a career built almost exclusively on the squealing ardor of preteen girls, on choreographed dance numbers set to expository pop tuneage so perkily inoffensive it makes early ’NSync sound like Howlin’ Wolf, is something a man has to live down before you can, y’know, call him a man." Zefron. <3
Both the GQ dates might be wrong, because apparently GQ does not believe in providing a date for its articles. I dated them off of when I'd posted them in my delicious account.
( Thoughts under cut. )
It seems like the LibDems and the Blue Dogs have reached a compromise of sorts on healthcare. It bothers me that they've dropped the public option, but this proposal still has to be melded with last month's measure that did include a public option. C'mon Rahmy, get in there and fight!
Seems to me like there's two big problems with healthcare in this country:
1) Too many people are not covered by insurance.
2) Healthcare and healthcare insurance are really freakin' expensive.
( Cut for rantiness )
And here are some links to articles about healthcare by people much more intelligent and informed than I.
Disruptive Innovation, Applied to Health Care
New York Times, January 2009
"Hospitals and doctors are paid by insurers and the government for the health care equivalent of piecework: hospitals profit from full beds and doctors profit from repeat visits. There is no financial incentive to keep patients healthy."
Heading for the Emergency Room
The Economist, June 2009
"Comparisons with other rich countries and within the United States show that America’s health-care system is not only growing at an unsustainable pace, but also provides questionable value for money and dubious medical care."
Hold the Mayo
Slate, July 2009
"It has been documented time and again that private insurance is much costlier, much less efficient, and much less able to boss doctors around. Altering fee structures in any meaningful way therefore requires expanding government's role in the medical economy beyond anything contemplated in the various health reform bills."
Health Reform Can Pay for Itself
Slate, July 2009
"The Senate bill, as passed last week by the health committee, would cost about $600 billion over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office's most recent calculation. The health committee proposed no offsetting taxes. But that's because the health committee can't propose any taxes: Taxation lies outside its jurisdiction. "
And if you really get on a health care binge, my delicious account is here.