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December 2006
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A public conversation about our worlds.

  • Monday: Morgan J. Locke
  • Tuesday: Madeleine E. Robins
  • Wednesday: Maureen F. McHugh
  • Thursday: Bradley Denton
  • Friday: Steven Gould
  • Saturday: Caroline Spector
  • Sunday: Rory Harper

Brain Activity

Soy Caramel Frapuccino For Bruce, Ready At the Bar!

December 13th, 2006 by Steven Gould
Feminizing and oh so delicious! James Rutz is chairman of Megashift Ministries and founder-chairman of Open Church Ministries. He is, I’m afraid to say, a conservative. Actually, what he is, is a whacko. Here’s his latest thesis:

Soy is feminizing, and commonly leads to a decrease in the size of the penis, sexual confusion and homosexuality. That’s why most of the medical (not socio-spiritual) blame for today’s rise in homosexuality must fall upon the rise in soy formula and other soy products. (Most babies are bottle-fed during some part of their infancy, and one-fourth of them are getting soy milk!) Homosexuals often argue that their homosexuality is inborn because “I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t homosexual.” No, homosexuality is always deviant. But now many of them can truthfully say that they can’t remember a time when excess estrogen wasn’t influencing them.

That’s right, soy causes gayness. Link.

A discussion of same over at Making Light.

Posted in Daily Life, Fantasy, People, Politics, Pop. Culture, Religion | 13 Comments »

Banana Republic

December 13th, 2006 by Steven Gould

So, Twilight Ninja Girl is wandering around this morning half-asleep and she says to me, “Daddy, I think Bush is like a monkey.” (Now my daughter has never seen the book on the right or The Smirking Chimp blog.)

“It’s like the country is a banana and he has it and we say give it back but he just keeps backing away and shrieking.”

Eleven years old and she gets it.


Posted in Daily Life, History, Steve, Twilight Ninja Girl | 7 Comments »

In Bed

December 13th, 2006 by Maureen McHugh

bed.jpgbed.jpgIn Bedbed.jpg

All my life I wanted to be a person who could sleep anywhere. Unafraid. Jane Goodall asleep on a hillside in Gambia on her first night studying chimpanzees.

I woke up night before last with out any clue where I was. I just moved so I don’t suppose this is a particularly startling experience. All I did was open my eyes and in the dark, make out enough to know that I was in my own room. I wasn’t afraid, I just had no idea where I was. It was something coming out of a very deep part of me, something not verbal that said, we are adrift, unmoored in the world, better get some bearings.

Usually when I wake up in the middle of the night, I know I’m home. In bed. I think it’s akin to that sense that some basketball players have where they know where the other players are on the court, just from the experience, the familiarity with the rhythms of play and their team. Waking up is usually like that. But I know that for at least a year now, I’ll routinely wake up aware that I am in my own bed but with no clue where that bed is. I’ve always been that way, and since I lived in something like nine different places between the ages of eighteen and thirty-one, I have sometimes spent years with the lizard part of my brain not having a clue where we were.

When I was a kid this meant that I was always homesick when I went to sleep at someone else’s house. Days were great, nights were an ordeal. My goal was to get to sleep because then I would be okay. I have never gone to sleep swiftly or easily and someone else’s house with someone else’s noises (clocks, furnaces, creaks) was always tough. I would hear my friend’s breathing even out. I would close my eyes and I would finally build my own room in my head. Closet a couple of feet from the foot of my bed. Nightstand, dresser, door and windows. And them I would keep my eyes shut, trying to inhabit that place.

My kid can sleep anywhere. Couches, floors, neighbors, friends. When he was a Gunny Sergeant in the Young Marines, one week in the summer he slept on a picnic table because it was too hot in his tent. He is at home in the world in a way I’ll never be. I don’t know if my inability to know where I am is common to other people or not. I admit I’m curious. I imagine a world divided into people for whom sleep is not tied to place, and people who aren’t.

Posted in Daily Life, Maureen | 8 Comments »

A flock of commas scampers past, squeaking in a high-pitched, giggly way.

December 13th, 2006 by Steven Gould

zorkanthology.jpgJanice Gelb pointed out this LiveJournal entry by a UK grad student on editing student papers. It may sound a little familiar to those of us old enough to remember certain computer interactions.

You are in a maze of twisty little paragraphs, all alike. The path ahead of you is littered with sentence fragments, left broken and twitching at your feet as their pathetic spaniel eyes implore you to put them out of their misery. Dangling modifiers loop happily through the branches overhead. In the distance, that sound of undergraduate feet has turned into a heavy, erratic thwump – swoop – THWUMP you recognise immediately – it’s a badly-indented long quotation, and it’s coming closer.


You wish.


Posted in Pop. Culture, Steve, Technology, Writing | 1 Comment »

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