Andrea Harner
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April 30, 2007

Bring back DJ Jazzy Jeff and Fresh Prince!

Just in time for ~summer, summer, summertime...summertime. I'll just sit back and unwind~

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Saturday Lovefest with Greta

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Washington Square Park Sunday!

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April 27, 2007

Best water bottle: Nalgene 16 oz in purple!

It's cute and purple - there's nothing more to ask for!

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The Gravelator - watch him in action!

* via BuzzFeed!

I always love the brave, young bloomers!

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* In front of Grace Church on Broadway & 11th.

Jordan All-American Classic at MSG!

We went to the Jordan All-American Classic last weekend which showcases the nation's best high school senior basketball players at Madison Square Garden...imagine being one of these kids, knowing Jordan's watching you! It was fantastic - as Annie says, having tickets to something is the best feeling because you know you're in for something new and exciting! P.S. Tickets started at $10!!

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Be on the lookout for MVPs (pictured above) Corey Fisher and Donte Green - you may just see them in the NBA!

April 26, 2007

Asians are so weird.

Drinking video games - yum!

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&

Medical restaurants - yummier!

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Oh! Don't forget about air sex.

Sparky would have loved a sex toy

If she were alive today I would buy this for her in a heartbeat even though my leg would cry from withdrawal.

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* via BuzzFeed.

Prince makes fun of Paris Hilton

Awesome.

Thanks to Jason for the link!

Racist Translations/Chinese racism

This is hilarious and reminds me of the first time Jonah met my mom (she's Chinese). After hearing her speak Chinese, he commented, "wow, your Mom's really racist!" I was perplexed and asked why he thought that. "She keeps saying the n-word, over and over and over!" he said. I laughed my tatas off because just as "like" peppers American English, "neiga" (translation = "that") can frequently and consecutively (neiga, neiga) be heard in Mandarin. I hadn't heard it through the filter of a non-Chinese speaking ear so it never sounded weird! but ever since then it does indeed sound like my mom repeatedly and shamelessly says the n word.

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Last weekend on the Upper East Side

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Does your pet really love you?

You'll know if his tail is wagging ~to the right, to the right...to the right, to the right~ Sorry, Beyonce.

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Every dog lover knows how a pooch expresses its feelings.

Ears close to the head, tense posture, and tail straight out from the body means “don’t mess with me.” Ears perked up, wriggly body and vigorously wagging tail means “I am sooo happy to see you!”

But there is another, newly discovered, feature of dog body language that may surprise attentive pet owners and experts in canine behavior. When dogs feel fundamentally positive about something or someone, their tails wag more to the right side of their rumps. When they have negative feelings, their tail wagging is biased to the left. continued...

* via ModernPooch and Jamie - thanks!

Please, someone send me a toyger in the mail, now!!

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April 25, 2007

A little green pepper lives in a big orange house

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Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science by Atul Gawande

I absolutely loved this book. I feel changed from reading it. I've always loved stories that pull back the curtain to expose the reality of an otherwise unknown subculture. Gawande does this poetically and philosophically - never ideologically. About a third of the way into the book I realized that there's so much that goes on in just a day of surgery residency (I'm sure other specialties too) that as a meta-cognitive, analytic, reflective person, he had to write as a way of meditating upon and trying to make sense of it all. I thoroughly enjoyed this page-turner and am still deeply excited about how much I learned reading this memorable, momentous book!

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You can (sort of-not really) pretend you're in Paris at Balthazar!

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April 24, 2007

Bjork seeks music video director

This experiment could be very interesting...what will win? Expert superiority or the wisdom of crowds???

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Best Juicer: Krups Citrus Juicer

This appliance is FANTASTIC and a great way to improve your quality of life. I buy organic juice oranges from the Whole Foods Mecca that just opened up across the street, chill the oranges and then juice away. It truly is one of the most delicious drinks on the planet. Major bonus: You can feed your spouse this healthy nectar and revel in the delight of feeling like a real nurturer and it only took a few minutes! Do not hesitate - great investment!!

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Thanks to John for that first taste that hooked me!

Aisha Tyler & Angelina Jolie: Identical Twins

I have always thought the two of them are nearly identical. Don't not agree with me just to be exact and precise and bo~~ring. You know they could be twins:

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April 23, 2007

Overheard in Nolita cafe, 2 minutes ago

Guy #1: There's an acoustic, Fugazi cover band from Austria! Isn't that insane?

Guy#2: I don't know, is that insane?

Guy #1: It's insane. Trust me.

Guy #2: Ok.

Beautiful NYC day!

Check us out at Central Park!

Thanks Kenyatta! LOLOLOLOLOLOL.

Killer Mixtape

We have officially, again, reached an irony-apex.

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April 20, 2007

Optimistic Rugs

Let's all just imagine for a second what it must be like to be married to G.W. Bush. So nice to be able to snap out of that daydream!

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Happy Feet by George Miller & Warren Coleman

Happy Feet is in no way happy. It is one of the most depressing and bizarre movies I've ever seen. When Mumble returns from his quest to find out why his penguins are suffering from a fish famine to tell everyone that "no worries! it's not our wrong-doing, it's the result of humans developing our land, but our tap-dancing has endeared them to us enough to stop their development"...is so depressing. It's not even that it harkens back to the times when slaves danced for their masters, it's the image that refuses to stop torturing me, of Mumble so innocently and enthusiastically telling his fellow penguins that everything's going to be ok, all while you see the honing device implanted/attached to his back by humans. It's like a science fiction horror scene. I could cry just thinking about it. Either I'm more sensitive than most people including all children who seem to love this movie or this movie is truly one of the most depressing, environmental horror flicks of all time.

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Happy 4.20!

4.20 is Hitler's birthday.

4.20 is National Smoke Pot Day.

4.20 is when the Columbine School Killings happened.

4.20 is when Jimmy Carter's rabbit incident took place.

4.20 is when the Civil Rights Act of 1871 was signed.

The Hoax by Lasse Hallström

My dad was in town this weekend so we enjoyed a very rainy Sunday of shopping, tea time and movie-going! We saw The Hoax which I was excited to see because the subject matter (true story about a writer faking a Howard Hughes autobiography circa 1970) is so interesting but I was disappointed by the direction. The build-up and suspense should have been easy but it didn't quite happen. It may have had more of a chance of happening had the director imbued the lead character with more to relate to and sympathize with. What did you guys think?

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April 19, 2007

Virginia Tech Aftermath: Did Legal Drugs Play a Role in the Massacre? by Arianna Huffington

Arianna raises an important question I really want answers to.

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Earplugs. Love 'em.

I've noticed something peculiar as I've gotten older - I can hear things more acutely and this is not a joyous occasion (even as Jonah says I'm turning into a superhero!). As a consequence I've taken to wearing earplugs to sleep, to study (I snuck them in to my GRE test!) and to read. The effect is immediate and soothing. The world is at a safe distance and I can finally focus and relax. If you are a reader who is at all tempted right now I highly recommend it!

The best part of these particular earplugs is that once you've smushed the little fellas and fit them in your ear holes (it will become a sacred ritual in no time), the package itself becomes a real source of entertainment. Just as your spouse gets quiet and unwinds into sleep mode, firmly say your spouses name in that tone of voice that makes them think something's wrong. Then grab the package with one hand, hold it up and with your other hand point aggressively to the QUIET PLEASE! and then you and your spouse can laugh and laugh and laugh. I have endless fun doing this to Jonah every night.

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Excerpt from a fellow fan's musings and a brief history of earplugs (Thanks to Jason for the link!):

Concentrating was easier, and I began to leave the earplugs in to write. Errands in the city, or when I had to take the subway, were much more pleasant at a slight sonic remove. It's like listening to music on an iPod, but instead of filling your head with sound, you fill it with your thoughts and your own breath. continued...

P.S. If anyone can help me find cute, dangling earplugs like the ones Audrey Hepburn used in Breakfast at Tiffany's, please let me know!

April 18, 2007

The Deadly Compromise by Jonah Peretti

Jonah writes a very realistic and unfortunately true observation about the gun situation in America in light of the Virgina Tech shooting.

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American gun policy is a deadly compromise.

Pro-gun advocates explain that the Virginia Tech killer would have been stopped in his tracks if students and teachers were carrying concealed weapons. This is absolutely correct -- it is obviously much harder to kill people who are armed.

Meanwhile, gun control advocates explain that those murders would never have happened if the killer could not get guns in the first place.

The is also completely correct -- just look at the murder rate in Asia and Europe to see how limiting access to guns reduces violent crime.

Both sides are right, but they want to live in different worlds. continued...

Seductive Poison by Deborah Layton

Seductive Poison is a must-read. It's a first-hand account of a former People's Temple member and Jonestown survivor. The most interesting aspect of this tale is the rise of this church/socialist group as a byproduct of the times. For most of the members, the organization's lure was its stated commitment to eradicating racism, sexism, classism, but most emphasis was on the shameful racism of that time. Consequently the majority of membership were black Americans and the group was able to enjoy some political protection. Its pretty clear that the same message now would not carry the same weight and therefore the time capsule quality of the group is historically fascinating. Other aspects of the book cover the socialist camp and Jim Jones, the deluded, paranoid, tyrannical, megalomaniac leader and these are less gripping only because they are traits and tactics employed by every other despot who has blighted our history. Since no one knowingly joins a cult but cults continue to exist and proliferate today, what was most salient to me was the realization that it's almost too easy to conduct such horrific social experiments (Zimbardo!). In addition to the blatant tragedy of 1000 people getting murdered, is the countless families destroyed for the false promise of a larger, better family.

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April 17, 2007

Virginia Tech Shooting: Gunman's Writings were Disturbing

Excerpts from most recent information about the gunman:

Professor Carolyn Rude, chairwoman of the university's English department, said Cho's writing was so disturbing that he had been referred to the university's counseling service.

"Sometimes, in creative writing, people reveal things and you never know if it's creative or if they're describing things, if they're imagining things or just how real it might be," Rude said. "But we're all alert to not ignore things like this."

"He was very quiet, always by himself," neighbor Abdul Shash said. Shash said Cho spent a lot of his free time playing basketball and would not respond if someone greeted him.

Classmates painted a similar picture. Some said that on the first day of a British literature class last year, the 30 or so students went around and introduced themselves. When it was Cho's turn, he didn't speak.

On the sign-in sheet where everyone else had written their names, Cho had written a question mark. "Is your name, `Question mark?'" classmate Julie Poole recalled the professor asking. The young man offered little response.

Cho spent much of that class sitting in the back of the room, wearing a hat and seldom participating. In a small department, Cho distinguished himself for being anonymous. "He didn't reach out to anyone. He never talked," Poole said.

"We just really knew him as the question mark kid," Poole said.

Chimp story recollection

I vividly remember a trip to the LA Zoo last year. While observing the chimps we were told that some of the chimps there had developed diabetes because the zoo keepers didn't think there was any harm in feeding them endless amounts of fruit and that the female chimps beyond a certain age were given the same birth control pills as humans take. We also learned that the oldest female chimp was severely depressed (and you didn't have to be told to see it) because her companion/gay best friend, with whom she had lived in the zoo for over 20 years, had died a few weeks prior. The zoo keepers were alerted to the death that morning because they heard screaming and wailing and found the older female chimp screaming, weeping and jumping up and down around her dead friend. Ugh. It's heartbreaking to think about it and even more so to see them caged behind bars with the saddest, familiar eyes.

Fish therapy on your face!

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Omg, I am desperate for the fishies to nibble on my face of dead skin! No really, I mean that. I want to feel the suckling lips of fish and know that I'm getting the fishiest exfoliation treatment. I want fish to suck my face silly!!!

Chickens break up rabbit fight!!

Oh dear! I am definitely one of the rabbits in that scenario - the chickens are scary parental figures! Come here, you bad bunny...I'll mess you up!

* via Kottke.

Rhizome Benefit '07

We attended the Rhizome Benefit last night and while it was fun, that fun was unfortunately not captured in photos. Sorry guys. Sometimes a shutterbug doesn't shutter so much. This is all I got for you.

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Chimpanzees: Almost Human and Sometimes Smarter

Let me start by saying, I can easily name a handful of people I know that aren't as smart as chimps!!! LOLOLOL.

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“Jane suffered early rejection by the establishment,” Richard Wrangham, a Harvard anthropologist, said. “Now, the people who say chimpanzees don’t have emotions and culture are the ones rejected.”

Dr. Goodall recalled that when she went to Africa nearly a half-century ago, at least a million chimps lived in the continent, and “now there are perhaps only 150,000.” In that time, they have impressed scientists with physical and emotional reminders of their kinship to humans and their occasional triumphs over them at a computer screen.

Gunman kills 33 people at Virginia-Tech University, April 16, 2007.

In light of yesterday's horrific incident at Virgina Tech I am just hoping desperately and perhaps naively, that debate will result in a tightening of gun laws in this country. It is not rare that in public places I think, "it's possible someone has a gun right now". And that's not a nice thought. People are fragile. Sometimes all it takes is enough trauma to push you over the edge and boom, you kill over 30 people while searching for your girlfriend who surely wronged you in some way. Ugh. So sad.

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April 16, 2007

Non-Disposable Shopping Bag

Whoever sends in a photograph of themselves shopping in this and this only wins a prize!

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Thanks to Sally for knowing I'd have to post this!

The Rescue Artist by Edward Dolnick

This book is a pretty delightful read. The main fault with the story is that the author tries too hard to get into the main character's head (real life Scotland Yard Art Squad sleuth Charley hill) and his attempts to do so come off like he's just trying to hard. The 1994 theft of the Scream is the anchor throughout the story and that could have been enough for a solid novella but the other tales of masterpiece thefts that the author researched and wrote well, make the book a page-turning survey of art crime.
A fun read!

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April 13, 2007

Hello Kitty Airlines??!!

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* via BuzzFeed.

April 12, 2007

Lee Iacocca speaks the truth.

You might think I'm getting senile, that I've gone off my rocker, and maybe I have. But someone has to speak up. I hardly recognize this country anymore. The President of the United States is given a free pass to ignore the Constitution, tap our phones, and lead us to war on a pack of lies. Congress responds to record deficits by passing a huge tax cut for the wealthy (thanks, but I don't need it). The most famous business leaders are not the innovators but the guys in handcuffs. While we're fiddling in Iraq, the Middle East is burning and nobody seems to know what to do. And the press is waving pom-poms instead of asking hard questions. That's not the promise of America my parents and yours traveled across the ocean for. I've had enough. How about you?

I'll go a step further. You can't call yourself a patriot if you're not outraged. This is a fight I'm ready and willing to have.

My friends tell me to calm down. They say, "Lee, you're eighty-two years old. Leave the rage to the young people." I'd love to—as soon as I can pry them away from their iPods for five seconds and get them to pay attention. I'm going to speak up because it's my patriotic duty. I think people will listen to me. They say I have a reputation as a straight shooter. So I'll tell you how I see it, and it's not pretty, but at least it's real. I'm hoping to strike a nerve in those young folks who say they don't vote because they don't trust politicians to represent their interests. Hey, America, wake up. These guys work for us.

* From this interview on the subject of his new book, Where Have All the Leaders Gone?

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** via Kottke.

"God damn it," Vonnegut famously wrote, "you've got to be kind."

This is a welcome tribute to Kurt Vonnegut and his work.

Rest in peace, Kurt Vonnegut (1922 - 2007). You inspired millions.

For more good Vonnegut links check out BuzzFeed.

Dinner party with Cyrus Klinenberg & Korean Food!!

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Thanks for a great night, Cyrus, Caitlin, Eric and Leslie!!

April 11, 2007

Juiceboxxx @ Webster Hall, March '07

Juiceboxxx was great as expected and I'm proud to state the obvious which is that this site is quickly becoming a Juiceboxxx destination!

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Jimmy Kimmel vs. Gawker Stalker

Wow. I had never thought about how Gawker affects celebrities (that could be because I never think about Gawker) but Jimmy Kimmel made me do so for the first time and in the process, won my sympathy.

Texting tournament!!

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Thanks to BuzzFeed and Jason for encouraging me to enter and acknowledging my texterity- I'll text you if I do!

Japanese Air Guitar Sex

Excerpt: I spend all my time doing air sex I haven't actually had real sex.


Thanks to my bro for the link and to people in general for being so funny and inventive!!

April 10, 2007

Introducing Pepe, Head of Security at Harmony Hotel, Costa Rica

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* via The Harmony Blog!

Are consumer products made to break? An interview with author Giles Slade

The reality of planned obsolescence is so deeply depressing to me. The environmental costs are obvious - the psychic costs may be less so but nonetheless harmful as we collectively partake in such depraved commercial strategy.

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* via Kottke.

The Brain on the Stand by Jeffrey Rosen

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This article from the NYT magazine is a few weeks old but really interesting and asks the huge question: How does and should neuroscience affect criminal law?

From a ton of worthy excerpts I've whittled it down to these:

One important question raised by the Roper case was the question of where to draw the line in considering neuroscience evidence as a legal mitigation or excuse. Should courts be in the business of deciding when to mitigate someone’s criminal responsibility because his brain functions improperly, whether because of age, in-born defects or trauma? As we learn more about criminals’ brains, will we have to redefine our most basic ideas of justice?

Two of the most ardent supporters of the claim that neuroscience requires the redefinition of guilt and punishment are Joshua D. Greene, an assistant professor of psychology at Harvard, and Jonathan D. Cohen, a professor of psychology who directs the neuroscience program at Princeton. Greene got Cohen interested in the legal implications of neuroscience, and together they conducted a series of experiments exploring how people’s brains react to moral dilemmas involving life and death. In particular, they wanted to test people’s responses in the f.M.R.I. scanner to variations of the famous trolley problem, which philosophers have been arguing about for decades.

The trolley problem goes something like this: Imagine a train heading toward five people who are going to die if you don’t do anything. If you hit a switch, the train veers onto a side track and kills another person. Most people confronted with this scenario say it’s O.K. to hit the switch. By contrast, imagine that you’re standing on a footbridge that spans the train tracks, and the only way you can save the five people is to push an obese man standing next to you off the footbridge so that his body stops the train. Under these circumstances, most people say it’s not O.K. to kill one person to save five.

“I wondered why people have such clear intuitions,” Greene told me, “and the core idea was to confront people with these two cases in the scanner and see if we got more of an emotional response in one case and reasoned response in the other.” As it turns out, that’s precisely what happened: Greene and Cohen found that the brain region associated with deliberate problem solving and self-control, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, was especially active when subjects confronted the first trolley hypothetical, in which most of them made a utilitarian judgment about how to save the greatest number of lives. By contrast, emotional centers in the brain were more active when subjects confronted the second trolley hypothetical, in which they tended to recoil at the idea of personally harming an individual, even under such wrenching circumstances. “This suggests that moral judgment is not a single thing; it’s intuitive emotional responses and then cognitive responses that are duking it out,” Greene said.

“To a neuroscientist, you are your brain; nothing causes your behavior other than the operations of your brain,” Greene says. “If that’s right, it radically changes the way we think about the law. The official line in the law is all that matters is whether you’re rational, but you can have someone who is totally rational but whose strings are being pulled by something beyond his control.” In other words, even someone who has the illusion of making a free and rational choice between soup and salad may be deluding himself, since the choice of salad over soup is ultimately predestined by forces hard-wired in his brain. Greene insists that this insight means that the criminal-justice system should abandon the idea of retribution — the idea that bad people should be punished because they have freely chosen to act immorally — which has been the focus of American criminal law since the 1970s, when rehabilitation went out of fashion. Instead, Greene says, the law should focus on deterring future harms. In some cases, he supposes, this might mean lighter punishments. “If it’s really true that we don’t get any prevention bang from our punishment buck when we punish that person, then it’s not worth punishing that person,” he says. (On the other hand, Carter Snead, the Notre Dame scholar, maintains that capital defendants who are not considered fully blameworthy under current rules could be executed more readily under a system that focused on preventing future harms.)

Morse insists that “brains do not commit crimes; people commit crimes” — a conclusion he suggests has been ignored by advocates who, “infected and inflamed by stunning advances in our understanding of the brain . . . all too often make moral and legal claims that the new neuroscience . . . cannot sustain.” He calls this “brain overclaim syndrome” and cites as an example the neuroscience briefs filed in the Supreme Court case Roper v. Simmons to question the juvenile death penalty. “What did the neuroscience add?” he asks. If adolescent brains caused all adolescent behavior, “we would expect the rates of homicide to be the same for 16- and 17-year-olds everywhere in the world — their brains are alike — but in fact, the homicide rates of Danish and Finnish youths are very different than American youths.” Morse agrees that our brains bring about our behavior — “I’m a thoroughgoing materialist, who believes that all mental and behavioral activity is the causal product of physical events in the brain” — but he disagrees that the law should excuse certain kinds of criminal conduct as a result. “It’s a total non sequitur,” he says. “So what if there’s biological causation? Causation can’t be an excuse for someone who believes that responsibility is possible. Since all behavior is caused, this would mean all behavior has to be excused.” Morse cites the case of Charles Whitman, a man who, in 1966, killed his wife and his mother, then climbed up a tower at the University of Texas and shot and killed 13 more people before being shot by police officers. Whitman was discovered after an autopsy to have a tumor that was putting pressure on his amygdala. “Even if his amygdala made him more angry and volatile, since when are anger and volatility excusing conditions?” Morse asks. “Some people are angry because they had bad mommies and daddies and others because their amygdalas are mucked up. The question is: When should anger be an excusing condition?”

The experiments, conducted by Elizabeth Phelps, who teaches psychology at New York University, combine brain scans with a behavioral test known as the Implicit Association Test, or I.A.T., as well as physiological tests of the startle reflex. The I.A.T. flashes pictures of black and white faces at you and asks you to associate various adjectives with the faces. Repeated tests have shown that white subjects take longer to respond when they’re asked to associate black faces with positive adjectives and white faces with negative adjectives than vice versa, and this is said to be an implicit measure of unconscious racism. Phelps and her colleagues added neurological evidence to this insight by scanning the brains and testing the startle reflexes of white undergraduates at Yale before they took the I.A.T. She found that the subjects who showed the most unconscious bias on the I.A.T. also had the highest activation in their amygdalas — a center of threat perception — when unfamiliar black faces were flashed at them in the scanner. By contrast, when subjects were shown pictures of familiar black and white figures — like Denzel Washington, Martin Luther King Jr. and Conan O’Brien — there was no jump in amygdala activity.

“Will we use brain imaging to track kids in school because we’ve discovered that certain brain function or morphology suggests aptitude?” he asks. “I work for NASA, and imagine how helpful it might be for NASA if it could scan your brain to discover whether you have a good enough spatial sense to be a pilot.” Wolpe says that brain imaging might eventually be used to decide if someone is a worthy foster or adoptive parent — a history of major depression and cocaine abuse can leave telltale signs on the brain, for example, and future studies might find parts of the brain that correspond to nurturing and caring.

April 9, 2007

Shanghai '07: Architecture

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* Pudong, China.

Half Nelson by Ryan Fleck
Wow. This haunting film is firmly stuck in my head. Not only is Ryan Gosling's acting enchanting, the way the story was written, shot, edited and woven is truly impressive. It's a little movie, packed full of story, brimming with the silent possibility of exploding. The only aspect of my movie-watching experience that fell terribly short was the director's commentary which I was especially looking forward to since there's so much in this film to think about and talk about. It was disappointing and almost laughable how much the directors didn't talk about the story and instead focused on the peripheral logistics such as music. Other than that, a truly remarkable and memorable movie I recommend! HalfNelson.jpg
Blood Diamond by Edward Zwick

I know that the consensus is that this film is too preachy to be good but I enjoyed it. Its depiction of real-life horrors is poignant and nearly impossible to watch, especially the child-soldiers, but just as medicine is bitter but necessary at times so is being reminded of the grave mistakes people have made. I bet you'll enjoy Djimon Hounsou and Leonardo DiCaprio's fantastic acting and that you'll have a good chunk of your heart torn out in the process. Enjoy! P.S. The director's commentary is worth watching too.

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April 6, 2007

Warning: Tom Cruise attempts to suck the life, blood and money out of New York City

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* via BuzzFeed.

Baby disco!

I think baby disco is a fantastic idea! The future Michael Jacksons*, Ushers and JTs will know what to credit to their success! When I have a baby, it's going to be shuttling baby from disco to karaoke to disco to karaoke to disco to karaoke...

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* I only wish his dance moves on your children.

Learn a new animal! Wolverine!

The Wolverine (Gulo gulo) is the largest land-dwelling species of the Mustelidae or weasel family (the Giant Otter is largest overall), and is the only species currently classified in the genus Gulo (meaning "glutton"). The Wolverine is a stocky and muscular animal, considered carnivorous but known on occasion to eat plant material. The wolverine is still trapped for its fur in some parts of its range. Since 2003 Canada has classified its eastern population of Wolverines as "endangered.

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We caught Wolverines Revealed last night and it was incredible - supposedly the closest documentarians have ever gotten to wolverines. The part where the runt bear cub gets stuck up in a tree while his mother and siblings are run off by another bear family (while wolverines lurked) was excrutiating.

Prince in 1977

Welcome to Prince Friday!

I am in love with this time capsule of a photo:

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Jonah says this was taken during his blind years, a brief, little-known period in Prince's life.

Cheerleader Andrea by Zee Myers

I love Andrea the cheerleader - thanks Zee!

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Prince in 1981, NYC

This to me, is proof of genius. That may be perplexing or just overly simplistic to many of you but it's fact to me. From the beginning Prince was a dizzying, unbound artist, unique even then when there were more true artist-musician-performers than today. Baby you're a...star!

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Thanks for the link, Jason!

Introducing Leni Yoshida!!

My Japanese brother Yasushi and his lovely wife Keiko gave birth to their daughter Leni so now I am Andrea obasan!

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April 5, 2007

First cherry blossom tree blooms in Brooklyn!

His big eyes darted around nervously, scoping out his fellow trees, scrutinizing the temperature, feeling the vibe...making sure his timing wasn't egregiously off. He reminded himself that others before him had done it and survived...some were even lauded for their perfect timing! And...he...bloomed...just a little shy bloom at first...but then he couldn't stop blooming and he knew then, that for the first time in his young life, he was a leader.

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April 4, 2007

America loves Obama!!!!!

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* via Huffington Post.

Plans for Revamped G.R.E. Are Abandoned by Julie Bosman

I was so in fear of the revamped GRE that I knew I had only one chance of taking the current GRE which is shorter than the revamped one and doing well enough not to retake it . Even though that test isn't rearing its ugly head after all, the dread of it served me nicely. Thanks ETS - owe you one.

After spending four years and $12 million on research, the Educational Testing Service has abandoned plans to introduce a revamped Graduate Record Exam this fall.

The new version, planned to be the biggest overhaul in the test’s history, was designed to prevent cheating and to produce a more accurate measure of students’ ability. But it would have been longer, more expensive and more difficult to administer.

It included revised sections on verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning and analytical writing, totaling four hours in length. The current version is two and a half hours.

“The fundamental obstacle that we ran into was finding enough testing sites that we could ensure access for test takers around the world,” said David Payne, executive director of the G.R.E. program at the Educational Testing Service, in a telephone interview. “We know now that we simply can’t provide access for all the G.R.E. test-takers using that approach.”

The Educational Testing Service had wanted to administer the test on only 35 days a year. That would have allowed E.T.S. to create original tests for each day in the hopes of preventing cheating. In 2002, for instance, the testing service discovered that some people in China, Taiwan and South Korea had taken the test, memorized questions and answers and posted them on Web sites, allowing other students to log on and see the questions in advance. continued...

SXSW '07: Webby-Shuffleboard Sunday & Conference-BBQ Monday

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Greenwich Village Shooting aftermath

Thank god something good came of the shooting: Now auxillary cops get bulletproof vests.

The Village Tannery:

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Upclose:

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* Bleecker between MacDougal & Sullivan.

April 3, 2007

Scale for Marital Happiness & Spousal Choice

In my Experimental Psychology: Research Methods class this semester I've been learning lots of scales to measure various things such as depression, OCD and anomie. It occurred to me yesterday that I have a profoundly simple, highly unscientific scale I'd like to propose to measure marital happiness. The scale consists of one question and the way it's rated is that if you answer yes to the question then you are happily married and made an excellent spousal choice. Ready for the scale? The one big question?? The Super Duper Unscientific yet Intuitive Measurement for Marital Happiness and Spousal Choice???

HAD YOU AND YOUR SPOUSE KNOWN EACH OTHER AS KIDS, WOULD YOU HAVE BEEN BFF?

If you answered yes, I suggest you call your wife/hubby now and express your delight in having found them.

Gay rappers

The phenomenon of gay hip-hop pleases me. All the drama! I dare you to find one person who's into hip-hop that doesn't know a rapper who's actually gay.

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Kate Moss & Pete Doherty video

What do we think of this video?

Thanks to Peggy for this video!

Dorian Purple: Prince's new temple by Sasha Frere-Jones

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What a great little profile of Prince in this week's New Yorker. My love of Prince is the closest I get to being religious (Prince would be the religion in this example) so when I read exalting things about him I just smile serenely and smugly and think, "I know that...now others will learn."

Though he’s just over five feet, lithe and pixieish, he never seems dwarfed by others onstage, and he is absolutely at ease guiding his ten-piece band. His backup dancers—Nandy and Maya McClean, twenty-six-year-old twins from Sydney, Australia—were energetic and effectively underclad, but Prince was still the most seductive presence onstage. When he simply cocked his head and smiled, it seemed like an act of public lewdness.

Anyone who's ever seen Prince perform has experienced this excerpt...and especially enjoyed the phenomenon captured in the last line. As a married woman it felt like I had just cheated on my husband and all Prince did was cock his head and smile.

Photo from Tokyo: Cherry blossoms in full bloom!!

My oniichan Hiromi sent me this from his cell phone. It's in Fukazawa, an area of Tokyo and clearly the cherry blossoms are in full bloom! What I wouldn't give to be there...

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April 2, 2007

Adding Method to Judging Mayhem By Adam Liptak

For those of you without a TimesSelect account, here's the article in its entirety:

There are, Dr. Michael H. Stone says, 22 varieties of killers, and he has ranked them in order of evil.

The worst are your psychopathic torture-murderers, at least where torture is the primary motive. Near the other end, at No. 4, are those who killed in self-defense “but had been extremely provocative towards the victim.”

Dr. Stone, a professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia, said he had put the scale together based on the biographies of hundreds of killers. “I have a very extensive spreadsheet,” he said.

Dr. Michael Welner, a clinical associate professor of psychiatry at New York University, has even greater and much more practical ambitions. He is at work on a “depravity scale” to aid juries in separating the worst of the worst from the really bad. It is based on an Internet survey that asks respondents to rank various acts in order of heinousness.

I took the survey the other day, at www.depravityscale.org, but I found it hard and largely pointless to try to distinguish between, say, a contract killing and mailing anthrax.

Continue reading "Adding Method to Judging Mayhem By Adam Liptak" »

Metropolitan Diary: April 2, 2007

From today's Metropolitan Diary...

Dear Diary:

As more people tried to squeeze into the last possible crevices of a particularly crowded Flushing-bound 7 train during the evening commute, few passengers were in good moods.

That is, until we all heard in a drily sarcastic voice over the subway announcement system: “This train is full. Please wait for the next one. There is another train behind us with empty seats, carpeting and color TV.”

Cheryl Chan

Parenting: Accepting Gay Identity and Finding Strength by Michael Winerip

These people are great parents. If only more parents simply wanted their children to discover themselves in order to be happy, the world really would be a better place. I'm en route to Madison, CT to give them a big hug.

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Killer of Sheep: I am intrigued

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I can't wait to see this film. Can you imagine making a film (not to mention a "masterpiece") and having it sit there, rotting with time because you can't clear the music rights...and then 30 years later, finally getting enough muscle (Steven Soderbergh) to do so and then to show it in theaters nationwide??!! Awesome.

* via Kottke.

A Kitty Gift for you

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Do I have something in my teeth?

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* Photo by Zee from our bubble tea date the other day!

The Lives of Others by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck

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The Lives of Others is an incredible movie. It takes place in East Germany in the 1980s which is an engrossing setting, both intellectually and visually. The plot incites calm captivation and the tone is serenely creepy. It also nails a pitch-perfect ending. I have nothing but high praise for this film you should see!

April 1, 2007

Happy April Fool's Day!

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* Tokyo '07, Shibuya Apt.

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