Andrea Harner
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November 28, 2007

An almost guilt-free way to procrastinate

See how far you can get in answering vocab questions while helping the hungry!*

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* Warning: These may send you into GRE verbal flashbacks.

Thanks to my Mother in Law for the tip!

November 27, 2007

Status: Struggling with support from psychological sources for parental rights advocacy paper

I've found one study showing that generally speaking foster care is worse than a child remaining with their abusive parents (sigh, the world can be depressing) which is good for my paper but other than that, I am left with legal and philosophical support only. I mean, how can psychological studies support the idea that parents should be able to deny their children medical treatment or a public school education?

Why did I choose this topic again??

SOS.

November 26, 2007

Status: Term paper research

Topic: Advocating that parents have the final say in what's right for their children.

I'm looking into Christian Science refusal of medical treatment, the victory of the Amish community in being exempted from sending their children to school past eight grade, parental right to homeschool, and female circumcision.

Any brilliant thoughts are appreciated!

Back from England...

and have many observations and even theories!!

Stay tuned and alert.

Outside Edge: However you slice it, Tokyo has taste by Gwen Robinson, Financial Times

Tokyo is truly home to the yummiest food on the entire planet - and not just Japanese food but every other type of food as well - AND from cheap to fancy and everything in between, you can't go wrong!! There are several reasons why this is the case - read ahead!

A national passion speaks volumes about a country’s collective psyche. Consider the English love of soccer, India’s of cricket, Australia’s mania for just about any sport, and Italy’s and France’s worship of food, wine and fashion.

But on all things gastronomic, perhaps no country is as passionate – and exacting – as Japan, where tea-making is a semi-religious ritual, pastry chefs can gain rock star status, and people will queue for hours to buy courgette-flavoured macaroons or the first special mushrooms of the season.

Michelin Guides revealed half of that story to the world this week when they awarded more of their famed stars to Tokyo restaurants (an unprecedented 191) than they have bestowed on any other city (including, mon Dieu, Paris) with the launch of their first guide outside Europe and America: the Michelin Guide Tokyo 2008.

But there is more to Japan’s food obsession than a huge array of top-quality restaurants. Consider a few facts:

More than one third of Japanese commercial television is devoted to food-related themes, from wacky eating competitions to earnest cooking programmes. On a per-capita basis, inner Tokyo (population 8.5m) boasts the highest concentration of eateries among the world’s major cities – just under 200,000, according to the Tokyo government, compared with about 20,000 restaurants for Paris and 23,000 for New York City. Japan now draws more Michelin-starred chefs than any country apart from France. Continue reading...

November 17, 2007

Off to the UK!

First stop Oxford, then London and finally Cambridge. Be back in a week.

Cheerio!

November 16, 2007

Why We do Dumb or Irrational Things: 10 Brilliant Social Psychology Studies

I LOVE social psychology. If I could I would marry it. Check out these groundbreaking studies. I just finished reading over a hundred pages on cognitive dissonance and it really resonated. I find myself thinking about this idea a lot as it helps to explain lots of human behavior inconsistencies!

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* Thanks for the tip, Kottke!

Chicken bag

Sometimes you are overwhelmed by love for your friends when they write, "Look! I bought a chicken bag! Isn't it great?!"

The answer is yes, Zee. Yes yes yes yes yes!!

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November 14, 2007

Jay-Z's American Gangster sounds good!

You can hear a preview of all songs by clicking Preview All above the song list.

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November 13, 2007

Sushi & Goldfish

I woke up this morning in my sushi pajamas and walked up to the fish tank to feed the cute fellas and Jonah goes, "woah. stop right there." And I was like, "what?" and he pointed to my pajamas and said, "you don't want to traumatize them!"

:-)

Excellent point!!

Running of the bulls: It's all fun and games until you...

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Jay - Z & Charlie Rose

"You can't executive produce an executive producer!"

November 12, 2007

Status: Upper respiratory infection

I so rarely get sick. This is reminding me that I am a pathetic baby when I'm ill. The only nice thing is that my hubby babies me by doing things like making me green tea even if he put too many tea leaves in and thus the tea was too strong...not that I'm critical or complaining!!!

:-)

Amy Sedaris' Home in House & Garden

Other than her apt having too much stuff and leaning too much in the gay man kitsch territory for me, we have several interior design similarities - children's room like vibe and all the animals!! In our bedroom alone we have a horse, a flea and octopi!

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* Thanks to Lily for the tip via Design Sponge!

Perilla Restaurant, Harold Dieterle's Top Chef creation!

With fellow Top Chef enthusiasts Kenny and Katherine (the group photo was simply too special to share) we tried out Top Chef Season One winner Harold Dieterle's restaurant in the West Village called Perilla. From the moment we sat down Katherine and I hounded our waitress, asking about Harold and if he was cooking in the kitchen that night and in fact he was! Just knowing that hot Harry was cooking for us and having such engaging conversation (Katherine couldn't get enough of my forensic psychology classes) took my mind off the food a bit but I remember it was good! Also, the restaurant's ambiance is nicely unpretentious and the music isn't so loud so you can actually enjoy conversation! Here's what we ate:

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Norman Mailer by Louis Menand, New Yorker

A nice piece about what we can learn from Norman Mailer's approach to life and work.

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For more good links on Norman Mailer click here.

Dangerous Minds: Criminal profiling made easy by Malcolm Gladwell

Interesting article on criminal profiling and how unreliable it is. Reminds me of the first day of my Criminal Behavior class when Professor Kirschner said firmly, "this is not a profiling case. If you've watched Silence of the Lambs and now want to be a profiler, become a cop. Cops are the best profilers." The best part of the article in my opinion, comes at the end when he compares profiling techniques to those used by magicians, psychics and other swindlers.

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November 9, 2007

Blackberry Curve

I've finally retired my ancient Sidekick II for the Blackberry Curve. Although the Sidekick's keyboard is far superior and unrivaled in the current pda marketplace, I am pretty happy with my new gadget.

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Disturbing dream about a needy pigeon

A pigeon had attached itself to my elbow by locking its beak around my elbow skin. I was completely confused, grossed out and generally traumatized. For some reason I had to go about my life like this for what seemed like an entire day. When finally I was able to ask Jonah to pull the pigeon off my elbow, it ripped apart leaving its body in Jonah's hands and it's beak to neck still attached to my elbow. It was something.

Kitty has a bike, Remote Blogging Series!

Thanks to Amy Wood for capturing this crazy-looking cat in Nakameguro, Tokyo!

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November 8, 2007

Goldfish names: Dog, Chicken and Bugsy!!

Thanks to everyone who wrote in. We have our names!!

Introducing Dog as in Alpha Dog, Dirty Dog. We came up with this one because well, he is so overwhelming Dog. And yes, that is a poopy. He who eats the most, poops the most!

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Introducing Chicken!!!!! Chicken, Chicken, Chicken!!! I love this name submitted by my cousin Harmony Davis!!

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And finally thanks to Amy Weintraub, we have Bugsy!! Not only does he have bug eyes but Bugsy Siegel is a pretty cool character so we love the name:

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Apples to Apples, Head to Head

This game is so much fun. It is as they advertise: A Game of Hilarious Comparisons! The judge of the round (changes every round) can either put one or two green adjective cards down and then the players play one of their subject cards and hope that particular judge likes theirs the best! What I like is the subjectivity of the judging and the opportunities for lobbying! I highly recommend it as a gift for the holidays! Here are highlights from an Apples to Apples death match from this past weekend.

Jonah listens to lobbying!

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THIS WAS THE TOUGHEST OF THE NIGHT!

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First time but not last time! player Amanda:

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When your card is just so off the mark it may get embarrassingly shut out like this:

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Cameron's Apples to Apples face:

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Jonah's Squid Ink Scallopini Pasta!

If this is making your mouth water just looking at the pics, imagine what it was like placed in front of me! So delicious and beautiful.

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Don't Die Britney!/Smart Advertising!

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* Monday's NY Post.

Gone Baby Gone by Ben Affleck

What a surprisingly good movie from Ben Affleck! It's nice to see when someone redeems themselves and that's what he does with this accomplishment. Show your support for Ben's makeover from Gigli and Bennifer I to talented director by seeing this! You're guaranteed to have good heavy topics to debate during dinner.

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November 7, 2007

SOS! Goldfish names please!

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This past weekend we bought three goldfish for the 10-gallon tank we had been prepping for three days (having goldfish isn't as easy as you may think!) and we are head over heels in love with them and are loving having a fish tank in the apt.! They are lively, cute little fellas and I have spent long periods of time just watching them do their thing which consists of sucking at the top of the water which creates bubbles, doing the cutest little shimmys, inhaling little plant leaves then spitting them back out whole and seemingly searching for food all. day. long. They are all personality but lacking names! So I ask you, based on the photos and descriptions below can you give me some suggestions??

Fantail Fish: The most typical looking goldfish of the bunch. Fastest swimmer, clearly most clever, at one feeding he ate almost all the food (consequently the longest poops!) which is when we realized we may have to feed each according to their intellectual ability and some as you will see need more help than others. Clearly he's the alpha of the group but whether or not he's superior or a bully depends on your political perspective!

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Oranda Fish: Orange guy has a carrot top fro that I can't wait to see grow!, has a flat face like a bulldog and is the most beautiful glistening gold color. He gets just one or two fewer food pellets during free for all feeding frenzy time. He likes to hang out with the "alpha" fish and I think of him as the middle child of a sibling trio - not as aggressive at his older sibling nor as slow as his younger - just in the middle and consequently gets passed over a bit while attention is mostly paid to the sibling drama between the oldest and the youngest.

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Moor Fish: Black beauty with a pea brain. He swam against the filter current once or twice which may not seem like such a weird thing to do but trust me, it's a little special. He swims backwards sometimes which is of course adorable although it was less adorable the time I saw him bump his head into the branch sitting in the middle of the tank - ok so it was newly placed there but the point is that the others have not come close to doing things this little guy does - he has his own marching band whose offbeat he follows. His inbreeding takes the heaviest toll on his...eye sight! Goldfish are near-sighted to begin with but man is he sight-challenged. Food pellets will be sprinkled evenly in the tank as instructed and this guy doesn't see them while his mates are feasting and once he does figure it out he still can't get to the pellets most of the time. Of course this was distressing to us so we bent over backwards as only ridiculous parents would and Jonah has taken to custom feeding him - this involves placing the pellets at just the right angle in front of him as he happens to be swimming towards us. This has seemed to work and of course as he is our special needs baby we can't help but favor him a bit. Just a bit.

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Goddess???!!! Really???

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* via KO.

November 6, 2007

Must have been a hell of a party...and I mean that!!

Whoopee cushion left in apartment building hallway:

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Oxford's Edward Harner!

I'm so proud and excited to see him in two weeks!!

Matriculation with mates!

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View from his room:

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Someone is having too much fun working in China!

And it's my dad Stephen Harner!

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Dogs are the best: Proof

I'm sorry to make you sad this fine Tuesday but here's a whole lot of realness for you:

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November 5, 2007

Close up of my love George

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* You're jonesing for more George. Here it is.

Evan Roth & James Powderly Jowler - Enjoy!

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Partytime in Brooklyn above Dashing Diva!!

The moment I set eyes on the large gray kitty George, I was in obsessive love. He was gregarious, hilarious, filled to the brim with 'tude and even though huge, he thought he was svelte and sexy. Unfortunately he terrorizes Black Cat - the only black cat in the photos and whose eyes you see in the background of a photo in which she sits atop a dresser, her only "safe place". George doesn't realize his awesomeness nor his terrorist tendencies. He may be looking for a new home. If and when that day comes it will be a fight to the death to see who gets to lay their paws on George first!

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* Thanks again to Evan Roth & Michele Walther for a fun party!

November 2, 2007

Stealing Life: The crusader behind "The Wire" by Margaret Talbot, New Yorker

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I haven't loved a New Yorker article this much in a while. It is absolutely fascinating if you love The Wire but even if you don't know The Wire but have a sociological interest in cities and institutions you will be taken by David Simon's take on his show and America.

On a muggy August afternoon in Baltimore, trash scuttled down Guilford Avenue, the breeze smelling like rain and asphalt. It was the last week of shooting for the fifth and final season of the HBO drama “The Wire,” and the crew was filming a scene in front of a boarded-up elementary school. Cast members had been joined by forty or so day players—mostly kids from the neighborhood. Earlier, the episode’s director, Clark Johnson, had been giving some of the kids the chance to say “Cut!,” and they’d bellowed it like drunks at a surprise party. Now, when Johnson yelled “Cut,” the kids swarmed around a video monitor to look at themselves in the last shot, pointing and laughing. “He just said it was good,” one kid complained. “Why we gotta do it again?” Johnson, who was wearing what he called his “lucky cowboy hat,” stepped away to talk to one of the professional actors. Another man—a bald white guy, unprepossessing in jeans and a T-shirt—remained by the monitor, and he answered the kids: “Hey. He’s the director. You don’t believe him? He kinda, sorta knows what he’s doin’.” The bald guy was David Simon, the show’s creator: a former Baltimore Sun reporter who figured that he’d spend his life at a newspaper, a print journalist who has forged an improbable career in television without ever leaving Baltimore. The kids listened politely to Simon and ran back to their places.

Each season of “The Wire” has focussed, with sociological precision, on a different facet of Baltimore. continued...

Leni Yoshida's closeup cuteness!

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Leni Yoshida loves izakayas, Japan summer '07

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Blue Ribbon Sushi treat!

Thanks to Amy Wood (pictured on the right, Nectar on the left), we enjoyed a delicious feast at the always great Blue Ribbon Sushi! Thanks again Amy!

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November 1, 2007

Red Sox Rule!!! Red Sox Nation Lives!!!

The first baseball team I loved was the Yomiuri Giants in Japan. My 11 year old BFF and I lived near Hara Tatsunori, one of the top players and borderline stalked his house one fun summer. One summer in CA in my teens I went to an As game and enjoyed a brief love affair with the As and Canseco. In my adult life I am wiser and my heart has been with the lovable Red Sox. This world series I particularly loved watching the relentlessly fierce Okajima and Papelbon!

Here's a funny photo taken by Katy at a Red Sox Rolling Rally:

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Remembering Miami '07

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Quiz: Guess what this is??!!

Answer: A gift from a scallop!

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I challenge you to battle this four year old!

* Thanks to my Mother in Law Della for this!!

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