Andrea Harner
andreaharnerblog AT gmail
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January 31, 2008

This is why we must not be taken in by the still horrific Chinese government must

Dissident’s Arrest Hints at Olympic Crackdown by Jim Yardley, NYTimes.


It's hopeless. I thought Charles Schwab was the one company from which I could expect good customer service because that had always been the case until now.

The doomed conversation began like this: I'm having trouble with an incoming wire transfer from Austria.

Schwab rep: Ok, Australia. No, Austria.

Schwab rep: The wire is coming from Australia, right? No, Austria.

Schwab rep: But is it in Australian dollars?" No, they are two different countries. Austria is next to Germany and Australia is in the Southern Hemisphere.

Schwap rep: So what kind of money do they have? Aren't you the bank?

More and more I see how growing up in Japan has handicapped me when dealing with the rest of the incompetent world.

January 30, 2008

Looking Anew At Campaign Cash And Elected Judges by Adam Liptak, NYTimes

Loved this article and the research question asked. The judges will surely squirm, at the very least, when the full article is published next month in the Tulane Law Review!


What "Psychopath" Means: It is not quite what you may think by Scott O. Lilienfeld and Hal Arkowitz

For those of you curious about what I've been learning at school, this is a cursory but good summary of psychopathy.

* via Scientific American Mind.

January 29, 2008

I've been attacked by Norovirus

Jonah had it a few days ago and surprise now I have it.

Missing the ole family.





January 28, 2008

Obama's speech in South Carolina was inspiring! Obama's the Great Uniter! Obama inspires!


Left Brains vs. Right Brains: Political ideology is tied to how the brain manages conflict by Siri Carpenter

People who describe themselves as being politically liberal can better suppress a habitual response when faced with situations in which that response is incorrect, according to research that used a simple cognitive test to compare liberal and conservative thinkers. Tasks that require such “conflict monitoring” also triggered more activity in the liberals’ anterior cingulate cortex, a brain region geared to detect and respond to conflicting information.

Past research has shown that liberals and conservatives exhibit differing cognitive styles, with liberals being more tolerant of ambiguity and conservatives preferring more structure. The new paper “is exciting because it suggests a specific mechanism” for that pattern, com­ments psychologist Wil Cunningham of Ohio State University, who was not involved with the study. In the experiment, subjects saw a series of letters flash quickly on a screen and were told to press a button when they saw M, but not W. Because M appeared about 80 percent of the time, hitting the button became a reflex—and the more liberal-minded volunteers were better able to avoid the knee-jerk reaction.

The study’s lead author, psychologist David Amodio of New York University, emphasizes that the findings do not mean that political views are predetermined. “There are a lot of steps be­tween conflict monitoring and political ideology, and we don’t know what those steps are,” he says. Although the neurocognitive process his group measured is so basic that it is most likely in place in early childhood, he notes that “the whole brain is very malleable.” Social relation­ships and other environmental factors also shape one’s political leanings.

* via Scientific American Mind January/February 08

January 25, 2008

How to Be Happy, Confucian Style







* via PsyBlog.

Fish Bet Booty

While in the Bay Area over the holidays, Annie Maxwell so awesomely drove up from Santa Barbara to hang out with us! However, she not so awesomely bet against our fish parenting skills. Over dinner she bet that one of our three fish would be dead upon our return to NYC. It was a $10 bet and we were very serious about it. Who ended up winning the bet? The answer lays within this little piece of mail I received about 10 days after the bet.





Soy sauce dispensing chopsticks!!



Bunker 77: I am intrigued

The short story of Clark Gable's stepson.



January 23, 2008

How to transport goldfish 101

Dip the Brita pitcher gently...GENTLY!! all the while muttering soothing sayings like, "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, fishies..."


Once CAPTURED!, gaze at them through the embossed Brita logo and ponder if they know what's happening:


Do not forget to bring at least a third of their tank water. Be prepared for your hubby to complain about how heavy the water is and for you to grab it out of his hands and carry it yourself and to wake up sore the next morning.


LOCK THEM IN in case of nasty fall which would be their certain death:


Embody a loving and optimistic attitude as you embark on their transport:


Heath Ledger dies, RIP

The scene at his 421 Broome St. apartment at 6 pm last night.









For all the latest, check out BuzzFeed.

Jerri Blank (Amy Sedaris) on voting

January 22, 2008


* Thanks again for the gems, CP!


* Thanks Chelsea!

Choate's graduation speaker: Karl Rove

I may have to take a field trip to my high school to learn something!


* Thanks to my MnL for the link!

Whistling puppy: My finger hurts from clicking replay

Puppy and bunny! Puppy and bunny!! Puppy and bunny!!!!!!!

Introducing cuteness! Flocke the dog and Felix the rabbit:



* Thanks to Kristoffer Kaspersen for the photos!

January 21, 2008

Nigel hopped into my life this weekend

Andrea Spratt's bunny Nigel/Nigelina/Nigelingers in stripes:


January 17, 2008

Nothing cuter than...

These two things:

1) While driving in Berkeley last month we watched a woman drive towards us with her dog in the passenger seat, lean over, kiss her pooch and continue driving without missing a beat.

2) Just a few minutes ago while walking back from the beach in Santa Monica to the car, I saw an older lady walking her dog and when her dog stopped walking for a few seconds she looked around then bent down and kissed her pup. There was no one but me when she looked around so I can only guess she sensed that I would understand. She was right.

January 16, 2008

En route to LA

Purpose of trip is to check out Scientology's Celebrity Centre. JK JK!!

We're going to Tom Cruise's.

Back to NYC on Sunday.

Scientology: The cult of greed by Richard Behar, Time Magazine 1991!

Ruined lives. Lost fortunes. Federal crimes. Scientology poses as a religion but really is a ruthless global scam -- and aiming for the mainstream.


The Road to Xenu: A narrative account of life in Scientology by Margery Wakefield & Testimony: The autobiography of Margery Wakefield

I just started perusing this story and this autobiography (both available online in their entirety and for free!) sent to Paulette Cooper in solidarity (see below) and they already promise to be like the Jim Jones memoir I devoured: Seductive Poison.

The Scandal of the Scandal of Scientology by Paulette Cooper, Operation Clambake

Incredible story.

The book the Scientologists tried to stop: The Scandal of Scientology.



Diana author names Tom Cruise as 'World Number Two in Scientology' by James Tapper, Daily Mail

From this article are some snippets - the first of which is my favorite idea in a long time and crossing my fingers it's true!!

Of the bizarre beliefs Morton ascribes to some Scientologists about Cruise's third wife, Katie Holmes, whom the actor married in a whirlwind romance, the author says, incredibly: "Some Sea Org fanatics even wondered if the actress had been impregnated with Hubbard's frozen sperm.

Morton claims Scientologists were worried that Kidman might be a problem because her father was a psychologist - "which automatically made her a Potential Trouble Source" - and she had given an interview emphasising her roots as a Catholic. "The fear was that a lukewarm Nicole could fatally compromise Tom's commitment to his faith," Morton writes. "Somehow Tom had to be inoculated against the virus of doubt. "The surefire cure for scepticism was the Potential Trouble Source/ Suppressive Person course, which reinforced wavering Scientologists' loyalty while making them more suspicious of those around them who were not members of the faith."

Morton recounts allegations that "auditing" focuses on the subject's sex life. He quotes Hubbard's son, Ronald De Wolf, who fell out with his father, giving a Playboy interview: "You have complete control of someone if you have every detail of his sex life and fantasy life on record. In Scientology the focus is on sex. Sex, sex, sex. "The first thing we wanted to know about someone we were auditing was his sexual deviations. All you've got to do is find a person's kinks, whatever they might be. "Their dreams and their fantasies. Then you can fit a ring through their noses and take them anywhere. You promise to fulfill their fantasies or you threaten to expose them."

* Thanks to Chelsea for the link!

Three Defenders of Scientology

WOW. It's plain to see how the Church of Scientology has become so powerful - congrats, guys! It's brainwashed their followers into being suspicious of and antagonistic towards any non-believers. Their identities seem to be rooted in singling out dissenters who could only be such SPs (Suppressive Person - thanks, L. Ron) because they must be hiding some deep dark secret! Plus, they relentlessly spew rhetoric of how they are about positivity when all the while they are acting negatively - brilliant! Here's a depressing thought for you: Think of alllllll the money the Church of Scientology has and how it's not being spent on things like education and health care.

Definition of Enturbulate.

Scientology vs. BBC

Wow. I first read this BBC article and watched the accompanying video in which John Sweeney, the BBC reporter investigating the Church of Scientology, loses out. Then I watched the following video and now feel immense sympathy for his wholly understandable freak-out. The steadfast refusal of Scientologists to engage in debate or even a two-way conversation is infuriating even just to watch - I can't imagine taking part in it. Their attempts to replace the authority of the field of psychiatry with their own are laughable but in fact they are pernicious. Enjoy this frightful video:

Nick Denton's Balls - your thoughts??

As you may know, BuzzFeed asks bloggers if they've written about trends that have been covered by BuzzFeed. Some comic relief amidst the realization that Scientologists are taking over:


Nick Denton has big balls and I cannot lie



January 15, 2008

Teeth by Mitchell Lichtenstein

You have to see this movie. Preferably with a male companion. Saw it last night and it's pretty great. Not sure why my crotch feels vulnerable but...well you'll see. Congrats to Mitchell, who is a friend of friends, for a fantastic job! And thanks to Susan for the invite - was certainly a memorable date!


Courtroom 302: A Year Behind the Scenes in an American Criminal Courthouse by Steve Bogira

I am delighted my friend Eric was so right on when he suggested I read this book. It is written by an investigative journalist and delivers a thoughtful glimpse into our criminal court system by shadowing one judge and highlighting the stories of a handful of people that come into contact with this judge and his courtroom. I read it straight through on our flight to California for the holidays and finished it on the flight back. If this book interests you I am certain you will also enjoy another book written from a similar investigative and sociological perspective: Our Guys.


January 14, 2008

England 2007: Oxford Day Two











They don't make costumes like they used to

Kenyatta ruled as a chicken:


Dad's LOL response to Rich Kid Syndrome article


January 11, 2008

Rich Kid Syndrome by Jennifer Senior, NY Magazine

This is a very good article on the struggles of raising rich kids and it begins like this: "America’s burgeoning money culture is producing a record number of heirs—but handing down values is harder than handing down wealth."



Recently, I phoned Andrew Solomon, heir to a substantial pharmaceutical fortune and author of the beautiful depression memoir The Noonday Demon, and asked if he’d discuss the psychological effects of inherited wealth. In the most gracious way, he declined. I pointed out that in his book, he was willing to talk about a depression so profound he attempted to contract HIV in order to have a reason to kill himself; yet he was too shy, on the phone, to talk about his inheritance. Why was that?

In Manhattan, one might argue we’ve already evolved from a borough of aspirational wealth to one of inherited wealth—if the average price of an apartment is $1.3 million, who besides investment bankers can afford one without parental assistance? “There are already examples of whole societies out there like this,” says Dalton Conley, chairman of the sociology department at NYU and author of the forthcoming The Elsewhere Society. “Like the Gulf states. I’ve compared Manhattan to the United Arab Emirates before. They have a nonnative working class that comes in and does all the labor, and the natives don’t have to do anything.”

“I just met this morning with a very sharp 48-year-old,” says Charles Collier, author of Wealth in Families and senior philanthropic adviser at Harvard University. “And he said to me, ‘I don’t want my children to be entitled, but I want to have a jet. I came from nothing. Haven’t I earned my jet?’” (Family advisers to the megarich say you’d be amazed how often this comes up, this question about private jets. Anxious business executives raise their hands in almost every seminar about it, seeking expiation.) And perhaps this fellow has earned his jet. But his children haven’t. The problem with money, as he doubtless discovered, is that it sets up its own paradox: Hard work may yield it, but growing up with it often discourages hard work.

January 10, 2008

This is my self-image


Gyaru Girls: #53,991 reason I love Japan

Have you ever considered that gyaru girls are normal and we are weird????!!!


For more on Gyaru Girls including videos click here

Spring 2008 Grad School Schedule!

I loved every minute of last semester (minus paper-writing and test-taking stress) and looking forward to my second semester which will consist of these classes:


January 7, 2008

England 2007: Oxford Day One Night - Jonah's ancestors



England 2007, Oxford Day One Night

Among the several special events Oxford had planned for us (as part of the Silicon Valley Comes to Oxford event) was a tour of the world-famous Bodleian Library which was indeed awe-inspiring!














January 4, 2008

Merry Christmas 2007! Love, & Santa's Helper


* Tracy, CA is where to be for Xmas!!!
** Thanks for the photo, JLa!! Beautiful models must have made your job pretty easy. LOLOLOLOLOL!

England 2007: Oxford - Malmaison Hotel Oxford kindly put us up in was awesome and previously a...can you guess???







England 2007: Oxford Day One - It's true what they say about the lines




England 2007: Oxford Day One Day











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