Archive for December 2010
I was closing Chrome at the exact instant we had a power failure, and all my installed extensions simply vanished. Worse, I never saved the list of what I had… :sigh:
And that’s how we learn valuable lessons. I now clip the list of extensions and save that page in Evernote.
I’ve now lost just a little more than 45 lbs. More important, I’m back under the line. "The line" is the well known line drawn on a graph in which the x-axis is calendar days and the y-axis is one’s weight: you draw a line from the point that represents your weight on the day that you begin to the point that represents the goal weight on the goal day (which for me is the end of February). So long as your weight stays under that line, you’re fine: you’ll reach goal weight on or before the goal day. But if your weight goes above that line, that means you have lost insufficient weight by the date shown to meet your goal: you’re falling behind.
Apparently somewhere along the way I fell behind, but I am now back under the line. And now I know not to celebrate the success of my plateau buster (morning weight 204.4 lbs) with a big dinner. So I skipped the lamb chop.
Murray & Lanman’s Florida Water is the original US version of Cologne water (aka simply as “cologne”). A citrus-y fragrance, it’s quite pleasant. I used Giovanni’s Florida Water shaving soap with the Grosvenor mixed badger/boar brush and got a fine lather and plenty for three passes. The redoubtable bulldog iKon open-comb with a Swedish Gillette blade did its usual superb job, and a splash of Murray & Lanman at the end finished the job. (The label is gone, but that is indeed Murray & Lanman Florida Water.)
I’m watching Collapse. Well worth viewing: seeing so many well-known uncomfortable truths gathered together and related is eye-opening. Great for New Year’s Eve viewing since it specifically focuses on the near-term future.
James Fallows quite rightly praises this column by Garrett Epps:
If a public figure walks on water at noon, by 3 p.m. a dozen talking heads will be explaining that he can’t swim.
That’s politics. But we can hope that federal judges won’t think in sound bites.
The current lawsuits challenging the Affordable Care Act raise this question insistently. I return to this lawsuit in yet another column because I believe this case will dominate both constitutional law and political discourse over at least the next 12 months–and because I believe its stakes far transcend its immediate consequences, important though they will be. I think that if our federal courts are willing to sign on to the challengers’ jejune theory of this case, not only we but our children will spend years dealing the malign consequences of the mistake. Nothing less than the ability of the United States to function as a modern nation may be at stake.
(Okay, I also return because I enjoy the comments that will shortly appear below accusing me of being Kim Jong Il, but that’s a secondary reason.)
So far, in two of the pending lawsuits, opponents of the law have succeeded in spinning the judges, framing the lawsuits as posing the question whether (as Virginia argued) the federal government can "impose a penalty for what amounts to passive inactivity."
We know the talk-radio answer to this question: Tyranny! Death panels! Black helicopters! Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition!
But the judicial answer, it seems to me, should be two-fold.
The first, and most important, answer a judge should give is, "I dunno. Find a case where the government does that and get back to me." Because that description of the Affordable Care Act is simply inaccurate.
The second answer, which a judge shouldn’t give but a Con Law jock like me can, is, "Why ever not?"
I will get to that one later; but first, let’s deal with the canard that the Act somehow "penalizes inactivity."
Here’s how Judge Henry Hudson put it in his decision in Cuccinelli v. Sebelius: . . .
Our Pilates classes are going well. The Wife wanted to know some mat exercises, so she could do those while she’s away in Paris, so our instructor particularly recommended two books:
The Everything Pilates Book: The Ultimate Guide to Making Your Body Stronger, Leaner, and Healthier, by Amy Taylor Alpers, Rachel Taylor Sege, and Lorna Gentry
A Pilates Primer: The Millennium Edition, by Joseph Pilates
Obviously, nothing replaces a good instructor, who can catch and correct subtle errors of which the client is completely unaware. But in combination with an instructor, these books can be quite helpful. The first is out of print, but you can read Amazon’s reader reviews here.
For centuries, humanity has been utterly transfixed by the cosmos, with generations of astronomers, philosophers and everyday ponderers striving to better understand the grand capsule of our existence. And yet to this day, some of the most basic, fundamental qualities of the universe remain a mystery. How Large is the Universe? is a fascinating 20-minute documentary by Thomas Lucas and Dave Brody exploring the universe’s immense scale of distance and time.
“Recent precision measurements gathered by the Hubble space telescope and other instruments have brought a consensus that the universe dates back 13.7 billion years. Its radius, then, is the distance a beam of light would have traveled in that time – 13.7 billion light years. That works out to about 1.3 quadrillion kilometers. In fact, it’s even bigger – much bigger. How it got so large, so fast, was until recently a deep mystery.”
For more on the subject, see these five fascinating ways to grasp the size and scale of the universe.
Maria Popova is the founder and editor in chief of Brain Pickings, a curated inventory of cross-disciplinary interestingness. She writes for Wired UK, GOOD Magazine and DesignObserver, and spends a great deal of time on Twitter.