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hilker:

The Next Mozart? 6-Year Old Piano Prodigy Wows All (via wgn)
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posted 8 / 24 / 2009
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davidmaddox:

Samuel Barber - “Adagio For Strings” (1936)
as performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Easily one of my two favorite “standalone” classical pieces.

It’s one of those pieces that is so good it can be easily overused and abused.  People love to use it at every memorial service, solemn occasion, or American military holiday possible for it’s slow, incrimental build-up to a grand, climactic crescendo - the kind most Composers probably spend their entire lives trying to cook-up.  But, despite being at risk of being made into a clichè (or a meme for that matter), it is simply incredible if listened to occasionally, preferrably with headphones at high volume (or on vinyl).

I’m still a fan of Rachmaninoff, Bach, Mozart, and Mahler, but there are two classical pieces (of larger movements) that hold personal significance for me.  This is one.

The other? Franz Listz’s “Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 in C-Sharp Minor.

If you listen, you get a gold star for the day.

Agreed. This is a heart-rendingly beautiful piece of music, and also one of my favorites.

(Download link. This has been played 70 times.)
Tags: Notes
posted 8 / 19 / 2009
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LOS ANGELES—Executives at Paramount Pictures announced Monday that production had finally wrapped on The Brothers Karamazov, a new film adaptation that concludes at the precise moment most readers give up on the classic Russian novel.

The 83-minute film, which is based on the first 142 or so pages of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s acclaimed work, has already garnered attention for its stunning climax, in which the end credits suddenly appear midway through Katerina’s tearful speech about an unpaid debt.

‘We are very excited to be able to bring several chapters of this timeless masterpiece to the big screen,’ Paramount CEO Brad Grey said of the movie, which was shot, on and off, for two years. ‘Anyone who’s ever tried to sit down and trudge through this incredible book is going to be absolutely blown away by the faithfulness of our film.’

‘It’s all here,’ Grey added. ‘The opening scene, that part a little bit later on where some big commotion is taking place but you’re not quite sure what it is, that monastery thing they all go to—everything, just as you half-remember it.’

I for one can’t wait. (via ayjay)

This is so true. I’ve started this book at least twice and have yet to finish it—but I do intend to.

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posted 8 / 19 / 2009
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New research shows that when married people become single again, whether by divorce or a spouse’s death, they experience much more than an emotional loss. Often they suffer a decline in physical health from which they never fully recover, even if they remarry. And in terms of health, it’s not better to have married and lost than never to have married at all. Middle-age people who never married have fewer chronic health problems than those who were divorced or widowed.

Divorce, It Seems, Can Make You Ill - NYT

via Breakpoint, which comments:

The Times is quick to claim that staying in a bad marriage can lead to physical problems, too. But it’s good news that major news outlets are writing articles like this. For decades, they have trumpeted the idea that divorce harms nobody, that children do just fine without fathers, and that we should all just do whatever makes us happy, maritally speaking, that is. But now the problems of marital breakdown—and failure to form families in the first place—have become so severe that not even news outlets hostile to Christian teachings can deny it.

(via whatismarriage)

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posted 8 / 19 / 2009
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topherchris:

NYC PROTIP: Waiting for the Walk Signal at a crosswalk makes you look lame and uncool. Jumping out in the street so fast you literally feel a taxi brush up against you makes you look awesome and badass like me.

"Watch out for the yellow ones—they don’t stop!"

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posted 8 / 19 / 2009
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davereed:
I thought I’d tumbl this picture, too; it’s just a zoomed-in version of the last one
Stop it. I’m getting nostalgic for the PNW.

davereed:

I thought I’d tumbl this picture, too; it’s just a zoomed-in version of the last one

Stop it. I’m getting nostalgic for the PNW.

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posted 8 / 18 / 2009
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randyhaddock:

Fionn Regan - Hey Rabbit

It’s funny you should post this. On Sunday a friend of mine was singing Regan’s praises and told me to check him out.

(Download link. This has been played 131 times.)
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posted 8 / 18 / 2009
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danielholter:

staff:

Automatically publish to your Facebook News Feed
We’ve seen a bunch of junky Facebook integrations by publishing platforms, and we wanted to make sure we did you, your blogs, and your News Feeds justice.
So today we’re very excited to announce Facebook publishing, built into Tumblr, that makes your posts look hot.
Activate it on your Goodies page.  Enjoy!

But can we select which posts get sent there?  I don’t want everything showing up both places… can’t imagine I’m alone.

Exactly. My tumblr audience and my Facebook audience are, uh, quite different…
Besides, my ultraconservative 8th grade teacher would neither understand nor approve of everything that goes on around here…

danielholter:

staff:

Automatically publish to your Facebook News Feed

We’ve seen a bunch of junky Facebook integrations by publishing platforms, and we wanted to make sure we did you, your blogs, and your News Feeds justice.

So today we’re very excited to announce Facebook publishing, built into Tumblr, that makes your posts look hot.

Activate it on your Goodies page.  Enjoy!

But can we select which posts get sent there?  I don’t want everything showing up both places… can’t imagine I’m alone.

Exactly. My tumblr audience and my Facebook audience are, uh, quite different…

Besides, my ultraconservative 8th grade teacher would neither understand nor approve of everything that goes on around here…

Tags: Notes
posted 8 / 18 / 2009
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In other words, Scalia’s Constitution does not guarantee a man who has been convicted and sentenced to death–but who is actually innocent–a review of his case. It is certainly true that the Constitution provides no absolute guarantee of justice. But Scalia’s view effectively puts an expense meter on the justice process. Once the process has run through certain steps, that’s it. In his view, it really shouldn’t matter that subsequent evidence establishes that the conviction is mistaken. It’s more efficient simply to implement the decision and execute the innocent man.

A Culture of Death (via azspot)

This is a harsh truth about Scalia’s textualism. It purports to look only at the four corners of the law. And, sadly, there is no established law that says we cannot execute somebody we know to be innocent. It’s an absurd conclusion—but it might help to know the reasoning behind it.

Absolute guilt or innocence is hard to know. Eyewitnesses frequently get confused. Confessions are coerced or given under fear of harsher judgments. An enterprising criminal could even throw off DNA evidence (say, by splashing somebody else’s blood around a crime scene). Even police or expert witnesses sometimes lie. Thus, we have a procedures. If you plead guilty or a jury finds you guilty, you are guilty. Once you’re found guilty, you have a finite number of chances to appeal and maybe get a new trial. When you run out, you’re out. This is simple and knowable—and it doesn’t get into tricky questions of how certain we can be of anything. This may be to boring. Perhaps I can make it a bit more sensational.

Suppose Justice Scalia is managing a strip club. A prospective dancer tells him she is 18. He doesn’t think she looks 18. In fact, she looks like she’s about 12. She is, in fact, 12, but he doesn’t know that, so he asks for some ID. She gives him a drivers license saying she’s 18. He’s still skeptical. She shows him a passport and birth certificate as well. He checks the holograms on the passport. Everything looks authentic. He gets on the phone and calls the BMV to make sure that’s a real driver’s license. They confirm that it is. He even calls the hospital she was supposedly born in 18 years ago. They don’t recognize anything suspicious about the birth certificate. So Scalia says, “Fine. The documents say you’re 18. I checked as carefully as I could. I guess you’re 18. There’s nothing else for me to worry about.” He has taken numerous precautions, and everything checked out. So he hires a 12-year-old stripper. It’s final, and as far as he’s concerned, the issue is closed.

Then something else happens. Some people shows up claiming to be the girls parents. They say their daughter is 12 and should not work as a stripper. He says that he checked the documents and determined that she is 12. Some teachers call and confirm that she is, indeed, a seventh-grader. They pull out her seventh-grade report card dated last week. They explain that there was a typo in the year on the birth certificate. This allowed the girl to get a drivers license and passport, also with an erroneous date. But Scalia has done all his work. He doesn’t want to have to worry abou this sort of uncertainty. He took sufficient precautions. Why should he reopen the inquiry?

Sure, bad things happen. Once in a while you hire a stripper who you’re pretty sure is actually twelve. Or maybe you execute a man you’re pretty sure was innocent. But there’s a price for finality.

(via squashed)

This is a good post. “Absolute guilt or innocence is hard to know” and “There is a price for finality”—these two sentences sum up why I am coming to oppose the death penalty on practical, but not philosophical, reasons.

On the other hand, I sympathize with Scalia’s main point that, as Squashed put it, Scalia’s “Constitution does not guarantee a man who has been convicted and sentenced to death—but who is actually innocent—a review of his case.” There are lots of things that aren’t in the Constitution. The important protections (and many that aren’t) are added legislatively.

Why hasn’t Congress done anything about this? Is it because the science that brings convictions into doubt is so new and they simply haven’t caught up?

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posted 8 / 18 / 2009
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Radley Balko on Whole Foods

hilker:

jeffmiller:

It’s bad form to quote an entire blog entry, but there isn’t a word of it I’d like to omit:

I plan to do a lot more shopping at Whole Foods in the coming weeks. Mostly in response to the moronic boycott of the store now gaining momentum on the left.
Let me see if I have the logic correct here: Whole Foods is consistently ranked among the most employee-friendly places to work in the service industry. In fact, Whole Foods treats employees a hell of a lot better than most liberal activist groups do. The company has strict environmental and humane animal treatment standards about how its food is grown and raised. The company buys local. The store near me is hosting a local tasting event for its regional vendors. Last I saw, the company’s lowest wage earners make $13.15 per hour. They also get to vote on what type of health insurance they want. And they all get health insurance. The company is also constantly raising money for various philanthropic causes. When I was there today, they were taking donations for a school lunch program. In short, Whole Foods is everything leftists talk about when they talk about“corporate responsibility.”
And yet lefties want to boycott the company because CEO John Mackey wrote an op-ed that suggests alternatives to single payer health care? It wasn’t even a nasty or mean-spirited op-ed. Mackey didn’t spread misinformation about death panels, call anyone names, or use ad hominem attacks. He put forth actual ideas and policy proposals, many of them tested and proven during his own experience running a large company. Is this really the state of debate on the left, now? “Agree with us, or we’ll crush you?”
These people don’t want a dicussion. They don’t want to hear ideas. They want you to shut up and do what they say, or they’re going to punish you.
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posted 8 / 18 / 2009
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more about "Soup - Jon Stewart takes on cable new...", posted with vodpod

brooklynmutt:

Soup - Jon Stewart takes on cable news pollsters.

Spot on. Any time you hear somebody start talking about the results of an internet/texting poll, tune out immediately. They are NOT scientific, which makes them utterly worthless.

There’s already enough room for bias in scientific polls. The last thing we need is an argument based on shoddy methods.

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posted 8 / 18 / 2009
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brooklynmutt:

“Save Tonight”, Eagle Eye Cherry

One hit wonder!

( This has been played 24 times.)
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posted 8 / 18 / 2009
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The Right Kind of Reform

jasencomstock:

sds:

[…]

Scott Gottlieb: Obama and the Practice of Medicine - WSJ.com

“Regulating medical decisions should not be the responsibility of a remote Washington bureaucracy. The only way to instill more reflection at the point of medical decision making is to give doctors and patients reasons to consider the cost of various options.”

Listen, I’m all for an open dialogue, but the above quote is a reason why there is no open debate on Health-Care reform.  No one, no one, no one, is handling medical decisions over to a “remote Washington bureaucracy.”  The only person who should ever make decisions about your medical treatment should be you- with the assistance of your doctor.  I have never seen any proof that reform options being considered right now would ever stipulate that someone else should make those decisions, remote Washington bureaucrats or remote Pierre South Dakota insurance bureaucrats.  Any opinion which contains the meme of “Remote Bureaucrats killing your grandma to save money” is disingenuous.

I’m confused why you think this article isn’t engaging the dialogue. Gottlieb is arguing that Obama’s characterization of money-grubbing doctors is false—and that his reform proposals, which could involve regulating expensive procedures, take the wrong approach and address the wrong issues.

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posted 8 / 17 / 2009
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The Canadian Press: Overhauling health-care system tops agenda at annual meeting of Canada's doctors

hilker:

“The incoming president of the Canadian Medical Association says this country’s health-care system is sick and doctors need to develop a plan to cure it.

Dr. Anne Doig says patients are getting less than optimal care and she adds that physicians from across the country - who will gather in Saskatoon on Sunday for their annual meeting - recognize that changes must be made.

“We all agree that the system is imploding, we all agree that things are more precarious than perhaps Canadians realize,” Doing said in an interview with The Canadian Press.

“We know that there must be change,” she said. “We’re all running flat out, we’re all just trying to stay ahead of the immediate day-to-day demands.”“

[via digg]

What do doctors know, anyway?

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posted 8 / 17 / 2009
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Boycott Whole Foods

hilker:

bellatoris:

azspot:

John Mackey is a right wing libertarian.

He’s a union buster.

He believes that corporations should not be criminally prosecuted for their crimes.

He has just launched a campaign to defeat a single payer national health insurance system.

And he’s the CEO of Whole Foods.

Primo hangout of liberal Democratic yuppies.

Wait, this is why is should boycott it?

(Every once in a while, I wish Tumblr had emoticons. The semicolon wink just doesn’t cut it.)

i love azspot’s post (or rather the post he tumbld; perhaps it’s not AZspot’s sentiment) for a couple reasons:

1) whole foods is where it is today - likely in his backyard - because of “right-wing libertarian” business practices. “let’s boycott a business that sells us things we want because we disagree with the philosophy that enabled said business to sell us things we want!!!!!” it’s calling for a market action (choosing an alternative) against a market-driven enterprise led by a market-minded man (who has actually seen firsthand the benefits of parts of the system he proposes) because he does not advocate an anti-market healthcare plan.

2) the idea that “right-wing libertarian[s]” can’t like eating healthy, which is perhaps the ultimate physical expression of personal responsibility, a defining trait of conservatives.

3) as <a href=”http://buttersandwiches.tumblr.com/post/162234350/boycott-whole-foods”>buttersandwiches</a> points out, it “seems like intolerance towards others, something that “liberals” are always preaching against” and “Individual Whole Foods stores partner with local farmers sometimes to make sure that at least some of the food they sell is locally grown, and they have a buttload of organic goods there,” which is to say that if a local whole foods store can’t stay open because of such a boycott, local farmers will lose their major buyer and that many more people will have fewer organic, local grocery options. let’s say the boycott is wildly successful. whole foods goes bankrupt. what happens to its suppliers when their distribution mechanism is gone?

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posted 8 / 13 / 2009
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