Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My "Who Are You on True Blood?" quiz result

You Are Eric
You are cool, calculating, and very hard to read. Power is your only concern.
People find you extremely intimidating but also very fascinating. Others are drawn to your strength.

You see most humans as pawns in your game. The only people you respect are those who have more power than you.
You are aggressive and a go-getter. You're not content to sit around and let things happen. You like to make things happen.

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Monday, May 30, 2011

The Chart That Should Accompany Every Discussion of Deficits - James Fallows - Politics - The Atlantic


via theatlantic.com

Why does this chart matter? Because it makes clear, in that wonderful "worth 1,000 words" way, two realities that are fundamental to sane discussion of public finance, but that most of the public doesn't realize and that the Republican leadership is actively working to obscure. They are:

- The very large, but temporary and self-limiting, expenditures for TARP and other measures proposed by both the Bush and Obama administrations to avoid a second Great Depression, plus Obama stimulus spending. And;

- The very large, but permanent and worsening, budgetary impact of the "Bush tax cuts" -- which when first proposed back in the pre-9/11 era, were supposed to end in 2010 and were in response to what back then seemed to be the "problem" of a burgeoning surplus in federal accounts! Since "extending" those cuts just sounds like business as usual, I think it is hard for most people to envision the profound and growing effect they have. The chart above helps toward that end -- and doesn't even go into how heavily those cuts are skewed to the "haves" of society. Last year Austan Goolsbee had a marvelous chart of his own on that point.

And as a bonus half-point, the chart clarifies that budget problems would be on the path to self-correction, if the Bush cuts had lapsed as originally planned.

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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Governors Island 05/29/11 - a set on Flickr

We spent this Sunday afternoon on Governors Island, an oasis from urban stress in the middle of the harbor. This island, whose circumference in a mere two miles, is just west of Brooklyn but politically part of Manhattan. In the 17th Century it was the first home to Dutch settlers who after their first year moved on to lower Manhattan and became the Governor's residence when New Amsterdam became New York under British rule during the colonial period. It was a Coast Guard base up until about a decade ago, and was an army base prior to 1966. This was my second visit to Governors Island; I first visited as a cub scout in 1963.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

U.S. Jews must support Obama's Mideast vision - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News

"The large Jewish peace camp in the United States must support the president and reject political activists who have turned Israel's fate into a ball on America's domestic political court."

via haaretz.com

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Vaclav and Lena, a novel about Russian-Jewish immigrants in Brooklyn - New York NY

Today New York publisher The Dial Press, a division of Random House, releases Haley Tanner's debut novel Vaclav and Lena, a coming of age tale about Russian-Jewish immigrant children in Brooklyn. In my New York Journal of Books review I describe the book as "a tale of unconditional love; of attachment, separation, and reunion; and of trauma and healing." It's an engaging read that will appeal to teens, their parents, and anyone interested in the immigrant experience. via examiner.com


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Monday, May 16, 2011

New Scientist: Orgasms unlock altered consciousness


MRI image: this is your (or somebody's) brain having an orgasm.

Further study of the orgasm - and the PreFrontalCortex's role - will offer much needed insight into how we might use thought alone to control other physical sensations, such as pain.via newscientist.com


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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Graphing Religions and Income - NYTimes.com


Some of the income differences probably stem from culture. Some faiths place great importance on formal education. But the differences are also self-reinforcing. People who make more money can send their children to better schools, exacerbating the many advantages they have over poorer children.

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

NY Times: Peace Corps Volunteers Speak Out on Rape

"My own experience,” she said, “was that the treatment by the Peace Corps was worse than the rape.”

The women ...want Congress to pass legislation requiring, among other things, that the Peace Corps develop “sexual assault response teams” to collect forensic evidence and provide emergency health care and advocacy for victims after attacks.


Read the article on nytimes.com

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mel and Miriam Alexenberg: An oral history of a Jewish-American-Israeli marriage - New York NY

Today is Yom Ha'atzmaut, Israel's Independence Day, and I'd like to mark the day by sharing an oral-history from The Jewish-American Marriage Oral History Project of a couple of Jewish New Yorkers and artists who throughout their half century marriage have alternated their residence between Israel and the United States. I interviewed Petach Tikvah, Israel residents Mel and Miriam Alexenberg a year and ten months ago at a restaurant overlooking Rockefeller Center during one of their visits to the city where they met and married.
Read the entire interview on examiner.com

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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Honest To Betsy: Uterine Orgasms - Myth and Mayhem Online and Between the Sheets

This blogger's description of sex post-hysterectomy matches my experience of sex post-prostatectomy. The orgasms are qualitatively different--not better or worse, but certainly different.

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