In "Unofficial Official America 2008 Election Wrap-Up."

Medusa - when I had to do a provisional ballot last time (because I never got my absentee ballot), it reset my voting status. So, if your husband's friend was normally an absentee voter, he may have to register for it again. And of course, they say nothing about this at the polling sites.

In "Going to Burning Man?"

This time, I'll be with Where's Waldo? Camp and we'll have a giant Waldo for the satellite map!

In "Curious George: My (Not-So-Golden) Arches"

I run short distances (~2-4km) a couple of times a week, and I've found that I had a lot of pain in a lot of places when I started (knee, arch, and especially achilles tendon - couldn't walk right when that one acted up). I asked a doc about it and he told me to stretch before, during, and after jogging. Now that I do that, it adds ~10 minutes to my workout and I haven't had any pain anywhere. Won't help with the arches, but it may help with other owies.

In "Plastic patch in the Pacific now twice the size of the US."

roryk - I don't know what kind of results India was expecting, but their population growth has diminished significantly and consistently in the past 40 years. I've linked this presentation by Hans Rosling before here, but I'll do so again because it is just a fantastic lecture. Seriously - it's short and riveting and it just blows away the common idea that the third world is still filled with women having 10 and 12 kids.

In "Discovery backs theory oil not 'fossil fuel'"

roryk - I do have a subscription, and you are absolutely right. Their work suggests that low molecular weight hydrocarbons may form at very low yield near certain oceanic thermal vents. More about gathering evidence for an accepted theorem (FTT) than gathering evidence for abiotic oil production.

In "On-line Board Gaming:"

I just learned to play Carcassone last month! Turned out I didn't care for it, but it was a gateway drug and now I'm playing Ticket to Ride and San Juan and a couple of pirate-themed board games whenever I get the chance. And I just started a board game group that will meet for the first time this weekend. Yay board games!

In "Theories of cancer"

HPV != herpes HPV stands for human papillomavirus. There are over 100 known HPV genomes, 18 of which are currently associated with cervical cancer, and 6 of which are associated with genital warts. HPV is a slow-evolving virus, unlike the flu or HIV, so there is no need to develop a new vaccine every year. Some 80% of 25-35 year olds have been infected with HPV - however, the vast majority of infections are cleared by the body and cause no symptoms or long-term risk of harm. Even if you get one of the risky types - HPV-16 for instance - you are unlikely to get cervical cancer. And there are a bunch of companies working on detection screens, so clinical testing for HPV type is not far off.

In "Why turning 40 sucks."

Damn Medusa - I'd count yourself as more than halfway decent looking. 40 would've been pretty far off my guess.

In "The "blog" of "unnecessary" quotation "marks"."

Oh! I love this site - this is my friend's entry.

In "Beauty Queen rejected as pageant judge."

Ah, Plus as in plus-sized. At first, I assumed that Miss Canada Plus meant that you could apply if you were Canada-adjacent. Like, it's cool if you're from Greenland and pretty and can yodel while twirling a baton and whatnot.

In "Books that make you dumb."

ladyknight and mechagrue - the FAQ page indicates that how this chart was done was to take each incident of a book being listed in the top ten for a school (> 1300 schools), weight for how high in the top 10 a book ranked, tie the school to a number of students and an average SAT score, and sum for each book. Given that, any book that is mentioned a lot will probably be in the middle. For example, things that everyone reads (Shakespeare and Harry Potter) fall dead center, while things that fewer people read (Lolita and True to the Game) may be to the left or right. However, a book that few people read may be in the center if the people who read it attend schools with average scores. So this graph is mostly informative at the extreme values, and is just as useful for telling you what people dont read as what they do, e.g. black authors are not well represented at 1300 score universities (probably following the poor representation of black teachers at those universities) and white folk "classics" not commonly assigned in high school/college curriculum aren't seen as often at 900 score universities (perhaps because the students are still on the first batch of classics and didn't read them all in prep school).

In "Curious George: Nudes for Kids"

I've still never seen a Playgirl, but in second grade, I found some Hustlers in the woods behind the school. Pretty disconcerting now to think of why there might be porn stashed by an elementary school, but at the time I wasn't phased. My friends and I were reading them in the school library and a teacher saw us, got the principal involved, and all our parents had to come get us. I don't know that the experience warped my psyche, but I sure got the message that sex is probably bad and definitely something you keep to yourself.

In "I took every one of these photos."

Ok, now I get it. The video is still there, just farther down the page. Boy the internets is so confounding with its scrollbars and whatnot!

Oh, never mind. Seems that the links are not constant, so the video I pointed to in my previous comment is no longer there.

This video is my favorite so far

In "Questioning the banality of evil."

That was a fascinating link, HW. And it makes a lot of intuitive sense that amongst people who 'drink the kool-aid', you would get people who want to excel and see the clearest way to do so by being more brutal than their peers.

In "Curious George - New Years Traditions and Resolutions?"

I'm with homunculus, but even more general: use less. I'm applying that to all sorts of things, including packaging, time spent commuting, gas, coffee, etc.

In "FAIL."

Thank god I have you guys to keep me in the loop. I just found out what lolcats are, so I think my internets education is progressing nicely.

In "SF/Bay Area Meet-uppery"

Extra-special fine. How are you?

I will be there! Sorry I've been absent to the thread for a bit. Off-line life and whatnot.

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