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Totally Tuesday


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  • Read that Smithsonian article last night. The most amazing part to me was the lone surviving daughter choosing to continue living out there. Thought the fact that the old man figured out satellites is close.

    • c u n d gulag

      Yeah, amazing story about that family out in the Siberian taiga.

      Now we can finally point out to our Libertarian friends, what a real Liberariat paradise would look like.

      To Siberia, young American Libertarians!
      There, your future awaits you. In Mother Russia’s taiga!!!
      Bring plenty of seeds and salt…

      • c u n d gulag


        • NonyNony

          I thought you might be talking about the libertarian proletariat. I am sad that libertariat was just a typo.

        • rea

          No, your true libertarian retreats to the wilderness to form his perfect society only after inventing perpetual motion.

          • DrDick

            There simply is NO True Scotsman!

      • Not to be all “this one book I read EXPLAINS EVERYTHING!!!” but that was certainly the thrust of The Art of Not Being Governed. Though this family’s isolation is extreme even for what that describes.

    • wengler

      This reminds me that one of the major disagreements Old Believers had was blessing with 3 fingers instead of 2.

      Helluva reason to go live in that sort of isolation.

      • c u n d gulag

        They didn’t accept the idea of “The Holy Ghost/Spirit,” if I remember correctly.
        As the Tsars troops approached some villages to insure compliance, since the Tsar was also the head of the Russian Orthodox Church (no seperation of State and Church there), entire villages of Old Believers took some sort of woodland fungus, that had psychodelic and painkilling qualities en mass, like it was Kool Aid at Jonestown, locked themselves up in their churches, and burned themselve alive (that “burned alive” thing never made a lick of sense to me, since they actually burned themselves “dead,” or, “to death”).

        When you come right down to it, every religion is petty and stupid.

        Sorry, faithful folks.

        • When you come right down to it, every religion is petty and stupid.

          Whereas building your understanding of existence around one of the less creative expressions of adolescent rebellion is expansive and wise.

        • Brother Flaming Sword of Moderation

          When you come right down to it, every religion is petty and stupid.

          We are Unitarian Jihad. We are everywhere. We have not been born again, nor have we sworn a blood oath. We do not think that God cares what we read, what we eat or whom we sleep with. Brother Neutron Bomb of Serenity notes for the record that he does not have a moral code but is nevertheless a good person, and Unexalted Leader Garrote of Forgiveness stipulates that Brother Neutron Bomb of Serenity is a good person, and this is to be reflected in the minutes.

          Beware! Unless you people shut up and begin acting like grown-ups with brains enough to understand the difference between political belief and personal faith, the Unitarian Jihad will begin a series of terrorist-like actions. We will take over television studios, kidnap so-called commentators and broadcast calm, well-reasoned discussions of the issues of the day. We will not try for “balance” by hiring fruitcakes; we will try for balance by hiring non-ideologues who have carefully thought through the issues.

          • For those who don’t know, this is to be reflected in the minutes is the UU term for “Amen.”

            • SeanH

              I’m imagining it chanted in plainsong…

        • They accepted the Holy Spirit, but there was an extra word in that part of their version of the creed:


  • Anonymous37

    What behavior do we owe Duke fans who visit our home arenas? Sadly, it’s a question not covered, for obvious reasons, by any human rights theory.

    Tom Ley writes (and here he’s being sarcastic for effect): “Perhaps the administrators were behaving poorly, but can you blame them? Graduate students are the world’s worst people, and ones who use the phrase ‘hard-earned Duke degrees’ are even worse than that.”

    I was recently talking to a Stanford professor who told me a story about his graduate stint at Princeton. The football games are advertised as being “free for students”. So he grabbed his student I.D. and went to the stadium to get a free seat. At the gates, he was told that they didn’t mean graduate students.

    I’d like to extend a hearty “fuck you” to Princeton University on his behalf. Hey dumbasses! Those graduate students you think are beneath you? A bunch of them are now professors at top institutions! A bunch of them went to Wall Street! And if you make a point of treating them like dirt, they will return the favor with middle fingers extended. So, just to reiterate: fuck you, Princeton University.

    • Anonymous37

      Wait, now I’m not sure that Tom Ley was being sarcastic. Okay, a hearty fuck you to you too, Ley.

    • sharculese

      Georgia put grad students in the same ticket application pool as undergrads, which meant first year grad students were eligible for the same half-season package of shitty seats as undergrads.

      i might be misremembering, but i think they did let you roll over your seniority if you did undergrad there to (i was never a grad student, so this is what i remember hearing from my coworkers)

      • Anonymous37

        Seems like a reasonable policy to me — Georgia does have numerical logistics to deal with due to their huge student body (and even larger regional fanbase).

        • sharculese

          Oh, yeah, I’m not knocking it. I just know a lot of my grad students friends were disappointed when they found out what kind of seats they could expect.

          • Anonymous37

            I didn’t think you were, but I should have been clearer about that.

    • Emily

      Maybe the Princeton undergrads paid some student fee that the graduate students didn’t pay. That’s why they got the “free” seats and grad students didn’t. True, the ID checker might have been a little more thoughtful when s/he turned you away, but I don’t think the remark was actually intended to belittle grad students.

      • Anonymous37

        Well, it wasn’t me who was turned away. And whether or not there is some specific fee that Princeton graduate students didn’t directly pay, I can assure you that the football admittance policies were of a piece with the rest of that school’s treatment of graduate students. Seriously, fuck Princeton University.

        • Jordan

          Princeton football tickets are very, very cheap. And the team was even good this year! Their illegal housing policies for graduate students rank much worse

          • Anonymous37

            Oh, absolutely. I know a student who did some sleuthing when the Princeton housing fucks tried to nickel and dime him out of his deposit, and found out that they had broken the law for every graduate student for years.

            Which, again, is the sort of thing that Princeton could have avoided by not being dicks and trying to screw students.

            • Jordan

              Yeah. They classify grad students as “hotel guests” to avoid NJ housing laws. This lets them evict grad students pretty much at their whim (happened to me last year: 25ish days to GTFO).

              • Anonymous37

                Just wait until you’re an alumnus, Jordan. I got an e-mail from a Princeton undergraduate alumnus thanking us for our TAing them.

                And then asking for a donation. Not to a graduate student fund, which would have been reasonable. It was asking me to donate to a fund for undergraduates. I was stunned by the sheer nerve, but I really shouldn’t have been.

                If I ever win the lottery, I’m going to figure out some way to create a legal fund for graduate students who are forced to deal with the administration’s shenanigans.

                • Jordan

                  Wow. And if I ever win the lottery, I will be right with you.

      • Law Spider

        Maybe the Princeton undergrads paid some student fee that the graduate students didn’t pay.


        • Jordan

          graduate students nominally get charged with tuition at Princeton. It is just always (almost always?) covered as a part of the “benefits package” offered to grad students.

  • JKTHs

    Complaining about being mistreated as an opposing team’s fan in the home team’s student section especially at a power conference D-I game INVOLVING DUKE is stupid. That should have been entirely expected.

    • Anonymous37

      Complaining about the actual administration lecturing you and delaying your entry to the seats you have every right to sit in makes perfect sense. She should have expected it, but not due to anything she and her friends did, but because the Deans and Vice Presidents at places like Miami can be expected to be fucking douchebags.

      • JKTHs

        Fine on the administrators. I’m not focused on that. The other shit is to be expected.

    • burnspbesq

      Oddly enough, visiting fans have very often remarked on how well they are treated at Cameron.

  • UberMitch

    Wait, there isn’t any mention of the Duke fans having batteries thrown at them. Why did the Hurricanes fans go so easy on them?

    • UberMitch

      I should add as a Maryland alum, I have never been prouder of my alma mater than the time JJ Reddick went on ESPN, stated that UMd had the worst fans in the ACC, and then read a poem he wrote about Jesus.

      • A traveling Terps fan was one of the most obnoxious dudes I’ve ever encountered at a sporting event. He seemed to be by himself, so maybe in a way he’s to be admired.

  • Good piece on Littlefinger.

    I think it misses his probable fraud and embezzlement as Master of Coin, but otherwise quite good.

    • Though he is quite obviously (and unrepentantly) a duplicitous bastard, Baelish has remained one of my favorite characters throughout all the books. I just liked the way Martin wrote him from the start. I would mostly agree with the author’s description of him as the “true” Machiavelli of the series, rather than Tyrion, except that I suspect Martin plans for him to make some terribly sleazy move on Sansa eventually, under the pretext that she rightly belongs to him in the place of the Catelyn he should have had.

      • IM

        Varys outplays them all, though.

        • Right. Baelish thinks he’s a peer of Varys.

          He’s not.

          • The analogy I like to use is the difference between an architect and a gambler, or between a classical composer or a jazzman.

            But yes, Littlefinger’s emotional damage around Catelyn and Sansa-as-Young-Catelyn is his Achilles’ heel.

          • witless chum

            Vague spoilers
            It’s a little hard to say and depends partly on what Varys’ end game really is.

            Littlefinger’s endgame seems to be Littlefinger as the power behind the throne in two of the Seven Kingdoms and probably a great lord in his own right.

            Varys seems to be up to something bigger and better. Because of who he is (a foreigner and a eunich), he can’t really scheme to make himself anything more than what he is. Littlefinger at least meets the bare minimum of being a lord.

            They’re playing different games, so it’s a bit hard to say who’s better. But they haven’t really been playing against each other. Littlefinger has been just creating chaos and trying to rise in the aftermath, while Varys has only recently begun to create chaos in earnest at the end of A Dance With Dragons, as opposed to earlier when he seems to have mostly sat back and let chaos happen.

            Between the lack of Varys’ steadying hand, the mob of armed religious fanatics and who now leads the Lannister faction, it seems like Martin is setting up King’s Landing to just go insane and tear itself apart.

            • Sophia

              Because of who he is (a foreigner and a eunich),

              You forgot merman.

            • The short version is that Varys is doing a variant on his “steal something then give a copy back” con from his old days, only with heirs to entire Kingdoms. But it’s also tied to his desire to reform Westeros by raising the perfect prince who can appreciate all parts of the Realm.

              So in a sense, they are playing against each other – Littlefinger wants escalating chaos, Varys wants a short sharp shock so that he can begin to rebuild the Realm.

          • Njorl

            I think it will play out that Peter’s disadvantage will be that he’s encumbered by balls.

        • I disagree; I think Tyrion’s murder of his father at the end of book 3 genuinely took Varys by surprise, and he’s been scrambling behind the scenes to put back together is long-term plans ever since. He can’t count on Tyrion to do what he sent him to Essos hoping he’d do, and now things are flying in heaven knows what mad direction. No, I think Varys has lost control, whereas Baelish still seems to be in command of his small-scaled machinations.

          • What? No.

            Varys led Tyrion back to his father in a route that brought him by his former lover and a crossbow.

            And then the moment that Kevan restores the order that Tywin had built and Cersei had destroyed, Varys comes back to destroy it.

            Varys knows exactly what he’s doing, and he’s within reach of victory – it’s Dany that’s going to unravel his plans.

            • Rhino

              Princess daenerys isn’t competent to tie her own shoes, to think that she could compete with Varys is the most ridiculous assertion I have yet heard regarding GOT.

  • John

    In the pros, is it necessarily true that the coach has a longer time horizon? An unsuccessful coach on the verge of getting fired is going to be looking to the short term much more than a youngish franchise player, aren’t they?

    • medrawt

      Varies from sport to sport, but it seems to me that in basketball (with which I’m most familiar) and football almost anyone who ascends to the position of head coach of an NBA / NFL team, while not remotely guaranteed perpetual employment with that organization, can count on more or less perpetual employability in an assistant-type position whether or not they ever get another crack at head coaching (which many do). See PJ Carlesimo, for example. I mean, maybe gross incompetence will tank you permanently, though I’m not sure what that would look like; Tim Floyd, maybe?

  • daveNYC

    Hell of a lot of lowered expectations for the F-35.

  • kathleen

    Re the Duke pic: look at all the white people! Amazing for a southern (or really any) university.

    • DrDick

      You obviously have never been to Montana, Wyoming, or Idaho. There is a reason all those white supremacists want to move up here.

    • There aren’t white people at southern universities?


      • DrDick

        I think the point she is making is about the absence of black people there.

    • sharculese

      A lot of Southern schools are still living down their well-deserved reputation for shitty treatment of students of color.

      I went to a majority black high school in Atlanta, and with the abundance of HBCUs in the south, I don’t think a lot of my friends even considered UGA.

  • Gian Gentile seems to think that people who want to intervene in Syria, on behalf of the insurgent rebels, would find a book about the importance of fighting against insurgent rebels to be a political boon.

    Gentile also writes, “If the military means applied by Petraeus during the Surge failed to achieve political ends, how can he be considered a great general?” Um, because that’s not how we measure the greatness of generals? George Patton wanted to turn the Wehrmacht around and start a war against the Russians, which is perhaps not the most brilliant politics in world history, but most people consider him to be a reasonably good general nonetheless.

    As sympathetic as I am to Gentile’s overall orientation, I am not impressed by that piece at all.

  • There’s also a book-length version of the Siberian story: Lost in the Taiga.

  • swearyanthony

    That AOL article is amazing. They should try “its the HTML5 of fighters” next

  • The Pale Scot

    What a god awful waste all of these next gen aircraft are. Let’s be blunt, the only use for these machines would be an attempt to maintain air superiority over mainland China or Russia, and the nukes would be flying if it came to that.

    The book on infiltrating the airspace of small non-industrialized nations has been all ready been written. Use F-117s to knock out the radars and C&C, then pound the crap out of the rest of the country. Hell, Warthogs have been the most useful fixed wing aircraft in both gulf wars. By the time the F22 and f35 have all the bugs worked out, drones will have surpassed them.

  • The Pale Scot

    PS. And if the concern is air defense, the money is better spent on developing over the horizon radar for the AWACs and manufacturing a new batch of Phoenix missiles and mate them F-18s and F-15s

  • The family from the Smithsonian story is pretty famous in Russia. About 10-15 years ago, one of the most popular Russian newspapers used to send journalists to the last survivor and interview her several times a year. I’m kind of amazed that American media never published anything on this topic. O_o

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