I went to renew my American Scientist subscription online, searching on
which is exactly the way the URL was given on my subscription label.The following message displayed:
Sorry, the term we received "www.americanscientist" couldn't be resolved.
The first suggested correction was:
african american scientist inventors FAQ | AskKids.com
names of african american scientist FAQ | AskKids.com
(the singular is presumably a typo) and by
Who Invented The Door Bell | Bloglines Answers
Oh yeh -- that’s probably what I meant.
Strictly, though, we can’t blame the browser (the semi-evil Firefox) for this.For some reason, (the mostly evil) Verizon intervened here, unbidden, with its “helpful suggestions”.I have always found these to be utterly brain-dead.
on this solemn day, the featured item on the “In the News” header-bar, top of the page at the left, is the subject …“Women in Combat”. (There is no comparable item for men.) Click on it, and you reach the following article:
Five myths about women in combat
By Jane Blair
There are over three hundred and fifty comments, some of them remarkably detailed and well-informed, with quotes from personal combat experience and from published research. Check it out.
=> Flash update:
The Post has caved. “Women in Combat” has been removed from the front of the header bar, indeed removed altogether; and an attempt has been made to hide the article:
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We were unable to find any results for your search "Five myths about women in combat"
We noticed below the tendency of some neuroscientists to leave their last and to issue pronunciamentos that teeter far beyond any base of evidence, straining after shock-value, which is accordingly welcomed by the fevered media.
Here is the latest heavy-breathing, from today’s update of the otherwise often-useful site Arts & Letters Daily:
Music hits the brain like sex. So can neuroscience distinguish between hearing an organ played and having one’s organs played with?
If it cannot, one wishes to say, worse luck to neuroscience.
Notice too how the bastardizing of science spreads its contagion to the breathlesss press: Begin with a false protasis (no, most music is not at all like sex **); next conjure up a non-sequitur, culminating in some titillating absurdity. Then the servers heat up at the click-throughs of panting masturbators.
Fortunately, the review indexed in this case brushes the potboiler off, rather than standing mesmerized before the idol of science.
[**It is just possible that there is indeed some resemblance between the atavistic throbs and extramarital thrusts favored by nihilists and neuroscientists; but this certainly does not apply to D. 960, nor to embraces hallowed by sacrament.]
In former times you could make some effort to teach people what they needed to know. … But today education means a radically different thing. We have to prepare children to meet the unexpected, for their problems will not be the same as their fathers’. To prepare them for the unexpected means to train them in method instead of filling them with facts …
-- Walter Lippmann, Drift and Mastery
(Lest this seem like breaking news, note that Drift and Mastery was published in 1914.)
Our schools and colleges are overwhelmed by the growth of the population they are supposed to educate, and they are under enormous pressure -- for the most part irresistible -- to lower their intellectual standards. There is an ominous tendency in American education to teach more and more students less and less of the great disciplines which form the educated man.
… With the declining level of education, with the vulgarization of the cultural standards in our mass society, we shall become a big but second-rate people: fat, Philistine, and self-indulgent.
-- Walter Lippmann, column for February 4, 1958 (in the aftermath of the Sputnik challenge).
Note well: What today would be code-words, had other meanings then: 1958 was well prior to the Federal enforcement of integration, and the large Hispanic in-migration; these would only reinforce his point.
Strangely prescient, too, that tossed-off epithet “fat”. How he would gasp, to see how literally, anatomically true that has become, in much of the country !
Chaque lundi, chez Medi1, on peut s’offrir la jouissance d’écouter les causeries de notre journaliste préféré arabo-franco-néerlandais, al-sayyid/monsieur/mijnheer Fouad Laroui
Mais à la différence de celles de Sainte-Beuve, les siennes sont bien des causeries, à haute voix, et pas de simples lectures. Elles -- mais mieux vaux me taire, et illico vous offir, quelques-unes de ses pages favorites:
[Dans l’édition papier, l’intitulé était bien plus savoureux:
Off the rails
Maryland adopts its own foreign policy regarding the Holocaust
Le site Web, lâche et moche, émousse souvent les titres.]
Explication des énigmes de l’Amérique profonde, à la faveur de nos amis hexagonaux:
Cet acte se sert -- cyniquement -- de la francophobie, mais la France ici n’est pas vraiment en cause. On flatte au contraire un autre lobby que celui des France-bashers -- le lobby untel, dont la mention est interdite chez nous, alors figurez-vous. Les bonzes peuvent agencer de tels trucs parce que l’immense majorité des citoyens n’en savent et n’en sauront rien, tandis que le groupuscule ainsi courtisé prête bi-en attention, soyez-en sûrs … -- Mais encore se peut-il que ce lobby-là à son tour ne soit qu’instrumentalisé par les intérêts ferroviaires autochthones !
[ Pour une sélection des commentaires divers des deux côtés de l’Atlantique, cliquez ici. ]
[Mise à jour 23 janvier 2012]
Or voilà que la France elle-même commet la même folie:
Le parlement français vote la pénalisation de la négation du génocide arménien
Quelques commentaires des abonnés:
En voila une loi votée dans l'urgence qui va permettre à la France de sortir de la crise!!!
La France n'a aucune leçon à donner et surtout rien à gagner dans cette histoire. Finalement cette nouvelle loi va générer des rancoeurs et donc de l'extrémisme.
Ce n'est pas la Turquie moderne, laique, d'Ataturk, qui a commis le génocide. C'est l'empire ottoman qui a commis le génocide, ce qui est tout à fait différent, Ataturk ayant totalement coupé les ponts avec l'ancien régime.
Lamentable! Vive la démocratie à la française! La liberté d'expression bafouée, le communautarisme renforcé, la république prend une bonne claque !
I don’t follow professional sports. These days, teams are commercial confections, temporary associations of convenience: granfalloons. There hasn’t been any point in rooting for the one rather than the other since the Dodgers abandoned Brooklyn.
The World Cup (unlike the “World” Series) is different, in that the national teams do reflect the nation in substantive ways. Moreover, whatever great events are playing out on the world stage hover in the background above the pitch.
Nor do I follow the police blotter. But occasionally a case comes along with international and diplomatic reverberations worthy of note.
Such is l’affaire DSK. Looming behind the disputed particulars of this individual case, are the polarities of France and the US: France, that traditionally winks at or hushes up the pecadilloes of powerful politicians (sexual, to be sure, but sometimes even financial); and America, land of the Puritan bluenose, like the pack of adulterers who bayed for Clinton’s blood.
The tabloids have been playing the anti-Frenchmen card for all it’s worth, in a way that, if directed against blacks or Jews, would be considered beyond the pale -- indeed, actionable. Disgraceful front pages of the NY Post and the NY Daily News have been widely circulated on the Web in France. Our ally of the Revolution and in both World Wars, is now considered fair game for cheap shots and low blows.
Little noticed in all the tut-tutting is the fact that the judicial treatment of the accused has been extraordinarily harsh. At first, bail was denied, allusion being made to the lack of a firm extradition treaty with France. The point is valid as far as it goes, but that is not very far, for neither do we have such treaties with Israel, or Namibia, nor a number of other countries. And high-profile malefactors have indeed skedaddled to such places:
Thus, in practice, a Frenchman represents no greater flight risk than any other nationality; harping on the prospect of flight and non-extradition was basically payback for Roman Polanski.
Later, he was released, on terms that raised few eyebrows, but which, considered neutrally, simply astonish. A million dollars bail; an additional five millions dollars bond; passport seized; electronic monitoring; and obliged to hire guards to confine him at his own expense.
How do such figures stack up with those for other defendents? Remember, so far as the courts are concerned, this is a first offense. A brief search failed to turn up stats for New York City, but the Bail Schedule for Los Angeles is readily available. (It wasn’t clear whether these figures reflect the first-offense aspect or not.) The closest thing I could find to what DSK is charged with was:
If in concert with force or fear upon a victim under age 14 ......................................$250,000
(Without the aggravating circumstance of “under age 14”, presumably the bail would be lower.) For an ordinary murder, presumptive bail is a million bucks. In other words, DSK is being treated more harshly than if he had actually bumped her off.
Clearly, the New York judiciary, in concert with the tabloid press, has decided to throw the book at him. Well, fine; only, you’re supposed to do that after the guy’s convicted. But in the meantime they are tossing red meat to two vocal constituencies, feminists and France-bashers.
The sordid perp walk has caused much indignation in France, though also some marveling that even the mighty do not escape the public degradation imposed on the rankest of professional criminals. Tough, but even-handed? Perhaps.
Yet, to take examples quite at random, just what happens at the moment to be on the front page of this morning’s LA Times:
(1) An arrest has finally been made in the the savage beating at Dodger Stadium -- another high-profile crime-- but we are not offered a photo nor even the name of the suspect.
(2) In Torrance, California, the police department maintains a publically-available map giving the approximate location of crime scenes, for all crimes except rape and shoplifting, these being deemed “confidential”. (One can speculate as to the politics behind this.)
Now, if any case can be described as sensitive, it is this one. The consequences of thus publically pillorying DSK include throwing the IMF into a tailspin at the time of the worst European financial crisis since the Great Depression, and knocking the (by some estimates) prospective front-runner out of the French Presidential race. Our own President has been patiently trying to mend relations with a country that the Bushites badmouthed with glee, and now this.
Furthermore, in cases of this sort, just occasionally the charges turn out to be exaggerated just a tad. (Examples here and here.) Should that prove to be the case here -- or worse, should the matter turn out to have been a put-up job, as a majority of those polled in France said they believed (probably wrongly, but the point is, the diplomacy of the thing) -- then the New York courts, and its gutter press, will have been complicit in a very serious sabotage of French social and political life. In view of all this, they might at least have let the guy wear a bag over his head.
Haven't been Raptured. Rejected for the Rapture! Humiliating. Rats. Now I'll have to return those library books after all. (There are, however, certain loudmouth peabrained preachers, who could be raptured away with scant loss to the planet.)
In the post below, I attempted an easy introduction to a notable result of point-set topology, the Urysohn Metrization Theorem. I noted in passing an occasional disparity in the premise of the theory: positing that the space be regular vs. normal.
Now, just browsing around, I stumble across an explanation -- on a site for children -- -- for Australian children no less:
The first really useful metrization theorem was Urysohn's Metrization Theorem. This states that every second-countable regular Hausdorff space is metrizable. So, for example, every second-countable manifold is metrizable. (Historical note: The form of the theorem shown here was in fact proved by Tychonoff[?] in 1926. What Urysohn had shown, in a paper published posthumously in 1925, was the slightly weaker result that every second-countable normal Hausdorff space is metrizable.)
Their age, my day, we was out playing stickball.
Okay, even stranger.Surfed some more, and was led to a page about the theorem;but the root is this site -- a middle-of-the-road, sedately Christian sort of place (much like my own home, though not my intellectual like), with dozens and dozens of homely posts, offering such sage advice as
Six ways to make people like you
1. Become genuinely interested in other people.
You have to scroll quite a bit before you hit a link “mathematics notes”, which opens up a whole new room.
Back in my time, they didn’t teach us that stuff in Sunday school.Barely made it past the Tietze extension theorem.
Note, though, that the rumored defense -- "It was consensual" -- blows the most intriguing of such scenarios out of the water. The affair is looking less like a possible Hitchcock film, more like some sordid direct-to-video.
And, notice this reader's comment:
Si complot il y avait, ne pensez vous pas que l'on aurait laisser DSK remporter la primaire socialiste et qu'on l'aurait "torpiller" à la veille du 1er tour de la presidentielle et pas un an à l'avance?
Mankind has long been aware of the evil of Microsoft and all its works. That is why I dumped my PC and bought a Mac, and switched to Firefox from Internet Explorer.
For the past several weeks, Firefox has been popping up a window, urging download of its own new version. The options are: Ravish me now; Ravish me later. There is no option for “Go away and die.”
Repeatedly, I clicked “Ask me later”, and hoped that it would eventually tire. But as the Devil well knows, we tire before he does. So at last I clicked, Do me.
One immediately saw the benefits of fiber-optic: The caption said “Downloading… estimated time left 2 hours and 40 minutes” -- but no sooner had it posted that, than it switched to “estimated time left 7 minutes” and then immediately to “seven seconds”, and then, abandoning all pretense at precision, “several seconds”. And several seconds later, it was done.
A message popped up, grim and terse in the style of traffic tickets or dunnings from the IRS: “Firefox has detected an incompatibility with Google Desktop search 1.1.”
Now… Google Desktop search is the one program with which I am entirely satisfied. For years, Microsoft operating systems got lamer and lamer at finding your files; how this Mac might do it, I have no idea; but Google just works. So I was gratified to read the penitent subsequent message:
We are mortified that so basic an incompatibility should have escaped beta-testing. All the engineers involved have been fired, and the executives executed. Reverting to original version …
Only, no; that’s not what it said. It said:
Google Desktop has been disabled.
There was no appeal -- no “Undo” -- no “Torture the Firefox executives instead”.
We now return you to your regularly scheduled essay.
It lied. It may have tried to disable mighty Google desktop (whose wrath will be terrible), but the thing still works. We have, thus, “a tyranny tempered only by its incompetence”, in Walter Lippmann’s phrase.
En revanche: It silently swiped the default browser page I’d set up, replacing it with a less useful changeling.
A friend told me how to fix this… but in this changing world, specific instructions may apply only to specifically configured machines. I was obliged to reply:
Thanks for the suggestion.
Unfortunately, on this computer, there is no such option under "Edit".
Under "Firefox", I did find something that said "Use current pages" --sic, plural, which makes no sense. And running "Help" on "use current page" brought up something about color and HTML.
But when I clicked it, being on the main Google/Mozilla page, or even when I specifically pasted in the URL,
it threw that away and substituted... one of my mailboxes, of all things.
Never mind, I eventually found out how. It’s quite easy once you know how to do it -- but then, a safe is easy to open, once you know the combination.
Firefox is evil.
[Update 23 Nov 2011]
Once again an alarming pop-up invaded my screen, warning me that, unless I immediately downloaded many more megabytes of unknown content from Firefox, their defective product might allow very bad things to happen to my computer.
So naturally I complied. And this time was pleased to see that a preliminary window noticed the presence of Google Desktop, and inquired whether I desired to retain this. Much reassured, I replied that I would indeed, thank you very much.
Churn churn churn, download bytes upon bits hopefully not malware… Done.
And yet, after all that -- once again a message that Firefox refuses to play in the same sandbox as Google Desktop and that the latter has accordingly been disabled !
Fortunately they lied. Or perhaps they tried: but the Great God Google (terrible is His name) eats firefoxes like fireflies, for breakfast.
[Note pour les non-francophones: je m’excuse, mais c’est quand même plutôt une affair d’hexagone. Puis je crains les hurlements de l’Amérique profonde, et ceci pourrait les bafouer…]
J’ai lu avec tristesse, les tristes nouvelles de DSK. Connue son histoire -- coupable, probablement. Mais le matin même , la une du Washington Post nous rappelle que les USA sont un peu la capitale des accusations louches de victimisation féminine:
this moron rents a $3000/night suit on public dime and doesn't even know how to call a hooker.
Please, the ultra wealthy do not go through the same "American Justice System" like the rest of us. He'll make some back room deal with other central banking criminals, and he will never see the inside of the prison.
I am not a feminist and I do value the innocent until proven guilty status, but by golly am I getting tired of hearing about guys who can't seem to keep their little soldiers at ease. Is it a sense of entitlement that makes them think they can just take what they want?
D’aucuns, au contraire, privilègent la théorie du complot:
Very stinky folks... Smells of same excretment that tried to pin sex charges on Julian Assange after the Wikileaks fiasco. Without Al Gadthafi's $ Sarkozy is going to have to get creative.
According to the report, he walks out of the bathroom naked and assaults her. Um, just like that? He wasn't expecting her. No preliminary? No How do you do? No leering? No proposition? I don't care how randy someone is, unless he's a Cossack or Harpo Marx or on some kind of heavy meds, he doesn't just walk into a room, see a stranger and decide to rape her on the spot.. Something doesn't add up.
That's why I think it's possible it was just prostitution, and she demanded more money after sex. Which is extortion. Or, sex was consensual, but them she demanded money and he balked. Which is also extortion. His only "crime" could be just prostitution or nothing at all.
<“This sordid episode — no matter how it ultimately plays out — will spell the end of Strauss-Kahn as an effective leader of the IMF even if he retains his position, which is highly unlikely,” said Eswar Shanker Prasad, an international economics professor at Cornell University.>
How convenient. With Struss-Kahn's departure, who's going to counter the Chicago Boys in their pursuit of Friedmanite free market capitalism at the IMF. Strauss-Kahn recently advocated for collective bargaining, a social safety net, and regulation of the markets to address the widening income gap. FWIW, Prasad is a graduate of the Chicago School.
I smell a set-up or extortion connected with prostitution. True, he can't keep his pants zipped, but that doesn't make him a rapist. A sophisticated Frenchman with lots of money. He knows immediately sex with a hooker is easily obtainable via a dozen NYC escort services if he wants it. No big deal being arrested for that either, as he would just get fined and in France nobody would care about consensual sex with a hooker anyway. So, why risk everything and rape a maid? A lot here makes very little sense.
To me, this reminds of a standard scenario routinely used in the old USSR to put people in jail: the KGB would send a prostitute to a guy, and she would afterwards report a rape. A prison sentence for a free-thinker is guaranteed. I concede it sounds like a paranoia, but in light of openly grotesque accusations against Assange, this viewpoint cannot be ignored. Yet, the saddest thing of all is to read all those righteous comments, as well as those full of malicious glee, as if the accusations have been already proved.
Et, pour rire, les lecteur plus down-market du NYPost:
"Agression sexuelle, viol, séquestration" : Dominique Strauss-Kahn est-il tombé dans un piège ?
"Dominique Strauss-Kahn est un de mes adversaires, mais il est tout à fait envisageable qu'il puisse être tombé sur une peau de banane qu'on lui aurait mise sous la chaussure", a-t-il estimé, nuançant toutefois : "S'il est tombé sur cette peau de banane, c'est qu'on savait qu'il avait une vulnérabilité.”
Pas trés sérieux ce Sofitel, une femme de ménage rentre "à l'improviste" dans la suite du Directeur du FMI... Elle aurait pu aussi bien l'assassiner, mais non elle se fait violer ! DSK ferme la porte à cléf ! Dans les chambres d'hôtel le verrouillage interdit d'entrée mais pas de sortir ! ! Mais bon, elle réussit à sortir et donner l'alerte ! DSK qui était nu, se rhabille (on suppose) descend les 28 étages quitte l'hôtel (taxi ou véhicule, on ne sait pas) tout en oubliant son portable... C'est vraiment béta !
Ben oui, c'est pourri tout ça! Vraiment un polar voir télénovéla.
Cette pudibonderie maladive digne de l'Amérique profonde, cette jouissance à trainer les gens dans la boue sans l'ombre d'une preuve, cette campagne au ras du sol
Bizarre cette femme de chambre qui, dès son entrée dans la chambre n'en est pas ressortie immédiatement en entendant qu'il y avait quelqu'un sous la douche ? Qui est-elle ? Si c'est un coup monté, ce sera croustillant de savoir qui a tout organisé.
A qui profite le crime ?
Pour moi c'est un scénario organisé de toutes pièces. On sait bien que dans ce milieu, souvent tout est permis, surtout lorsqu'il s'agit de la futur élection présidentielle ! Un certain Coluche en a fait les frais...
[The last comment refers to a conspiracy theory that the controversial Coluche, reputed to have died by accident, was in fact murdered. -- dbj]
A moins d'avoir actionné le bouton "ne pas déranger" indiqué par une lumière rouge près de la porte d'entrée (dans certains hotels), la femme de chambre n'a aucun moyen de savoir si la chambre est occupée ou non. Pour info, déjà du temps du carton "ne pas déranger" à accrocher sur la porte (et évidemment jamais accroché dans mon cas), j'ai vu souvent vu des femmes de chambre rentrer dans ma chambre, confuses et persuadées que je n'y étais pas. Ce n'est donc pas un argument. Ca arrive, point.
Malgré tous les commentaires des uns et des autres, la première question qui se pose est de savoir ce que faisait DSK seul à New York un week end. Lui qui en permanence et dans sa vie privée est escorté de collaborateurs et gardes du corps, ne serait il pas allé dans cette ville pour un rendez vous secret et avec qui. Aucune protection officielle alors que cela aurait pu être un éventuel chantage. Tout ce déroulement des faits semble bizarre, alors qu'ayant rendez vous dimanche avec Angela Merkel, la logique aurait été plutôt un vol direct de Washington à Berlin !
Quant aux 3 000 dollars de la suite, bizarre. Au Sofitel, même les suites luxe ne dépassent pas 500 dollars.
Voux savez bien, pourtant, que tout cela n’est qu’un coup monté d’Alfred Hitchcock, qui agence le tout d’outre-tombe ….