Thursday, October 30, 2008

Glamour, with and without shoes

Two great tastes that go great together - Virginia Postrel's blog of glamour, and the inimitable Manolo. Interview.

In case you are one of the dozen people who have not heard of Manolo, all you really need to understand is that the Manolo, he loves the shoes! And of course you read Postrel.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Definition of the week

Crux (Latin for "cross", "gallow", or "t-shape") is a term applied by palaeographers, textual critics, bibliographers, and literary scholars to a point of significant corruption in a literary text. More serious than a simple slip of the pen or typographical error, a crux (probably deriving from Latin crux interpretum = "crossroad of interpreters") is difficult or impossible to interpret and resolve. Cruxes occur in a wide range of pre-modern (ancient, medieval, and Renaissance) texts, printed and manuscript.

Monday, October 27, 2008

"So how do you get some people not to vote?"

That's the question that really should be asked.

One of the commentators phrases it justly:
Exactly. This whole get out the vote thing annoys me to no end. I want less voting, not more. I assume that the marginal voter is less informed than the average voter, and thus by expanding the voter pool, the average voter becomes less and less informed. This is not a good thing.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


This Straight Dope article actually states my own opinion quite well:
1. Human life begins at conception.

2. Big deal.

Even though I do not object to legalized abortion, it has always irritated me when people arguing against abortion prohibition would not admit that, yes, they thought it should be legal to terminate a human life.

The Catholic church is right about this: if you believe that human life is sacrosanct, you can not tolerate abortion, euthanasia, or capital punishment.

If you favor any of those listed, you are speaking against the absolute sanctity of human life, and saying that different human lives have different values. You are saying that you have to think.

Live with it.

To me, abortion is ending a human life, but it is not murder. If it were done without consent of the mother, it would be a grave crime against her, but the interests of the fetus are not the interests of our society. Certainly people who are infertile and would love to have a baby, other relatives (or perhaps boyfriend or husbands), and people generally opposed to abortion may find this disturbing. That's OK - go ahead and bribe the mom and try to make it worth her while to have the baby, but in the end it is her decision.

To me, euthanasia should be a basic human right. If you do not believe your life is worth the pain that it costs, you should be able to end it. The fact that you might change your mind later is really not the should have that right.

As capital punishment goes, I am sort of against it. A healthy human life must have some value, and ending it against the will of them who would live it seems wrong, a waste. But in the really bad cases, it does not seem much of a loss. I guess I would say that it should be avoided when possible.

Quote of the Week

"That said, a bike is much cheaper to run than a car. In fact, it takes only half a litre of fuel to get from your house to the scene of your first fatal accident."
- Jeremy Clarkson, in his humorous ode to the Vespa