2009 Notebook: Weak XLVII
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20 November 2009
No. 3,200 (cartoon)
You don’t know yourself very well, do you?

What a disgusting idea!

21 November 2009
The Forty-Percent Solution
University of Leeds researchers spent seventy hours watching women at a local nightclub, and determined that those who exposed forty percent of their skin received twice as much interest from men than did women wearing less revealing clothing.

This seems like another one of those studies that “proves” something widely accepted as a priori knowledge. I can’t think of too many cases where a good imagination isn’t more effective than empirical data at making someone appear more alluring.

Having said that, this seemed like a sham study, even by English academic standards. The scrutineers noted that the women who received the most attention from men, “also had a combination of sexualized dance moves and tight-fitting clothing.” I wonder if the clever investigators also noticed that almost everyone there was drunk and/or high on a smorgasbord of drugs?

Of course, the only reason I’m making these snarky remarks is that I’m envious of the juicy grant the academics received.

22 November 2009
For My Turkish Audience
Not many Turks read my work. Nor does anyone else for that matter, but that’s neither here nor there. As for the Turks, one e_planation is that I regularly use the seventeenth, t_enty-third, and t_enty-fourth letters of the English alphabet, _hich are illegal in Turkey.

Those three characters are used in Kurdish as _ell, but do not appear in the Turkish alphabet. And thus, anyone using said characters may be considered to be a terrorist under Turkish la_.

The previous paragraph sounds like the premise for a bad joke or an even _orse short story. Unfortunately, it’s true. People are _asting a_ay in Turkish prisons for using the seventeenth, t_enty-third, and t_enty-fourth letters of the English alphabet.

I don’t kno_ _hy Turkey e_pects to join the European Union; it’s full of _ily linguistic terrorists.

23 November 2009
Working Paper Number Sixteen
I just got around to perusing the American Association of Wine Economists’ Working Paper Number Sixteen, but I don’t know why I bothered. The oenophiles conducted extensive research to conclude what I’ve known since I was a teenager: cheap wine tastes fine; why pay more? Here’s the beginning of the paper’s abstract.

    Individuals who are unaware of the price do not derive more enjoyment from more expensive wine. In a sample of more than six thousand blind tastings, we find that the correlation between price and overall rating is small and negative, suggesting that individuals on average enjoy more expensive wines slightly less.

I’m no oenophilist, but, based on personally imbibing tens of thousands of samples, I can confirm that the least expensive wines are the grapey alcoholic beverage of choice.

24 November 2009
That Special Peruvian Glow
Dang, the international economic calamity is really getting calamitous. Last week it was the Russian cannibals, this week it’s the Peruvian fat harvesters. Four gangsters in Peru have admitted killing people for their blubber, a practice they claim has been going on for decades. The criminals sold the human fat to cosmetics manufacturers.

I now understand why some people from around the world have that special Peruvian glow. It’s not the cocaine after all!

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25 November 2009
Kill Whitey
Many years ago, Wookie was in the United States Marine Corps. It wasn’t a good fit. Today, he’s found a more suitable calling as an artist.

I like one of his recent pieces. He took his official military portrait, then scratched away at the emulsion to write, “Kill Whitey.” It’s in dubious taste, of course, but that’s the point. Just as it’s more or less acceptable for different races and classes to make insulting remarks about their own communities, the former human killing machine of noncolor (his description, more or less) shouldn’t receive too much vilification for his manipulated self-portrait.

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©2009 David Glenn Rinehart