Thursday, September 27, 2007

Clinton on Gender

A woman from the Pasadena Weekly asked a question about how women fit into the grand scheme of his global initiatives. She quoted "when you give a man an education, you teach an individual, but if you give a woman an education, you teach a family." Clinton rambled on and on about overfishing, CO2 levels increasing in the atmosphere, describing the evolution of the first human all to say that teaching women is the key to reducing global population and poverty. "The question she asked is a powerful one," he said. It musth have been so powerful that he couldn't, um, answer.

Cross-posted on

Nitpicking on Rhetoric

I realize that the whole discussion around global warming (and other economic issues) has adopted a rather grating phrase: "grow the economy." But do they have to say it so often?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Fashion Design: For Women. By Women?

Jezebel has an interesting post based on a Women's Wear Daily (trend) piece about the role of female designers in fashion. It seems that male designers have been dominating high fashion for years, but recently female designers are gaining ground. Granted, I know nothing about fashion -- I'll be the first to admit that I don't change my wardrobe with the seasons and fashion week makes me want to go take a nap -- but it seems logical that women would design clothes that they're going to wear. At the very least it seems more comfortable.

Seasonale Patent

The oral contraceptive called Seasonale, which allows women to have a menstrual cycle only once every three months, has gotten its patent renewed. What this probably means is that a generic version (and therefore less expensive version) of the drug won't be available for several years.


Jamie Kirchick had a post last week about Katie Couric sliding her way to an anchor position because she's popular with women viewers and was only sent to Iraq to garner cred as a reporter. He said, "Couric's ascension does not represent some great achievement for women in journalism." So imagine my surprise when Acela's in-train magazine, Arrive, plastered Couric on the cover along with thumbnails of other female TV reporters. The rather weird cover article, written by USA Weekend writer Dennis McCafferty was mainly pegged to an incident in 2006 when Jennifer Griffen, FOX News anchor, successfully negotiated the release of two members of her news team held hostage in the Gaza strip. The article made some generalizations about how women bring "emotional heft" to news.

There are a few of things at work here. Firstly, Couric doesn't have the reporting cred that other news anchors who have sat in that seat before her do, but then, women find it much harder to earn the cred. Although women have been prevalent in the world of reporting for at least the last 20 years, they've often been pigeonholed into covering "human interest" stuff. Couric is a widely recognized name because she was in a role that she was hired to fulfill for years, a host on a morning TV talk show. There are plenty of women who do more serious work than Couric, but they also get far less recognition.

Secondly, the whole process of hiring female TV news anchors seems to be one of the most sexist practices in journalism today. You are hired to look a certain way. When I was in journalism, those in visual journalism had to be very concerned about what to do with their hair on camera. There's an assumption, as exemplified in the Arrive article, that women inherently bring a certain softness to news. This is, of course, an extremely rigid reading of gender stereotypes.

Thirdly, TV anchors usually come from a reporting background, but the job itself doesn't require that much reporting. This is, at least, the claim that Dan Rather is making in his lawsuit against CBS/Viacom. They are primarily responsible for presenting the news, and only rarely report it.

Fourthly, women are less engaged in hard news, and there's a great deal of speculation about why this is. Perhaps it's because they choose to be, perhaps because they're too busy, or perhaps because the way news is currently presented doesn't really appeal to them.

While I was never a huge Katie Couric fan and I almost never watch CBS evening news, I feel a slight obligation to open this up to discussion. There are a number of factors at work, and I think it's worth thinking about a little bit more than rolling your eyes at the "achievements" of Katie Couric.

The Press Cave

At least the food is good.

Private Investment

What's been surprising to me is the emphasis on private investment here today. Brad Pitt and Steve Bing are offering up to $10 million in matching funds to donors who donate to rebuilding the lower ninth ward in New Orleans. This morning, Hamid Karzai, the president of Afghanistan, clearly took the opportunity to be in the room with Goldman-Sachs people and took the opportunity to sell investment in Afghanistan. Obviously the World Bank president and the CEO of Wal-Mart have an interest in emphasizing the investment factor. As long as the free market is the answer, they're in a very comfortable position.

Philanthropy is often seen as the out to regulation for large corporations. They're investing in undesirable places or causes, so they use that as an excuse for not getting regulation imposed on them. The role of investment is certainly powerful, but I don't think we should allow it to be an excuse for not putting regulation on corporations.

Madame Head of State

It seems that there's something to the fact that a head of state is given a huge amount of respect. But, as I noticed today (and earlier this week at the UN) side comments suggest that it's impossible for people to separate gender from title when that head of state happens to be female. At the Clinton Global Initiative today, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was invited to represent her country and talk about green investment in the Philippines. Archbishop Desmond Tutu, in an attempt to flatter her, said that she was his only "pin-up" in his office. I have a great amount of respect for Tutu, but this is absurd. But why compare an extremely accomplished woman and the leader of the Philippines to a woman who poses nude for money? Is it because of the "s" in front of the "he"? Women can't ever seem to escape being thought of as sexual objects, even when they are in a role that is totally unrelated to sex.

UPDATE: Apparently I'm wrong. He was referring to the Burmese dissident Aung San Suu Kyi

So Strange

Interestingly enough, The New Yorker blogs don't allow comments. That's old school.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Well, this just proves that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is kinda hot. (In addition to homophobic and misogynistic.)

Education and Terrorism

I thought Bush's speech at the UN this morning was largely uninteresting, since it was clearly a sideshow to distract from the main events. He didn't mention any major issues or even the subject of climate change -- something everyone else talked about all day yesterday. One thing about his speech struck me as a little odd:

Better education unleashes the talent and potential of its citizens, and adds to the prosperity of all of us. Better education promotes better health and greater independence. Better education increases the strength of democracy, and weakens the appeal of violent ideologies. So the United States is joining with nations around the world to help them provide a better education for their people.

This is only odd to me because it's been pretty well documented that the most effective terrorists are the highly educated ones. Education isn't a cure-all, but Bush's speech seems to be suggesting that.

To Catch a Killer

In a follow up to the Delaware State University shooting last week, an 18-year-old student was arrested in his dorm room early yesterday morning in his dorm room and charged with "attempted murder, assault and reckless endangerment, as well as a gun charge."

What we still don't know, after several incidents of teenagers and young adults turning guns on each other since Columbine in 1999 is what exactly makes young men (it has been young men in every instance) do this. There's a conflicted sense both of seeking something to blame. Many people are quick to turn to various cultural influences: music, movies, and violent video games, but it dosen't change the fact that these young men are exposed to all the same things as other young people who lead totally normal lives -- uninterrupted by such violence.

What is left is a much more complicated view of phchology and psychosis. By finding a simple source, it's easier than dealing with people on an individual level. I ceartianly don't know what the answer is, but I think it's something to think about. How do you reach those that feel violence is the only answer?

Cross-posted on

The $100 Laptop

What I don't quite understand is all this hype about the $100 laptop. It seems to be that people think this is the best of when philanthropy meets capitalism. While it's kind of neat that they can make a piece of technology that's typically really expensive really cheap, it kind of misses the point. It's like that Toys for Tots program. Sure, it makes a lot of kids feel good to get some toys at Christmastime, but it doesn't signify any particular life change. What they're producing here is toys. (It even looks like a toy.) The internet is a remarkable thing, but all the things that are really great about it are either convenience or require special skills to unlock. So I don't quite understand what the all the fuss of these $100 laptops is all about.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Top 100 Effects of Global Warming

CAP (my employer) released a list of "top 100" things that global warming will do. They range from the disappearance of Christmas trees and baseball bats to some more ridiculous things like dry wines and ski vacations. It's a good way to reach to the middle class people, but I think the greatest sense of urgency is the low-income kids that suffer from asthma because they live near pollution sites.

Bolivian President

Bolivian President Juan Evo Morales Ayma declared that "capitalism is the enemy of humanity" calling earth a "mother" and not "merchandise." He's not even wearing a suit and tie -- it more closely resembles one of those Norwegian sweaters. Go radical Latin heads of state.

Liveblogging UN

I'm up in New York blogging on the UN meeting on climate change. Check it out over at Campus Progress.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Giving Up Taxes?

Matt points to Heritage's proposal to end federal taxes in DC as an alternative to not getting the vote. I think this is a good way to force people to give DC residents a vote in Congress, but not actually a good policy. A lot of federal dollars are used to maintain the city (especially the tourist destinations near the mall). It's not hard to convince me that people in DC need representation in Congress. I live here. Many people have lived here for generations. It's hard to justify withholding a right to vote just because the founding fathers didn't foresee this becoming an actual city.

Jena 6

If you, like me, are looking for some clarity on the Jena 6 rally, Courney Martin has a great piece up at The American Prospect today that explains it:

Indeed, the Jena 6 case, like the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, is a violent reminder that our country is actually many nations. Despite all of the progress that has been made, racism is still a part of too many American kids' ideological diets. A noose, even in 2007, struck these good ol' Southern boys as an apt symbol for the fear of "the other" that had been bred in them from birth. And their elders -- the school administrators, city officials, and parents -- called their inexcusable hatred by cutesy names: pranks, child's play, boys will be boys. It is a wake-up call to us all: The work of ending racism is far from over.

I encourage you to read the whole thing.

Cross-posted on

Military Recruitment on Campus

Yale University restricted military recruitment in 2005, claiming a First Amendment right to exclude them based on the military's anti-gay recruitment policies. This week, an appeals court sided with the Department of Defense. They cited a law known as the Solomon amendment, upheld by the Supreme Court, which allows federal funds to be withheld from schools that refuse military recruitment on campus.

By refusing military recruitment on campus, it's a back-door way of protesting the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. It's a stance that Yale University, with such a large endowment, can perhaps afford to make, but publicly funded universities and colleges cannot even consider this method of protest. They are too dependant on federal and state dollars.

Curiously enough, a side effect of refusing to allow military recruitment on campus is that it may increase the economic divide among those who choose to serve in the military and those who don't. Overwhelmingly those that serve are poor. I'd be interested to know what others think about this.

Cross-posted on

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Reviewing In the Valley of Elah

My review of In the Valley of Elah is up on The American Prospect's site today:

What’s peaking though the fairly transparent plot is the costs of sending soldiers to war -- encouraging them to torture and kill terrorists (or suspected terrorists) -- and returning them home unable to continue with normal lives. A side plot of the film has a woman ahead of Deerfield at the police station there to report her husband's (another recently returned Iraq vet) violent drowning of the family's Doberman Pincher in the bathtub in front of their son. Later in the film he is arrested for drowning his wife, who Theron's character had sent home without helping.

The movie clearly depicts post traumatic stress disorder. But what makes In the Valley of Elah portrayal valuable is that it depicts the strain of PTSD on families and communities as well.

Official estimates of how many Iraq war veterans might be affected by PTSD vary, mainly because it’s something that affects patients in a matter of degrees, many of which are not necessarily violent. It’s a cost of war that’s little talked about estimated to cost billions of dollars. Many psychologists, including the American Psychological Association's Education Directorate, advocate a public education campaign that would not only teach soldiers and their families what the symptoms of PTSD are (often sleeplessness, flashbacks, problems with aggression, and relationship stress) but also instruct the public that PTSD can be a normal reaction to abnormal levels of stress or violence, especially when encountered for long periods of time. Some soldiers are serving tours as long as 15 months.

Read the whole thing.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Friday Coral Blogging

Image courtesy of National Geographic

National Geographic published photos and bios based on the 2007 Red List of Threatened Species list, which was released this week. So the coral may not be as adorable as the long-nosed Baiji dolphin that scientists thought was extinct but was spotted off the coast of China, but it's a good reminder that nature is pretty beautiful on it's own. The Threatened Species list includes more than 40,000 different species. Protecting wildlife requires international cooperation. I donated to the World Wildlife Fund, and they sent me a stuffed Blue-Footed Booby. Aw.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

U of Minnesota Best At Promoting Safe Sex

My alma matter is rated the best of 139 colleges nationwide at promoting safe sex on campus, according to a survey conducted by the Trojan condom company. The school's health service gives out about 10,000 condoms a year and offers free STI testing on campus. I remember the human-sized condom mascot named Shady handing out condoms and lube at almost every campus event.

No wonder I was surprised to learn that some schools, like the Jesuit-founded Georgetown, not only don't give out free condoms but also attempt to restrict the purchase of condoms on campus, leaving the only option for students to go off campus to get them. It's not like the presence of condoms tempts students to have sex -- I think sex is appealing enough on its own. But having condoms readily available will prevent pregnancy and the spread of STIs. That's just good public health policy.

Cross-posted at

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Newt's Delusion

Dana had an excellent story yesterday at TAP that I meant to write about but didn't get time for. She covered an event where Newt Gingrich presented his own version of events:

Gingrich made his case through a "thought experiment" of an "alternate history" of the past six years in which, with unlikely efficiency and competence, the entire United States government retooled itself after Sept. 11, 2001 for a military, intelligence, and diplomatic war against Muslim terrorism.

Right, if only we would have had a conservative president and Congress in the years following 9/11 to steer us in the right direction. Oh wait. We did.

Cross-posted at

Popluation Control

Jill says she can't endorse

Annals of Xenophobia

I think the subtext here is: Black people are invading our state. (Also, most racially insensitive headline ever.)

Conservative Bias

Via Matt. Media Matters reports that op-ed pages in newspapers on the whole lean to the right. Matt thinks it's because editors are looking to gain more readers through the inflammatory stuff that Charles Krauthammer writes. I think it's a general overcompensation on the part of the MSM to make sure the right is represented in the media after years of (false) cries that the media has a "liberal bias." What's more true is that the MSM has more biases toward authority figures (the WMD scandal, for example) than any kind of ideological bias. Even so, the media makes a conscious effort to "balance" any statement with something on the right, regardless of whether that statement has real significance.

What lazy reporters do is call up the Center for American Progress to see what they think about issue X and then call the Heritage Foundation and ask them what they think about the issue. That's not balance. The same is true of the op-ed pages. Editors may "feel" that liberal thoughts get more play so they overcompensate by running more conservatives.

"People who think racism is a thing of the past"

Via Chronicle's Footnoted blog: Oh No a WofC PhD responds to Bitch PhD's whining about how she can't afford to live on what her household income is. On No a WofC PhD has a "shame list," basically a list of all the things that piss her off about being an academic. Two things stuck out to me:
  • I chose a profession in which I have to work with people who think racism is a thing of the past, LGBT people are “gross” and “sinful,” and who when hiring decisions are made never hire these people but are more than happy to fill the adjunct ranks with them
  • I chose a profession based on inequality in which women and people of color make up the ranks of the lowest paid, least tenured, and most over-worked (through demands placed on them to do extra teaching loads or not be asked back the following semester or year, by being asked to officially or unofficially mentor all the people in their identity group, and teach most if not all of the courses associated with their identity group)
I wrote a while back about women in academia, but women of color especially have a hard time getting placed in prestigious (and not so prestigious) institutions as full-time tenured professors. While institutions are generally moving away from the tenure model, I think it's especially true that these institutions are more than happy to hire in their lower ranks but have different standards that are much harder to meet if women have pregnancies. I think Oh No a WofC PhD put it in a frank and honest way. These professors and deans don't think of themselves as perpetuating racial and gender divides, but they are.

Contraception and Cancer

Kaiser Family Foundation's Daily Women's Health Policy Report highlights a study conducted by the British Medical Journal that shows women who take oral contraceptives for less than 8 years are up to 12 percent less likely to get cancer. But taking oral contraceptives for more than 8 years can increase the risk by up to 22 percent.

There has been a lot of debate about the effect of hormonal birth control on women's overall health. Especially because when birth control was first introduced, the hormonal levels were too high and made many women sick. We've come a long way since 1960, though, and women have safely been using oral contraception for more than 40 years. In some cases, like the study above, it can actually be beneficial to women's health.

Conservative groups, however, may seize on this news to say that women shouldn't be on oral contraceptives because they're bad for them. (I can just imagine the Family Research Council email now.) Even if the use of oral contraceptives for more than 8 years increases the risk of cancer slightly, there are other things--like smoking--that drastically increases the risk of cancer by a lot more.

Cross-posted at

Monday, September 10, 2007

Getting the Piece of Paper

Amanda has a thoughtful analysis of class and college degrees up today. She begins by saying that as a first generation college student, her father wanted her in and out as soon as possible to get the return on the investment. The decision to get a college degree also says a lot about class:

The fact that a college degree is the entrance requirement to the middle class is not exactly controversial. I was listening to Marketplace last week and they had a story about lower income students striving to get that piece of paper, and they extracted this quote for the teaser on the story and for good reason:

Once a first-generation college student gets their degree, the likelihood that everyone in their lineage gets a degree increases exponentially.

That little factoid contains a world of information. First of all, it indicates the income difference for people who get degrees that they can expect college education for their children as a matter of fact. Second of all, it’s a staunch class indicator about entitlements and expectations; if you’re born to the college-educated middle class, doing anything but going to college after high school is breaking the mold and hard to do. I found that to be an interesting feature of both Kyso’s post and the discussion at Offsprung about majors—the discussion assumed that choosing a major is extremely meaningful, which points to an unacknowledged assumption that getting a college degree at all is expected and not really up for debate. That you will end up at the end of it all as a member of the middle class in good standing goes unquestioned if you’re born into it. The only discussion after that is whether you’ll be middle class because you have a job that’s a lot of fun but doesn’t put you in the BMW-buying category or if you have a job that does but might be a rat race job. It’s a good entitlement to have, but it’s important to remember that it is in fact an entitlement, mostly because we’re in situation now where decades of Republican dominance have shrunk the middle class (and therefore reduce the number of people who feel that entitlement) and they give every indication of hoping to shrink it further.

I think this is right. Once you're in a family that's college educated it's assumed that you will go to college. Unfortunately, those not from the college-educated middle class are overwhelmingly non-white. This creates extra hurdles for a young student considering college. Parents who didn't go to college tend to not be very supportive of the institution. There tends to be an attitude of, "I didn't go to college and turned out just fine."

I came from a middle-class family and was a third generation college student. It was assumed that I would go to college, so that's what I did. I'd be interested to hear more perspectives from first-generation college students.

Cross-posted at

Saturday, September 8, 2007


My favorite childhood author, Madeline L'Engle died Thursday. I remember writing a report on her in the sixth grade. Britt did a good job of giving tribute to L'Engle for her work in exploring the mysticism of science. She will be missed.


Matt is more of a proponent of personality in candidates than I am. I admit that charisma is an important factor in a candidate, but think about the two candidates that Oprah has allowed to "sit on her couch": George W. Bush and Barack Obama. These two candidates obviously have vastly different policies. There's no reason why a reasonable voter would want to support both of them. (But then, voters aren't reasonable, are they?)

I'm all for candidates that have charisma -- they get people excited about voting and what the government does. But the vast inconsistency in the Oprah voter suggests a complete lack of knowledge about policy. And that's what I think can be dangerous.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

The eBook

The NYTimes has an interesting little article today about the latest version of the eBook: the Kindle. This time, it's wireless and can download text from online stores like Amazon or Google. Even though it seems unlikely that these tech giants would pursue something they didn't think was profitable, eBooks have a history of not working out:
That disappointing history goes back to the late 1990s, when Silicon Valley start-ups created the RocketBook and SoftBook Reader, two bulky, battery-challenged devices that suffered from lackluster sales and a limited selection of material. The best selling e-books at the time, tellingly, were “Star Trek” novels.
I've always thought that I really enjoyed the portability of taking a book with me on the train or to the beach in a way that I don't enjoy towing a laptop or palm pilot (does anyone use these anymore?) around. I do, however see a great deal of value in making research texts available in virtual format. I can't even count how many times in college I read a text and then went back later to study or write about it, but couldn't remember the exact page. If I had all my textbooks in virtual format, it would make research much more efficient (and already has, with so many articles available in PDF or full text format online). Not to mention that buying the virtual textbooks would be much cheaper than purchasing the same text in paper format because the publishing would be so much more efficient.

What the future of virtual books will be I'm not quite sure yet. I have a feeling that people will want to keep paper books around for at least a while because of the romantic or sentimental connection of the literary tradition, but in the meantime, I read thousands of words a day on my computer screen, so I sense the printed word will become even more of a rarity, if not render it obsolete.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


Now Larry Craig is reconsidering his resignation. After he reconsidered his decision to plead guilty. His problem appears not only whether he's a hypocrite or not, but also that he has trouble sticking with a decision.

Major Debt

Business Week has a back-to-school article that's a bit sobering. It reminds us how credit card companies sell their lending products to college students -- sometimes at rates as high as 16 percent:

Students also live in a culture of debt. Many of them are borrowing tens of thousands of dollars to go to school, tapping low-interest loans to pay tuition. "The primary way we help students pay for college is by telling them to take on more and more student loan debt," says Tamara Draut, director of the Economic Opportunity Program at Demos. The message is clear, she says: "Debt is O.K., and you are going to have lots of it." In that context, [Central Washington University student Seth] Woodworth and other students think little of charging another $50 for dinner or groceries.

I know I've linked to Elizabeth Warren's article in Democracy before, but it's worth linking to again. She explains how consumers have essentially abdicated all their negotiating power to big companies, who can refuse their products if customers don't agree to their ridiculous terms.

Cross-posted at

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Counting the Sperm

The Nerve blog has a Q&A with the author of Sperm Counts: Overcome By Man's Most Precious Fluid, Lisa Jean Moore. I reviewed the book as part of a double review for Bitch's fall issue. Unfortunately, it's not online, so run out and pick up your copy today!

Research, Please

The BBC reports that women are "choosier" when it comes to mates and look for things like financial security. But here's the thing. It was a survey of 46 people at speed-dating session. A survey of 46 people is hardly scientific, and I doubt that those at a specifically targeted dating event are representative of their genders as a whole. What's more, here's what the lead researcher said:

"While humans may pride themselves on being highly evolved, most still behave like the stereotypical Neanderthals when it comes to choosing a mate.

"Evolutionary theories in psychology suggest that men and women should trade off different traits in each other and when we look at the actual choices people make, this is what we find evidence for."

I hardly thing that this has anything to do with "evolution" or "psychology" but rather cultural norms and expectations. Somebody get these people an intro to research class.

Cross-posted at


Over the weekend, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported on some Minnesota National Guard troops who have elected to be part of a VA study monitoring the effects of deployment on a soldier. The study, funded by the Department of Defense, began

nearly two years ago, [when researcher Melissa Polusny] and three other VA psychologists went to Camp Shelby, Miss., where 2,500 Minnesota Guard troops were preparing to deploy to Iraq. Of those, 531 agreed to fill out 22-page questionnaires covering everything from their childhood and family life to how they handle setbacks.

This is exactly the kind of monitoring that could give the VA a better idea of how combat stress affects veterans after they've returned from a deployment. Some experts proposed making such testing mandatory, so as to reduce the stigma of PTSD symptoms like sleeplessness, flashbacks, and emotional isolation. Broad testing, of course, can be very expensive. The Minnesota study is of a self-selected group of soldiers, so it may not be an entirely accurate picture. But research into combat stress is so scarce that even a small study such as this could have a big impact.

--Kay Steiger

Cross-posted at TAPPED.

Too Late to Save the Record Industry

The NYTimes Magazine had a profile of Rick Rubin this weekend, the man anointed by Columbia Records to save the industry. It's no secret that the record industry has been languishing in the last few years. So what's the new strategy?

"Everything I do," Rubin told me earlier, "whether it's producing, or signing an artist, always starts with the songs. When I'm listening, I'm looking for a balance that you could see in anything. Whether it's a great painting or a building or a sunset. There's just a natural human element to a great song that feels immediately satisfying. I like the song to create a mood."

So the record industry will save itself by--drumroll, please--listening to music. Brilliant. They're also not going to make Rubin punch a clock or have a desk. This is supposed to be a revolutionary tactic?

What the record industry doesn't seem to get is that the future of music has already passed them by. People don't want big record executive dictating what will be popular. They want to figure it out for themselves. This is why, for better or worse, things like Pitchfork are so popular. In the age of digital sharing, it's far better for bands just to have their music heard than to get signed with a label.

It seems that the record industry wants ownership over the intellectual product of music, even if it's not in the best interest of the creator. Rubin talked of a way the industry screwed up with Neil Diamond:

"The CD debuted at No. 4," Rubin told me at Hugo's, still sounding upset. "It was the highest debut of Neil's career, off to a great start. But Columbia — it was some kind of corporate thing — had put spyware on the CD. That kept people from copying it, but it also somehow recorded information about whoever bought the record.The spyware became public knowledge, and people freaked out. There were some lawsuits filed, and the CD was recalled by Columbia. Literally pulled from stores. We came out on a Tuesday, by the following week the CD was not available. Columbia released it again in a month, but we never recovered. Neil was furious, and I vowed never to make another album with Columbia."

It doesn't seem that they're getting it right. What they don't seem to get is that the advantage to creativity is that it inspires others. By letting go a little on protections, we can create a richer culture.

Cross-posted on

How to Fold a Box Spring in Half

Moving sucks. Fortunately, we had a lot of help. Thanks guys!

The thing is, my queen sized mattress wouldn't fit up the stairs of our little row house. But typing in "how to fold a box spring in half" brought up this:

It is possible to cut the box spring and still keep its integrity intact. You will need a small handsaw, a razor knife (new blade) and some rope. FIRST thing to do is find a clean area and lay the box spring flat with the underside facing up. Measure and find the middle of the frame. AT the middle point take the razor and cut the dust cloth
(THE SHORT WAY) COMPLETELY from side to side. NOW you will need to cut the box spring FABRIC up the width of the side ...on both sides.Use the razor to cut a straight line. By doing this you now have clean cut from the top seam of the box spring down the width to the dust cover, across the dust cover and up the other side to the finished seam. Now for the sawing. You want to cut the wood framing braces that are closest in line with the line that you cut in the dust cloth and in line with the cuts up the sides. You will see the wood framing running along both sides. You will need to cut through this wood. Way up inside you will see a long edging steel rod that
is part of the frame.........DON'T CUT THE METAL ROD. Now you are ready to bend the box spring in half. Tip the spring up onto its side. Place the soft side against a door frame. What you want to do is place a person on each end and start to fold the box spring in a book. As you do this apply equal pressure moving your body towards the center as it folds. If there is no door frame you may have to improvise. Once folded, tie a rope around it snuggly. Now you can move it upstairs and into the bedroom. If you can find another door frame, use it to open the box spring slowly and evenly with the underside against the frame. Once it is open,
look way up inside along the edge that was bent and you will see that metal rod that i spoke of before. You'll notice that there is a kink in the rod. If you can get a small board or stick and push on the kink to straighten as much as possible, it will help it lay flat. As an option, get some straight brackets and screw them to the underside to connect the two halves. Sometimes it will lay flat without installing the brackets and
the mattress is on.
It actually works, despite sounding really complicated. Now I have an entire bed in my room. Ah, the miracles of the Internet.

UPDATE: Nathaniel notes that he also helped us.
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